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Rank NAPA brake pads #2601536 04/17/12 12:36 AM
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Zako2 Offline OP
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Can someone explain the difference between all the brake pads available from NAPA stores? For my car they have (some on special order):

Adaptive One
Ultra Premium Ceramic
Ultra Premium Semi-metallic
Safety Stop Ceramic
Safety Stop Semi-metallic

I really wonder, are at least some of these simply re-badges of well known brake pads (e.g. Akebono, Wagner, etc).

In addition to these, I also look at Wagner Thermoquet NAO, Akebono ProACT ceramic, and Duralast organic.


I am looking for a brake pad for relative's car. He never fixes his car, until things start to fall apart. He also rarely washes his car. Based on this I think I will recommend brake pads with good longevity and relatively low dust factor. However, good initial bite and overall street performance is expected.

Last edited by Zako2; 04/17/12 12:42 AM.
Re: Rank NAPA brake pads [Re: Zako2] #2601539 04/17/12 01:05 AM
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Knox Offline
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There's a 90% chance that their just different suppliers.

Ceramics are generally better then semi-metallic. There suppose to make less noise, but i haven't found that to be true on the vehicle that i've owned. Another benefit is that they should stop better then semi-metallic, this has been true for me. In theory semi-metallic don't grab as good when cold.

I've had good luck with Wagner Thermoquiets, on other peoples vehicles, they do tend to make less noise. I haven't used many set's, but so far so good.

FYI: In my experience, the ceramics last longer and brake better, but dig into the rotor more. Cheap brakes (off brand) don't touch your rotor, but don't last long either.


2009 Subaru Legacy (Special Edition)
Delo XLE 10w-30 and Napa Gold 7712
Re: Rank NAPA brake pads [Re: Zako2] #2601540 04/17/12 01:12 AM
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Knox Offline
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2009 Subaru Legacy (Special Edition)
Delo XLE 10w-30 and Napa Gold 7712
Re: Rank NAPA brake pads [Re: Zako2] #2601565 04/17/12 04:55 AM
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SteveSRT8 Offline
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^^^exactly backwards in my experience. Ceramics have less stopping bite than semi metallics and less dust is their primary claim to fame. They are also easier on rotors.

Note that "ceramic" has become a marketing buzzword so it is rapidly losing its significance. The formula may only be 1% "ceramic".

NAPA's adaptive one is IMO one of the finest street pads made, always super smooth and extremely long lasting. But priced accordingly.


"In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith."
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Re: Rank NAPA brake pads [Re: Zako2] #2601588 04/17/12 05:56 AM
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edwardh1 Offline
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why not stick with a name brand, the choice among name brands is confusing enought without all the made in china napa choices

akebono is toyota oem and is what I would choose.


These products are all new every year?? They are a revolution!!! Razor blades, mens shirts, TVs, wiper blades, gutter guards, hearing aids... according to the ads. But also all new last year
Re: Rank NAPA brake pads [Re: Zako2] #2601620 04/17/12 07:05 AM
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bepperb Offline
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In my experience Akebono's are just fantastic, but the ThermoQuiets are 90% as good for half the price.

I don't doubt some of those napa's are rebrands, every rotor I buy has a napa part number along with five others on the box.


2004 Highlander 2.4
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Re: Rank NAPA brake pads [Re: Zako2] #2601744 04/17/12 09:44 AM
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stephen9666 Offline
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The NAPA pads are very possibly made in China. The Critic even posted a picture of the pricey Adaptive One pads that were clearly marked "made in China."

The Akebono ProAct pads are made in Kentucky. I emailed Akebono and that's what they told me.

Last edited by stephen9666; 04/17/12 09:44 AM.
Re: Rank NAPA brake pads [Re: Zako2] #2602226 04/17/12 06:54 PM
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The Critic Offline
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If it is a Honda or Toyota, the OE pads will cost the same or less than the aftermarket pads anyway, so there is no reason to use aftermarket.

Adaptive One and Ultra-Premium are supposed to be NAPA's best pads. The Safety Stop is their mid grade, and is also the one Midas uses for their "securestop" brake service.


2011 Toyota Prius 1.8L - 199K - Pennzoil Platinum 0W-20
2007 Honda Accord 2.4L - 140K - Valvoline Premium Blue Restore 10W-30
Re: Rank NAPA brake pads [Re: Zako2] #2603371 04/18/12 09:14 PM
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antonmnster Offline
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Because I have a discount and was able to get pads and rotors for 1/2 price, I went to the semi-metallics on my 02 BMW 325Ci.

After a few months of living with them, I have to say they're really good. The bite is as good as any pad I've ever used on a 3-series in the last 15 years, and the brake feel is pretty good as well.

By way of contrast, I put a nice set of ceramics with Brembo rotors on the household Audi A6, and their bite is much worse. I need to take that car out and do a series of 80-15mph slowdowns to keep the pads working, otherwise they require increased pedal effort over time.

I have no doubt that the ceramics would hold up better on the track, but I don't track. I drive urban/suburban roads and so far the mid-line Napa pads have worked out very well.

The only caveat is that I bought rotors that, unlike the Brembos on the Audi, didn't come with a layer of zinc (I think). So all of the non-swept areas start to rust immediately. I wish I had upgraded in that area since, for me, the biggest issue I have with brakes is that the rotors tend to go out of balance because they get so rusty. I drive so little that they don't even really get a chance to wear out.


2007 BMW 335i n54 210,000 miles, lubricated by whatever is on sale
Re: Rank NAPA brake pads [Re: Zako2] #2603683 04/19/12 09:13 AM
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mechtech2 Offline
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Look on the side of the pad for specific warm/hot brake frictin co efficients.
With the same pad, this will differ for different cars.

Re: Rank NAPA brake pads [Re: Zako2] #2623190 05/10/12 01:32 PM
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Zako2 Offline OP
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I needed to get brake pads ASAP this week and also wanted to be able to exchange the product fast if it did not work out well, so I went to NAPA and bought Adaptive One and a set of premium rotors. All of the boxes say "Made in China". Disappointed. It looks like all or most NAPA brakes are now made in China (with the possible exception of Ultra Premium Ceramic, which are supposedly Akebono product).

Re: Rank NAPA brake pads [Re: Zako2] #2623212 05/10/12 01:46 PM
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mechtech2 Offline
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The friction, or 'bite' can vary. A ceramic may be better or worse. There are no rules.

Look at the side of a new pad to see the letters.
EE,EF,FF, FG, GG, etc. More friction coefficient as you follow the alphabet along.
Like motor oil, there is a warm and hot rating, therefore 2 letters.

Re: Rank NAPA brake pads [Re: mechtech2] #2623247 05/10/12 02:17 PM
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Zako2 Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: mechtech2
The friction, or 'bite' can vary. A ceramic may be better or worse. There are no rules.



Yes, there are probably no rules that are set in stone.

Quote:


Look at the side of a new pad to see the letters.
EE,EF,FF, FG, GG, etc. More friction coefficient as you follow the alphabet along.
Like motor oil, there is a warm and hot rating, therefore 2 letters.


I have been looking for those letters. However, just like with motor oil, this rating does not tell everything. All premium brake pads sold in Auto Stores that I have checked have FF rating, but reviews certainly differ from brand to brand.


Last edited by Zako2; 05/10/12 02:18 PM.
Re: Rank NAPA brake pads [Re: Zako2] #2623412 05/10/12 05:20 PM
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artificialist Offline
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I worked at repair shops where numerous NAPA brake parts were kept in storage. The majority of the pads were basic ones made in China, a few were made in India, and an tiny number were made in places with a high standard of living.

What kind of car is it? If you have a Honda, you can get AEM pads from tuner companies, and they work extremely well. They are all made by Nissin which supplies many OEM brake parts to Honda.


2010 Lancer Ralliart Sportback
Re: Rank NAPA brake pads [Re: Zako2] #2623482 05/10/12 06:26 PM
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yonyon Offline
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The Adaptive One's are a great street pad with my only complaint being that in some applications a hard low speed stop can cause a grinding sound. The UP ceramics are maybe a hair better at stopping but don't last so long. I've only used the UP semi-metallics in vans and there they have seemed to be very inconsistent.... they all stop quite well, but some of them wear out ridiculously fast. The UP's (ceramic and semi-metallic) alst have some godawful packaging. Getting the UP pads out of the packaging can be more work than the rest of the brake job.

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