NAPA Auto Parts Sterling, VA
45449 Severn Way
Sterling,  VA  20166-8918
(703) 378-6666
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Store Hours
Mon-Fri:8:00 AM-6:00 PM
Sat:8:00 AM-3:00 PM
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Brake Pads and Brake Shoes

Part Types

Shop Replacement Brake Pads and Brake Shoes

How often are you checking your brake system?

Does your car squeal or come to a grinding halt at red lights? It may be time for a brake service to see if your brake pad material has worn down to nothing. The bad news is that these parts aren't typically included in a car's warranty, as they are considered preventative maintenance/wear and tear items that need to be regularly replaced.

Making sure you and your passengers are safe is our main priority. When you're faced with hazards on the road, you need to make sure you're equipped with stopping power. Save on great prices on premium quality brake pads, brake rotors, drum brakes, calipers, wheel bearings, brake fluid, brake master cylinders, and more.

The good news is that NAPA AUTO PARTS carries a wide selection of brakes and brake parts online for you to reserve and pick-up in store. We have stellar brake installation hardware and recommendations for the best brake inspection and replacement services in the area.

Suppose you're shopping for brake pads or shoes for your Ford F150, Honda Civic, electric vehicle, or any other car or motorcycle. In that case, NAPA AUTO PARTS has you covered with a wide variety of the most popular disc brake pads or drum brake shoes on the market, no matter your driving style.

Find a NAPA AUTO PARTS location near you if you aren't comfortable doing the work yourself and speak with one of our qualified associates.

What Are Friction Brakes?

This is a catch-all term for brakes that use friction to slow a vehicle or wheel. They can often be divided into two types of brake: shoe brakes and pad brakes, which use a component that presses against a brake rotor or brake disc and creates thermal energy, which is dissipated as the wheel continues to spin.

Older vehicles almost universally used drum brakes that, when engaging the brake pedal push a set of brake shoes against the interior of a rotating brake drum and a wheel cylinder.

The drum is connected to the tire's hub with a steel backing plate for stability. As they compress, the energy is converted into heat, and the car stops. Drum brakes tend to wear out somewhat quickly, which can lead to overheating.

What are Disc Brakes?

Today most vehicles are equipped with disc brake systems. This brake configuration takes a brake caliper device and places it on the outside of a brake rotor attached to the wheel hub.

Then, like a drum brake, the driver activates the braking mechanism to squeeze the brake pads against the rotor, which scrubs speed, converting the energy into heat. Typically the more effectively a disc brake rotor can scrub heat, the more expensive it is.

Because the act of braking requires so much force, most friction brakes are equipped with a hydrologic system that powers the pistons inside the calipers. While there is no real distinction in most cars between the front and rear brake systems, smaller vehicles like motorcycles often do not have linked brakes and experience much greater stopping power from the front wheel.

Over time the brake rotor surface will wear down a disc brake pad and need to be replaced.

How Do I Know if My Brake Pads are Worn Out?

Brake pads are made of high friction material meant to last for thousands of miles without any brake fade. Brake pad wear can be fairly easy to diagnose, even for beginners, so there's no need to go to an auto shop to do a quick check.

The most tell-tale symptoms are:

  • Brake noises like grinding or squealing.
  • Vibrations.
  • Excess brake dust.
  • Longer and longer stopping distances.
  • A visually thin appearance.

If you see one or more of these symptoms, you could need new brake pads!

What are the Types of Brake Pad?

There are multiple types of brake pad options that are made from different compounds and materials. Each has its pros and cons. Here's our NAPA AUTO PARTS know-how on brake pads.

Organic Brake Pads

An organic pad is the softest and most affordable option. Originally made with asbestos, these pads have been updated for the 21st century and are made of rubber, carbon, fiberglass, and Kevlar held together by a resin.

Unlike the more aggressive compound that makes up performance brake pads, organics only create a moderate amount of friction and stay cooler for longer. The downside is that they wear out more quickly and need to be replaced more often.

Ceramic Brake Pads

Ceramic brake pads are often the medium tier of brake. They are quiet, don't leave long-term wear and tear on your braking system, and they last quite a while.

The biggest downside is that they are correspondingly expensive, which is why you see ceramic pads fitted to luxury vehicles around the world.

Metallic Brake Pads

For a high-performance brake pad, metallic (or semi metallic) brake pads are the way to go. These mixed alloys offer the best stopping power, hands down.

They are more expensive than organic brakes and can be very noisy however, metallic pads are an easy choice for those who are preoccupied with performance over noise.

Whatever type of brake pad you need, shop for compatible parts for your car, truck, or SUV using our search by model feature. Simply select your vehicle, ex. 'Toyota Tacoma', 'Ford Mustang', or 'Honda CR-V'.