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I'm getting conflicting information on the type of brake pads to install on my vehicles. I own a '04 Toyota Corolla and a '00 Nissan Frontier (4cyc., 2WD). I'm trying to figure out whether I should put ceramic or semi-metallic brake pads on them. I called the Nissan dealership and they said they didn't know, as they just put on what they're given. The local auto parts store sells their "lifetime warranty" ceramic pads, which my local shop said would destroy my rotors. Now I'm confused.

Is there a general rule? Is it vehicle dependent? If so, how do I find out what's recommended?

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Though I don't think it's common, ceramic pads can produce more heat than than semi-metallic, which can warp stock rotors over time. Commonly, if you're switching to ceramic, you should also switch to slotted, x-drilled, or hybrid (slotted and x-drilled) rotors to help dissipate the heat better...

It's not vehicle dependent. It's mostly rotor dependent, but some people seem to run fine with stock rotors, so long as you're not working them overly hard.

In summary, they can hurt your rotors due to higher heat, so it's a give-or-take kinda thing. I'd suggest new rotors as a precaution though (you can find some decent slotted or x-drilled rotors for fairly cheap in some places).

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