Do you own a 2nd generation (2005-2015) Toyota Tacoma? Are you looking for a new set of brake pads? If you answered "yes" to both questions, this guide may be just what you need.
We'll take a look at the five of the most common brake pads for 2nd gen Tacoma trucks:
- OEM Toyota brake pads
- Hawk LTS brake pads
- EBC Greenstuff 6000 brake pads
- Brembo ceramic brake pads
- StopTech 309 brake pads
We'll compare all these brake pads and help you decide on the best type for your truck. To be clear, Tacoma's don't use rear disc brakes - instead, they have drum brakes, and drum brakes use shoes, not pads. First, take a look at this comparison chart:
|OEM Toyota Brake Pads||Hawk LTS Brake Pads||EBC Greenstuff 6000 Brake Pads||Brembo Ceramic Brake Pads||StopTech 309 Brake Pads|
|Front Brake Pad Part Number(s)||04465-04080||HB677Y.685||DP61657||P83066N||309.0976|
|Rear Brake Shoe Part Number(s)||04495-04010||N/A||N/A||S83559N||N/A|
|Full Set Available? (does the manufacturer offer pads/shoes for both front and rear?)||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Pad Material||Ceramic||"Ferro-Carbon"||Semi-Metallic||Ceramic||Para-Aramid Composite|
|Front Pads MSRP||$104.50||$135.06||$96.63||$56.95||$80.25|
|Rear Shoes MSRP||$87.83||N/A||N/A||$55.95||N/A|
|Front Pads - Our Price||$79.42|
|Rear Shoes - Our Price||$68.51|
You may have noticed a variety of options. So which one is the best for your Tacoma? If you're using your Tacoma as a daily driver, OEM is hands down the best option.
All the aftermarket brands we listed above are among the best brake pads you'd find on the market. Yet, using them may be a tad bit overkill if you're using your Tacoma as a daily driver. OEM brake pads make the most sense for daily drivers. Here's why:
The Pad Material Matters A Lot
Here's a good piece of brake pad advice: the best brake pads you can get are the pads that are designed for your brake system. In other words, you want your brake pads to work well with your rotors. Otherwise, your Tacoma's braking power isn't as good as it should be.
If you have OEM rotors on your Tacoma (or OE-quality rotors), OEM brake pads are your best option. It's because:
- OEM brake pads are not too soft for your rotors (meaning they have enough gripping power and will not "paint" your rotors)
- OEM brake pads are not too hard for your rotors (meaning they will not prematurely wear down your rotors.)
- Your Tacoma's stopping power is optimized
You could get Brembo ceramic brake pads instead of OEM, since the friction material is similar. Yet, Brembo ceramic brake pads may not have the exact same material makeup as OEM pads.
The friction material is a mix of five types of materials:
- Binding materials
- Abrasive materials
- Performance materials to enhance certain aspects of braking performance
- Filler materials
- Structural materials
Toyota spent a lot of time and money developing the perfect mix of materials that will work with its rotors. You don't have the same guarantee with aftermarket brake pads. The only way to find out if a set of aftermarket brake pads will work well is to try them out with your truck. That can be pretty risky, though. Without compatible brake pads, you risk:
- Premature rotor wear
- Premature pad wear that also leaves deposits on your rotors, which cause vibration and noise
- Poor braking performance
If you're looking for performance brake pads, you may find a lot of value in an aftermarket set. That is, if you use aftermarket rotors designed for performance driving. When it comes to daily drivers, though, OEM is the way to go.