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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need new front brake pads and rotors on my manual 2000 Insight. I would like to take it to a brake shop instead of dealer, however, Honda says they sell have semi-metallic, and brake shop is reluctant to install ceramic if the car calls for semi-metallic pads. I think I have ceramic pads now, which have been great, but break shop says there is no way to tell what kind is installed.

1. Does anybody know if the original OEM factory brake pads were ceramic or semi-metallic?

2. Which material have better braking power? The pads on now have a better braking power than any car I've had, but I don't what material is on there.
 

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I think the lack of response is based on confusion by those reading- confusion based upon us asking "why"?

The stock pads are very inexpensive, last a long time if not abused, and stop very well... so why chose different pads?

Usually the upgraded pads are used by two people:
#1 - posers who know very little but love to brag to others about wasting their money
#2 - those who actually need the increased performance due to high stresses during racing - our cars don't fall into that category.

This being said buy stock pads for maybe $40 and install them yourself as it takes minutes to do. You only need the most basic tools and a few minutes... even use the jack in the car to do this as you won't be underneath

I bought my car and was warned by the seller that the dealership was worried about the pads stating that they had to be replaced very soon (500 miles). I drove the car home some 1500 miles, drove it for a while after that, then replaced the pads to find they were fine and had lots of life so you may want to measure the thickness to verify that they actually need changing.

Semi-metallic = better stopping at higher rates of speed, longer lasting at the expense of your rotors and pads are cheaper that rotors.

Ceramic = greater at higher temps but our cars have no issues with heat in braking due to lower speeds and the lightness of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
clarification on my brake/rotor question for 2000 Insight

I guess I am not clear on why my question is confusing or what you mean by "why".. "why what?". If you mean why do I want new pads... because they are worn almost to the metal with I think 150K miles on them (the car is used so I don't know if they are original).

If you mean why do I want somebody else to do the work the answer is I am a small statured female and do not have the strength, mechanical aptitude, tools, or desire to do the job myself.

I wanted ceramic instead of semi-metallic because I was told that is why the brakes have been so good, but maybe that is incorrect. My experience with semi-metallic with other cars is they wear /warp the rotor and every 15K miles the rotor needs turning which also means new pads.

That being said the brake shop will not install ceramic if the car calls for semi-metallic. If I could convince him that the OEM pads were ceramic I am sure he would be happy to install, otherwise I may have to pay almost $700 to a dealer and get semi-metallic.

So
1. Does anybody know if the OEM front brake pads were ceramic or semi-metallic?
2. You say ceramic is "greater at higher temps", pls clarify, do you mean the stopping distance is greater at higher temps with ceramic pads vs semi-metallic?

Any help appreciated.
 

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Just go for OEM pads, the Insight is a very light car that's not all that fast, no need to upgrade.
 

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I think what he was trying to say is that there is no reason to use high performance ceramic pads in our Insights. Just use OEM equipment, they will be fine. I would be highly surprised if OEM equipment was ceramic. The Insight probably commands some of the least severe brake duty of any car on the road, due to regenerative braking and weight.

Ceramic performs better - that is, stop you faster - at higher temps. That means the temperature of the rotor and brake pads themselves. Normally, when your brakes heat up, you experience what is called brake fade. The hotter they get, the less they work. Ceramic pads help mitigate this. This only ever becomes apparent while racing around a track or some very specific real-world driving conditions, certainly nothing that you would encounter on a day to day basis unless you live ontop of a steep hill with a 3,000' elevation climb or something.

The brakes have been so good because of the Insight's regenerative braking. Nothing more, nothing less. I've never heard of semi-metallic pads warping rotors or anything like that. Sounds like it was probably a quirk of your previous car. :)
 

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I think everybody is saying that there is no need, on our cars, to go with anything other than stock Honda pads. It doesn't matter what they are made out of. Many of us have gotten over 100,000 miles out of them, and the car has stopped every time we put on the brakes. A set of pads, mail order, is only $40. Use this as a guide and get an estimate from a local dealer. Know that it will probably take a mechanic 30 minutes to do the job. I could do it in that time. If it is too high, then buy the parts yourself and find a mechanic or friend or fellow Insight owner in your area to install them for you. This just isn't that hard.

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I appreciate everyone's feedback. I think the issue here is that OEM, as I understand it, is what comes with the car, and you cannot get OEM from the dealer, they sell 'after market', which is semi-metallic. That is why I wanted to know what material the OEM pads are. And yes, I acknowlege the outstanding mileage we Insight owners have gotten on the original pads, but it may be because the original pads were ceramic. I read semi-metallic pads are hard on the rotors, thus the need to be 'turned', but what do I know??

Thanks for the feedback. I'll probably go with the metallic and find somebody other than the dealer to install. $700 for pads/rotors is too much for me!!
 

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I vote for the OEM honda pads. Honda still sells the original parts for the car (which I believe are semi-metallic). The reason your pads last so long are due to the car having regenerative braking and being very light, not because the brake pads are ceramic.

I looked at majestichonda.com because I will be doing mine soon, and it came out to the following:

Front Pads = $57.68(set)
Rotors = $42 each x 2 = $84.00
Hardware(metal clips) = $20.00
Total parts cost = $161.68

You could order all of the Honda OEM (original equipment Manufacturer) parts for $161.68 + tax and pay a brake shop probably $100.00 in labor to replace them all with good Honda quality parts.


IMO of owning many hondas, OEM parts are always best.
 
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I'm in the boat of buying whatever is the cheapest. A couple of my cars we put carbon kevlar pads only because we really needed the performance they offered. You could put those pads on the insight but it would really be overkill. They'd last a pretty long time as well, but meh.

However, one thing to consider is that if you care about brake dust on your wheels and that brown orangey color that gets all over the wheels is due to semi metallic pads. Not to mention, semi metallics tend to squeal more, especially when new. Which is why I tend to lean more toward ceramic pads if it's only a few bucks more. $10 more is worth it in reduced cleaning costs.

In response to the rotors being worn down, don't worry about that either. They're not very expensive for a pair. If you go to pep boys or kragen and just get the cheap prostop, they work just fine and even have a lifetime warranty. But if you're putting new pads on Any car and want to maintain the original rotors currently on them, you Need to turn them. Unless your rotors have Perfect wear, then you Need to turn them. Otherwise you'll just damage the new brakes and have really bumpy jerky awful stopping power.
 

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Nobody said anything about needing rotors. No need to replace them unless they are warped or scored. Since her pads are "worn almost to the metal" the rotors are probably fine. She can probably use the existing hardware kit, and the pad set might include new hardware. So the parts cost is 57.68, except that this is the list price. "Our Price" is $40.38. Probably less from G1 when you add the shipping and handling charges.

Sam
 
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Well I haven't seen them to know whether or not she would actually need rotors. If her pads are worn as much as she said they are, then they definitely need to at least be turned. And since turning them is at least $10 per rotor, and a pair is $30-40, I'd rather pay the increased cost for the piece of mind.

Also brake pads are only $20 for ceramics on rock auto. it even says OE Pads are ceramic for the insight
 

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Also brake pads are only $20 for ceramics on rock auto. it even says OE Pads are ceramic for the insight

Wow. Finally! That is the answer to her actual question. $20 ceramic pads from Rock Auto it is. That makes it a no brainer. And I never turn rotors unless a visual inspection indicated that it is needed for some reason. Then I decide whether to grind or replace. Rotors don't need to be fooled with nearly as much as everybody thinks they do.

Sam
 
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I'm glad I was able to answer her question.

Also, even though you don't think you should fiddle with the rotors, it makes a huge difference. Obviously in performance driving you NEED to do things like turning and replacing, but even in basic economy driving you should. An easy test to know is if you run your hand across the rotor and it feels bumpy, then you need to turn it. If the lip at the edge of the rotor is greater than 3mm, just swap them out for new ones. They're cheap. $10 cheap on Rock Auto.
 

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Well there you go. I'm ashamed I didn't bother to research and just assumed that the lesser pads were stock.

I'm a little confused as to why they would have went ceramic for OEM? Maybe they wanted the brakes to last a long time?
 
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Probably because the car is more premium than you would think it to be. After rebates and all that, it was relatively cheap. But as a car goes, Honda didn't really cheap out anywhere.

Or maybe they had a warehouse full of left over ceramic pads, so they just recycled them on the insight.
 

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Well there you go. I'm ashamed I didn't bother to research and just assumed that the lesser pads were stock.

I'm a little confused as to why they would have went ceramic for OEM? Maybe they wanted the brakes to last a long time?
Maybe ceramic dust is less harmful to the environment?
 

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Or is a gram or two lighter?

Sam
 

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I need new front brake pads and rotors on my manual 2000 Insight. I would like to take it to a brake shop instead of dealer, however, Honda says they sell have semi-metallic, and brake shop is reluctant to install ceramic if the car calls for semi-metallic pads.
Also brake pads are only $20 for ceramics on rock auto. it even says OE Pads are ceramic for the insight
I just stumbled across this forum thread. According to the original poster, redracer, she was going to purchase new front brake pads from the dealer but they were going to sell her semi-metallic pads. She thought the original pads were ceramic, something that madmanmostafa (see his quote above) confirms by referencing rockauto.com.

rockauto.com still says that the original pad was ceramic.

My questions are this:

1. If the original pad was ceramic, does anybody know why Honda changed to semi-metallic?

2. Everybody else in this thread was assuming that the original pads were organic. Can anybody who has switched from the, apparently, ceramic OEM pads to organic pads seen any difference in rotor or pad wear, or with noise?

3. I guess I'm wondering if there is any anecdotal evidence of a pad material change?

I'm not stuck on ceramic pads. I'm getting ready to replace what I believe are the original pads. I've got about 130,000 miles on them. I'm not opposed to buying OEM pads as replacements. However, if the current OEM pads are different than they OEM pads that came with the car, I'd kind of like to know that in advance.

Thanks
 

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