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Best Brake Pads for 1995-1999 STS/ETC?


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My 1997 ETC is nearing its first brake job. At 132,000 miles, my mechanic tells me that it has only about 20% of its front pads remaining. At this rate, I have only about a year before they hit 10% and I really have to move forward, but I think that I should schedule the job soon just to get the brakes bled all around. I have done some research recently and found that the highest quality high-performance brake pads seemed to be ceramic-metallic, but it does seem that as of right now, the best ceramic pads are the best choice. I'm interested in OEM quality or better, and I want to know that if I happen to need to be doing 120 mph at the Atco Raceay one day I can pull it down quickly and controllably to a 20 mph brake-cooling cruise in a few seconds, as I can now. In other words, I don't want to give up anything that I how have, and asking for an improvement after 11 years seems reasonable. One post by BodybyFisher recommended pads with sensors form the dealer, and later posts in that same Caddyinfo thread suggested new rotors, although I've been assured that mine are fine. New rotors is another morass of options...

My driving habits are a lead foot and legal speeds, smooth stops and no fear of braking or cornering forces, with a healthy respect for weather and a lifetime motorcyclist's awareness of the quality of the road surface. Although a stay in Germany and regular travel on the Autobahn is not likely in a 10+ year old car, the ETC was designed to do this well and I certainly want to keep that. I recently did a lot of high-speed commutes on the NJ Turnpike and may well do so again in the near future. Early driving habits formed around conserving gas and car have given me good luck with gas mileage, brakes, clutch (as applicable), etc. on every car that I have driven; this amounts to planning your maneuver in advance and executing with care, finesse, and vigilance.

Suggestions from the experienced? Should I go with all dealer parts?

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Jim, I would go with either OEM pads or find a rotor/high performance pad combo. I think if I wanted to upgrade the brake system I would go with a drilled rotor for sure. Drilled rotors run cooler and are less likely to shutter.

I love the look of these rotors if you peruse their site you will find high performance pads also

<a href="http://www.stoptech.com/products/rotors.shtml" target="_blank">http://www.stoptech.com/products/rotors.shtml</a>

Jim the only problem is that if this is your first brake job at 132,000 miles (incredible at the very least), you are NOT hard on your brakes at all, and by upgrading to a high performance rotor or pad you would NOT likely benefit from them, it's probably overkill. As a matter of fact, you can have problems with high performance brakes if you are NOT hard on them, like glazing, etc.

For a point of reference, my pads last between 30,000 and 40,000 miles but I am hard on brakes, braking hard on turns and braking hard hauling this air craft carrier down to a stop, and I live in NYC stop and go driving. I think that an upgraded braking system would help me personally.

OEM seems to have worked for you all this time, I'd stay with them if I were you. GM OEM pads and rotors will outlive the car at this point.. Has the brake fluid been flushed on your system?

..hope this helps

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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I got it. BBF's post from January that I pulled up on a Caddyinfo search rules in my case too. It's OEM parts from the dealer for me. Thanks to everyone. Case closed. :hatsoff:

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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I got it. BBF's post from January that I pulled up on a Caddyinfo search rules in my case too. It's OEM parts from the dealer for me. Thanks to everyone. Case closed. :hatsoff:

Cool Jim, the OEM pads were long and relativelycleanly, I am using an aftermarket pad right now that is really blackening my wheels..

If you could, could you post a link to the January thread you are referring to?, I have been pretty passionate about brakes over the years, but I am beginning to find out, that I am the braking problem in my cars LOL...

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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BodybyFisher -- the link is in post #1 on this thread, and is a hotlink to your username. Here it is again:

http://caddyinfo.ipbhost.com/index.php?act...&pid=119236

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Do the Bendix pads have the sensors?

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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The only experience I have with ceramic pads is a good one; I put a set of Raybestos Quiet Stop Ceramic pads on our previous minivan. The OE Chrysler pads were VERY dusty, but they DID stop on a dime. I didn't lose any braking capability with the Raybestos pads, and after a 1-2 week break-in, they were virtually dust-free.

But whatever I have on the STS right now is as dust-free as I've ever seen. The ONLY thing that messes up the wheels is water spots from rain. I've NEVER cleaned any brake dust off these wheels. I don't know what they are, but they're wonderful. I'd wager a guess that they're ACDelco pads, but I don't know. I've always been happy with ACDelco pads before, and I don't see a reason not to buy them in the future.

That said, I wouldn't go the dealer to buy them either, unless you've got an "in" with someone there for a discount. RockAuto.com sells the front ACDelco ceramics (#88909661) for $53 and the rear ACDelco ceramics (#88909663) for $42; I think it'd be hard for a dealer to beat that price, even with shipping. And by the way, to the best of my knowledge, your car does not have brake pad wear sensors. That started with the '98 Seville and '00 DeVille models (the G-chassis cars). I think yours are just conventional pads. My '97 SLS's pads were the same way (no wear sensors), and our cars use the same brakes.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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I just noticed a question from BodybyFisher -- have my brakes ever been flushed -- and no, I'm still running with the factory brake fluid, and it's possible that the master cylinder lid has never been popped open. I will let you know if the fluid has any interesting characteristics, such as hatching eggs from a microscopic alien species from Andromeda, after the brake job. I'm probably going with new flexible brake lines too. My rigid brake lines show no signs of rust.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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I just noticed a question from BodybyFisher -- have my brakes ever been flushed -- and no, I'm still running with the factory brake fluid, and it's possible that the master cylinder lid has never been popped open. I will let you know if the fluid has any interesting characteristics, such as hatching eggs from a microscopic alien species from Andromeda, after the brake job. I'm probably going with new flexible brake lines too. My rigid brake lines show no signs of rust.

Jim, I thought that might be the case. Hopefully you will not have a problem, brake fluid absorbs moisture, that moisture gets into the system and rusts the internal parts like the tubing, master cylinder bores and calipers bores. It might not show up or be obvious unless you take the calipers or master cylinder apart. What happens is that if the 'open/closed bleeder down/up pedal" method of bleeding us used, the roughness from the rust, scores the rubber seals and you either can't get a good pedal firmness or your master cylinder will go bad quickly. You can not avoid this in the calipers when they are pushed back in to accept the new pads, but the problem is more prevalent in master cylinders. If the shop can pressure bleed your system rather than use the "pump on the brake pedal" method, I would advise it.

Going forward you should flush your brakes more often see this thread started by JimD:

The MOST neglected fluid

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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