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Ceramic brakes or OEM for my Volvo 850?

Ceramic brakes or OEM brake pads for my Volvo 850?
Volvo 850 sedan photographed in Kensignton, MD via IFCAR / Public domain on Wikimedia Commons (

Q: “I am about to redo my brakes and rotors on front and rear… for brake pads, should I consider upgrading? I’m wondering about the choice of ceramic brakes or OEM Volvo brake pads.

I drive a Volvo 850 and I am unsure if the ceramic pads are worth the little extra they cost. Should I stick to the OEM Volvo pads, which I believe are semi-metallic? Do cross-drilled rotors offer any additional benefit? Are they worth the extra for an everyday driver, or do they just eat brake pads?”

A: “Cross-drilled rotors are a cosmetic upgrade only, and most of the ones you will find available are of poor quality. Stick with a good quality OEM rotor.”

Volvo 850 ceramic brakes or OEM?

If you need any help or guidance when you’re doing your own brake maintenance on your Volvo 850, you can find detailed, step-by-step instructions here, on Instructables Workshop that may be useful.

Changing the Brake Rotor on a 95 Volvo 850 gives you 12 details steps, with photos, and a complete list of tools you will need for this job.

There are a number of products and kits out there that will improve the braking performance of your Volvo 850. They typically involve adding a larger diameter brake roter, along with increased brake pad surface area by using new calipers.


Definitely go for the ceramic brake pads. In my experience with the track and high speed driving, organic brakes pads can handle 1 good high speed stop before they fade. Semimetallics on 302mm rotors are good for 2-3 high speed stops before fade sets in. Ceramic pads on 302mm rotors are good for 4-5 stops before fade starts. Also the ceramics seem to squeal less than the semimetallics.

volvocraze says:

I have had the drilled and slotted and they made a difference, the least you get is running cooler while braking.

97′ Volvo 850 T-5

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