Brake Pad Options for an Aston Martin DB9 or Vantage

Time for new Brake Pads on my DB9

One of the few parts on an Aston Martin that we actually have some aftermarket parts available for are the Brake Pads.   The Brakes on a DB9 are actually made by Brembo, and they were fitted to more cars than the DB9 and Vantage.  They are on the Corvette ZR1, Dodge Viper, Ford GT, Camero SS, Subaru STI and more.  Basically these were the cream of the crop performance cars of the era, and fast company.

Because the Brembo design was used in larger volumes than we are used to with our limited production Aston Martins, many third party companies make brake pads.   I wanted to outline your options below so when it comes time to service your brakes you can choose a set of pads that best suits your needs.

Carbon Ceramic Brakes

Note:  This article is discussing the Steel Brembo brakes.  Aston offered an optional set of mighty Carbon Ceramic brakes.   Those brakes have their own parts and procedures (and I am not covering them here).   My car isn’t fitted with them.  If someone wants to donate a set to convert my car, I’d happily do a set of articles in return!

I am also not including the separate hand brake pads here.  You won’t need to change these very often.

Below is a list of the brake pads I have some experience with on my car (a 2005 DB9 Coupe with 4 piston calipers front and rear).  I’ve only driven so many miles, and tried out three brands, so please don’t be insulted if I haven’t included your favorite.  In fact, please leave me a comment down below with your experiences so we can share it with everyone.

Aston Martin OEM Brake Pads (made by Pagid)

Even though the brake system was designed by Brembo, the original brake pads fitted to the car were made by Pagid.   Aston Martin takes them and packages them up in their part numbers.

My experience with the OEM pads were that they were TERRIBLY dusty.  I would spend the time detailing my rims, and drive exactly 1.6 miles of city traffic to work in the morning.  When I arrived I could write my name in the brake dust on the wheels.  This sucked.

The good side of these brake pads is they are relatively ‘soft’ compared to the other options I will talk about below.  This means they are less likely to squeal.  The biggest complaint with aftermarket pads is that they can lead to squealing.  The OEM pads are your best bet for quiet performance, but at the cost of all the brake dust.

Price wise, these pads are RIDICULOUSLY expensive.  It’s nearly $800 USD for a full set of Front and Rear pads.  I can buy brake pads for my son’s 2005 Mini Cooper S for about $100 USD total.

As far as I can tell the same Aston Martin part number covers the brake pads for the DB9 from 2004 through 2016 at least.  You should verify for yourself before purchasing.   For my 2005 DB9:

The Pagid brake pads have their own official Aston Martin recommended bedding in procedure that I have written up in this article.

Porterfield R4-S Brake Pads

Toasted my OEM brake pads during a track day. Time for a new set of Porterfields.

At my first Aston Martin Track Day back in 2014 I was chatting with another owner and lamenting the brake dust issue.  He pointed me at the Porterfield Enterprise brake pads.  Massively less dust at half the price of the OEM pads.

The Porterfield R4-S is a ‘Street Compound’ high performance brake pad.  Porterfield makes real race car brakes, and this is a slightly software compound modified to work better on street cars like our Aston Martins.

After that Track Day I managed to finish off my 10 year old OEM brakes, and it was my chance to try a set of Porterfields.  I fitted a new set front and rear along with new rotors.   I was VERY pleased with the results.  Just a fraction of the brake dust at only half the cost (about $350 USD for a set of front and rears).

The Porterfield Brake Pads have their own unique bedding in procedure which you can read about in this article.

EBC Red Stuff Brake Pads

When it came time to replace my first set of Porterfield pads (after about 20,000 miles and 4 years), I looked around to check out another brand of pads.   Reviewing the Forums I’d seen a few other owners talk about EBC Red Stuff brake pads.   Like Porterfield, EBC makes racing brake pads.  Their models of pads are defined by colors like Red, Yellow, Green, etc.   Red is the performance street pad.   Yellow is a harder Racing pad.  If you are a fan of products made in the UK, all the EBC pads are made in the UK.

I found that you can actually find the EBC Red Stuff pads on   The prices were nearly half again of the Porterfields, getting into the realm of regular car prices (about $200 USD for a set of front and rears).  I enthusiastically ordered a set.

My car fitted with new EBC Red Stuff pads

I fitted the new pads front and rear along with new rotors.  Then I made a big mistake.  I didn’t do any research, and I just followed the Aston Martin brake bedding in procedure designed for the OEM Pagid pads.   This is in fact 100% the opposite of the EBC recommended procedure (which you can read about here in this article I wrote up once I got wise).    As a result, I think I glazed my new rotors and pads, and they squealed ferociously.  So much so I gave up after a month or so and purchased another set of Porterfield pads.  I wrote a scathing article about the EBC Red Stuff pads, but now I think I might have been the cause of the squealing.  To be fair, I should give them another shot, this time bedding them in properly.  If you give them a shot, please leave a comment down below on how they worked for you.

Other Brands

There are some other brands I know make pads for the Aston Martin DB9, but I have first hand experience with.   If you have used some of these pads, please share your experience in the comment section down below.   If you are a company that makes pads for the DB9 and want to donate a set of front and rears for me to test, please contact me.

  • Hawk HPS
  • EBC Yellow Stuff
  • Stoptech

Another Opinion

Richard Seidlitz that runs the has also written up his insight on brake pads for his Vantage (which uses the same brakes).   Check out his blog post here.  This is also where you can buy your pads, rotors and other bits from someone located right here in the USA.

Changing Your Brake Rotors Too?

If you are also looking at replacing your Brake rotors, I’ve done some similar research and write up in another article (check it out here).


21 thoughts on “Brake Pad Options for an Aston Martin DB9 or Vantage

  1. Gary Knox

    I have used the EBC red stuff pads on several different cars, most with Brembo calipers and OE, Brembo, or Zimmerman rotors. I’ve never had any squealing experience with them. With that background, I recently bought a full set for my ‘new to me’ ’09 Aston DB9 Volante. I bought the set from JCWhitney via eBay. Total cost was about 170 USD. I’ll be installing them over the winter (pads currently on the car are good, but very dusty as you noted). I’ll report back in the spring after driving for a 1K miles or so.



    1. Gary F Knox

      Actually, I did not install the new Red Stuff EBC pads. When I removed the wheels to do so, I found the car already had the Red Stuff pads, and they are only about 1/3 worn. There was/is absolutely no noise from them, so they’ll be on the car for several thousand more street miles. I think you are correct about the altered brake in approach being the cause of the noise you experienced.


      1. Mark Wm. Becker

        So the EBC Red pads are the ones that are very dusty? The factory pads are horrible. Steve which pads have less dust, EBC Red or the Porterfields?


      2. Gary Knox

        I can’t really make a judgment on that, as I’ve never used Porterfields on a street car. I did use them on a track Porsche, and found they were good there.


    1. The Back brakes have the main set of pads in the large caliper, and then the smaller Parking Brake set of pads in the rear most caliper. Typically the park brake pads don’t need replaced unless the park brake has been left on while driving, etc.


  2. Fabien Faure

    Hi Steve,
    As you mentioned, there are many other pads options out there. One option being to use the pads from the Original calipers manufacturer, Brembo (P02 001, P02 002, P02 003). Being located in Europe, Brembo is quite common here. I was wondering if your ever heard any good about those compounds (wearing, Squeaking … ) ?


    1. Hi Fabien. Excellent point. Brembo branded parts are hard to track down in the US. I had a look today and can’t find anyone in the US carrying them. I think they would probably be a fine choice in the UK where they seem to be widely available. If you know of a US supplier for them, please let me know.


  3. Ewald

    Hi Steve. Hope you are well.
    Just wanted to offer some info:
    I wanted to order the EBC Redstuff pads directly from EBC. When I used the type selector on their website, they do not list the Redstuff for the DB9 (only track/race pads and Yellowstuff for road use). They do still have the Redstuff pads (the part nrs you have listed) so I gave them a call to ask why they do not recommend them for the DB9.
    The sales guy who spoke to me told me they do not recommend the Redstuff for performance cars, they are meant for heavier (and slower) vehicles like higher powered SUV’s. Instead the pad they recommend the DB9 is the Yellowstuff (Front DP41908R, Rear DP41909R)
    He did say that the Redstuff pads may be a little less dusty, but from a performance and noise point of view the Yellowstuff are superior.
    I don’t mean to second guess your experience, just thought I’d share the info here.

    Love your blog, you are inspiring me to do way more maintenance myself on my DB9 that I wouldn’t have have trusted myself to do otherwise. Thanks!


    1. Hi Ewald. I am not the know all expert, I am just sponging up great information like you’ve just shared. Thanks for contacting them for details and taking the time to share them here. Interesting that they have changed the options for DB9. As you saw, I was under impressed by the Reds, and have stuck with Porterfields. Let me know how the yellows work out, squeal and dust wise.


      1. John

        The Yellows work just fantastic Steve! They are never tired!Superb braking!

        But don’t get me started with the bedding in procedure…It is unbearable!With new Brembo rotors, there is still scratching from the bedding in material when I turn fully right after 1000 miles!

        This just shows that these pads are really longlife but terrible dust wise.


  4. STUART copeland

    Just got quoted 550 GBP to change my front pads by my independent….. i will be doing it myself along with many many more jobs myself now.


  5. James Murdoch III

    I bought their brake pads for my AM DB9. Over 1000 miles. Broken in properly. I’m taking them off and throwing away. They still take away my hearing.


  6. Jay Dot

    Hey Steve, I have a 2020 vantage. I was looking to replace the rear brakes due to wear but also they would squeak constantly. Ant aftermarket suggestions?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.