PAD Q & A
Application Q & As
What is the best pad for my vehicle?
Refer to the ‘DBA Performance – Disc Rotor & Brake Pad Reference Guide’. The key factors that determine which brake pad is best for your car is based on the type of vehicle and what you intend on using it for. DBA Street Performance (SP) brake pads have been developed to provide an effective friction response to pedal application and low wear. Low wear means less dust. SP is ideal for normal to spirited street use in most vehicles. DBA Xtreme Performance (XP) brake pads, are for heavy duty applications, where higher friction levels are required, in order to safely brake under extreme conditions. Heavy loads can either be; high axle loads, higher speeds or a combination of both. There are many applications where the ideal brake pad recommendation will be to use a mix of: DBA Xtreme Performance (XP) on the front; and DBA Street Performance (SP) on the rear. This is when the front brakes are doing considerable more work than the rears, typically on trade utes, vans, 4WD’s and some performance applications. Refer to the ‘DBA Performance – Disc Rotor & Brake Pad Reference Guide’
Why doesn’t DBA have both SP & XP available for all applications?
DBA stocks most popular applications in both SP and XP friction compounds. Exceptions arise where vehicle testing has indicated (for certain applications) optimal performance is achieved by using only SP or XP. e.g. high friction noise generation, possibility of lock-up from excessive friction on the rear brakes, or heavy vehicle requirements.
What is the difference between SP and XP?
The key difference between SP and XP is the friction level and operating temperature(s). The DBA SP range has been developed for optimal friction performance and longer life in street applications. The DBA XP range has a higher friction level and operating temperature. The addition of carbon fibre elements in the DBA XP brake pad range, assists with better thermal stability at higher temperatures, when used in heavy duty applications. Note: Wear and dust may increase in heavy duty applications.
Why are some of your part numbers different to other brands?
DBA Performance Pads are aligned with the DB part numbering system (industry standard in Australia) - where possible. Where a DB reference does not exist at the time of production, DBA has adopted a DB number using the international FMSI reference (Friction Manufacturers Standards Institute).
Why should I choose DBA Performance Pads over other pads?
DBA performance pads are developed for extreme Australian conditions. We have focused on higher friction class materials, optimal thermal stability, low dust and wear rates to produce a new generation of braking performance. We have developed these compounds from the ground up, listening to our customers’ demands. DBA Performance Pads work perfectly with DBA’s range of disc rotors, addressing limitations of other brake pads in the market – that may compromise vehicle performance.
Why use XP not SP (even though there is no track use)?
There are many applications that require higher friction and thermal stability other than track use. Such as large 4WD’s fully fitted out for adventures (GVM upgrade), towing a boat or caravan or trades vehicles carrying tools and equipment. Axle weight can add up fast. Vehicles carrying heavy loads and/or vehicles travelling at high speed (i.e. track use) demand similar performance requirements when it comes to braking.
Why don’t I just buy the Xtreme Performance (XP) Pads?
Sometimes too much friction can have an adverse affect on braking. Too much or too sensitive brake torque (wheel lock-up) may reduce your ability to adjust braking performance in environments such as wet roads or loose surfaces. i.e. More is not always better! Refer to the ‘DBA Performance – Disc Rotor & Brake Pad Reference Guide’.
Can DBA pads be used on any rotor or does it have to be only on DBA rotors?
DBA performance pads are suitable for all makes of disc rotors. However, they have been developed and tested for optimal use with DBA rotors. Use with other types of rotors, may result in varying performance, wear rates and dust.
Technical Q & As
What are the DBA pads made of?
DBA SP (semi-metallic) and XP (semi-metallic carbon fibre) - contain various metals and complimentary elements (carbon fibre, ceramics, and more) to achieve optimal performance. DBA’s range of performance brake pads DO NOT contain any harmful chemicals or substances. Most importantly: No Asbestos!
Are the pads low dust?
Brake dust is the product of wear on both the disc brake rotor and the brake pads. Compared to leading performance brands tested, the wear rate is lower when using DBA performance pads and therefore the dust may be less. Note: XP will have higher dust levels than SP, due to the higher friction levels
Are the pads copper free?
The SP pads are copper free. The XP pads have a low copper content. The focus on copper in USA (2 states), is due to new legislation being implemented by 2025 for brake pads to contain less than 0.5% copper, to reduce waste for environmental reasons.
Are the Pads NAO (Non-Asbestos Organic)?
The DBA Performance pads are “Non-Asbestos Semi Metallic” materials, not NAO. NAO pads are typically considered light duty and not suitable for performance applications. Extensive R&D has found both DBA SP and DBA XP semi-metallic friction materials provide the best performance levels for Australia’s extreme conditions.
Do the pads have asbestos?
NO! DBA products contain NO asbestos.
Are the pads R90 certified (European Standard)?
The ECE R90 standard requires performance characteristics within 15% of the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s standard brake pad. DBA Performance Pads are a high-performance product for applications above and beyond the standard expectation.
How long do the pads last?
DBA has conducted testing on various vehicle applications and are continuously undertaking monitoring and testing. Based on these results the product life has shown to be approximately 20% or better than many leading brands.
Do the pads have slots and why?
All DBA Performance pads have a centre groove/slot. This slot is required to reduce internal stress under high temperatures.
Are the pads soft or hard (pedal feel)?
DBA Performance pads produce a hard (firm) pedal feel. They are a high density / low compressibility friction material, which provides improved pedal feel (hard) and high brake torque.
Do the pads have chamfers and why?
The DBA Street Performance (SP) pads do have chamfers to reduce noise at lower temperatures and speed. Based on testing the DBA Xtreme Performance (XP) and DBA Race Performance (RP) pads do not require chamfers when used in the intended application.
Do the DBA pads have wear indicator lines?
Most DBA Performance pads have either electronic sensors or mechanical screech sensors to notify the driver when the pads are at end of life. Those that do not have sensors are typically opposed piston calipers where the pads are clearly visible through the wheels.
When should I replace my DBA pads?
On most DBA performance pads the wear sensors will let you know. When no sensors exist, it is recommended to replace the pads when approx. 4mm of friction material is remaining. This may not be applicable for motorsport applications where higher temperatures and stresses exist.
Do the pads have ‘titanium strips, bedding in strips/coatings’?
While bedding stripes may provide a temporary benefit for some general-purpose friction materials, the friction compounds used in DBA Performance pads do not require any additional intervention to bed-in quickly and effectively. All DBA pads are scorched to minimise any brake fade during the replacement process.
What is Scorching / Thermal Stability Profiling (TSP) on DBA Pads?
DBA has a well-established TSP heat treatment process with our performance disc rotors to prepare the rotor for extreme applications. The same consideration has been applied to our performance brake pads. Pad scorching is a heat treatment process developed to remove any excess resin material that typically results in brake fade when bedding in and reduced performance in new brake pads.
Should I replace my rubber brake line hoses and when?
Rubber brake hoses should be replaced if damaged or if the rubber material shows signs of degradation (perished). This is a decision best left to experienced brake technicians/mechanics. Upgrading to stainless steel (braided) hoses should be considered when modifying vehicles to higher GVM’s or for motorsport applications.
If I replace my brake pads, do I need to replace my disc brakes?
It is not necessary to replace disc rotors when changing pads unless the discs are at or near minimum thickness. Exceptions may be when the disc rotor surface is heavily scored, and re-machining may not be economical when near minimum thickness.
When should I use a stainless-steel brake line hose?
Stainless steel reinforced or braided brake hoses reduce compliance (expanding) in the flexible hoses between the chassis and caliper. This provides a more responsive and firmer brake pedal. You should consider braided hoses when upgrading 4WD’s to carry heavy loads or in motorsport applications when brake fluid temperatures are higher and reduces the expansion of the rubber brake line hoses.
What warranty does DBA offer on the pads?
DBA provides an industry standard 20,000 km or 12 month warranty against manufacturing defects on all DBA rotors and pads (except for motorsport applications). Warranty does not cover motorsport applications as there are many indirect influences on product life and performance out of our control. Refer to DBAs Global Warranty at www.dba.com.au
What brake fluid should I use?
Start with the manufacturers recommendations. If you have issues with performance due to motorsport activities or heavy towing, then consider a higher temperature fluid. Most vehicles use DOT 4 fluid which is quite good. DOT 5.1 is the next step up but with shorter use life.
How often should I flush my brake fluid?
Firstly, as per the manufacturers recommendations unless braking performance is reduced due to degraded fluid from extreme driving applications. Typically, 24 months.
Brake Booster (Rubber) Vacuum Hose. Should it be replaced; When / Why ?
The answer is YES. The vacuum brake booster rubber hose, is installed in 99% of passenger and 4WD/SUV vehicles. The vacuum booster hose is fitted between the vehicles inlet manifold and the brake booster. This hose is an oil & fuel vapour resistant Nitrile (NBR) rubber inner tube, with high levels of Polyester fibre reinforced for resistance to vacuum collapse, with an outer cover material known for its excellent heat and ozone resistance. Unfortunately, the hose over a period of time (say approx. 8 years and older) does deteriorate internally, due to the heat from the engine exhaust manifold area. The outer hose becomes very hard; HOWEVER, the inner vacuum tube becomes pliable and will reduce the vacuum/pressure required to assist vehicle braking. Definitely replace - this is a forgotten and integral part of a vehicles braking system! Important: The plastic check-valve located in the brake booster, should be checked or replaced as well!
Will DBA warrant the pads if they are used on other branded disc brake rotors, if so how?
Yes. Refer to DBAs Global Warranty at www.dba.com.au Note: DBA Performance Pads have been developed and tested for optimal use with DBA rotors, as such performance, wear rates and dust levels may vary when used with other branded rotors.