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How to choose the right brake pads and rotors

There are a wide variety of options for Maxima owners when considering replacing/upgrading brake pads and rotors. Ulitimately, there's no universal best decision. It's a matter of deciding what is most important to you. Much like tires, brakes often require a compromise, a person's selection says a lot about their priorites.

A few points you should consider when changing brake equipment include:

  • Performance
  • Resistance to fade
  • Weight
  • Noise
  • Cold performance
  • Durability
  • Style (yes, for many this is priority #1!)


Popular PAD options:

Pad Advantage Disadvantage
OEM Relatively consistent performance regardless of operating temperature. Quiet. Long life. Hard to modulate. Very grabby. Prone to fade under heavy use
Hawk HPS Easy to modulate with good pedal feel, very little brake dust, good fade resistance, more stopping power. Must be warm for optimal power, require more pedal pressure when cold, a few complain of squeaking, may wear more quickly than OEM.

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While only 2 pads are listed above, the Hawk pad is very representative of tradeoffs inherent in performance street style pads. The Hawk pads are arguably the most popular choice for 5th Gen owners who choose to upgrade from OEM. Other popular choices for OEM replacement include Akebono and Hawk ceramic pads.

Have input on advantages/disadvantages of other pads? Contact me and I'll add them to the list.

Popular Rotor options:

Rotor Advantage Disadvantage
OEM Light Prone to warping
300Z Rotors Fade resistant Heavy and pricey
6th Gen Maxima Fade resistant, improved stopping power. Heavy, won't fit smaller wheels, pricey
Frozen Rotors/Cryo Rotors Ultra durable - less prone to warping and longer life due to increased wear resistance. Very Pricey
Brembo Blank Light, cheap Some claim these are no more resistant to warping than OEM
Generic Napa blanks Light, very cheap Questionable quality
Cross-drilled (many brands) Style. Some claim resistance to fade but most experts agree it's of minimal value More prone to cracking & faster pad wear
Slotted (many brands) Style. Same claim of better resistance to fade. More noise & faster pad wear

Have input on advantages/disadvantages of other rotors? Contact me and I'll add them to the list.



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