Best Brake Pads for Honda: Accord, CRV, Civic

by | Auto Tools, Best Of (Cars), Japanese Cars

It takes thousands upon thousands of miles, but brake pads do wear out. We’d live in a perfect world if they didn’t.

The big question when the time for replacement comes is:

What are the best brake pads (and rotors) for your Honda? And does it matter if it’s an Accord, CRV or Civic?

Now, the easiest thing you could do is to just grab a set of OEM Honda brakes.

But I don’t think that’s the most optimal choice, to be honest. Honda does a lot of stuff right, but their OE brakes and rotors are mediocre to just okay. At higher speeds on the highway, they can be pretty bad even.

For the same price, you can actually do better with several reliable aftermarket brands.

My top recommendation would be these Akebono ProAct pads. Best stopping power, consistent pedal feel and low wear and tear on the rotors. This front pair fits:

  • Honda Accord 2003-2012, as well as 2014-2017

  • Honda CR-V 2002-2006, 2012-2016

  • Honda Civic 2013-2018

They also fit Pilot models from 2003 to 2008.

Lorem Ipsum Lorem Ipsum
Akebono ProAct
  • Premium ceramic manufacture, made in the US.
  • Great stopping power, pad bites as it should.
  • Low wear and tear on the rotors for optimal longevity.
Check Price & Reviews

The rears differ a bit. I’ll get to them in my review later, but let’s see what other choices you have.

You can also get Wagner’s ThermoQuiet brakes. They have less bite than Akebono, and do achieve very quiet braking. Performance-wise, though, they’re weaker.

Finally, you can also take a look at Bosch QuietCast (check prices & fit). Once again these are ceramic brake pads that focus on silent operation. Bosch pads are a very good OEM replacement, but their fade resistance is less than Wagner.

Both of these brands are great runner-ups, but Honda owners with Akebono brakes seem to be the most satisfied crowd.

Brake pads installation:
To DIY or not?

I myself like small DIY projects, and quite a few people around me are tinkerers themselves.

Some other car replacement tasks can be tough as hell, but I believe brake pads involve a rather simple replacement process. An hour or two of your time can save you upwards of $200 easily.

What I recommend you to do is follow some YouTube tutorials. This video is pretty nice – this guy changes the OE brake pads on his Honda CR-V with Akebonos:

Pretty good, huh? If you don’t feel like it, you can always leave it to a professional technician.

Alright, let’s head to the actual brake pad reviews for Honda Civic, CR-V and Accord.

Best brake pads for Honda Accord / CR-V / Civic:
Akebono ProAct Kit

Best brake pads for Honda Accord, CR-V or Civic: I think it's Akebonos, for this particular reason

Important note: The front brake pads (this kit) fit most Honda applications. However, the rears are trickier:

Performance-wise, similarly priced brands simply can’t compare with Akebono.

Why?

Several factors. First, ProAct pads have greatly improved initial effectiveness, which means you don’t need any break-in tinkering. Especially for beginners, this will be a godsent in the installation and performance from the get-go.

Above all, though, these have just the right bite and stopping power. Clean, accurate, reliable – that’s how I would describe them. You get a consistent brake pedal feel.

They aren’t as quiet as Wagner ThermoQuiets, but they aren’t as squeaky as a lot of other pads either. What they focus more on is lower dusting and less wear and tear on the rotors.

All-around, these are a great OEM replacement with improved performance. The only bigger drawback is that unlike Bosch or Wagner, they don’t come with installation hardware included.

If you need to supplement them with a new rotor, go for this Centric rotor. Unlike other brands, Akebono strictly focus on brake pads. You’ll need another brand to supplement their US-made brakes.

Oh, I forgot to say – they also fit Honda Element, 2003 to 2011 models.

Runner-up brake pads for Honda Accord & Civic:
Wagner ThermoQuiet QC537

Wagner ThermoQuiet is a good replacement brake and rotor set for Honda cars like the 2003-2017 Accord, or 2006 CR-V.

Important note: These rear pads fit Accord models 1991-2017 and Civics from 2002-2015. This is the QC914 part which fits most Honda Accords, some Civic and some CR-V models.

Wagner is trickier with front brake pad fitments, so use Amazon’s (or any other store’s) vehicle fitment to double-check.

What can I say about this instant classic?

TQs might have less initial bite, but they specialize in ridiculously reduced fading, quiet operation, and low dusting. If you like casual rides around the city, these would be the perfect sidekick to your commuting.

If you want a sportier performance, or highway speeds – Akebono is a more suitable pick.

These pads are made of ceramic material. Their unique design perk is the backing plate and insulator being molded into one single component. As I’ve written in my Wagner pads review, this shoots them up as an integral, sturdy brake pad that will last you for a long, long time.

Unlike Akebono, Wagner manufacture their own brake rotors.

If you need to change your Honda discs too, you can check this rotor. It fits right in with the TQ brake pads.

Most popular brake pads replacement for Honda:
Bosch QuietCast products

Bosch QuietCasts - this set is quite decent as an OEM brake pad replacement for Honda Accord or Pilot.

Without a doubt, the QuietCast line is a favorite of most casual Honda owners.

So why didn’t I recommend them as the first choice?

Because being the most popular doesn’t equal being the best choice. I’ve praised Bosch brakes enough – in fact, I do recommend them the most for Nissan vehicles.

However, Honda cars are different, as are their performance requirements.

Still, Bosch QuietCast brake pads are a great, budget-friendly pick. They feature very OEM-like manufacture, from the shims to the insulator:

These run quiet, definitely quieter than Akebono. A very good benefit here is that you actually get all the hardware and lubrication stuff included in the brake pad kit.

A small note: Keep the metal clips off your previous brake pads, because this kit doesn’t have them.

Performance-wise, they’re decent. Similar to TQs or a lot of the usual OEM replacement suspects. They have nothing on ProAct’s stopping power and highway driving perks, though.

Another of Bosch’s benefits is how smooth the interaction between their pads and rotors is. The rotors themselves are nothing spectacular, but this synergy between the two manufacture lines makes them worth it. Way different than their spark plugs, which I don’t recommend as a Honda plug replacement.

Concluding words

I’m always on the lookout for feedback. Please let me know what kind of pads did you use on your Honda, and what are your impressions.

It’s completely possible that I’ve overlooked some equally great brands. Hawk comes to mind, as well as Brembo – but they’re for the sportsier Honda applications.

If you’re looking for OEM replacements, you can also take a look at my review of Honda shocks/struts picks.

Founder of ToolingFun. Couldn't even change a lightbulb in my teenage years. Discovered the joy of DIY projects during my 2nd year in college. All about tinkering around, trying fun tools and projects, and giving my opinion on industry brands!