best brakes for duramax diesel

Best Brakes for Duramax Diesel – All You Need to Know in 2023

Slamming the brake pedal on an empty vehicle and a loaded vehicle isn’t the same. Heavy vehicles achieve a much bigger momentum at the same speed, which is why they need higher braking force to come to a halt. As Duramax diesel trucks are capable of hauling heavy payloads, they require strong braking power to safely drive the truck in different conditions.

The stock brakes may be fine, but the problems occur when you try to find aftermarket brakes to replace the OEM parts. We reviewed some popular aftermarket brakes to help you find the best brakes for Duramax diesel.

Along with the best brake, you will also find brake maintenance and inspection guides. Let’s get started.

The 4 Best Brakes for Duramax Diesel In Terms Of Quality & Performance

We reviewed the top 4 brakes for the Duramax diesel engine system in your car. Take a closer look at them to pick the best brake for a quick and successful stop every time.

1. ACDelco Silver 14D784CH Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set

As Duramax engines are very powerful, breaking your heavy or medium pickups will require a strong braking force. The ACDelco Silver brake pad set will handle the sheer frictional force coming from the rims and bring them to a complete stop within an effective range.

This is the most important feature of this ceramic brake pad set designed for front discs. The ceramic brake pads are designed with high precision to withstand extreme conditions. It has narrow channels on the pad to dissipate the heat generated during the braking process.

Besides giving an excellent braking performance, these pads will also reduce the amount of jerking when you brake a Duramax diesel engine. With less braking harshness, you will have a smoother driving experience with these pads.

These ceramic pads have a semi-metallic finish to look exotic when fitted. Large calipers will be seen from the outside, making the tires look even stronger. And the set comes ready to use, so you don’t need to cure or machine the pads.

This exact model is compatible with many different pickups from several brands. The wide compatibility makes this brake pad set a popular choice among motorists. Due to the efficient design of the pads, they will deliver a noise-free braking experience regardless of the terrain.

These brake pads will replace OEM pads on your truck. As this is a component where you can’t compromise, you should definitely go for the best brakes for Duramax diesel.

Highlighted Features:

  • Meets all necessary safety standard to be a great choice for your trucks
  • High-grip zinc-coated plates to be rust and corrosion resistant
  • Better heat dissipation due to the efficient channel design
  • Easily replaceable with OEM parts
  • Fits multiple vehicles to reduce the hassle
  • Great braking performance with low noise and vibration

2. Power Stop K2073-36 Z36 Truck & Tow Front and Rear Brake Kit

The last item you saw was just a brake pad set. But this one is a complete kit, including the rotors and brake pads for both front and rear wheels. With this kit on, your heavy towing truck will have amazing stopping capability even on the worst terrains.

Due to the carbon fiber ceramic build of the brake pads, they are more resistant to heat than ordinary brakes. As a result, you will get extreme braking performance even when you need to use those pads repeatedly. Bringing your truck to a stop will only be a silly test for these pads.

The brake rotors are designed to efficiently dissipate heat to keep the kit cooler in extreme conditions. They have a slotted and plated design for better airflow, hence better cooling. This increases the braking power and efficiency of the kit to make it a suitable choice when going on a long trip or off the road.

As your towing trucks always demand more braking power under heavy load, this brake kit will be a good fit to keep you safe. These come for both front and rear tires, so you will have the same performance on all wheels. This will ensure a balanced braking performance every time you press the brake pedal.

Pin bushings with a new design and brake lubricant are also available with the package. And you can get relief from those dusty or noise brakes with this kit.

Highlighted Features:

  • A slotted rotor design ensures optimum cooling for better performance
  • Carbon-fiber ceramic brake pads for ultimate braking in any conditions
  • Simple installation with OEM replacement
  • Zero-dust braking with no noise and vibration
  • Added braking power with less corrosion
  • Extremely heat resistant braking pads

3. Detroit Axle 12.8” Front Drilled & Slotted Disc Rotors + Brake Pads

This heavy-duty kit comes with all necessary equipment to keep your truck out of danger when an emergency braking is required. You get a complete set of disc rotors and brake pads to make your vehicle perform better in extreme conditions.

The disc rotors are 12.8 inches in diameter and made of highly durable material to withstand anything the world throws at them. These Duramax rotors are designed with drilled holes and slots on the disc for better heat dissipation. As a result, the rotors won’t be too hot even when you use the maximum braking force frequently.

You will get brake pads for the front wheels in this package. These ceramic brake pads are top-notch, considering the durability of the material and efficient design to perform without issues. The chances of damage are low even under heavy impact.

One more important thing to mention here is the fatigue resistance of the disc rotors and brake pads. As these components don’t exceed the optimum temperature level, their fatigue level remains low compared to other brake kits. And this kit comes with a 10-year warranty to keep you relaxed.

You also get brake cleaner and brake fluid in this kit to keep your vehicle’s braking system up and running for years. Under proper maintenance, these high-quality brakes will last for a long time and ensure your truck stops within a safe distance in any conditions.

Highlighted Features:

  • Durable metal rotors with drilled holes and slots on the surface
  • Better heat dissipation keeps the rotors and pads cooler
  • A slower fatigue cycle keeps the brake kit from getting brittle
  • High-performance brake kit to replace the OEM parts
  • Comes with brake cleaner and brake lubes
  • Suitable for a variety of truck models

4. Bosch BSD784 SevereDuty Disc Brake Pad

Bosch is a reliable name in the automotive parts industry. You will find some of the best components on earth in the product lineup of this brand. This brake pad set is no different than the bigger picture. You get these finest quality brake pads to use on your Duramax diesel trucks.

The first thing you will notice after installing the brake pads is the braking performance. Your truck will be a lot more responsive when it comes to braking after you install these SevereDuty ceramic pads.

Look at the metal part of the brake pads! They are so solid and durable to last on your Duramax diesel trucks for a long time. And the ceramic part of the pad is highly corrosion resistant. There is a single channel slot on the pad to let the generated heat go out and keep the brake pad cooler for optimum performance.

These pads are wear-resistant. So, they will need less maintenance compared to other brake pads. And you can operate your truck longer with these brake pads on by reducing the hassle of maintenance. You have the option to choose from a variety of compositions such as semi-metallic, ceramic, quiet cast, etc.

As the latest friction technology is used in these brake pads, the braking noise will be a minimum. You can enjoy dust-free braking with these pads. All necessary hardware and brake lubes are included in the package so that you can easily replace OEM parts.

Highlighted Features:

  • Great braking performance regardless of the payload
  • These pads don’t heat up even after constant braking
  • Semi-metallic build for less corrosion
  • Highly durable pads designed with slots and chamfers
  • Fits a wide variety of Duramax diesel vehicles
  • Rigorously tested to ensure smooth performance

Things To Consider Before Buying Duramax Brakes

Duramax Brakes

As soon as the engine power increases, your vehicle starts requiring a strong brake to counter the force. An effective braking system is crucial for heavy vehicles like SUVs or trucks. We will help you choose the best brake pads for Duramax diesel trucks in this section. Make sure you follow along.

Brake Type

Different types of brakes are available for heavy vehicles. But as Duramax engines are quite powerful and usually haul heavy payloads, a disc braking system will be the most suitable. If your vehicle already has a disc braking system, you must buy a disc brake kit to comply with the system.

These kits commonly include disc rotors and brake pads. A good set of rotors and pads will last a long time, and make sure your vehicle stops where needed.


Brakes for Duramax diesel can be of different types, such as metallic, semi-metallic, ceramic, etc. Though metallic brakes are very strong and durable, they are often prone to heating. When you frequently use the brake, those metal parts quickly get heated, which reduces the braking power.

The braking system might also fail in such cases. Ceramic brakes are more heat-resistant than metallic brakes. As a result, they retain the braking power in extreme conditions even if you constantly use the brake.

And the chance of deformed brakes is also low in the case of ceramic brakes. They are also highly rust and corrosion resistant to make the brakes more durable.


Though brake kits aren’t usually seen that much from the outside, the design of these kits is very important. An efficiently designed braking system will ensure maximum safety for yourself and your vehicle.

Such braking discs and pads are usually chamfered to make them more sustainable under extreme conditions. The heat dissipation rate should be high so that the brake components don’t heat up while braking frequently.

Drilled holes and slots on the rotors and pads will keep these components cool even after constant use. This increases the service life of the brake components and keeps your vehicle in working condition.


Brakes aren’t like some luxury components you use to bring aesthetics to your vehicle. They need to fit your truck to the closest millimeter so that there is no error in the braking system. As most of these aftermarket brake kits are used to replace OEM parts, they need to be of exactly the same dimension as the OEM parts.

So, you need to check the specification of the braking system of your truck before you buy a new one. It is crucial to buy a brake kit of the same specifications so that it fits your Duramax vehicle correctly.

Special Features

Though the primary task of all braking kits is to bring your heavy vehicle to a complete halt, they should also be convenient to use. Braking noise is a significant issue for aftermarket braking kits.

You need to buy a kit that doesn’t create harsh noise when you push the brake pedal. The braking should be smooth and quiet to give you an enjoyable driving experience.

A precision build is also crucial for Duramax brakes. The brake pads should maintain the right gap from the disc so that the pads don’t get eroded too fast.


Only having the disc rotors and brake pads isn’t enough when you drive a heavy vehicle. You need to maintain the braking system regularly to get the best performance from it. This is why a cleaning kit and brake lube are essential to have with your braking kit.

Some braking kits on the market lack these accessories. If you buy them, you need to invest in these accessories separately. So, it is better to choose a brake kit that contains all the necessary accessories. It also reduces the hassle of finding those accessories. Make sure you have the right kit.

How to Maintain Your Duramax Brakes?

How to Maintain Your Duramax Brakes

Just getting a good Duramax brake for your vehicle isn’t enough. As you are operating the vehicle under various conditions, the braking system will need regular maintenance to be pristine. Here will be a detailed guide on how to maintain your Duramax brakes.

Drive with Care

Remember, the best maintenance is using the brake with the utmost care. You might need to hardly hit the brake sometimes to avoid emergencies. But this isn’t the case all the time. When your vehicle can come to a rolling stop, don’t slam the brake pedal to the floor.

Using the full braking force even when not necessary will damage brake components. To avoid frequent replacements, you need to use the braking system gently.

Read the Manufacturer’s Instruction

You need to rely on the manual provided by the manufacturer to take the right care of the braking system. Go through the manual and check when your Duramax brakes should be inspected. Also, check the recommended use of lubes and the cleaning frequency to keep the brakes in top shape.

Pay Heed to the Braking Sound

Keeping your ears open while driving is extremely important. The slightest change in the sound when you brake the vehicle can tell a lot about the condition of the braking system.

You might hear a hissing sound from the wheels while braking. It is usually caused due to the scarcity of brake fluid. Other sounds like squeaking or grinding are symptoms of issues like brake pad decay or rotor decay.

In such cases, you need to take your vehicle to a certified technician to give the braking system a thorough check. It might be the time to replace your brake parts if necessary.

Check Brake Sensors

In modern vehicles, a lot of sensors are fitted in different components to get real-time data about various issues. As the braking system is a crucial component of any vehicle, you might have some sensors in your vehicle’s braking system.

They will continuously monitor the system and provide you with the right information about issues. In most cases, a computer processes the data recorded by the sensors and shows them as signals on the dashboard.

So, you should be aware of the warning signs of your vehicle. For example, it may show a message like ‘Brake Pads Need to be Replaced’ on the dashboard or just a simple icon of damaged brake pads. You can instantly recognize the issue if you are accustomed to these messages.

Run Regular Inspections

Even if your Duramax brakes aren’t having any issues, it is a good practice to inspect the system every once in a while. Make a schedule for inspections and take your vehicle to a certified technician to thoroughly check the braking system.

This might include checking the brake fluid level, brake cleaning, etc. In case you want to do it yourself, We will also guide you on how to inspect Duramax brakes. Check the next section for this.

How to Inspect Duramax Brakes?

how to inspect duramax brakes

Inspecting your Duramax brakes isn’t that difficult if you know where to look and how to look. We tried to give you a brief guide on how you can inspect Duramax brakes at home. Here you go.

1. Remove the Wheels

Firstly, you need to jack up the vehicle to remove the wheels. Do this one wheel at a time so that you don’t need to jack up the whole vehicle. By now, the brake disc or rotor will be exposed. But some of its areas will be blocked by the brake calipers.

2. Inspect the Disc

You don’t need to remove the brake calipers if you are doing the inspection alone. Run your eyes on the disc for rust, scores, or wear. If you see a crack formation on the disc that resembles a spider web, there is nothing to worry about. Finding grooves is also common, but they shouldn’t be deeper than 1.5mm. If you see cracks across the rotor, you need to contact expert technicians to determine the possible solution.

3. Inspect the Calipers

Don’t do a brake inspection right after stopping your vehicle. The braking components will be very hot in this period. Give them some time to cool down completely, and then run the inspection.

Shake the calipers gently to find if they are fitted snugly. Loose calipers may cause poor braking performance.

4. Inspect the Brake Pads

You will find an inspection hole on the calipers. Take a look at the brake pads through this hole to check their conditions. If you find the brake pad lining is too thinner than usual, the pad might need to be replaced.

And if the lining is completely worn, you might also need to replace the rotors.

5. Rotate Tires

It is a good practice to rotate tires after every inspection. This ensures balanced wear of your tires and braking components.

Quick Tips to Keep Duramax Brakes Fully Functioning

If you aren’t using Duramax brakes in the way they should, the brakes might not perform as desired after some time. To keep Duramax brakes fully functioning, follow these tips from experts.

how to maintain a duramax diesel brake system
  • Only an experienced and certified technician should replace the brake components. As the precision in mounting brake kits is crucial, don’t do it yourself.
  • You should always be aware of the average service life of brake components. Ignorant truck owners might cause the worn components to damage other parts.
  • Only use suggested parts by the manufacturer. Uncertified third-party parts might affect the performance of your vehicle, which can be costly to repair.
  • Maintain a regular service routine based on how your vehicle is used. Personal vehicles usually need less maintenance than commercially used vehicles.
  • Make sure the brake components are clean, well-lubricated, and free from rust or wear. Worn brake components might result in inefficient braking or even accidents. So, keep an eye on the condition of the parts.

Duramax Brake Problems & Solution

duramax brake problems

When driving a Duramax vehicle, you might face several issues with the braking system. We compiled some of the most common brake problems and provided their remedies in this section. Go through it and check whether you face the same problem as well.

Low Brake Fluid

This is a common and serious problem for Duramax brakes. As the braking system is operated with the help of brake fluid, a lower brake fluid level means the system won’t work efficiently.

This can happen if the system has a leak somewhere. You might see the brake warning light on the dashboard if this happens. Some vehicles even have sensors in the master brake fluid cylinder to indicate the level.

Solution: You need to check different brake components, such as calipers, master cylinder, hoses, etc., for any leaks. Also, check the brake pads for signs of wear. Once the leak is found, replace the part immediately.

Brakes Jerking

This can happen if any oil or brake fluid reaches the brake pads. Due to the slippery surface, brake pads will lose the frictional force and won’t grab the disc for some time. They can get the hold back the next moment. If this happens continuously, you will feel jerking when you press the brake pedal.

Deeply scored discs can also cause this jerking.

Solution: Check the components for any oil or fluid leak and scores. If any part is leaked, replace it. If the disc is scored, resurface it with the help of a technician.

Jammed or Dragged Brakes

If the caliper piston gets jammed or eroded, the retracting mechanism might not work properly. As a result, the brake pads stick to the disc even after you release the brake pedal. It is one of the main reasons behind the worn brake pads.

Solution: Check the caliper piston for faults. If you find a jammed or eroded piston, replace it and tune the braking components again.

Brake Pull

This problem can cause your Duramax vehicle to slip in some cases. Brake pull refers to uneven braking where you might have faulty brakes on one of your front wheels. As a result, the vehicle might pull to one side when you press the brake pedal. Any of the previously mentioned reasons can cause this.

Solution: You should check the front brakes for any faults or leaks. If necessary, faulty parts should be replaced with new ones to solve the problem.

Brake Noise

Though this is commonly tolerable to truck owners, you might want to keep your vehicle in top condition. Brake noise comes from the friction between metal pads and metal rotors.

The character of the noise may vary depending on the level of wear on the brake pads. If the brake pads are worn out too much, the friction of the metal part with the rotors will create a grinding noise.

Solution: Using semi-metallic or ceramic brake pads will help you reduce the brake noise. If the rotor is scored, you need to replace that to get rid of unwanted noise.

People Also Asks

Do you still have some confusion? Check the following section to get answers to some commonly asked questions about Duramax brakes.

What type of brake pads have the best stopping power for Duramax diesel?

As ceramic brake pads have high stopping power, they will be the most suitable for Duramax diesel vehicles. They will also remain cooler and quieter during operation.

What would cause a brake pedal to go to the floor?

If the brake pedal reaches the floor, it means your brake fluid level is lower than the standard. Or, if the air reaches the brake line, it can also cause the brake pedal to go to the floor.

Why are my Duramax brakes still spongy after bleeding?

The main reason behind a spongy brake pedal is the intrusion of air into the brake line. If the pedal is still spongy after bleeding, you might need to replace the brake fluid.

Why do my brakes have no pressure?

Though the brake pressure level depends on several factors, the brake pressure can fall if there is any leak in the braking system.

How do you increase brake pressure?

You can do it in two ways. Increasing the pedal ratio will increase brake pressure. But it will also increase the travel distance of the pedal. You can also decrease the diameter of the master cylinder to increase brake pressure.

Final Words

Stopping heavy vehicles like SUVs and trucks is quite challenging. They need a strong braking force to reduce the effective stopping distance. If you are up to replacing the stock brake because it is worn or simply it doesn’t perform up to the mark, we showed the best alternatives.

This review covered some of the best brakes for Duramax diesel so that you can replace your OEM parts. These brakes will ensure you get the maximum braking performance without much noise and vibration. They are also very durable to serve you for years.

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