Centric Brake Pads Review: New for 2021

| Last Updated: June 25, 2021

Few brands in the automotive industry enjoy the prestige that Centric has. No wonder. How many companies you know are willing to sacrifice the savings associated with overseas manufacturing to ensure that their brake parts meet the highest quality standards? 

Such a level of commitment with quality explains why in the medium it is said “there’s quality, then there’s Centric quality”. 

In this article, we will be reviewing five products from Centric that have raised the bar concerning brake pads' quality and reliability. 

Comparison of the Best Centric Brake Pads

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Stopping Power: Good stopping power thanks to strong ceramic technology
  • Dust: Light-color dust in minimal amounts due to ceramic formula
  • Noise: Minimal noise thanks to application-specific shims & backing plate
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  • Stopping Power: Fantastic thermal properties provide advanced stopping power
  • Dust: Moderate to low dust, depending on driving habits
  • Noise: Moderate to no noise thanks to application-specific shims & backing plate
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  • Stopping Power: All-condition formula stops well in rain, snow, or summer heat
  • Dust: Low dust thanks to wear-resistant formula
  • Noise: Minimal noise
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  • Stopping Power: Formulated to match or exceed OE braking capability
  • Dust: Low dust OE-style formula thanks to long-life formula
  • Noise: Minimal noise design for peace-of-mind in both technicians & customers
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  • Stopping Power: Strong ceramic formula provides confident stopping power
  • Dust: Minimal dust with light ceramic color
  • Noise: Basic noise reduction focus to keep most noise at bay
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Who is Centric? 

Centric was founded in 2000 to manufacture the best automotive parts in the industry and thus providing outstanding value to its customer base. From its humble beginnings, Centric always focused on researching and developing innovative products, an effort that paid off later on when the company earned multiple patents. 

Centric's meteoric success did not go unnoticed and soon it got the attention of another industry leader, AP Emissions Technologies, which proposed Centric to join forces. That is how in 2017 APC Automotive Technologies was created and almost instantly became a key supplier of automotive parts in North America.

As part of the APC group, Centric Parts has been able to continue innovating and expanding its operations both by creating new brands and reinforcing old ones. Nowadays, Centric Part is the parent division behind renowned brake parts brands such as Centric, C-Tek, Fleet Performance, GCX, Posi Quiet, PQ PRO, Qualis Automotive, StopTech, and Tactical. With each of these brands pursuing different niche markets, Centric now has the versatility to offer top-notch brake products to more customers, regardless of their vehicle type or budget.

Review of the Best Centric Brake Pads

You might think that after becoming part of the APC group Centric could have lost its focus on offering high-quality products. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the following section, you will discover five brake pads that definitely confirm that Centric commitment to quality is stronger than ever. 

Best Overall:
Centric Posi-Quiet Ceramic Brake Pads

Centric 105.0929 Posi-Quiet Ceramic Brake Pad with Shims

PROS

  • Above-average pad life
  • Formulated to produce very little brake dust
  • Easy on rotors thus they can help in extending their lifespan
  • Fantastic resistance to brake fade under normal driving conditions
  • Incredible noise abatement capabilities thanks to its exclusive manufacturing process

CONS

  • Pricier than other Centric pads
  • Does not offer the best performance when cold

What Type of Brake Pad is This? 

The level of sophistication of Centric's manufacturing processes is evident in its Posi Quiet ceramic brake pads. Not only do they use the exclusive positive molding technology that ensures even wear across the pad's surface, but also they feature mechanically attached, application-specific shims and precision cut backing plates to minimize noise and vibration. Overall, a superior brake pad designed to offer an upscale braking experience, way better than the OE counterparts.

What Type of Driving are These Best For? 

Centric Posi Quiet Ceramic brake pads are positioned as a premium product that offers a great brake bite, produces very little dust, and has exceptionally low noise levels. Although these pads are available for most passenger cars and light-duty trucks, its unique formulation and exceptional construction make them more suitable for luxury cars and SUVs.

Should I Choose a Different Option in this List? 

The specific formulation of Centric Posi Quiet Ceramic pads sacrifices a high level of friction in favor of anti-dust and noise reduction characteristics. Simply put, these pads are not recommended for severe braking applications such as street performance sports cars, towing/hauling vehicles, or any other application requiring exceptional stopping power. 

Bottom Line 

If you are looking for a premium set of brake pads featuring ultra-low noise and dust levels, then Centric Posi Quiet Ceramic pads will not disappoint. However, if your application involves heavy braking or if you need stable friction performance over a wider range of temperatures, then Posi Quiet semi-metallic pads are probably a better alternative.

Runner-up:
Posi-Quiet Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

Centric Parts 106.13240 106 Series Posi Quiet Semi Metallic Brake Pad

PROS

  • Outstanding pad and rotor life
  • Incredible low noise levels (for a semi-metallic pad)
  • Excellent friction levels across a wide range of temperatures
  • Fully scorched at the factory to facilitate the break-in process
  • Incredible stopping power and consistent performance under demanding driving conditions

CONS

  • Not suitable for extreme braking applications
  • They produce more dust than their ceramic counterpart

What Type of Brake Pad is This? 

Hands down Centric did an amazing job with the formulation of these brake pads. Posi Quiet Semi-Metallic pads provide a pedal feel almost on par with its ceramic variant, along with quite similar noise and dusting levels. In other words, they deliver a premium braking experience but with a noticeable advantage in stopping power.

What Type of Driving are These Best For?

Posi Quiet Semi-Metallic brake pads have a fairly wide range of applications. Unlike its ceramic sister, the material used in its formulation allows it to provide an exceptional level of friction even in very hot or cold climates. Moreover, Posi Quiet Semi-Metallic pads offer acceptable performance for casual spirited driving or light hauling/towing applications.

Should I Choose a Different Option in this List?

Given its impressive formulation, it is safe to say that most passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs will benefit from Centric Posi Quiet Semi-Metallic premium features. However, for applications requiring extreme braking, you might want to consider using a more robust formulation designed to withstand high temperatures for prolonged periods of time.

Bottom Line

You can think of Centric's Posi Quiet Semi-Metallic pads as a premium upgrade to your brake system since they deliver reduced noise levels under braking and lower dust production than OE-level pads. Moreover, their formulation gives them above-average stopping power under common driving situations. However, if you what you need is a set of brake pads designed for severe duty applications, such as those used in pursuit and rescue vehicles, then you should consider using Centric's Fleet Performance Brake Pads instead.

Best for the Money:
Centric Parts Fleet Performance Brake Pads

Centric 306.09760 Fleet Performance

PROS

  • Excellent pad life, even better than Posi Quiet Ceramics
  • Good noise abatement considering its heavy-duty nature
  • Exceptional fade resistance due to its unique formulation
  • They guarantee optimal performance in the most extreme braking conditions
  • Specifically created to deliver optimal friction at high temperatures thanks to its para-amid compound formulation

CONS

  • Higher dust production than other Centric pads reviewed
  • Very hard on the brake disc rotors due to its aggressive friction material

What Type of Brake Pad is This?

Centric designed these pads from the ground up to deliver the utmost performance under the most demanding braking applications. Unlike Posi Quiets, these pads are prepared to withstand high temperatures and continue offering appropriate braking to your vehicle. Simply put, you can think of Centric Fleet Performance brake pads as premium pads for extreme duty applications.

What Type of Driving are These Best For?

Centric Fleet Performance Brake Pads are a niche product. Their formulation is aimed at applications that require excellent pad bite even under sustained abuse. No wonder they are advertised as a good option for pursuit, rescue, and emergency driving vehicles. However, their ability to withstand high temperatures also makes them a good choice for hauling/towing applications. That is if you can live with the increased rotor wear.

Should I Choose a Different Option in this List?

These pads were created to accommodate a specific type of application. That means, Centric Fleet Performance pads are not advised for daily driving vehicles, nor race-oriented applications. As mentioned above, they might be a good solution for certain heavy-duty work-oriented vehicles too. Nevertheless, when in doubt, we suggest opting for Centric Posi Quiet PRO or Centric Premium pads instead.

Bottom Line

Centric's leadership in the industry has allowed it to segment the market and thus offer solutions tailored for each application. Fleet Performance pads are proof of that. They certainly excel in the type of application for which they were created, however, they are not the best alternative outside of that.

4. Posi-Quiet PRO Disc Brake Pads

Centric 500.07640 PQ PRO PADS

PROS

  • They include Opti-Check Early Warning System embedded on the pads
  • All the advantages of Posi Quiet’s state-of-the-art manufacturing process
  • Available for a wide variety of passenger cars, light trucks, vans, and SUVs
  • Exclusive Mu500 friction coating technology which greatly reduces time-consuming break-in procedures
  • Stainless steel abutment and retaining clips are included with the pads to guarantee full restoration of brake system performance

CONS

  • Not suitable for severe duty or street performance applications
  • Generally speaking, they are more expensive than Posi Quiet line

What Type of Brake Pad is This?

You can think of Posi Quiet Pro brake pads (PQ PRO for short) as an evolution of the original Posi Quiet line. The widespread use of coated rotors, and the cumbersome break-in procedure associated with them, motivated Centric to create the PQ PRO brand, which they now call their "top-of-the-line offering." Available in both ceramic and semi-metallic variants, you can expect all the benefits of Posi Quiet pads and then more, thanks to PQ PRO unique features.

What Type of Driving are These Best For?

PQ PRO brake pads are the ideal choice for vehicle owners looking to significantly improve the stopping power of their vehicles. These pads deliver an amazing pad bite, very little dust, and low noise levels. Moreover, the exclusive Mu500 coating ensures out-of-the-box performance even if you are using newer brake rotors featuring any kind of anti-rust treatment.

Should I Choose a Different Option in this List?

While it is true that PQ PRO brake pads bring many new benefits, it is also true that they are not necessarily the best option for everyone. For instance, if all you need is a set of brake pads for daily driving (and you do not plan to use coated discs), then Posi Quiet pads are a good alternative. They are cheaper and provide you better than OE quality and performance.

Bottom Line 

It is always good to know that leading companies like Centric are continually improving their products to adapt to new technological challenges. That is the case of the PQ PRO line. A brand focused on providing an effective solution to the latest generation vehicles.

5. Centric Premium Ceramic Brake Pads

Centric 301.08220 Centric Premium Ceramic

PROS

  • 100% scorched for faster bed-in process
  • Minimal dust production and noise levels
  • Exclusive OE-level ceramic friction formula 
  • Excellent brake pad bite regardless if they are cold or hot
  • They use positive molding technology just as Posi Quiet brake pads

CONS

  • Similar to Posi Quiet Ceramics, not ideal for extreme driving conditions
  • Prone to have issues if brake pad bedding is not done properly, especially on newer vehicles with coated rotors

What Type of Brake Pad is This?

Centric Premium Ceramic brake pads are an interesting product. From a price standpoint, they are about 15%-20% cheaper than Posi Quiet Ceramics and approximately 25-30% cheaper than newer PQ PRO Ceramics. However, despite its lower price, the performance of Centric Premium Ceramic pads is almost on par with the regular Posi Quiet Ceramic brake pads. At least under normal driving conditions.

What Type of Driving are These Best For?

Price is a strong argument in favor of the Centric Premium line, but also their quality. Bear in mind that these pads are manufactured using the same positive molding process, scorching treatment, and other cutting-edge advantages as the Posi Quiet pads. The main difference between them relies on the friction material used. While Posi Quiet Ceramic pads clearly offer "better than OE" performance, Centric Premium Ceramics settle with offering "OE-level" bite and stopping power. 

Should I Choose a Different Option in this List?

Although Centric Premium pads offer great value for your money, it is not without limitations. As said, the performance of these pads is almost the same as Posi Quiet Ceramic pads "under normal driving conditions". If your driving style tends to be aggressive or your application implies heavy use of brakes then Centric Premium pads will perform just like any other OE pad. In other words, how you drive as well as your vehicle intended usage plays a major role in deciding if these pads are a good choice for you.

Bottom Line

Overall, Centric Premium Ceramic brake pads can be an excellent alternative to OE and even Posi Quiet pads, as long as you understand its limitations. However, if you are looking for superior braking power, then you should consider spending 20% more and get a set of Posi Quiet Ceramic pads, or even better, PQ PRO Ceramic pads.

What’s the Full Lineup of Centric Brake Pads?

Centric C-Tek Disc Brake Pads: Budget-friendly brake pads line, available with ceramic and semi-metallic formulations

Centric Formula 100 Series OEM Semi-Metallic Disc Brake Pads: These pads offer a direct replacement alternative to OE parts but with slightly better noise and dusting levels

Centric Premium Disc Brake Pads: Aside from the amazing Centric Premium ceramic brake pads already reviewed, this line is complemented with an excellent semi-metallic alternative

Centric Formula 300 Series Premium Semi-Metallic Disc Brake Pads: A product line focused on offering outstanding fade resistance and low noise levels to passenger cars and light trucks.

Centric Posi Quiet Extended Wear Disc Brake Pads: As its name implies, this line delivers better pad (and rotor) life which is possible thanks to a special formulation exclusive to Centric

TACTICAL Disc Brake Pads: TACTICAL Police Duty Brake Pads by StopTech offers even better fade resistance than the already impressive Fleet Performance line.

What Makes Centric Brake Pads Stand Out From the Competition?

Without a doubt, what differentiates Centric from the rest of the companies in the brakes parts industry is its authentic commitment to provide its customers with products of unsurpassed quality. Proof of that commitment is Centric's state-of-the-art testing laboratory.

Unlike most brake parts manufacturers, Centric spend a significant amount of time and money testing and improving the formulation of its brake pads by performing certified testing procedures like SAE J2521 Noise Matrix Evaluation, SAE J2522 Friction Evaluation, ISO 26897 Friction Evaluation, and SAE J2707B Wear Evaluation as well as OE-level tests and even custom in-house tests.

This commitment has earned Centric its uncompromising reputation as one of the best manufacturers of brake products in the United States. 

Powerstop vs. Centric - Comparison Overview 

Objectively speaking, comparing Centric to PowerStop is like comparing apples to oranges. It's not that PowerStop products are bad. Quite the opposite. PowerStop has a well-deserved reputation as one of the top aftermarket brake parts suppliers. Nevertheless, the truth is that PowerStop is not in the same league as Centric. 

Domestic vs. Overseas

While it is true that PowerStop has a brake rotor facility in Illinois, most of its products (including many rotors) are manufactured overseas by third-party partners. That allows PowerStop to be quite aggressive in its pricing strategy, which is a completely valid approach. On the other hand, Centric has opted to design, test, and manufacture all its product range in its own facilities in the USA to favor quality instead of costs.

Cutting-Edge vs. Top-notch

As mentioned, PowerStop brake pads and rotors are top-notch. They offer OE-level quality or better. The point is, for Centric, being on par with the rest of the industry is not enough. That explains why they don't use adhesives like the rest of their competitors but instead attach the shims to the pads mechanically to reduce the noise level to a minimum. 

Simply put, Centric is continually improving its products in an effort to always stay one step ahead of the competition. And that includes PowerStop.

Conclusion 

Centric's reputation as one of the best brake parts manufacturers in the industry is certainly well earned. Aside from offering a wide selection of brake pad options to satisfy different applications and driving styles, Centric has put special emphasis on delivering incredible quality, reliability, and performance in all its brake pads regardless of their price range.

People Also Ask

Do you still have questions regarding Centric? Do not worry. In this section, we will answer the most common questions related to this incredible brand

Where Are Centric Brakes Made?

Centric Brakes are made in the USA. In fact, Centric is one of the few leading brands in the industry, which despite its enormous growth, has decided to keep 100% of the manufacturing process in the United States. This decision has a lot to do with their values focused on the quality of their products.

Who Makes Centric Brake Parts?

Centric Parts (part of APC Automotive Technologies) is the parent division responsible for manufacturing all Centric brake parts. Furthermore, Centric Parts also manufactures parts for the rest of its divisions, most notably StopTech and Qualis Automotive. Other brands owned by Centric Parts worth noting include C-Tek, GCX, PosiQuiet, TACTICAL, Fleet Performance, and PQ PRO.

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Who Chose These Products?

Our Product Expert

Steve has been maintaining and modifying vehicles for over ten years. He grew up like most of us did: progressing from Hot Wheels & Legos to racing games like Gran Turismo, eventually taking everything apart just to see what made it tick. His career path was pretty clear early on!

Steve is currently a Certified Auto Repair Technician who graduated top of his class; he's rebuilt engines, transmissions, suspension, and everything in between. Steve also runs his own Youtube production covering hot automotive topics called Cars Simplified. He currently terrorizes the streets of New England in an iconic American classic: the Pontiac GTO.

Who Wrote This Article?

Damaso Sig

Our Automotive Journalist

Damaso has been in the automotive world since he was 14 years old and his father decided to bought an auto repair shop. Years later, his passion for electronics, computers, and automotive mechanics motivated him to graduate in Mechanical Engineering and venture into the sales of automotive equipment.

For years Damaso worked as a technical advisor assisting car dealerships, tire shops, and even the plants of Toyota and Mitsubishi that operate in his country. He has over 25 years of experience reporting on topics ranging from DIY jobs, technological analysis, automotive news, and more. He is a wealth of information and a valued member of our team.
@damasosanoja

Damaso has been in the automotive world since he was 14 years old and his father decided to bought an auto repair shop. Years later, his passion for electronics, computers, and automotive mechanics motivated him to graduate in Mechanical Engineering and venture into the sales of automotive equipment. For years Damaso worked as a technical advisor assisting car dealerships, tire shops, and even the plants of Toyota and Mitsubishi that operate in his country. He has over 25 years of experience reporting on topics ranging from DIY jobs, technological analysis, automotive news, and more. He is a wealth of information and a valued member of our team.