Are you looking for brake pads for your Toyota Corolla? In this article we break-down the pros and cons of each type, recommend the best brake pads for each type of driver, and offer our best overall pick!
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Summary of Best Brake Pads for a Toyota Corolla
Before getting into all the details, here is the rating breakdown of the brake pads that we will be discussing in this article.
2009-2018 Toyota Corollas:
- Bosch BC1210 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad 9.2/10
- Akebono ACT1210A Ultra-Premium Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pads 9.1/10
- Wagner ZD1210 Ceramic Disc Brake Pads 9.0/10
2003 – 2008 Toyota Corollas:
- Bosch BE923H Blue Disc Brake Pad Set with Hardware 9.0/10 stars
- Akebono ACT923 Brake Pad Kit 9.0/10 stars
- Wagner ThermoQuiet QC923 Ceramic Disc Pad Set With Hardware 7.6/10 stars
Before we begin, if you are not changing your own brakes, why not? It is a very satisfying and straightforward maintenance item for your vehicle. Check out this article on changing the brakes in a Toyota Corolla to find out more!
Do you suffer from brake vibration? Changing out the rotors and brake pads will likely fix the problem. These are the rotors I recommend for Toyota Corollas.
- Rotors Bosch QuietCast Premium (2003-2008 Corolla)
- Rotors Bosch QuietCast Premium (2009-2017 Corolla)
The brake pads discussed here fit Toyota Corolla, Pontiac Vibe, and Toyota Matrix.
Choosing Brake Pads
The purpose of brakes is to slow down your vehicle by converting kinetic energy (motion) into thermal energy (heat). This is done by compressing the rotor between the brake pads, similar to the brakes visible on the hand brake on a bicycle. The effectiveness of the brakes depends on many factors, not least of which is the interface maximum temperature which is dependent on factors such as sliding speed, contact area ratio, number of braking applications, brake load, and type of friction material.
There are several different styles of brake pads, which are the best, and which ones should you choose?
Choosing high quality brake pads does not need to be difficult. There are mainly 3 different types that are used these days: organic, ceramic and semi-metallic. Thankfully, gone are the days of the cancerous asbestos brake pads!
Let’s take a look at the options that are currently available for brake pads.
Organic Brake Pads
Organic brake pads, though they are still often used as a cheap alternative, should be avoided because they don’t last very long and so require more frequent replacement. They also have reduced effectiveness and don’t work as well in extreme heat or extreme cold temperatures. The main upside of organic brake pads is that they tend to be very inexpensive.
Metallic Brake Pads
Metallic brake pads are generally for those drivers who prefer performance over everything else. As a result, metallic brake pads have very good stopping power and heat dissipation. They can also handle a large range of temperatures. However, the downside is that they had a tendency to wear down the rotors much more quickly than other types of pads, and they are also more noisy.
Ceramic Brake Pads
Ceramic brake pads are more durable than organic brake pads and as a result, they tend to last longer. In addition, they produce less dust. They are also more quiet than metallic brake pads and can handle a large temperature range in which they are effective. For these reasons, ceramic brake pads are the most highly recommended brake pads for the vast majority of drivers simply because they tend to do well in all areas: effectiveness, rotor wear, dust production, and noise.
Top 3 Brake Pads for Toyota Corolla (2009-2018)
Now let’s take a look at our top 3 picks for 2009-2018 Toyota Corolla, Matrix, and Pontiac Vibe brake pads. The model number you need to be looking for on these years of Corollas is 1210. So you will notice this number somewhere in the name of each of the brake pads on this list.
Editors Rating 9.2/10
The Bosch BC1210 earn our highest rating because of a mix of high quality ceramic disc brakes and value for the price. These brakes stop quickly and smoothly. This particular kit includes the accessories like caliper grease for use with rubber, caliper sliders, and squeak pins. These brakes bed quickly and are extremely quiet.
Editors Rating 9.1/10
The Akebono are a great set of ceramic brake pads. They are very quiet and produce very little brake dust. Akebono is known for high quality, and you won’t be disappointed with this set of brake pads. The only reason they were dinged a bit in our rating comes down to price. If money is no object, these are the brake pads to get for your Corolla, but the price difference is significant, and the Bosch brake pads slightly edge out these pads for that reason and that reason alone!
Editors Rating 9.0/10
Wagner ZD1210 brakes will fit your calipers very well. They are machined to tight tolerances, so you won’t have to worry about grinding down the ears to fit! These are very quiet brakes and come with the brake clips you need for installation. These brake pads will go on quickly and easily.
Top 3 Brake Pads for Toyota Corolla (2003-2008)
Now let’s take a look at our top 3 picks for 2003-2008 Toyota Corolla, Matrix, and Pontiac Vibe brake pads, with 2 more for honorable mentions. The model number you need to be looking for for the 2003-2008 Corollas is 923. So you will notice this number somewhere in the name of each of the brake pads on this list.
Editor’s Rating: 9.0 / 10 stars
The Bosch BE923H brake pads are a ceramic and semi-metallic pad. This blend makes the brake pads extremely effective in terms of stopping power, with reduced wear on the rotors. Bosch Blue Brake Pads are perfect for the everyday driver who demands nothing less than the best performance at a great price. These are the pads that I personally use, and I highly recommend them.
The tabs or ‘ears’ on these brake pads have a nice tight fit, so you don’t have to worry about the pads rattling. One thing I like about these pads is that they don’t come wrapped in a bunch of plastic packaging, but rather a shop towel. Some of the reviewers thought this was unprofessional, however I actually appreciate this ‘green’ packaging method that’s not clogging landfills and besides, you have an extra shop towel to wipe up any caliper grease when you are done! These pads also come with a hardware kit which includes some caliper grease, noise clips, and anti-rattle inserts.
Editor’s Rating: 9.0 / 10 stars
The Akebono ACT923 are the OEM supplier for Toyota brake pads. So it is hard to go wrong with these pads. These brake pads boast a ceramic formula that is ‘rotor friendly’ and requires no break-in period. These pads definitely have the most ‘polished’ look to them. Few burrs or rough spots. These are the high-end brake pads.
Editor’s Rating: 7.6 / 10 stars
The Wagner ThermoQuiet QC923 pads have a “proprietary formula” that according to their literature is a ceramic brake pad with “low copper technology,” suggesting that it is a mixture of ceramic and some copper (like most ceramic pads). These pads don’t come with shims, instead having a raised portion on the back of the pad to take the place of the shim, “shimless.”
Honorable Mention: Monroe CX923
Editor’s Rating: 7.2 / 10 stars
The Monroe CX923 are a ceramic brake pad and the least expensive brake pads on the list. These are straight ceramic pads. The kit comes with the ‘noise elimination hardware.’ These can generate a bit more dust than the other pads on the list, but in general seem to have responsive stopping power.
Honorable Mention: ACDelco 17D923CH
Editor’s Rating: 7.0 / 10
The ACDelco 17D923CH pads are ceramic and include the slide clips and some grease. These are said to produce very little dust, so if dirty hubcaps are something you like to avoid, these pads would work well. That being said, the packaging material is a bit subpar, so a fair number of users report chipped pads upon arrival.
Overall Top Picks
Our overall top pick for brake pads for the 2009-2018 Toyota Corolla, Pontiac Vibe, and Toyota Matrix, are the Bosch BC1210!
Our overall top pick for brake pads for the 2003-2008 Toyota Corolla, 2003-2008 Pontiac Vibe, and 2003-2008 Toyota Matrix, are the Bosch BE923H!
These brake pads have excellent quality for the money. It is difficult to find anything wrong with these brake pads. I an speak from personal experience because these are the brake pads that I currently use. Check out this article where I install these brake pads on a 2004 Toyota Corolla.
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