Wagner Brake Pads Review

Wagner Brake Pads

Brake pads may seem like a near-no-brainer purchase at the local auto parts store, but any brake pad shopper should have an idea which types and brands provide the best performance for optimal safety on the road. Wagner Brake Pads are often among the highest-rated pads on the market, known for superior performance when it comes to stopping your vehicle quickly and safely. The features that makes Wagner brake pads the best options on the market will be discussed here, along with a comparison to other available brake pads for different types of vehicles.

What makes Wagner brake pads unique is the company's commitment to always pushing the envelope with its technological innovations and quality standards. They offer various ceramic brake pads for different vehicle types and driving conditions. Wagner even offers a new brake pad design intended to stop trucks and SUVs in less distance than all other brake pads in their class.

What Are Wagner Brake Pads?

Wagner brake pads are primarily ceramic brake pads designed for excellent wear and performance. Generally speaking, ceramic brake pads are quieter than semi-metallic pads, and they can withstand higher temperatures without breakdown. Quality pads cause less damage to your rotors, making the rotors last longer before they need to be turned or replaced. Ceramic pads also produce less dust than other types of brake pads that don't clamp, flex, or cling in the same ways.

Ceramic pads like Wagner products tend to be a bit more expensive than “organic” and metallic brake pads, but they also last longer before they must be replaced. Wagner makes a variety of brake pads for different needs. Performance and safety are always their top priorities.

Product Range & Specs  

Wagner brake pads come in a variety of types designed to meet different driving needs and vehicle specifications. The Wagner OEx brake pad has been shown to stop a test vehicle up to 50 feet sooner than other-brand brake pads in certain SUV and pickup models. The Wagner SD brake pad is made for excellent performance in extreme heat, frequent stopping, and heavy loads.  

Moving through the line, Wagner QS brake pads are great overall pads for quiet and consistent stopping performance. Finally,Wagner TQ brake pads are billed as thermo-quiet pads. Wagner has replaced the copper that's normally used in a ceramic brake pad with material that delivers better performance for stopping.

Pricing

Ceramic brake pads are more expensive than organic or metallic brake pads; they are more costly to make and purchase both. The value comes in their performance and life duration. However, Wagner brake pads are reasonably priced across their full ceramic brake pad line, in our view. Most types of  Wagner brake pads can be purchased within a $26-to-$40 range. This even includes SD (for severe duty) high-performance, extreme-heat pads.

How They Compare

We picked a few other lines of brake pads readily available on the market to see how they compare with Wagner brake pads.

  • ACDelco Brake Pads
  • Brembo Brake Pads
  • Hawk HPS Brake Pads

Wagner Brake Pads

Wagner Brake Pads

Of all the brake pads in our comparison, the Wagner brake pads are the least expensive. This is genuinely impressive given their commitment to quality across all the different brake pad options they offer.

Features

Wagner brake pads offer many options, with different models emphasizing quiet performance, consistent stopping, and extreme heat performance. Their severe duty (SD) brake pads can be used for heavy loads. The newly designed OE brake pad has been shown to stop some trucks and SUVs 50 feet sooner than other brake pads in its class. Some of their quietest brake pads come with rubber-backed shims to reduce noise even further than the ceramic material does on its own.

Brand Reputation

Wagner brake pads have an excellent reputation for quality stopping and performance. They are always looking to innovate and improve their already exceptional brake performance.

Design Quality

Wagner is consistently pushing technology and design forward to deliver the best possible products to the market. Their product line is impressive, with many options available to match real-world customer needs. OE brake pads from Wagner are designed to let air flow into pockets, ultimately reducing the heat stress that wears your rotors.

Warranty

Wagner offers a limited lifetime warranty on its brake pads. You should expect them to last the full rated life.

Pros

  • Wagner brake pads are quiet on the road when stopping
  • Though ceramic pads are more expensive than other types, Wagner brake pads are affordable
  • Wagner manufactures different types of brake pads depending on the type of performance needed
  • Wagner offers a limited lifetime warranty on all brake pads
  • Wagner brake pads create minimal dust
  • They extend the life of the vehicle's rotors
  • Types optimal for commuting, heavy loads, trucks & SUVs

Cons

  • Ceramic brakes are not known for top performance in extreme conditions as some top-quality metallic brakes are
  • More expensive than organic brakes
  • Wagner brake pads are not made for racing or high-end street performance
Sale
Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1324 Ceramic Disc Pad Set With Installation...
  • 35% Quieter
  • 15% More stopping power
  • Longer lasting

ACDelco Brake Pads

ACDelco Brake Pads

ACDelco is another trusted brand for a full line of brake parts. They are known for making the replacement brake pads for the original equipment on GM vehicles. Many of their brake pads are semi-metallic, using materials that distribute heat evenly and put less stress on the braking system as a whole. This feature is beneficial in extreme heat and conditions.

ACDelco is consistently voted one of the top makers of semi-metallic brake pads. They also make ceramic brake pads comparable to those available from other high-quality, reputable brands.

The prices of ceramic brake pads are slightly higher than for Wagner brake pads, but the prices of the semi-metallic brake pads that ACDelco is known for are quite a bit higher than their ceramic counterparts.

Features

ACDelco semi-metallic pads are best for extreme conditions. They are built to provide even heat distribution for reduced stress on the overall braking system. They are prominently used as the OE brake pads on GM vehicles.

Brand Reputation

ACDelco  has an impeccable reputation as a manufacturer and provider of high-performance semi-metallic brake pads.

Design Quality

Semi-metallic brake pads may be great for extreme environments and high heat, but they are noisier than ceramic pads and produce more dust. It is also an older technology for brake pads. Recent innovations by other brands have pushed other types of brake pads to new performance levels.

Warranty

ACDelco offers a limited warranty that extends for 12 months, with unlimited mileage.

Pros

  • Semi-metallic brake pads offer top performance in extreme environmental conditions
  • These pads reduce wear on the overall brake system of the vehicle
  • ACDelco an has excellent reputation for quality and performance

Cons

  • Noisier than Wagner brake pads since Wagner makes ceramic pads
  • More dust than ceramic pads
  • ACDelco semi-metallic brake pads are more expensive than Wagner brake pads
  • Semi-metallic premium prices are not always justified if your vehicle won't be exposed to extreme conditions.
Sale
ACDelco 17D1367CH Professional Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set
  • Tested to SAE J2784 for braking effectiveness, along with Noise/Vibration/Harshness (NVH) and durability/wear testing...
  • Ceramic, semi-metallic, and organic formulas provide safety and reliability for a range of vehicle applications
  • Integrally molded - friction material molded to backing plate for bond integrity

Brembo Brake Pads

Brembo Brake Pads

Brembo brake pads are primarily made for racing vehicles and motorcycles. Their brake pads boast over 6000 applications, but they mainly advertise with sporty and high-performance users in mind. Brembo brake pads are made mainly from organic resin or carbon-ceramic blends. They are more expensive than the ceramic brake pads made by Wagner and ACDelco ceramic brake pads. Brembo not only sells brake pads for motorcycles; they make and sell entire replacement braking systems as well.

Brembo ceramic brake pads are more expensive than Wagner brake pads, but they are also primarily designed for motorcycle and high performance sport and racing uses.

Features

The features of this ceramic brake pad are top-notch, as they must be to earn the confidence of professional motorcycle racers. Obviously, brake pads for racing performance have to be the highest quality with the best stopping characteristics achievable. These pads are also known for stopping comfort and durability.

Brand Reputation

Brembo is known for its high-quality brake pads for motorcycle and racing use.

Design Quality

Design quality is superb enough for motorcycle racing use, boasting excellent stopping power.

Warranty

Warranty information for Brembo brake pads is not easy to find online. This was a serious blow on our rating scale, considering the ease of finding clear warranty information for Wagner, ACDelco, and Hawk brake pads.

Pros

  • Not as expensive as semi-metallic brake pads
  • Brembo brake pads are known for high quality and excellent stopping power
  • High performance for motorcycle racing and other extreme sporting applications
  • Designed for use in extreme conditions
  • Brembo brake pads are durable and comfortable

Cons

  • More expensive than ceramic Wagner brake pads
  • Specialized for racing and motorcycle use, so not really for typical cars, trucks, or heavy loads
  • No warranty information was prominent
  • Specialized advertising for specific uses, vs. a broad offering as with Wagner brake pads

Hawk HPS Brake Pads

Hawk HPS Brake Pads

Hawk HPS brake pads are easily among the best lines available on the market across the board. They are expensive brake pads because they are made from a ferro-carbon compound designed for aerospace applications. Hawk HPS brake pads are technically in the semi-metallic brake pad category, but they do not perform like standard semi-metallic brake pads. The ferro-carbon compound allows for quicker stopping power with almost no noise.

These pads are designed mainly for street performance. However, the material does generates a good amount of heat, so even if you are not wearing down the rotors directly, the rotors can suffer stress and wear under that amount of heat. These pads are also made with ABS brake systems in mind, and they deliver excellent performance on vehicles equipped with those systems. 

Not as expensive as some ACDelco semi-metallic brake pads, these pads are still far more expensive than either Wagner brake pads or Brembo ceramic pads.

Features

The special aerospace ferro-carbon compound is unique to Hawk HPS pads, and it provides superior, quick-stopping brake performance.

Brand Reputation

Hawk HPS brake pads have an excellent reputation for quality and longevity.

Design Quality

The unique ferro-carbon design offers outstanding stopping power. They work well within ABS systems, and they are generally easy on the rotors.

Warranty

Hawk HPS offers a limited lifetime warranty on brake pads.

Pros

  • Excellent for ABS systems
  • Quicker stopping power than most other brake pads
  • Unique ferro-carbon compound provides superior performance vs. many standard, semi-metallic brake pads
  • Low noise and low dust production
  • Hawk HPS brake pads are excellent for high-end street performance

Cons

  • Far more expensive than Wagner brake pads
  • High heat to the rotors will weaken them over time
  • Primarily made for street performance, and not necessarily for extreme conditions, heavy loads, or commuting
  • Pads carry the same warranty as the much less expensive, ceramic Wagner brake pads
Hawk HB453F.585 HPS High Performance Street Ferro-Carbon Disc Brake...
  • HPS - High Performance Street brake compound
  • Increased stopping power
  • Gentle on rotors

Conclusion

Although overall features and design recognition may appear to go heavily for the Hawk HPS brake pads, we gave a total of our maximum 5 stars to the Wagner brake pads. Though the trustworthiness of the ACDelco brake pads, the high racing performance of the Brembo brake pads, and the special aerospace-influenced design of street performance Hawk HPS brake pads made them all worthy competitors, we saw the Wagner line offering great value across the board.

Simply stated, we see Wagner brake pads offering the best value and performance for the price. Wagner pushes this advantage on all fronts, making them competitive with the quietest brake pads, those for extreme conditions and heavy loads, and those promising the newest technology for increased stopping power for trucks and SUVs. Many of Wagner's ceramic pads are rated “top choice” or “best buy” across various review sources. For us, the choice is clear when comparing specifications alongside prices for all these brake pads. Our verdict: Wagner delivers the highest quality and performance for your money.

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