I have a 2004 Subaru Outback, disc brakes front and rear. Some time ago, I bought some ceramic brake pads (Duralast Max) for the front, and didn't realize I forgot to buy the same for the rear. Currently, the car has organic pads all the way around.

My question is this: would putting the new ceramic pads on the front, and leaving the organic ones on the rear, potentially cause decreased overall effectiveness of the brake system?

The organic pads take a significantly greater force on the brake pedal to get an adequate braking effect at the wheels, and my concern is that with ceramic pads on the front, applying enough force at the pedal to get adequate braking effect will result in the majority of the braking force occurring at the front wheels - more force than would occur with the same material at all four wheels - leading to a front-to-rear imbalance of brake force. (Worst-case scenario, I step on the pedal hard enough that the front wheels lock up while the rear wheels still have a lot of brake force left to be exerted before they lock up.)

As I write this, the fact comes to mind that the car has ABS...so I suppose the above-described scenario would be unlikely to happen...but still, ideally you would get balanced braking force at all 4 wheels, which I fear might not happen if I mix the pads in the way described.

1 Answer 1


I think if you had a new Corvette or BMW, or whatever you drove saw significant track time, I would be concerned.

There should be no harm on mixing "street" pads of different materials. (But never on the same axle, just front/rear...)

There simply is not enough difference in those two pad types to notice any difference in braking, unless you are driving the limit into corners and worried about TTO (trailing throttle oversteer). Even in that case, you would likely have ABS disabled entirely.

Short answer: Put 'em on. New brakes is better than old brakes always.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .