Best Brake Pads For Dodge Ram 1500 – 2021 Guide

| Last Updated: June 25, 2021

Finding the right brake pads for your Dodge Ram can be tricky. There are a large number of options on the market, but unfortunately, most of them do not have the quality nor provide the stopping power that your mighty Ram 1500 require.

It is for this reason that we have written this guide, a compilation of the best brake pads currently available for your Dodge Ram 1500. Ready to restore stopping power to your truck?

Let's get started.

Comparison of the Best Brake Pads For Dodge Ram 1500

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Semi-metallic with high friction resistance to last longer
  • Quiet operation sound with high-performance technology
  • Can be used with a wide variety of vehicles
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  • Made from high-quality ceramic to last much longer
  • Advanced friction resistance to dissipate the heat effectively
  • Very easy to install on the brake system
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  • Best for the Money
  • Very easy to install on the brake system
  • Reduce noise causing vibration for a quiet operating
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  • Very easy on the rotor to help it last longer
  • High friction resistance in hot and cold conditions
  • Very quiet while operating in all conditions
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  • Can be used with a wide variety of vehicles
  • Everything included to easily install this brake system
  • Made strong to last for a very long time
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How to Choose Brake Pads For a Dodge Ram 1500

Before we dive into our review of the best pads for your Dodge Ram 1500, we need to talk about what are the features that make a brake pad stand out from the rest.

Braking Performance

The Dodge Ram 1500 is a full-size pickup, so first and foremost, what you need are brake pads capable of stopping your truck reliably, whether it is hauling cargo or not. So as a top priority, you must check the performance level of the brake pads. In that regard, our suggestion is to aim for reputable brands that provide “at least” OE-level performance.

Severe Duty/Normal Duty

The Dodge Ram is a truck built for hard work. However, there are many definitions of what "hard work" is. If you use your Ram 1500 as a multipurpose vehicle and occasionally carry some cargo, or if you use your truck to haul relatively light loads then quality brake pads with OE performance will do the trick. On the other hand, if your routine includes constantly hauling/towing heavy loads then our recommendation is to use heavy-duty brake pads such as Bosch SevereDuty pads.

Noise Levels

Regardless of the type of application, having to listen to the sound of brake pads squeak all the time would be annoying. That is a common issue of low-quality brake pads. So our recommendation is to put special attention to noise levels when shopping for brake pads.

Review of the Best Brake Pads For Dodge Ram 1500 

Ready to find the  best brake pads for your Dodge Ram 1500? In this section, we are going to review pads for all types of applications, from high-performance to severe duty applications, and certainly for daily use as well.

Best Overall:
Bosch BSD1084 SevereDuty Brake Pads

Bosch BSD1084 SevereDuty 1084 Severe Duty Disc Brake Pad

PROS

  • Include all necessary hardware and synthetic lube
  • Exclusive semi-metallic friction material engineered by Bosch
  • 100% compliant to 2014, 2021, and 2025 Copper Free legislation
  • Perfect fit for your Dodge Ram 1500 thanks to its OE-style slots and chamfers
  • Built for extreme applications that require constant heavy braking, hauling/towing heavy loads, and more

CONS

  • Higher noise levels than similarly priced ceramic brake pads
  • Somewhat expensive when compared to other semi-metallic pads

What Recent Buyers Report 

In the case of Bosch SevereDuty brake pads, the vast majority of customers are very satisfied with both the stopping power and the pedal feel that this product gives the Dodge Ram 1500. It is worth mentioning that some buyers hint that they have used these brake pads for more than 40,000 miles, which speaks volumes of the durability of these pads.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There is a false belief that semi-metallic pads always offer superior stopping power than their ceramic counterparts. While it is true that semi-metallic compounds have certain advantages due to their higher coefficient of friction, it has also been shown that premium ceramic pads such as Wagner OEx can match and even surpass many semi-metallic pads. It is for this reason that brands like Bosch have gone one step further by creating special formulations that can hardly be matched by ceramic brake pads.

This is the case of the Bosch SevereDuty brake pads, a product specially designed for extreme applications where superior stopping power is required. If your work routine involves hauling loads above 15,000 pounds fairly frequently, then these pads won't disappoint. Its outstanding heat dissipation, strong bite, and dependable stopping power are strong arguments to position these pads as one of the best for the Dodge Ram 1500.

Bottom Line

Bosch SevereDuty pads are hands down one of the best options for your Dodge Ram. In particular, Bosch SevereDuty brake pads are a better choice for heavy-duty applications, although they could also be used in everyday applications if you prefer the strong bite these semi-metallic pads provide. However, if it's a premium braking experience that you are looking for, we suggest checking out our Wagner OEx pads review.

Runner-up:
Wagner OEX1084 Brake Pads

Wagner Brake OEX1084 Brake Disc Pad

PROS

  • Very little dust production
  • Includes premium stainless steel hardware
  • Ultra-quiet operation thanks to its ceramics compounds
  • Brake pads specifically formulated for the Dodge Ram 1500 
  • Last up to 2x longer than conventional semi-metallic brake pads

CONS

  • Not recommended for severe duty applications
  • Expensive when compared to other ceramic brake pads on this list

What Recent Buyers Report

Given the excellent quality of these brake pads, it's no surprise that most recent buyers have only good things to say about them. Their ease of installation, their low dust production, and the incredible bite of Wagner OEx pads are among the most frequent comments as you can see in this comment.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Wagner OEx brake pads are a one-of-a-kind product. Wagner Brake engineers have designed these pads specifically for the Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck. What this means is that Wagner has taken the time to create a unique ceramic compound and a customized slot design for the Ram 1500 which enables the braking system of your truck to function at maximum efficiency.

Simply put, this level of optimization allows the pads to last longer, deliver a strong and reliable bite, and produce less noise, and dust. All in all, a premium set of pads that meet the needs of 90% of Ram 1500 owners.

Bottom Line

If we were to summarize our opinion about Wagner OEx brake pads, we would say that they are one of the best alternatives currently available for your Dodge Ram 1500. These are premium pads that combine low noise levels, minimal dust production, and excellent stopping power. We would probably only recommend another option like Bosch SevereDuty brake pads for those applications that go "beyond normal" and require a very special type of pad.

Best for the Money:
Wagner ZD1084 Ceramic Disc Brake Pad Set

Wagner QuickStop ZD1084 Ceramic Disc Brake Pad Set

PROS

  • Excellent value
  • OE-level performance
  • Zero copper formulation
  • Includes all necessary hardware as well as OE-style lubricant
  • OE-like design, ideal as a direct replacement of original parts

CONS

  • Produce more dust and noise than Wagner OEx pads
  • Only adequate for normal usage, just like the OE pads it replaces

What Recent Buyers Report

There is no doubt that the aspect that buyers praise the most about this brake pad is its excellent price/quality ratio. No wonder. For a fraction of the price of an original pad, Wagner QS brake pads give your Dodge Ram 1500 all the benefits of ceramic compounds. Lower noise levels, less dust production, and a consistent brake pedal feel under normal driving conditions.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We have included Wagner QS brake pads on our list as we believe most Dodge Ram 1500 drivers will be very satisfied with their performance. The Wagner QS pads offer excellent stopping power, on par with the Mopar pads, but also provide very low levels of vibration, noise, and dust which is highly valued by Ram 1500 owners.

Moreover, since these pads are a direct replacement to OE parts and include the hardware and grease needed for its replacement, they are an interesting option for DIYs looking for a quality pad set ready to be installed. Overall, an inexpensive and high-quality alternative that is hard to overlook.

Bottom Line

Hands down if you use the Dodge Ram 1500 as your daily driving vehicle, the Wagner ZD1084 brake pads will not disappoint. These pads will restore your truck's braking performance without breaking the bank while giving you all the benefits of next-generation ceramic compounds.

Editor's Pick:
Hawk Performance HPS Ceramic Brake Pads

Hawk Performance HB559F.695 HPS Performance Ceramic Brake Pad

PROS

  • Low dust production
  • Exclusive Ferro-Carbon friction material
  • Easy on rotors thus increase their service life
  • Excellent for spirited driving and performance-oriented applications
  • Increases your Dodge Ram stopping power up to 20% when compared to OE pads

CONS

  • Very expensive
  • Their high friction material is best for aggressive driving styles

What Recent Buyers Report 

Despite their high cost, all the comments regarding the Hawk HPS brake pads are extremely positive. And for a good reason. All buyers agree that the bite these brake pads provide is exceptional, no matter how fast or punishing your driving style is.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are plenty of reasons to choose the Hawk HPS pads as the Editor's Pick. First of all, they deliver unparalleled stopping power, without equal on this list. Second, these pads use an exclusive Ferro-Carbon compound that gives them an incredible fade resistance even during the most extreme driving conditions. Last but not least, the Hawk Performance HPS Brake Pads are very quiet and gentle on rotors, which is a very rare property given their high-performance attributes. Overall, these are the ideal type of brake pads that a Dodge enthusiast would choose for a performance-oriented Ram 1500 truck.

Bottom Line

The Hawk HPS brake pads are without a doubt an exclusive product, aimed at a select group of enthusiasts who are looking for a set of brake pads capable to give the Dodge Ram 1500 the maximum stopping power regardless of the driving conditions.

Honorable Mention:
Detroit Axle Ceramic Brake Pads w/Hardware P1084

Detroit Axle - Front Ceramic Brake Pads Replacement for Aspen Dodge Dakota Durango Ram 1500 Mitsubishi Raider - 2pc Set

PROS

  • Include all necessary hardware
  • Smooth quiet stopping thanks to its exact OE design
  • Unbeatable price for a quality set of ceramic brake pads
  • Appropriate stoping power for daily driving applications
  • 10-year warranty against defects in materials and craftsmanship

CONS

  • Proper break-in process required to avoid squealing
  • Not suited for heavy-duty or high-performance applications

What Recent Buyers Report

In general terms, most customers are very happy with Detroit Axle brake pads. We are not surprised at all that the most prominent aspect mentioned by buyers is its excellent price. For a lower price than Wagner QS brake pads, you can get an OE quality product that meets the needs of most Dodge Ram drivers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We have included Detroit Axle brake pads as an honorable mention due to their incredible price/value ratio. In our opinion, Detroit Axle brake pads have all the merits to be considered as a valid choice for Ram 1500 pickup trucks that are used as daily driving vehicles.

While it is true that these brake pads are not designed to withstand the rigors of extreme hauling/towing work, it is also true that the original pads are not up to the task either. So, simply put, you can think of Detroit Axle pads as an inexpensive alternative to the original parts that came installed in your Dodge Ram.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for the best price/value ratio, then Detroit Axle pads may be of interest to you. For a really low price, you can get a set of ceramic pads that have a 10-year warranty, produce little dust, and provide a smooth, quiet braking feel.

Types of Brake Pads 

Throughout this guide, we've discussed two friction materials commonly used to manufacture Dodge Ram 1500 brake pads, ceramic and semi-metallic compounds. In this section, we will make a brief comparison of them.

Ceramic vs Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

Let's cover a few quick comparisons between these two types of pads:

Noise Levels

Ceramic compounds have a clear advantage regarding noise levels since they provide an almost silent braking experience.

Stopping Power

Semi-metallic brake pads outperform most ceramic pads due to their higher friction coefficient along with their improved heat handling.

Dust Production

Ceramic brake pads have proven to produce considerably less brake dust when compared to any other friction material, including semi-metallic compounds.

Bosch vs Wagner Brake Pads

While each material has its strengths and weaknesses, manufacturers such as Wagner and Bosch have managed to improve the properties of their compounds to achieve a "perfect balance" between performance and convenience. A clear example of this is the brake pads that we compare below.

Bosch BSD1084 SevereDuty

These brake pads benefit from employing a highly optimized friction material for heavy-duty applications. Bosch BSD1084 SevereDuty’s extremely efficient heat management under severe braking conditions as well as their extremely high coefficient of friction give them an advantage over Wagner OEx pads. However, when it comes to noise levels and dust production, Bosch SevereDuty pads are no match for Wagner OEx. While it is true that Bosch has used the most advanced technology to minimize both noise and dust levels, this is still its main Achilles heel.

Wagner OEX1084

Wagner decided to take a bolder path than Bosch in its OEx line. Although the OEx pads are ceramic, Wagner has used a special proprietary formulation for the Dodge Ram 1500 that allows it to deliver optimal braking performance on par with most semi-metallic pads. Moreover, since they are based on a ceramic compound, Wagner OEX1084 brake pads can last up to twice as long as traditional semi-metallic pads. On top of that, its asymmetrical pad shape and five shim layers help to deaden noise, vibration, and harshness.

Pros and Cons Overview

Deciding between semi-metallic and ceramic brake pads can be tricky. To help you with this, we have summarized the main advantages and disadvantages of each type of friction material.

Pros and Cons of Ceramic Brake Pads

So what's the deal with ceramic pads? Read on...

Pros

Low Noise Levels. Brake pads made of ceramic materials are usually much quieter than pads made of any other material. This property makes them an excellent choice for people who want an upscale braking experience.

Low Dust Production. The low amount of dust is surely one of the most outstanding properties of ceramic brake pads. Moreover, given its special composition, the dust is usually finer and clearer, which helps to keep the wheels clean for much longer.

Low Rotor Wear & Tear. Last but not least, the ceramic brake pads are very easy on brake rotors which in turn increase their service life.

Cons

Below are the main cons:

  • Price. Due to its premium features as well as its complex manufacturing process, ceramic brake pads are usually more expensive than any other type of brake pads.

  • Friction Coefficient. Most ceramic brake pads tend to have a lower coefficient of friction than semi-metallic pads.

Pros and Cons of Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

Now let's cover semi-metallics considerations:

Pros

Below are the main pros:

  • Outstanding Stopping Power. The most notable advantage of semi-metallic brake pads is their amazing stopping power. Their metal-rich composition allows for rapid heat dissipation which, added to their high coefficient of friction, makes them ideal for severe-duty and high-performance applications.
  • Great Flexibility. Semi-metallic brake pads offer improved braking performance in a much wider range of temperatures and conditions than ceramic or organic brake pads.
  • Good Value. Given their simpler manufacturing process, these brake pads are often cheaper than their ceramic counterparts although they are usually pricier than conventional organic pads.

Cons

  • Noise Levels. Compared to other brake pads, these pads are significantly louder.

  • Rotor Wear & Tear. Its aggressive bite and a high coefficient of friction mean that semi-metallic brake pads produce much greater wear on the rotors than other friction materials.

When to Change Brake Pads

One of the most common questions among Dodge Ram 1500 owners is how to know when it is time to change the brake pads. In this section, we will address that topic.

How Long Do Brake Pads Last?

As a rule of thumb, semi-metallic brake pads typically last about 35,000 miles. However, depending on your driving style and how you use your Dodge Ram, pads like the Bosch SevereDuty can last up to 50,000 miles.

How Long Do Ceramic Brake Pads Last?

As is the case with semi-metallic brake pads, your driving style and the type of work you put into your Dodge Ram are decisive in the lifespan of ceramic brake pads. For your reference, high-quality brake pads like Wagner OEx which are designed specifically for the Dodge Ram 1500 can last up to 70,000 miles.

Please note that the above figures are estimates. If at any time you notice squealing noises (especially when applying the brake pedal) or your brake pad indicator light turns on, then our suggestion is to go as soon as possible to an authorized repair shop to have your brake system checked.

How to Change Brake Pads on Ram 1500

Changing the brake pads of the Dodge Ram 1500 is relatively easy, below we will summarize the necessary steps, however, for your convenience, we will also include a video at the end of this section with the detailed step-by-step procedure.

  1. Have everything you need close at hand. Specifically for this procedure, we will use a 13 mm socket, a 1/2" ratchet, and a 17 mm open wrench, however, other tools may be necessary so we recommend consulting the service manual of your Dodge Ram and having them all at hand.

  2. Lift the wheels. Lift your vehicle and secure it by placing jack stands at the manufacturer's recommended support points.

  3. Loosen the caliper. Remove the wheels and then loosen the caliper. You will have to remove two 13 mm bolts to get the caliper off from its bracket. You may also need to use the 17 mm wrench to prevent the 13 mm bolts from spinning.

  4. Retract the caliper pistons. Being very careful not to damage the pistons or the brake disc, retract the two caliper pistons back to free the brake pads.

  5. Remove the caliper. Once you have removed the two 13 mm bolts and retracted the pistons you can remove the caliper. Put the caliper on the top of the upper control arm to prevent damaging the brake fluid line.

  6. Remove the old pads. Once you have removed the caliper you can proceed to retire the old pads.

  7. Lubricate caliper pins. It is always a good idea to remove the pins of the rubber boot from the caliper bracket and lubricate them. Be sure to use an appropriate high-temp grease.

  8. Prepare the new brake pads. Lubricate the new set of brake pads using the recommended grease. Also, install new clips and other hardware as necessary. Do not skip this important step as it may hinder both your braking performance and the pad's longevity.

  9. Install new brake pads. Place brake pads into the caliper ensuring that clips fitted properly.

  10. Install the brake caliper. Install the brake caliper and tight it using the appropriate amount of torque.

  11. Repeat the procedure for each wheel. Follow the same procedure for each wheel. 

Conclusion 

In this article, we have had the opportunity to review a large number of brake pads for your Dodge Ram 1500. Also, we have explored the advantages and disadvantages of each friction material so that you have a better judgment when choosing the brake pad that best suits your needs. Hopefully, now that you have all this knowledge, you can choose a set of brake pads that will give your Dodge Ram the stopping power and ride quality that you deserve.

People Also Ask

Do you still have questions about Dodge Ram brake pads? Do not worry. In this section, we will answer the most frequently asked questions on this topic.

How Much Are Brake Pads For a Dodge Ram?

The labor cost for replacing the brake pads for a Dodge Ram can vary between $150 to $200. Regarding the cost of the brake pads, depending on the brand you buy, the type of pad (severe duty, normal, performance), and the material (semi-metallic, ceramic, organic) the price can range between $30 and $100

How Do I Know if My Brake Pads Are Worn Out?

Several signs can indicate that your brake pads are worn. Some of them are, squealing noises when applying the brake pedal, a constant deep metallic grinding, brake indicator light turn on, less than 4 mm of pad thickness, or vibrations in the brake pedal

How Often Should You Change Brake Pads?

One good rule of thumb is to change brake pads after 35,000 miles. However, keep in mind that depending on many factors such as brake pads brand, pad material, and vehicle usage, brake pads can last between 25,000 to 70,000 miles.

An ex-salesman of industrial equipment, Shawn used to drive nearly 60K miles a year just commuting to clients. He also has a little project Miata build going on the side. Safe to say, Shawn has slain a few tires in his days. He knows all about horrid road-noise, hydroplaning risks, and how much damage a bad alignment can do to your wallet. He enjoys helping us out and Chris always values his opinion when designing something new for the website.