What are the Differences in Brake Pads?

Friday, October 12, 2012 by Hunter Leffel

When looking for new brake pads for your vehicle, it can quickly become confusing with multiple options from the same manufacturer being offered.  Let's try to clarify the differences by focusing on the pads available from Hawk Performance.

Hawk Performance Ceramic
Hawk Performance Ceramic
Hawk HPS Street
Hawk HPS Street
Hawk HP Plus
Hawk HP Plus


Hawk Performance Ceramic Pads are the solution you're looking for when low dust and low noise are the priority. The stopping power will be slightly higher than the Original Equipment pad. They also feature a fade resistant, linear friction profile that allows your ABS brake system to work more effectively. Overall, these pads are going to deliver an Original Equipment type experience.

Hawk HPS Street brake pads use a more aggressive compound for high frequency stopping and/or performance driving. You'll experience more stopping power with a slight increase in dust and noise levels.  Hawk Performance HPS pads offer 20-40% more stopping power and higher resistance to brake fade than most Original Equipment or standard replacement pads. This is really a great all-around pad and I recommend it the most frequently.

Hawk HP Plus Race brake pads are targeted for the autocrosser and clients that do some track days with their vehicle. This is a street pad that delivers stopping power similar to what's found in a racecar. The trade off is more noise, dust and quicker wear. However, they'll withstand serious, repeated braking efforts.

Shop by vehicle to find the brake pad that best suits your driving style.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Thursday, September 13, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Michelin Pilot Super SportReviewer's Overall Rating: 9.25

2009 Honda Accord Coupe
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle


Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 6,000
Location: Seminole, AL
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 6,000 Miles on Tires
September 06, 2012

I am resubmitting this review with a more detailed explanation.

With my cars as well as my motorcycles, I have always stressed the best quality in high performance tires be used, as your life depends upon them.

I bought the 2009 Accord Coupe EX-L V-6 (with Nav and 6 speed manual tranny) with the optional 19" Honda Factory Performance (HFP) wheels shod with Dunlop Sport Maxx tires. They worked quite well for OEM tires. I have since added a K & N Typhoon Cold Air intake, a beautiful Greddy SE cat-back exhaust system, EBC Sport Rotor and Red Stuff pad upgrade, sport suspension upgrade and Jet Power Module / MAF sensor / ECU reflash. This is not a normal stock car any longer and certainly does not perform like one - quite a sleeper.

In keeping with my performance enhancements, these 245/40-19 Michelin Pilot Super Sports are replacing another very good tire, the Continental Extreme Contact DW's which in turn had replaced the Dunlops. As these Michelin tires were designed for the Ferrari 348 as a follow on to their PS2's, that is one of the best handling platforms with which to launch this tire design.

I am a very spirited (professionally trained SCCA & NHRA) driver, probing the extents of the performance envelope when and where safely possible.

The wet and dry handling of the Michelins is excellent and steering / transient response are RIGHT NOW, handling as if on rails. Breakaway is consistent and easily manageable and the ride quality and comfort is quite good for this type of low profile, high performance tire. Braking is greatly improved with the EBC brake upgrade and these sticky gumballs, brakes being a weakness with the original car's set-up. So far the noise in minimal, but as with most ultra and max performance tires, I expect the noise to increase a bit with wear. I drove the Conti's hard for almost 40 K miles and hope to get similar mileage from these Michelins.

They are a bit pricey, but I think they are worth every cent.

E46 M3 Track Tires and Wheels

Monday, August 6, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

The E46 M3 is great for high-speed cruising and awesome for the track. If you're doing lapping days once a year just make sure your tires and brakes are in good shape. If you're heading to the track every weekend then fix the car's understeer by upgrading your wheels and tires and getting a "track" alignment.  

Wheels:

Running wider wheels and tires of the same size in the front and back in a square set-up will remove some of the car's inherent understeer. We offer a few 18x9.5 35mm offset wheels designed to work with 265/35R18 and 275/35R18 tires. 18x9.5 ET 35mm on either size will require a combination of fender and wheelwell modification, along with changes in negative camber to fit. Even with the changes, this is a proven E46 M3 set-up.

For this wheel size, take a look at the matte grey TR Motorsports MT1 and the O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT in anthracite painted finish. You can also special order the black, blue, gold, matte graphite silver, orange, red and white.

18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Matte Grey Painted TR Motorsports MT-1 $329**
18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Matte Grey TR Motorsports MT1
18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Anthracite Painted OZ Alleggerita $419**
18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Anthracite Painted O.Z. Racing Alleggerita


Non-Streetable Track Tires:

Are you installing a second set of wheels at the track? Then the ultimate grip from non-streetable track tires such as the BFGoodrich g-Force R1 available in both 265/35ZR18 and 275/35ZR18, 275/35ZR18 Hoosier R6 and 275/35ZR18 Hankook Ventus Z214 are great options to consider.

BF Goodrich G-Force R1 265/35-18 $289** & 275/35-18 $299**
BFGoodrich g-Force R1
275/35-18 Hoosier R6 $334**
Hoosier R6
275/35-18 Hankook Ventus Z214 (C51 Compound) $235**
Hankook Ventus Z214


Streetable Track Tires:

Will you be using the same set of tires at the track that you drove to the event on? The non-streetable tires mentioned earlier are easily damaged by road debris. A piece of wire the size of a paper clip can get picked up by the tire, work its way into the shallow tread, through the tire's lightweight plies and puncture the inner liner.

So if your track tires will be driven to the track, consider streetable race tires like the Toyo Proxes RA888 available in both 265/35ZR18 and 275/35ZR18. The 265/35ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup or the 265/35ZR18 Toyo Proxes RA1 are also great options worth taking a look at.

Toyo Proxes R888 265/35-18 $300** & 275/35-18 $270**
Toyo Proxes R888
265/35-18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup $351**
 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup
265/35-18 Toyo Proxes RA1 $268**
Toyo Proxes RA1


Drivers will differ in their preference in predictability versus overall grip, but the Toyo Proxes RA888 provides slightly better grip than the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup and a little bit of a better value. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup's main advantage is more consistent grip from lap to lap, therefore it may be the better choice for a longer event. Toyo Proxes RA1s are less sensitive to small flaws in the vehicle set-up, so if you're still tuning with respect to damper settings, ride height and camber, then the Proxes RA1 would be a good choice.

Alignment:

Optimum alignment settings will vary with tire, damper and spring choices. Most drivers will find that running 3.5-3.8 degrees of negative camber and zero toe for the front to be optimum. You'll need to get adjustable camber plates for the front so you can run that much negative camber.

For the rear, 2.4-2.6 negative camber and the high side of the factory toe-in is normally ideal. You should be able to adjust to these specs without a camber kit. Camber is adjusted at the lower eccentric bolt attaching the lower control arm to the hub assembly (under the axle).

E46 M3 Track Wheels and Tires FAQ:

  1. I've heard of other drivers running 285/30R18 or wider tires on 18x10 wheels, will that fit? When we assess the risk of rubbing we're very conservative. We consider the above wheels and 265/35R18, 275/35R18 and 285/30R18 sized tires all to be custom sizes requiring varying degrees of fender modification and wheelwell modification. High negative camber helps with front tire clearance, too. If you've changed to coil-overs or aftermarket struts, you may have less inside clearance with any of the above sizes.
     
  2. I still drive a fair amount of street miles on my M3, can I adjust camber at the track so I can preserve some tire wear? For the front you can mark your camber plates so you can adjust between track and street settings. In the rear, the washer at the bolt head has notch marks on it that can be highlighted with paint.
     
  3. What about brake pads for my vehicle? For better bite and fade resistance switch to dedicated track pads like the Hawk DTC70 in the front and DTC60 in the rear. Once you get back from the track be sure to switch back to your normal brakes, as the race pads will be noisy, dusty and ineffective in cool weather.
     
  4. Do I need to shave and/or heat cycle my track tires? All the above tires will benefit from heat cycling which acts like a second curing for the tire and helps them maintain consistent grip from lap to lap. The Hoosier R6, BFGoodrich g-Force R1 are molded at 4/32" of tread depth so they don't need to be shaved. Shaving will improve dry performance for the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup, Toyo Proxes RA1 and Toyo Proxes R888.

The Best Brake Pads for Your Light Truck or SUV

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 by Zig Ziegler

Do you have a light truck or SUV that needs to increase stopping power beyond the current O.E. brakes? If you use your light truck or SUV for hauling or towing heavy loads and need a brake pad that can handle the high temperatures and extreme forces these vehicles encounter, you may need to consider a purpose built, heavy duty or severe duty brake pad. The Hawk LTS Truck/SUV Pads, Hawk HP Super Duty Brake Pads and Satisfied Pro SUV Pads will be able to deliver stopping power beyond your vehicle's stock brake pads.   

Hawk LTS Truck/SUV Pads
Hawk LTS Truck/SUV
Pads
Hawk HP Super Duty Brake Pads
Hawk HP Super Duty Brake Pads
Satisfied Pro SUV Pad
Satisfied Pro SUV
Pads

Hawk LTS Truck/SUV Pads - Designed for heavier vehicles with large brake systems likely to experience higher temperatures that require excellent heat dissipation characteristics.

  • Improved braking over standard replacement pads
  • Smooth engagement
  • Low noise output
  • Low dust output
  • Extended pad life
  • Increased rotor life

Hawk HP Super Duty Pads - Hawk's Super Duty Ferro-Carbon material is engineered for severe-duty professional truck fleets, as well as trucks and SUVs frequently carrying or towing heavy loads. This material offers unmatched performance under high inertia and/or repetitive braking applications.

  • Stable friction output
  • Extremely fade resistant
  • Extended pad life
  • Increased rotor life
  • Much improved braking over O.E. pads

Satisfied Pro SUV Pads - Severe duty semi-metallic disc brake pads that meet the high-heat and high-speed demands of light truck applications, making them ideal for heavy vehicles that also tow.

  • Require less pedal pressure
  • Extend the life of the braking system
  • GridLock Technology to bond the friction material to the backing plate to eliminate torque shear and heat separation
  • 30-Day Satisfaction Pledge

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza S001

Monday, July 16, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Bridgestone Potenza S001Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.62

2007 Honda Civic TypeS iCTDi 2.2 Absolut DPF
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle


Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location: Malgrate (ITALY), IT
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
July 13, 2012

In Italy only S001 is available and not S04PP. My car has and ECU mapping and a TarOx B33 10 pots calipers and 335mm discs system on front and 315mm discs on rear. With Carbon Lorraine RC8 pads on front and RC6 on rear. With such a braking setup and 175Bhp under the bonnet with loads of torque, it is easy to detect tires' performances on such a light car. Former tires were the Pirelli PZero Rosso, always 225/40 ZR 18 92Y XL. Pressure was 2.5bar front and 2.4 rear for both brands. The PZero ended their bed in period after 2000km and the Bridgestone are still to bed in at the rear. Makes sense given the higher treadwear index of Bridge tires.
Performancewise the Rosso proved to be quite more responsive, requiring noticeably less steering angles at same reference turning angles, hugely more responsive in slow speed (less than 50km/h) turnings and slalom like turnings. I can witness more braking performance on Rosso when dry: they keep the grip even from 180km/h to nil, while S001 are till now worse performers.
Where S001 excel is on wet roads.Very good acquaplaning performances, very good cornering. Braking on wet is another story, but it is common to many max performance asymmetrical tyres, and must be considered the fairly aggressive braking system my car is equipped with as well. In the end S001 COULD potentially be quite top notch tires but they suffer from heavy understeer: initially they quickly respond to driver's input, yet quickly going into understeer mode. Till now nearly always I had to correct steering angle at 1/3 of the curve being careful not to lift right foot at the same time to avoid unwilled understeer to oversteer transitions. Ultimate grip when cornered is impressive and superior to PZero Rosso, yet shoulders should definitely be stiffed for confidence inspiring crisp turning.
Will see if mileage will improve their score.

Summer Road Trip? Use This Maintenance Checklist.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 by Ben Rooney

Before setting off on your summer adventures, take some time to check your car over to ensure everything is in good running condition. A little bit of time spent in advance can save a lot of time and trouble on the road. The following is a good basic checklist to help get your vehicle prepared to take you wherever you want to go:

  1. Brakes - Since many traction control systems use the brakes to prevent wheelspin, they may be working extra hard during your winter driving in the snow. Therefore, it's a good idea to get your brake pads inspected once the weather begins to heat up. Checking your pads is easy when replacing your Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for your summer options since the wheels will be off. There should be a noticeable thickness of pad material between the backing plate and the rotor. If the pads need to be replaced, there are cleaner, higher performing pad compounds available. Take a look at "Brake Pad or Rotor Inspection & Replacement" to gain a better understanding if it's time for new pads.
     
  2. Lighting - Recruit a friend or family member to stand outside the car while you turn on the vehicle's headlights, high beams, turn signals and step on the brakes. If they tell you one of those lights isn't working properly, take a look at our lighting options from Hella and PIAA to improve your visibility.
     
  3. Tire Pressure - Proper tire inflation can improve fuel economy, hydroplaning resistance and tire life. Make sure all four tires are inflated to the vehicle's specifications found in your owner's manual or on the door placard. Don't forget to check your spare tire, too. Also, be sure to have an air gauge in your car so you can check your tire's pressure while traveling.
     
  4. Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) - These systems only report tires that are significantly under-inflated, so checking tires yourself is still a good idea even if your car has TPMS sensors. While you're checking your tires' air pressure, also inspect them for damage and wear.
     
  5. Jack and Lug Wrench - If you're relying on a spare tire in case of a flat, make sure that you have a working jack and lug wrench. It's nice to have something to serve as a wheel chock to make sure the car doesn't shift and fall off the jack. Something as simple as a block of wood will do. If you have custom wheels, it's important to make sure the lug wrench fits. The wheels could also have locks, so don't get stranded without the key! And since the lug nuts are different from stock, have some stock lugs for the spare.
     
  6. Belts and Hoses - Check them for dry, cracking or rotting as the rubber may give way at an inconvenient time. Replacing these items is usually fairly inexpensive, and can save you trouble.
     
  7. Check Fluids - Checking oil regularly is a good idea for any car, especially older vehicles that may be more prone to leak or burn oil. Even some newer cars can consume up to a quart every 1,000 miles. Make sure to check your coolant as well. Warmer weather can be harder on your cooling system and you want to be sure it's up to the task.
     
  8. Windshield Wipers - Driving at highway speeds in the rain can be a challenge. Make sure that your wipers have survived the winter in good working order. Even with good wiper blades, consider applying a water-beading treatment from Aquapel to improve your vision in the rain.

Performance Pads: Which Compound is Best for You?

Thursday, May 24, 2012 by Marshall Wisler

Frequently, I receive calls from customers looking for the best brake pads for their vehicle. With a large assortment of products for driving and race enthusiasts, we have many braking components that are right for you.

Hawk Performance brake pads are manufactured using the most sophisticated manufacturing process available. Recognized as an ISO 9001 manufacturer is proof that they are committed to developing safe, durable products.

Starting with the most street friendly option and increasing in terms of aggressiveness, below are a few options that could work for your car:

Hawk HPS Street

  • One of our best selling pads
  • Appropriate for aggressive street use
  • Dust is similar or less than a factory O.E. pad
  • Slightly higher initial bite than factory
  • Will fade under track use and isn't recommend for such
  • Popular for Auto-X as they don't require much heat to bite

Hawk HP Plus Race

  • Slightly more aggressive than the HPS
  • Higher initial bite than HPS pads
  • Low dust for a track pad, but high dust by street pad standards
  • Due to metallic content, slightly noisier than HPS
  • Hybrid pad designed for weekend track enthusiasts with light vehicles
  • Suitable for street use

Hawk Blue 9012 Track Only

  • Very popular track pad
  • High metallic content
  • Starting point for dedicated track pads
  • Great for a wide range of vehicles
  • Not intended for street use
  • Perfect for light to moderate weight vehicles with moderate power
  • Good economical track pad for beginners and experts alike

Hawk HT-10 / HT-14 / DTC60 / DTC70

  • Extremely aggressive race pads
  • Require 400+ degrees of temperature to stop effectively
  • High dust
  • High noise
  • Extremely high resistance to fade
  • For high horsepower applications
  • Not for beginners

Picking the Best SUV, Crossover and Truck Brake Pads

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 by Gary Stanley

If you're looking for a premium set of replacement brake pads for your light truck or SUV, then take a look at the Hawk LTS Truck/SUV Pads. Having used them on my own vehicles with good results, I recommend them to family, friends, neighbors and customers.


Key Features & Benefits of Hawk Performance LTS Brake Pads:

  • Improved braking over standard replacement pads
  • Smooth engagement
  • Very fade resistant
  • Low noise output
  • Low dust output
  • Extended pad life
  • Increased rotor life

The Hawk LTS Pads are available for a wide variety of trucks, SUVs and crossovers, including the Chevy Tahoe, Ford F-150 and BMW X5. With a compound that combines the durability of Hawk Performance's commercial fleet products with the elevated stopping power of its performance street and motorsports formulations, these pads are an outstanding choice.

If you own a heavy-duty application such as a fleet or towing vehicle, step up to Hawk HP SuperDuty Pads. Even though these pads will produce more dust, they provide the extra bite you need with excellent high temperature heat dissipation.

Also, brake pads are wear items and as such, should be inspected regularly and replaced as necessary. Pads should be replaced when approximately 1/8th inch of friction material remains on the steel backing plate.

For additional assistance in picking the right brake pad for your vehicle, read "Choosing Brake Components."

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport

Monday, May 7, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Bridgestone Potenza RE760 SportReviewer's Overall Rating: 8

2005 Scion tC
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle


Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1,200
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,200 Miles on Tires
May 01, 2012

These tires transformed my grocery-getter tC into a worthy track machine. I drove my car to the limits on the tires that came on it, which were Goodyear Eagle RSA. Those are All-Season tires and they showed it in their grip levels. I canyon my car regularly to get to places around town, and the immediate improvement with these tires was staggering. My car now had the same traction my All-Seasons had in the dry, in rain with the Bridgestones. The dry traction on the Bridgestones is incredible. After they were installed, I also purchased drilled and slotted rotors with an aggressive brake pad to compliment the brakes, and took my car to Streets of Willow in Rosamond, CA. I was able to run successfully with Subaru STI's without falling behind on cornering, albeit my straight line speed lacked a huge amount of power.

Comfort wise, they are a definite improvement in smoothness on the regular road and even better on the highway. The noise levels are lower as well compared to the All-Seasons. I enjoy less banging and slamming over bumps with these tires and they do so without sacrificing traction and grip.

Treadwear however is the only thing that I see being the low point on these tires, but then again, I do a lot of driving(600 miles a week), and I purchased these UHP Summer Tires expecting to wear them out a tad sooner. I'm planning on rotation of these tires every 1.25-2k miles. And so far they still have 95% tread on the front axle and 100% on the rear.

Overall, these tires are an excellent replacement tire for any vehicle that sees moderate weather conditions. In the rain they give performance equal to a good quality All-Season without sacrificing the dry traction drivers of Summer Tires demand. A definite solid decision and I will certainly purchase these tires again. I highly recommend them to anyone considering them and all my friends like them too!

Want the Best Brake Pads Without the Excess Dust? Ceramic Pads May Be the Answer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 by Zig Ziegler

The biggest complaint most drivers have about their current brake pads is dust. We've all been there before with the black, greasy looking build-up on our wheels. The build-up occurs most dramatically in the front as that's where the majority of a vehicle's stopping power is generated.
 

All brake pads will produce dust as they wear, however there are some pad materials that create a less noticeable mark on the wheel. A newer form of friction material, called ceramic composite, will create a light-colored dust that's much less noticeable and is less likely to stick to your wheels. Ceramic pads are also quieter and easier on the brake rotors and can extend brake life beyond a semi-metallic pad. If you would like to make a switch to ceramic composite pads some good choices would be the Hawk Performance Ceramic, Centric Posi Quiet Ceramic, Satisfied Pro Ceramic VS, Akebono Euro Ceramic and Akebono ProACT Ceramic
 

Hawk Performance Ceramic
Hawk Performance Ceramic
Posi Quiet Ceramic
Centric Posi Quiet Ceramic
Satisfied Pro Ceramic VS
Satisfied Pro Ceramic VS

 

Akebono Euro Ceramic
Akebono Euro Ceramic
Akebono ProACT Ceramic
Akebono ProACT Ceramic


A ceramic pad meets or exceeds all Original Equipment standards for stopping distance, but isn't usually an upgrade in actual stopping power. If you have a track vehicle or are specifically looking to increase braking power, a semi-metallic pad would be a better choice. Semi-metallic pads will sacrifice the noise, durability and cosmetic improvements of the ceramic composite to increase stopping power.

To learn more about how ceramic pads can help with brake-generated noise and dust, read "Why Ceramic Brake Pads?"

What is the Best Brake Rotor for Your Vehicle?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 by Zig Ziegler

Choosing the proper brake rotor is determined by the vehicle you drive and how you drive it. The majority of vehicles produced will have solid vented rotors. However, some high-performance vehicles like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are built with slotted or cross-drilled rotors, which are also vented.
 

If you were happy with your stock rotor's performance and stopping power, then direct O.E. replacements such as Centric Plain 120 Series Rotors , Centric High Carbon Plain 125 Series Rotors or Brembo Replacement Rotors would be a good choice. 
 

Centric Plain 120 Series Rotor
Centric Plain 120
Series Rotor

 
Centric High Carbon Plain 125 Series
Centric High Carbon Plain
125 Series Rotor
Brembo Replacement Rotor
Brembo Replacement
Rotor

Vehicles built from the factory with solid vented rotors may cause you to be unhappy with the stopping power, in that case, you may benefit from an upgraded rotor. Additionally, if you would classify yourself as a more spirited or aggressive driver I would recommend upgrading your rotors. The most common upgrade is replacing your solid rotors with either slotted or drilled rotors.
 

Under high heat and heavy stopping conditions, the rotor actually gets so hot that when the brake pads and rotors make initial contact, the pads release exhaust gases from road grime, water and overheating. The small air bubbles that form between the pad and rotor contribute to a spongy pedal feel. The slotting or drilling of brake rotors gives those gases a quiet way to escape; thus allowing the pad to make quicker contact with the rotor and provide you a stiffer and more precise pedal feel. Upgrades would include Brembo rotors such as the Sport Drilled and Sport Slotted, StopTech's SportStop Drilled Rotor, DBA's 4000 Series T3 Rotor and 5000 Series T3 2-Piece Rotor and Power Slot's Power Slot Rotor.

 

Brembo Sport Drilled Rotors
Brembo Sport Drilled
Rotor
Brembo Sport Slotted Rotors
Brembo Sport Slotted
Rotor
Stop Tech SportStop Drilled Rotor
StopTech SportStop Drilled Rotor

 

DBA 4000 Series T3 Rotor
DBA 4000 Series
T3 Rotor
DBA 5000 Series
DBA 5000 Series T3
2-Piece Rotor
Power Slot Rotor
Power Slot
Rotor


Whether you're looking for Brembo brake rotors or another brand, you can shop by vehicle to find the replacement option that's right for your application.

Need the Best Braking Power for Autocross or Lapping Days? Consider Dedicated Track Only Brake Pads.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012 by Zig Ziegler

Upgrading a vehicle's braking system is one of the easiest ways to increase driving performance and decrease lap times for any track event. The most common mindset a driver has is: "I need to make my track car go faster," but top-speed or acceleration is only half of the battle. Just because a track car is the fastest doesn't mean it'll finish first.  
 

The fastest car on the track will get you from corner to corner faster, but if the braking system is lacking in power the driver will need to brake sooner and for longer than a slower competitor with an upgraded braking system. Therefore, while you may be blazing by competitors on the straight-aways or make up time in between turns in an autocross event, the car with the better stopping power can carry a higher speed for longer into a turn, thus decreasing overall lap times. Decelerating is just as important to a track car as accelerating.

 

Hawk Blue 9012 Track Only Pads
Hawk Blue 9012 Track Only Pads
Hawk DTC60 Track Only Pads
Hawk DTC60 Track Only Pads


The easiest way to upgrade the braking system on any track car is to switch to a dedicated track only pad. These pads are not intended for street use as the friction material is too aggressive for everyday use, creating more brake dust and noise than your typical brake pad. However, they provide an unparalleled amount of stopping power that no street pad can match.
 

For lower speed autocross events and casual lapping days, Hawk has the Blue 9012 Track Only Pads and slightly less aggressive Black Track Only Pads. If you'll be autocrossing, lapping or road racing at higher speeds then consider the Hawk HT-10, DTC70, HT-14 and DTC60 pads.
 

Find brake pads online for your track vehicle when you shop by vehicle.

Looking for BMW Brake Pads?

Monday, March 19, 2012 by Ben Rooney

Many BMW owners have a love-hate relationship with their factory brake pads. The factory pads provide excellent modulation and stopping power, but they produce a lot of dust. The black, metallic dust quickly coats your wheels, and if you don't clean them regularly it can damage the finish of your nice alloy wheels. When brake pads wear down, we often recommend switching to the Hawk HPS Street brake pads.
 

As a high performance pad they offer stopping power and modulation that's better than most Original Equipment and comparable with the BMW brake pads (which are above average in performance). Hawk HPS Street brake pads are designed to work across a wide variety of temperatures and keep noise and dust to a reasonable level. Many of us at Tire Rack use the HPS (High Performance Street) pads with excellent results. I was very pleased with the set that I had on my BMW 325i.
 

The HPS is available for a variety of applications. To see available brake products for your car, shop by vehicle

StopTech Rotors and Pads Now Available

Friday, January 20, 2012 by Marshall Wisler
For those looking for increased braking performance, we now offer the StopTech line of brake products, including a wide variety of rotors and pads for various fitments.

The StopTech SportStop Drilled Rotor is for use with stock calipers, carriers and lines. StopTech also offers a cryogenically treated rotor that can last up to three times longer than untreated rotors. Both rotors are one-piece direct replacement options that meet the Original Equipment standards.

Key Features and Benefits of the StopTech SportStop Drilled Rotor:
StopTech SportStop Drilled Rotor
  • Premium black E-coating finish to combat corrosion on the rotor hat and between the cooling vanes
  • Castings have important O.E. details including extractor and set screw holes
  • Superior cooling fin designs
  • Double disc ground finish
  • 100% fully machined finish including rotor hats
  • 100% inspected and mill-balanced
  • Lateral runout held to 0.002” or less
  • Meet or exceed rigid quality specifications, including cooling vane designs
The perfect complement to a StopTech rotor is the company's street performance line of pads. Featuring a slightly more aggressive compound than factory, these pads are perfect for an aggressive street driver looking for higher initial bite and leStopTech Street Performance Padsss resistance to fade.  

Although not a fully dedicated track pad, StopTech Street Performance Pads are also built to withstand the abuse of an occasional light track day or driving school. 

To learn more about how you can enhance your vehicle's appearance and braking performance, read "The Finish Touch: Brake Rotors."

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Ventus R-S3

Friday, January 6, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Hankook Ventus R-S3Reviewer's Overall Rating: 10

2002 Porsche Boxster S
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle


Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1000
Location: Coppell, TX
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1000 Miles on Tires
November 11, 2011

90% of my mileage on this tire is on track, the balance is going to and from the track. I'm really impressed with the grip and predictability of the tire. I've got Michelin tires on my street wheels and as soon as I swap wheels for the track, the car is transformed into a corner fiend. I use a very aggressive brake pad for the track and the tires work like R compounds with the pads. I ran the Michelin's on track once and they were always locking up with the aggressive pads, not so with the Hankook's.

No experience with them in the wet or cold.

When I croak these street Michelin's, I'm getting another set of the R-S3's for the street.

The open question is, how many street miles will I get from them?
They cost half of other performance tires, so they only need to last half as long to be equally cost efficient. I'm confident they're up to the task but time will tell.

What is the Best Tire Brand for You? We Can Help!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 by Doc Horvath
Tire RackIn a global economy, shoppers have more options than ever at their fingertips. From toasters to tires, products can be manufactured and shipped all over the world at a competitive price. And, when it comes to tires, how can you choose the most reliable and cost-effective brands? Let us help. 

Over our 32-year history, Tire Rack has developed close relationships with well over a dozen different tire manufacturers, including globally-respected brands like Michelin and Bridgestone to high quality but smaller companies such as Kumho and Yokohama. With every delivery to our warehouse and all shipments to our customers, tires are closely inspected for potential issues. Also, if an issue develops after the sale, we can work with you to get the issue resolved over the phone with the help of one of our friendly customer service representatives, via email or with the help of one of our independent Recommended Installers.

Regardless if you're looking for a new set of performance SUV tires, suspension parts, ceramic disc brake pads or more, we are sure to have what you want at the price you desire.

Replace Brake Pads with Hawk

Friday, November 4, 2011 by Doc Horvath
Hawk LTS Truck/SUV PadsI recently upgraded my wife's GMC Envoy to larger 20" tires and wheels (SUVrims). And while everything initially looked great, I found the vehicle was in need of brake pad replacements. Turns out the new wheels I installed were much heavier than the original 17" wheels and the change (along with wider and heavier tires) were too much for the stock brake pads to handle. After some research, I selected the Hawk LTS Truck/SUV Pads and have been very pleased!

These Hawk brake pads incorporate severe-duty friction technology that combines the durability of Hawk's commercial fleet products with the better stopping power of its performance street and motorsports formulations.

Note: Brake pads are wear items and as such, should be inspected regularly and replaced as necessary. It's time for a brake pad replacement when approximately 1/8" of friction material remains on the steel backing plate.

Whether your SUV brakes are nearing their end or you're upgrading to a larger set of wheels and tires, take a look at the the Hawk LTS Truck/SUV Pads.

Cost-Effective Quality Brake Rotors from Centric

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 by Marshall Wisler
As a sales speciCentric Premium Rotoralist at Tire Rack, I get the opportunity to test all of the tires we sell. This includes performance auto tires, Passenger All-Season tires, truck tires and more. Occasionally, I like to step outside the box and review products that don't catch as much attention on our test track as the tires. It's nice being able to recommend all products we carry to customers through first-hand experience.

Having recently purchased a Mitsubishi Eclipse to use during the winter months, this vehicle was long overdue for random maintenance. One project at the top of my list was to fix the vehicle's brake system. Following years of driving abuse, the brake pad's metal backing plate had worn its way into the OEM rotors surface prompting immediate need for replacement brake rotors. 

With the issues that arose from the driving abuse putting me in the market for new rotors, I went with the Centric Premium Rotor for several reasons. Featuring a high quality casting with a good internal cooling vane structure, these rotors help protect against warpage. In addition, the rotor face on both sides is machined to have a cross-hatch design to improve pad bed-in. Once more, these castings are completely dipped in an anti-corrosive material to resist oxidation. From my experience, this final measure is very rarely done and is not found on most cost-effective brands. Without this coating you will most often be left with a rusty rotor that isn't pleasing to the eye and is damaging to the rotor.

And, to help you choose the proper braking equipment for your vehicle, read "Choosing Brake Components." The Centric Premium Rotors have worked well on my new Eclipse and are available at a great price for a large variety of applications.

Shop by vehicle
to find the rotors that will help get rid of your vehicle's unwanted noise and vibration.

Ceramic Brake Pads Are the Secret to Cleaner Wheels

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 by Gary Stanley

Many enthusiasts and drivers are discovering the joy of low-dust ceramic brake pads. While most ceramic pads have a less initial "bite" compared to higher performance brake pads, ceramic pads produce a light colored dust that is much less noticeable and less likely to stick to the wheel. Ultimately, this leads to wheels maintaining a cleaner appearance longer.  

 
Hawk Performance Ceramic Pads are developed to meet the ultra-low dust and low noise attributes of Original Equipment ceramic brake pads while keeping the high friction levels professional brake tuners have grown to love from Hawk Performance. Unwilling to compromise performance, Hawk Performance offers a solution to many consumers' number one complaint: dust. Featuring a fade resistant, linear friction profile that allows your ABS brake system to work more effectively, Performance Ceramic Pads are quiet, clean, safe and fast stopping.
 
Consider the features and benefits of Hawk Performance Ceramic Pads when thinking of installing a set over today's standard pads:Hawk Performance Ceramic Pads
  • Very low dust
  • Improved braking over many inexpensive pads
  • Stable friction output
  • Extremely quiet
  • Extended pad life
  • Increased rotor life 

Read "Why Ceramic Brake Pads" to learn more about the benefits of ceramic brake pads.

Two Days at the Track with the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2

Monday, August 15, 2011 by Doc Horvath
Michelin Pilot Sport PS2
Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the Porsche Sport Driving School in Birmingham, Alabama and push the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 to its limits and beyond. 

The school prides itself on using cars and SUVs that are not modified in any way from the versions on the showroom floor which includes: stock brake pads, calipers, suspension and the Porsche N-specification Original Equipment tires. Naturally, one would expect that any Porsche Carrera S, Cayman S or Boxster Spyder would come with some of the best handing tires available but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the PS2 was just as comfortable on the track as it is on the street or autocross course. 

The track at Barber Motorsports is a fantastic combination of hairpin turns, short chutes and modest sweeping turns that test the driver, car and tires to respond to a variety of challenges. The facility also features a large wet skidpad, an autocross area and even several acres of woodlands for off-road testing in the very capable Porsche Cayenne. 

After my experience, I can attest to the awesome capabilities of the Pilot Sport PS2 - quiet and fairly comfortable for street and highway use while responsive and confident on the track. Take a look at our Tire Survey Results to see how the PS2 compares to other Max Performance Summer tires.