PAD Q & A

Application Q & As

Should I machine my existing rotors when fitting new pads?

Ideally you should fit new rotors with new pads. However, if pads do need to be changed before the rotor has reached minimum thickness it is recommended to machine the rotor friction surfaces, to ensure a clean flat surface for maximum life and performance of the new brake pad.

Why was I recommended Xtreme Performance (XP) over Street Performance (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 4WDs fully fitted out for adventures (GVM upgrade), towing a boat or caravan, or trade 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 when it comes to braking.

What is the best pad for my vehicle?

Refer to the Direct Replacement Guide on pages 16 – 17.
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.

  • Street Series (SS) brake pads have been developed to provide great stopping performance, low noise and low dust for general or light duty driving applications
  • 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.
  • 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 Xtreme Performance (XP) on the front and Street Performance (SP) on the rear. This is when the front brakes are doing considerably more work than the rears, typically on trade utes, vans, 4WD’s and some performance applications.

Refer to the Direct Replacement Guide on pages 16-17.

Why doesn’t DBA have Street Series (SS), Street Performance (SP) and Xtreme Performance (XP) available for all applications?

DBA’s range of brake pads cover 95% of vehicles in Australia. The most popular applications are stocked across all SS, SP and XP friction compounds.

Exceptions arise where vehicle testing has indicated that 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 Street Series (SS), Street Performance (SP) and Xtreme Performance (XP)?

The key difference between SS, SP and XP is the friction level and operating temperature(s).

The SS range has been developed for great friction performance, and a high level of comfort features such as low noise and low dust for general light duty street applications.

The SP range has been developed for optimal friction performance and longer life in street applications and light towing.

The XP range has a higher friction level and operating temperature. The addition of carbon fibre elements in the XP 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 Brake 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 its own unique number system.

Why should I choose DBA Brake Pads over other brands?

DBA Brake Pads are developed for extreme Australian conditions.

With over 40 years of experience manufacturing brake rotors and by listening to our customers’ feedback, DBA has aimed to develop the best product for the market. We have focused on higher friction class materials, optimal thermal stability, and low dust and wear rates to produce a new generation of braking performance. These compounds were developed from the ground up, listening to our customers’ demands.

DBA Brake 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 was I recommended Xtreme Performance (XP) over Street Performance (SP), even though my vehicle does no track work?

There are many applications that require higher friction and thermal stability other than track use. Such as large 4WDs fully fitted out with extra gear (GVM upgrade), towing a boat or caravan, or trade vehicles carrying tools and equipment. Axle weight can add up fast.

Vehicles carrying heavy loads or vehicles travelling at high speed (i.e. track use) demand similar performance when it comes to braking.

Why don’t I just buy the Xtreme Performance (XP) Brake Pads?

Sometimes too much friction can have an adverse effect 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 Direct Replacement Guide on pages 16 – 17.

Can DBA Brake Pads be used on any rotor or does it have to be only on DBA rotors?

DBA Brake 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 Brake Pads made of?

The Street Series (SS) range is made from two separate formulations, depending upon the application of the pad. A ceramic (NAO – non-asbestos organic) material covers 90% of the applications, and a (semi-metallic) material covers approx. 10% of applications. The formulations have been chosen to maximise safety, performance and comfort features for light duty applications. The material type is identified on each box label.

Street Performance (SP) (semi-metallic) and Xtreme Performance (XP) (semi-metallic carbon fibre) contain various metals and complimentary elements (carbon fibre, ceramics, and more) to achieve optimal performance.

DBA’s range of Brake Pads does not contain asbestos!

Are DBA Brake Pads low dust?

Brake dust is the product of wear on both the disc brake rotor and the brake pads.

Compared to leading brands tested, the wear rate is lower when using DBA Brake Pads and therefore the dust may be less.

Note: Xtreme Performance (XP) will have higher dust levels than Street Performance (SP), due to the higher friction levels. Street Series (SS) pads, being primarily ceramic formulation, have an extremely low dusting formulation – even lower than SP brake pads. Furthermore, ceramic friction formulations produce white dust and less visible than dust from metallic and semi-metallic material, which is black.

Are DBA Brake Pads copper free?

The Street Series (SS) and Street Performance (SP) pads are copper free (N class, <0.5% copper content). The Xtreme Performance (XP) pads are low in copper (B class, <5% copper content). DBA Brake Pads are independently certified by the leading body ‘NSF International’.

The focus on copper in currently two states of the USA is due to new legislation being implemented by 2025, requiring brake pads to contain less than 0.5% copper for environmental reasons.

Are the Pads NAO (Non-Asbestos Organic)?

DBA pads are “Non-Asbestos Semi/Low Metallic” or “Non-Asbestos Ceramic”, not NAO.

NAO pads are considered to wear out quicker than other friction material and are also rather limited in their operating temperature range. Giving customers a product that both lasts long and performs well in Australia’s extreme conditions is the reason DBA has settled on Ceramic and semi metallic formulations.

Do DBA Brake Pads contain asbestos?

No! DBA products are asbestos-free.

Are the pads R90 certified (European Standard)?

DBA Brake Pads have been developed for the specific and often extreme conditions of the Australian market, and therefore generally perform above and beyond the standard expectation. In fact, part of the Street Performance (SP) and Xtreme Performance (XP) range have been homologated to ECE R90 standards, where their performance characteristics were found to meet the DBA standard. Those parts are designated as such by their part number – refer to part no. specific ‘ECE R90 certified’ column in the part number listing of this book.

How long do DBA Brake Pads last?

Pad and rotor life are highly dependent on vehicle application (pad formulation, size of pad, vehicle weight distribution etc.) and usage characteristics (urban driving vs. freeways vs. intense usage).

DBA has conducted testing on various vehicle applications and is continuously undertaking monitoring and testing. Based on these results the product life has shown to be approximately 20% better than the Original Equipment and many aftermarket brands.

Do DBA Brake Pads have slots and why?

DBA Brake Pads have a centre groove/slot where applicable. This slot reduces internal stress under high temperatures and helps alleviate the build-up of heat and dust.

Are DBA Brake Pads soft or hard (pedal feel)?

DBA Brake 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 DBA Brake Pads have chamfers and why?

Street Series (SS) and Street Performance (SP) pads do have chamfers to reduce vibration and noise at lower temperatures and speed. Based on testing the Xtreme Performance (XP) and Race Performance (RP) pads do not require chamfers when used in the intended application.

Do DBA Brake Pads have wear indicator lines?

Most DBA Brake 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 Brake Pads?

On most DBA Brake 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’?

Yes, the Street Series (SS) range of pads has a “bedding-in stripe”, which provides a temporary benefit of an initially higher friction coefficient that assists in the bedding-in process. While bedding-in stripes may provide a temporary benefit for some general-purpose friction materials, the friction compounds used in Street Performance (SP) and Xtreme Performance (XP) pads do not require any additional intervention to bed-in quickly and effectively.

All SP and XP pads are scorched to minimise any brake fade during the replacement process.

What is Scorching / Post-curing Thermal Stability Profiling (TSP) on DBA Brake Pads?

DBA has a well-established TSP heat treatment process with its performance disc rotors to prepare the rotor for extreme applications.

Pad scorching is a heat treatment process developed to remove any excess resin material that typically results in brake fade when bedding-in and in reduced performance in new brake pads.

Street Series (SS) pads use a different TSP process known as post curing. This process helps reduce the presence of any impurities or excess resins in the friction material to increase the hardness of the brake pad surface and reduce brake fade.

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 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 expansion 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 4WDs to carry heavy loads or in motorsport applications when brake fluid temperatures are higher, as it reduces the expansion experienced in rubber brake line hoses.

What warranty does DBA offer on its Brake Pads?

DBA provides an industry standard 20,000 km or 12-month warranty against manufacturing or material defects on all DBA Rotors and Pads.

Warranty does not cover motorsport applications as there are many indirect influences on product life and performance out of DBA’s control.

Refer to DBA’s Global Warranty at dba.com.au for terms and conditions

What brake fluid should I use?

Start with the manufacturer’s recommendations to select the DBA Brake Fluid best suited for your vehicle. 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. 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?

The answer is YES.

The vacuum brake booster rubber hose is installed in 99% of passenger and 4WD vehicles / SUVs. The vacuum booster hose is fitted between the vehicle’s 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 (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 for vehicle braking.

We highly recommend replacing this. It is an often 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 Brake Pads have been developed and tested for optimal use with DBA rotors, as performance, wear rates and dust levels may vary when used with another brand’s rotors.