Are Ceramic Brakes Worth It in 2023 – Pros and Cons Investigated

Are you tired of noisy brakes and excessive brake dust on your wheels? Carbon ceramic brakes offer a high-performance alternative to traditional braking systems, providing reduced noise, less dust, and increased longevity. In this blog post, we’ll explore the composition and function of carbon ceramic brakes, compare them to iron discs, and evaluate the pros and cons to help you decide if ceramic brakes are worth the investment – essentially answering the question, “Are ceramic brakes worth it?”

Short Summary

  • Carbon ceramic brake discs offer noise reduction, dust production control, longevity, and fade resistance due to their unique composition.
  • They come with advantages such as temperature tolerance and performance but can be expensive and have limited compatibility for your disc brakes.
  • Maintenance tips are essential for the optimal functioning of carbon ceramic brakes in terms of brake pedal sensitivity & responsiveness.

Understanding Ceramic Brakes: Composition and Function

are ceramic brakes worth it

When it comes to brake discs, there are three primary types available on the market: organic, metallic, and even ceramic discs. The brake disc plays a crucial role in a car’s braking system, as it is responsible for converting the kinetic energy of the car’s linear motion into heat when clamped by the brake caliper and pads. Each type of brake disc has unique properties that cater to different driving conditions and preferences.

Ceramic brakes, in particular, are known for their impressive advantages, such as noise reduction, minimal dust production, extended longevity, and fade resistance. These benefits are largely attributed to the key components of ceramic brakes—silicon carbide and carbon fibers.

But what sets ceramic brakes apart from their organic pads and metallic pads counterparts? Let’s dig deeper into the composition and function of these three types of brake pads.

Organic, Metallic, and Ceramic Brake Pads

Organic brake pads are constructed of fibers bound together by resin, while metallic brake pads comprise a blend of metallic particles pressed together. Metallic brake pads are known to be louder and impose more pressure on the brake system, whereas organic brake pads wear out more rapidly and do not function as effectively in extreme temperatures.

On the other hand, ceramic brake pads are composed of a blend of ceramic fibers and other components, including copper, graphite, steel, and carbon fiber. Ceramic brake pads offer a unique set of advantages, such as being quieter and generating less dust than metallic brake pads. In addition, ceramic brake pads boast superior resistance to brake fade and heat.

However, they come at a higher price than standard brakes, and may not be compatible with all brake systems. Keeping these differences in mind is essential when choosing the right brake pad for your vehicle.

The Role of Silicon Carbide and Carbon Fibers in Ceramic Brakes

Silicon carbide, an essential element in ceramic brakes, is used in combination with carbon fiber-reinforced ceramic composite. This unique material combination contributes to the friction performance and surface structure of the brake disc, making ceramic brakes a desirable option for those seeking a high-performance braking system.

The inclusion of silicon carbide and carbon fibers in ceramic brakes is what sets them apart from organic and metallic brake pads. These materials not only enhance the performance of ceramic brakes, but also provide advantages such as noise reduction, minimal dust production, corrosion resistance, extended longevity, and fade resistance.

Now that we have a better understanding of the composition and function of ceramic brakes, let’s discuss their advantages in more detail.

Advantages of Ceramic Brakes

Ceramic brakes offer numerous benefits that set them apart from traditional braking systems. These advantages include noise reduction, dust production, longevity, fade resistance, temperature tolerance, and performance. In the following subsections, we will delve deeper into these advantages and explain how they contribute to an enhanced driving experience.

From providing a quieter ride to offering extended durability, ceramic brakes are a popular choice among drivers seeking a high-performance braking system. Let’s explore these benefits in more detail.

Noise Reduction and Dust Production

One of the most noticeable advantages of ceramic brakes is their noise-reduction capabilities. They generate a minimal additional sound when the brakes are engaged, making them significantly quieter than semi-metallic brake pads.

Additionally, ceramic brakes produce less dust than semi-metallic brake pads, making them an ideal choice for those who prioritize maintaining a clean vehicle.

Longevity and Fade Resistance

Ceramic brakes are known for their impressive durability, providing up to 70,000 miles of service. Their remarkable fade resistance enables them to maintain their performance even in extreme conditions, such as high-speed driving or frequent stop-and-go traffic.

This makes ceramic brakes an ideal choice for drivers who need reliable braking performance in a variety of conditions. They are also a great option for those who want to extend the life of their brakes.

Temperature Tolerance and Performance

Ceramic brakes are designed to perform optimally at brake temperatures of less than 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which is within the typical range of temperatures experienced during regular driving.

Although their performance may start to decrease at temperatures above 500 degrees Fahrenheit, ceramic brakes still function adequately at higher temperatures, ensuring reliable braking performance in various driving conditions.

Potential Drawbacks of Ceramic Brakes

While ceramic brakes offer numerous advantages, they are not without their drawbacks. Some potential disadvantages include the high cost of carbon ceramic brake rotors, limited front pad material choices and compatibility, and racetrack limitations and challenges.

In the following subsections, we will discuss these potential drawbacks in more detail to provide a balanced evaluation of ceramic brakes. Understanding the potential drawbacks of ceramic brakes is crucial for making an informed decision about whether they are the right choice for your vehicle. Let’s explore these challenges in more detail.

High Cost of Carbon Ceramic Brake Rotors

One of the primary drawbacks of ceramic brakes is their high cost. Carbon ceramic brake rotors can be quite expensive, with the option on a Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Wagon retailing for just under $13,000.

Additionally, the estimated expense for replacing carbon ceramic brake rotors is between $15,000 and $18,000. It is essential to consider these costs when deciding whether to invest in carbon ceramic brakes for your vehicle.

Limited Pad Choices and Compatibility

Ceramic brake pads have a limited selection of options, but they are compatible with most brakes. The composition and cost of ceramic brake pads may account for the limited availability.

However, it is crucial to ensure that the ceramic brake pads you choose are compatible with your vehicle’s brake system to avoid potential issues and complications.

Racetrack Limitations and Challenges

Ceramic brakes can degrade under hard use on the racetrack due to heat build-up, which can affect the carbon fibers in the disc. They also have a decreased lifespan when used in racetrack operations.

Moreover, some internal Porsche personnel do not recommend using PCCB (Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake) on the track. It is essential to consider these limitations and challenges if you plan to use your vehicle for track days.

Comparing Ceramic Brakes to Iron Discs

are ceramic brakes worth it

When evaluating the pros and cons of ceramic brakes, it is helpful to compare them to iron discs, which offer their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Iron discs provide impressive thermal conductivity, mechanical strength, wear resistance, and cost-efficiency.

In this section, we will further discuss these aspects to provide a comprehensive comparison between ceramic brakes and iron discs. By comparing ceramic brakes to iron discs, you can gain a better understanding of their respective advantages and drawbacks, ultimately helping you make an informed decision about which type of brake system is best suited for your vehicle.

Thermal Conductivity and Mechanical Strength

Ceramic brakes demonstrate superior thermal conductivity and mechanical strength compared to iron discs. This enhanced performance is attributed to the unique combination of silicon carbide and carbon fibers used in the construction of ceramic brakes.

On the other hand, iron discs may not provide the same level of noise reduction and dust production as ceramic brakes, and may not be as resilient to fading or temperature fluctuations.

Wear Resistance and Cost-Effectiveness

While ceramic brakes are more expensive than traditional brakes, they boast a longer lifespan and require less maintenance, making them more cost-effective in the long term.

Iron discs, on the other hand, may not provide the same level of wear resistance as ceramic brakes, resulting in more frequent replacements and higher maintenance costs.

By considering both the wear resistance and cost-effectiveness of ceramic brakes and iron discs, you can make a more informed decision about which braking system is the best fit for your vehicle.

Converting to Ceramic Brakes: Is It Feasible?

If you’re considering making the switch to ceramic brakes, you may be wondering whether it’s feasible to convert your current braking system. In this section, we will discuss the aftermarket options available for conversion and the potential complications that may arise during the process. By understanding the feasibility of converting to ceramic brakes, you can make a more informed decision about whether this high-performance braking system is the right choice for your vehicle.

From aftermarket options to potential complications, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of converting to ceramic brakes before making a decision.

Aftermarket Options for Conversion

Several companies provide ceramic brake conversion kits, including AERO6, PowerStop, and Brembo. These kits are compatible with a variety of cars and trucks and typically include ceramic brake pads, rotors, and relevant hardware components. Some kits may also include additional components such as calipers, brake lines, and brake fluid if required.

These aftermarket conversion kits offer enhanced performance, extended durability, and enhanced temperature endurance compared to standard brake systems. However, the cost of these kits can be considerable, and they may not be compatible with all models or suitable for use on racetracks.

Potential Complications During Conversion

When converting to ceramic brakes, potential complications may include excessive rotor wear, cracked or chipped rotors, poor fitment, unusual pedal feel/response, incorrect brake engagement, brake caliper failure, and potential hydraulic issues leading to brake drag.

To avoid these issues, it is essential to use high-quality and compatible rotors, as well as to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when changing brake fluid. Regular inspection and maintenance of the braking system can also help to ensure its correct performance and prevent potential issues during conversion.

Maintaining Ceramic Brakes: Tips and Best Practices

Proper maintenance is crucial for ensuring the optimal performance and longevity of your ceramic brakes. In this section, we will discuss tips and best practices for maintaining ceramic brakes, including brake fluid selection, pedal sensitivity, and addressing oxidation issues. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your ceramic brakes continue to provide exceptional performance and durability throughout their lifespan.

From brake fluid selection to addressing oxidation issues, maintaining your ceramic brakes is essential for optimal performance and longevity. Let’s explore these tips and best practices in more detail.

Brake Fluid Selection and Maintenance

When it comes to ceramic brakes, it is suggested to opt for glycol-based brake fluids such as DOT 3 or DOT 4. The maintenance of brake fluid is critical for the optimal operation of the braking system, as it helps minimize wear and tear on the brake components and ensures that the brakes are functioning optimally.

To change brake fluid, drain the existing fluid, flush the system, and replenish with new fluid, adhering to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Pedal Sensitivity and Responsiveness

To ensure optimal pedal sensitivity and responsiveness for ceramic brakes, it is essential to select the appropriate brake fluid and maintain it regularly. Increasing the disc radius and caliper piston area can contribute to maintaining pedal sensitivity and responsiveness for ceramic brakes by increasing the amount of brake force generated.

Additionally, inspect the brake fluid for any signs of contamination or wear and utilize a vacuum bleeder to remove any air bubbles from the system when bleeding the brake system.

Addressing Oxidation and Other Issues

Ceramic brakes are known for their resistance to oxidation and other issues. However, it is advised to clean them regularly with a pH-neutral car shampoo and to apply ceramic brake pad grease onto carbon ceramic brake discs, pad abutments, pad slide hardware, and inside the caliper’s slide pin boots.

By following these recommended practices, you can help mitigate oxidation and other concerns related to ceramic brakes, ensuring their optimal performance and longevity.


In conclusion, ceramic brakes offer numerous advantages, such as reduced noise, less dust, and increased longevity, making them an attractive option for drivers seeking a high-performance braking system. However, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons, including the high cost of carbon ceramic brake rotors, limited pad choices and compatibility, and racetrack limitations and challenges. By understanding the composition and function of carbon ceramic discs and brakes, as well as the advantages and potential drawbacks, you can make an informed decision about whether ceramic brakes are worth the investment in 2023. Remember to maintain your ceramic brakes properly to ensure their optimal performance and longevity, and enjoy a smoother, quieter, and cleaner driving experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do ceramic brakes make a difference?

Yes, ceramic brakes can make a difference when compared to organic brake pads. Ceramic brakes produce less dust and other particles and are more reliable in a broad range of temperatures and driving conditions.

Thus, using ceramic brakes can be a more effective way to keep braking power and ensure optimal braking performance.

Do ceramic brakes work better?

Overall, ceramic brake pads have been known to be more effective than metallic pads at reducing noise and wear on the braking system while still providing good stopping power. This makes them a preferred choice over semi-metallic brake pads for many drivers.

Are ceramic brake pads good for daily driving?

Ceramic brake pads are excellent for daily driving, as they provide quiet and comfortable braking, along with great longevity. They don’t perform as well as other materials in extreme cold, and may not be the best option for performance applications.

Overall, ceramic pads offer a great solution for daily drivers.

What is one of the negatives of using ceramic brake pads?

Ceramic brake pads can be more expensive than other friction materials, and they tend to generate less bite than semi-metallic brake pads. Additionally, their heat absorbency is lower than other types of friction materials, which may lead to higher braking system temperatures in colder climates.