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I've been using hawk HPS pads on my car for the past yrs. They still dust, but only moderately -- and provide very nice, linear, and fade-free stopping power.

Decent longevity for a performance pad....albeit somewhat expensive.

I'll still continue to buy them. ;)

gr
 

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Choosing the wrong brake pads can be dangerous!

I don’t want Grandpa Joe who reads this thread to get the wrong idea about what brake pads he should get.

A few have recommended the Hawk HPS. My opinion is yes and no. Yes, the Hawk HPS is a great pad, but keep in mind that the HPS stands for High Performance Street. When I was 18, I would have loved to had a brake pad like this. They do offer better stopping power, dust a bit more and tend to wear out the rotors faster too. They will also give you slightly different feel when hot or cold. They will grab more when hot.

Before we can say what is better than stock, we have to know what stock is first. According to Motor Trend the CT can stop from 60 mph in 131 feet. That is not bad in comparison with other 4 wheel disk cars with ABS (Anti Lock Braking).

Should you put on Hawk HPS? Yes, if you are an aggressive driver or hit the race track once in a while. No, if you just drive to work and do normal duties with your CT.

Hawk also makes a HP+ (High Performance Plus) pad that is a Ferro Carbon material and a step further than the HPS. I would NEVER advise these pads for the street, as they are basically race track only and can actually be UNSAFE and DANGEROUS for street driving.

Ceramics (in general) are mainly designed for long life, minimal to low dust, little to no noise and will return to you stock or slightly better than stock stopping power.

Semi Metallic’s are the manufacturers choice for most cars. They are relatively cheap, good stopping, will dust up your front wheels, and will only occasionally squeak.

I only mention this as stock or perhaps a grade above is enough for me. My CT rarely gets driven hard and will never see the race track. Brake technology is always changing and what was the best yesterday is now different today. Just remember when you get into a high performance brake pad, it can really affect the feel of your brakes. There are great stock, or slightly better than stock brake pads that can be purchased at Advance, Auto Zone, Car Quest, NAPA, and other parts stores. Most come with a lifetime warranty and are reasonably priced. Buy the HPS only if you really need it.
 

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Choosing the wrong brake pads can be dangerous!

I don’t want Grandpa Joe who reads this thread to get the wrong idea about what brake pads he should get.

A few have recommended the Hawk HPS. My opinion is yes and no. Yes, the Hawk HPS is a great pad, but keep in mind that the HPS stands for High Performance Street. When I was 18, I would have loved to had a brake pad like this. They do offer better stopping power, dust a bit more and tend to wear out the rotors faster too. They will also give you slightly different feel when hot or cold. They will grab more when hot.

Before we can say what is better than stock, we have to know what stock is first. According to Motor Trend the CT can stop from 60 mph in 131 feet. That is not bad in comparison with other 4 wheel disk cars with ABS (Anti Lock Braking).

Should you put on Hawk HPS? Yes, if you are an aggressive driver or hit the race track once in a while. No, if you just drive to work and do normal duties with your CT.

Hawk also makes a HP+ (High Performance Plus) pad that is a Ferro Carbon material and a step further than the HPS. I would NEVER advise these pads for the street, as they are basically race track only and can actually be UNSAFE and DANGEROUS for street driving.

Ceramics (in general) are mainly designed for long life, minimal to low dust, little to no noise and will return to you stock or slightly better than stock stopping power.

Semi Metallic’s are the manufacturers choice for most cars. They are relatively cheap, good stopping, will dust up your front wheels, and will only occasionally squeak.

I only mention this as stock or perhaps a grade above is enough for me. My CT rarely gets driven hard and will never see the race track. Brake technology is always changing and what was the best yesterday is now different today. Just remember when you get into a high performance brake pad, it can really affect the feel of your brakes. There are great stock, or slightly better than stock brake pads that can be purchased at Advance, Auto Zone, Car Quest, NAPA, and other parts stores. Most come with a lifetime warranty and are reasonably priced. Buy the HPS only if you really need it.
I'm going to add a few comments to this, as I think there's good info here....but needs a bit of clarity:

Agreed:
HPS pads are designed for a more aggressive street driver who demands a bit more from their car than the ordinary everyday driver.
I think the ONE thing Hawks do better than any other pad, is FADE RESISTANCE...that is -- the ability to avoid that mushy feeling you get in the pedal after repeated high-speed stops. According to tire rack:
What causes brake fade?

"Brake fade occurs when the brake pads are operated in excess of their normal operating temperature. Overheated pad compounds melt and break down, releasing gases that build up between the pad and rotor contact surfaces. This gas layer between the pad and rotor can keep the pad and rotor from making contact and generating friction. It’s very much like a tire hydroplaning in standing water or a puck floating over the surface of an air hockey table. When this occurs the trapped gasses under the pad literally cause it to float over the surface of the rotor without making physical contact. If the pad can’t contact the rotor surface, it can’t generate friction and it can’t slow down the spinning rotor. The result is a soft feeling brake pedal that will often go all the way to the floor without stopping the vehicle! This can occur very quickly and without warning especially when the brake pads are new and not completely bedded-in."

These pads are somewhat overkill for the average driver, but are still on par with the price you pay for OEM's.
I really do not find Hawk HPS pads to be SO differently characterized in terms of pedal feel, stopping power, or overall braking attributes. So, I have to refute crashmaster's assertion that it could be "dangerous" to choose the Hawks. They behave and perform quite normally under everyday driving....but rather, PERFORM when asked to - hot, cold, wet, or dry! :cool:

I'm not trying to convince ANYONE that Hawk HPS pads are the BEST out there, or the correct application for EVERY CT driver.
But for MY driving style, and performance requirements -- I think Hawks are hard to beat! :p

personally - i find the OEM's a bit "grabby" for my tastes, but they last a good long time, and are absolutely fine for MOST drivers.
Yes, I drive ALOT of hondas every single day, so I have a pretty good basis for this comment. ;)

DUSTING means your brake pads are doing their job!!
The more dust, the less of your Rotor face/Surface is getting eaten-up in lieu of stopping your vehicle. Does it make your wheels dirty? SURE!
But you CAN clean it off (lazy asses!) and I'd prefer dirty wheels over less stopping power or "cooked" rotors.

I think ceramic pads are more dangerous than ANY others! :eek:
By nature, they are HARD, and don't dust as much -- guess what: they're tougher on your rotors as a result.
They tend to be noisier as a consequence as well -- who wants that?
Yes, they last, and are cheap -- but aren't most of us here Old Enough to have learned by now....you Get what you Pay for?!

In the past several years, there really has been no Revolutionary breakthrough technology in the Braking department. You've got a reservoir, you've got brake calipers, pads, and rotors, utilizing hydraulic technology that's been around more than a century or five!
ABS is really the last BIG thing that happened to brakes, and that was over two decades ago. Most improvement in braking are more recently derived from electronics pkgs, traction conrtol (vsa), and driver-systems integration.
Braking systems: STILL THE SAME! Heck, nobody even bothers to equip cars with multi-piston calipers anymore!! :eek:

THE most important component to your daily drive / STOP, IS your brake pads. If you are unsure about what to choose, then stick with OEM.
As was said before in a different post: Honda spent alot of time and money to create the correct pad for your braking system. Who knows MORE about your car?? :D

**Oh, and as std. disclaimer -- i do NOT drive a CT as my DD currently, I drive an 02 Maxima!**

gr
 

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Ghostrider990 - Thank you for responding. I don’t think we really differ in our opinions very much.

I don’t accept the theory of the gas layer between the pad and rotor. I’ve heard this before, and it still makes no sense because:

What gas is there in the brake pads? How much gas do you think is in a solid brake pad? Likewise, what amount of gas would be required to fade your brakes? How does more gas get back into the pads for the next time the brakes fade? How come drilled rotors and non-drilled rotors have virtually equal brake fade? Wouldn’t you expect the gas to escape from the drilled rotor surfaces?

An incorrect explanation sometimes given for brake fade is heated brakes generate gas. Such effects are easy to imagine like an air hockey table, but physically impossible, due to the large volume of gas that would be required for such an effect to actually happen. A brake pad would need gas replenishment as fast as the disc or drum moves too.

I realize that this is ‘Tire Racks’ opinion and not yours, but automotive theory has always fascinated me. Who thinks up this crap?

My feeling (similar to many others) is that brake pad fade is caused by overheating of the friction material. Every brake pad manufacturer works with the friction v. temperature curve. The brake pad material has an optimal point and when heated above that point, the friction will start to decline. NASCAR vehicles have large ducts that vent air to the brakes to keep them cool. Even though these NASCAR vehicles have pads that work at very extreme temperatures, they still have to keep the brakes cool to stay within the optimum braking temperatures or brake fade will happen.

This is why HP+ (High Performance Plus) pads are dangerous on the street. They work great for higher temperatures but on cold mornings or rainy mornings the first few stops (until the brakes heat up into the optimum braking temperatures) will feel light and not very grabby. It could cause an accident.

The Hawk HPS pads are not as aggressive as the HP+. As I stated before, if you are an aggressive driver or see the race track once in a while, these HPS pads would be great. For Grandpa Joe and most others (including me) I will stick with the stock or perhaps ceramic pads.
 

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I ran the NAPA premium ceramic pads on the 08 sedan when i got the terrible warped rotors from the factory. it really changed the way the car stopped...for the better. they dusted almost none, it definately stopped harder when asked, the pedal never got mushy that i noticed, and it didn't ever get the break shimmy again.
 

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I don’t accept the theory of the gas layer between the pad and rotor. I’ve heard this before, and it still makes no sense because:

What gas is there in the brake pads? How much gas do you think is in a solid brake pad? Likewise, what amount of gas would be required to fade your brakes? How does more gas get back into the pads for the next time the brakes fade? How come drilled rotors and non-drilled rotors have virtually equal brake fade? Wouldn’t you expect the gas to escape from the drilled rotor surfaces?
I was curious about this too after reading this thread, so I went to the Brembo site - one place I don't think will throw out too much BS on the subject.
The unique cross-drilled or slotted finish is another exclusive Brembo feature which improves braking consistency by dissipating the heat generated and gas released as the pads come into contact with the discs, keeping the pad surface both cool and clean. Both cross drilling and slots interrupt the water film forming when driving in the wet for improved brake response. This effect is most evident with cross-drilled discs, due to the different solid/hollow ratio of the surface and the possibility for water to flow through the ventilation holes.

And something burned into my head came to mind when I read this

My feeling (similar to many others) is that brake pad fade is caused by overheating of the friction material
Only because I had this poster over my toilet for 10 years and have gazed at it. . .well, you do the math. . .



Those look like hot rotors, right? Not disagreeing that the pads don't get hot and less effective either, but I think a rotor's ability to dissipate heat is pretty important. Most of it (esp for street cars) is probably done through metallurgy, and yes that .5% of exotic or close to exotic cars on the road has slotted and/or cross drilled rotors (as do seemingly 50% of Honda Civics. . . :) ) but I've noticed a lot more vehicles now having OEM vented discs for thermal purposes (maybe even the majority), as does the CT in its front brakes.

PS - have you ever seen the european FIA truck racing series?



The amount of laps they can do before pitting is not limited by gas, it's limited by water, the front brakes are quenched with water continuously through big containers of it somewhere maybe in the bed. I don't know what kind of brakes they can get super hot and dump water on them without cracking, but, pretty cool.
 

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Has anyone switched out the front brake pads for a better stopping pad?
i tried HAWK HPS and hated them, a new set of OEM offered better bite. I used HAWKs on my previous non-Honda vehicles and was equally unimpressed so I fail to see why many rave about them. My next adventure will be to see how EBC pads will fair out.
 

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I noticed my Crosstour front brakes starting to warp and I'm at 24k miles. I went ahead and ordered some new Centric brand rotors. I have had excellent luck with them in the past. I haven't looked at my pads yet, but have been contemplating replacing them. Does the crosstour share brakes with any other hondas?
 

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if you go to i.e., horsepowerfreaks.com which caters to the CT and enter the yr, make, & model of your car, it will give you options for brake pads. The same applies for HAWK (hawkperformance.com) or EBC (ebcbrakes.com) where it will tell you which part number you need for your application. Some sites offer direct purchase options while others i.e., hawk, forces you to seek out a locate distributor.
 

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I was just on the HorsePowerFreaks.com website. I'm looking at these drilled and slotted rotors. Has anyone upgraded their rotors? Any suggestions or regrets?
 

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Don't waste your money on drilled/slotted rotors. It's b.s. :rolleyes:

Get "blanks" or solid rotors. More heat dissipation capacity comes from more IRON in the rotor, and more braking force is achieved from greater surface area on the pads/rotors.
Drilled and slotted rotors really only show their advantages under racing conditions.

Numerous instances of cracked (literally) rotors that have been weakened by slotting/crossdrilling.

And while I'm at it -- don't fall for the "cryogenically" treated rotor b.s. either.
Again -- no advantage in DAILY commuter driving applications. ;)

gr
 

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I am no expert on brakes but the CT brakes are soft and not sure just changing the brake pad is going to make all that much differents in the feel. If I am wrong then some one explaine why.
 

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I know if you want a firmer feel you could always switch over to stainless brake lines instead of the rubber ones. Different pads will have a different bite or feel as well depending on the compound.
 
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