Ceramic vs semi metallic, does ceramic get hotter?

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Ceramic vs semi metallic, does ceramic get hotter?

Postby GT_Indy » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:45 pm

What are your expierences with ceramic brake pads?

Do they get hotter than semi metallic? Do they have a different smell to them?

I am questioning the brake pads being different because when I did the brake job, it was easy and everything moved smooth like all the cars I have. Same high heat grease and cleaning like all the others every time I do brakes too. Caliper cylinders pushed in easy like all the other cars as well.

I tested they arent binding, they retract a little like normal.
After driving in 40 degree Fahrenheit weather then parking, my front steel wheels are too hot to touch, it will burn my fingers. I can turn the wheels easily by hand which shows no binding brakes after I did a brake test on jack stands.
I even compressed the calipers a second time to verify they were free floating and they are. Everything worked correctly when I checked it.

This is my 94 sunbird with abs brakes. Same style as the 93-94 Beretta with abs.

Maybe this is normal? I think I have always bought semi metallic in the past.


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Re: Ceramic vs semi metallic, does ceramic get hotter?

Postby Money pit Beretta » Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:28 pm

For the short time they were on my car I never had them heat up that bad. Did get warmer than the semi metallic pads. You could feel more heat from the wheel. That was in the fall, as for the winter they took too long to warm up and start working. Almost blew the stop sign at the end of the block. First half way warm day the semi metallic pads were back on. In this area I don't think they should be used for street driving.

Yeah there was a different smell to them. Nothing too strong, but it was there.


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Re: Ceramic vs semi metallic, does ceramic get hotter?

Postby GT_Indy » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:12 pm

The outer part of the rim was fine but the center by the lug nuts was where I touched it.
I was able to put my finger on the disk itself for about 2 seconds before I had to let go so I don't burn myself. lol
I guess its okay.

I'll keep careful like you said about not being able to stop. But so far they seem to stop better than semi metallic. For me at least. So far they are the same on cold starts but it hasn't been below 30'F outside yet.


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Re: Ceramic vs semi metallic, does ceramic get hotter?

Postby Money pit Beretta » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:20 pm

That may have came out wrong. I could stop, it was just that you really had to cram on the brakes to get them to the smallest amount needed. In a panic stop I didn't want to have to think about how much harder they had to be pushed. Beretta brakes don't inspire much confidence in the first place. Any loss of braking power(even for a short time) doesn't help.

Boy....just dragging this one out. Just keep an eye out. Report back what you find when the temps get real cold. If it was nothing big to you then the brand of pads that you have would be nice to know. Pretty sure mine were Wagner. I do like their semi metallics.


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Re: Ceramic vs semi metallic, does ceramic get hotter?

Postby GT_Indy » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:43 pm

I believe mine are wearever. From advance auto.
They had two kinds. Normal replacement and thicker. I bought the thicker pads. There was still plenty of travel for them so I assume the extra thickness wasn't an issue.

Car has been fine still. When I do a lot of stop and go in the parking garage they get hotter but after driving and parking at my place they are cool to the touch. When I touch it the max heat level still seems the same as before when it was hotter. I'm starting to think it is okay.

I know what you mean with Beretta brakes I had an 88 that used to be like that. No matter how hard I pressed the pedal it wouldn't lock the wheels or stop faster than a certain amount. Had no air in the lines, I assume the master cylinder was weak. But my minty ones like my 90 gtz, 90 Indy, and 96 Z26 swapped car with factory abs, they stop like today's new cars, no weak brakes on them. Maybe with age the master cylinders get weak?

Yah I always bought semi metallics but I figured I would try ceramics because I read they are supossed to last longer, better heat tolerance, and better grip. So far the grip is there, I cant comment on the other two things yet.


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Re: Ceramic vs semi metallic, does ceramic get hotter?

Postby Money pit Beretta » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:00 pm

Will be keeping that brand in mind.

Not sure on the master, always seems that weakness stays in the back of the mind. Did change it on the 90GT. The only thing not replaced on it was the booster. That thing made you plan ahead to stop. This 95 is far better, but nothing close to the 04 Cavy(which has the same brakes). The Cavy does have much less weight.

Sounds funny but it's true: all new brake fluid really helps. It's crazy how much crap is in there after 20 years. Must have been the first to put fresh fluid in this one. It is said that you should do that every year. Sure.....everyone does that right?


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Re: Ceramic vs semi metallic, does ceramic get hotter?

Postby GT_Indy » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:09 am

Yah brake fluid is probably the most neglected thing on vehicles. And its the most important. lol

My sunbird had over 10 owners before me and I think it was 125k ish miles when I got it, and none of them ever did the trans fluid and filter. I doubt they did the brake fluid. LOL.


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Re: Ceramic vs semi metallic, does ceramic get hotter?

Postby Money pit Beretta » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:03 pm

It's got to be first on the list. The next would be trans fluid and filter. Then would it be shocks and struts? People seem to think they last forever.
Damn man.....ten owners is a lot!


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Re: Ceramic vs semi metallic, does ceramic get hotter?

Postby GT_Indy » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:23 pm

Yah its over 10 owners for sure. I forgot the exact number. Maybe 14 including me?
Car has been fine still. No issues at all. I guess it was just imagined, brakes are still fine.
I'm just still amazed that this car was kept this clean through all those owners.

I'll probably keep the sunburd and 2 of my Berettas another few years then either sell them to a younger cousin or friend for a first daily car or move on some other way, I haven't decided. Maybe add some more owners to the carfax history or do a derby event and end the car. Maybe not the best decision financially but it would be fun. LOL.


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Re: Ceramic vs semi metallic, does ceramic get hotter?

Postby Money pit Beretta » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:33 pm

Sounds like the car has had some good owners. Keep thinking about moving on myself. Damn newer cars have tons of miles, cost too much and most people just drive them. LOL it would be like owning another Beretta.

Tell me how the pads do over the winter!


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Re: Ceramic vs semi metallic, does ceramic get hotter?

Postby GT_Indy » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:07 pm

Yah moving on its hard to let go of what you already have.
I'll keep you posted. Still waiting on snow. I remember 20 years ago it was at 0'F and several feet of snow in November. And some snow in october. But last year is never snowed until december 23. Hopefully it starts snowing. I love the snow.

But at least they stopped dumping salt. About 4 weeks ago they started dumping salt but then stopped after it rained.


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Re: Ceramic vs semi metallic, does ceramic get hotter?

Postby Money pit Beretta » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:12 pm

It's been a bit strange down here, no snow and a few highs in the 60's. Not normal at all! Most of the time car work ends in November or just a few days before. Talk about over due. Man, the bottom has got to drop out soon. Snow is still kind of fun....but that damn salt comes with it. Oh and that freaken beet juice crap.
I'll be waiting until spring for the update.


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Re: Ceramic vs semi metallic, does ceramic get hotter?

Postby GT_Indy » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:36 pm

Finally snowed over here. Temps are 20'F and colder.

Cold start and go after defrosting my windows and brakes are fine. No issues at all with the ceramics.
Tested my ABS as well in my side street with nobody around and the brakes works great with it.
I think its safe to say the ceramic pads are working better than the semi metallicss that used to be on the car. They grab right away if I hit the pedal.


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Re: Ceramic vs semi metallic, does ceramic get hotter?

Postby aurolio » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:09 pm

I prefer ceramics because they are quieter and have less brake dust.



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Re: Ceramic vs semi metallic, does ceramic get hotter?

Postby Rettax3 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:44 am

aurolio wrote:I prefer ceramics because they are quieter and have less brake dust.

Welcome to the site.
Interesting that you have had better experience with ceramics keeping quiet... In my experience, ceramics are prone to squeaking. A good quality SM pad is more likely to stay quiet (they are softer than ceramics), but yes, if money was the deciding factor between SM and ceramic, then a cheap Semi-Met might tend to make more noise, giving the compound a bad reputation.
Ceramics definitely dust-up less than anything else, and they last longer too, but they eat rotors because they are that much harder (and typically more abrasive too).
Given the option, I use semi-metallic pads as much as I can, personally and professionally. Just my two-cents.


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