Best Brake Pads & Rotors for Nissan Altima (and Quest)

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I know that some people like Nissan for their SUVs like Murano or Pathfinder. However, for me the Altima has always been a true classic and one of the best sedans out there.

Sedan or SUV, when your brake pads get all rusty and lose their bite, it’s time for a change.

What would be the best brake pads and rotors for Nissan Altima, though?

There are plenty of options – Akebono, Stoptech, even ACDelco…

Personally though, I think the most optimal and close to OEM setups are exactly two – Bosch QuietCast and Wagner QuickStop (check prices). Let’s look at them one by one.

The Bosch works fine for Nissan Quest too.

Bosch Altima Rotor

Bosch QuietCast Rotor

Great complement to the QuietCast brake pads for your Nissan Altima.

 

First option:
Going for a full Bosch QuietCast setup

This would be my top recommendation. This also works well as a brake pad configuration for 2004-2017 Nissan Quest models too.

Here are the rear pads that fit 2002-2017 Altima. Fronts are trickier – this kit is for 2013-2017 Altima, shop around for earlier models.

Follow up with QuietCast rotors if your rotors have also gone kaput. Here’s the right one that covers Altima models from 2002 to 2016 for your convenience.

Bosch Altima Rotor

Bosch QuietCast Rotor

Great complement to the QuietCast brake pads for your Nissan Altima.

 

Why QuietCast?

First, surprising as it might be, Bosch are actually the OEM manufacturer for a lot of Japanese vehicles. The Altima performance isn’t an exception here, they’ll fit right in.

Second, these are manufactured with a multilayer shim (the core is rubber). The shim is OE style, with the multiple layers taking care of noise insulation, as well as providing improved durability.

Exceptional performance

One great feature to note about these replacement brake rotors is the clear and fine coating; It adds to the looks of your open-wheel. In addition, the aluminum and zinc coats protect your rotor from corrosion: a great asset in winter when roads are spread with rock salt.

The rotor kit features an OEM vane design for quality heat dissipation. The vane reduces noisy vibration and prolongs the rotor’s life. Additionally, the brake rotors are 100% accuracy balanced for pulsation-free operation.

Another feature is the excellent G3000 castings that enhance consistent wear. The uniform wear in combination with the coating gives you a durable rotor.

Replacing rotors can sometimes be challenging, especially when you can not identify which rotor belongs. This brake rotor is factory engraved for easy identification.
These rotors give you an effective, long-lasting brake service; use them for your brake rotor replacement.

Bosch Premium Brake Pad

The protect

The best thing is that these not only stay quiet – they also remain cool due to their ceramic material. Also, the ceramic pads create a protective layer against brake fade.

The chemical composition of the transfer layer protects the pad and rotor from wear and tear, extending the pad’s durability. If you are looking for something long-lasting, then this is it.

Why Ceramic material?

Compared to organic brake pads, Ceramic material can withstand extreme weather conditions. One downside, however, is that ceramic brake pads do not press on rotors as firm as required. Steel is combined with a ceramic material to counteract this effect to form a semi-metallic brake pad.

Slots and chamfers

This type of brake pad features slots and chamfers that add to the quality of the brake pads. They are optimized for great fit and exceptional performance.

Additionally, a pad set comes with pre-installed wear and tear indicator. This will tell you when to replace your brake pads

Copper Free!

Another notable feature about this set is how they are environmentally friendly. Added to their noise free operation, it adopts ceramic and semi-metallic brake pad materials that adhere to 2025 copper-free legislation.

I won’t lie – the price is quite attractive too, as well as the fact that you get the whole hardware you’ll need to install them. Inside the box are a hardware kit and synthetic lubricant. With the hardware kit, brake pad installation is made easy; you can do it alone at ease. The lubricant contained in the box is enough for a whole brake job. A lot of other brake pad kits require you to shell out a bit more cash for lubricants and whatnot.

If you live in colder climates with a salty environment, ensure you remove existing metal clips while installing the brake pads to prevent excessive corrosion. You would want to double-check to ensure the pads work smoothly without any performance issues.

The conclusion is clear. This is the most price-sensible, well-performing setup for your Altima. For sedan cars, the QuietCast pads are fantastic. Something I already covered in-depth in my review of the product line.

The only drawback associated with this type of brake pads is that when compared to organic brake pads, they are harder on the braking system.

Here is an overview of the pros of Quite Cast

Pros

  • Free from brake dust
  • Quiet performance
  • Affordable cost
  • Lasting quality
  • Corrosion resistant

Cons

Harder on brake components compared to organic brake pads

Second best Nissan Altima brake pads & rotors:
Wagner QuickStop

Modern vehicles are no stranger to Wagner, one of the brands with the most diverse brake pad technology.

One of the brake pads to look out for is the Wagner Quick stop brake pad set. They are designed for even performance throughout the life of the pad. Even with daily driving, the pads give uniform brake application.

Also, the ceramic disc brake pads come at an affordable cost. If you compare it to Bosch and cost is a factor, then Wagner is your best shot.

If you want something that emphasizes on stopping power, a QuickStop brake pads setup is your new best friend.

What’s the deal with them? Why are they better when it comes to stopping?

Look closely at their pads:

What you see here is friction material spread all over the OEM-style pad. Paired with a 100% post-cured process, instead of simple scorching, this translates to improved stopping performance.

This type of brake pad restores like-new condition. They adopt an OE design known for factory-like quality and braking performance. 

These will not be as quiet as the Bosch alternative. They might squeak from time to time. However, if you value snappier brake bites, you’ll be more than satisfied.

The brake pad set comes with lubricant and stainless steel hardware required to install it. Once again, you get the lubricant with the pads themselves. Saves a bit of money, which is always welcome, right? In addition, the hardware tools make your brake pad replacement easy. You can do it on your own for affordable brake repair.

Wagner QS For Altima

What you see here is friction material spread all over the OEM-style pad. Paired with a 100% post-cured process, instead of simple scorching, this translates to improved stopping performance.

These will not be as quiet as the Bosch alternative. They might squeak from time to time. However, if you value snappier brake bites, you’ll be more than satisfied.

Once again, you get the lubricant with the pads themselves. Saves a bit of money, which is always welcome, right?

As far as rotors go, Wagner have a factory replacement rotor for Altima models too.

Nissan Altima Inpost

Personally, I think Wagner rotors are a bit better than QuietCasts. Both of them are protected against corrosion, but the proprietary E-shield coating from Wagner is a little bit better.

Why Wagner Rotors

Like the Quiet Cast rotor, Wagner adopts an OE vane design for great brake service and heat dissipation. The brake rotor works while controlling noisy vibration.

Thanks to the E-shield coating, you do not have to worry about your braking system in winter conditions. The layer protects the rotor from rusting. In addition, the rotors are stored in Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI) bag, which eliminates the need to grease it before installation. How easy is that?

 The brake rotor features a smooth finish that enhances proper seating and minimizes the time required to break in.

If you want brake rotor replacement, you should consider pairing this premium brake rotor with Wagner breaking pads for optimum performance.

Here is an overview of the pro and cons of Wagner Set up

Pros

  • Great stopping power
  • consistent even breaking
  • Restores like-new braking performance
  • Rust resistant
  • Relatively cheaper

Cons

  • Noisy operation

If you prefer to go for another brand for the rotors, I’ve seen people go for ACDelco too.

How to replace Nissan Altima brake pads and rotors?

The thing with brake pads is that they’re not really that hard to change. Some people prefer to go to mechanics – which can easily cost you as much as the replacement parts themselves.

Others go the DIY route and spend a few hours tinkering around, until they’re done.

I firmly believe in the fact that a video is worth a thousand words. Therefore, I’d recommend you watch this video on replacing the front brake pads on an Altima. The process is similar on the rear too:

Hope this short article helped you out! As I mentioned, there’s plenty of other brands you can go with. Out of them, I’d vouch for Akebono pads the most – even though they’re a little bit more expensive.

Still, the two options I wrote about here are the most cost-efficient and close to OEM setups, in my humble opinion.

And while we’re on the topic of OE – I also have a post on the best option for Altima spark plugs. Check it out if you’re on an aftermarket parts shopping spree!

Additional repair costs

Replacing your brake pads will come with other items that will add to the brake pad replacement cost. It is important to be aware of them to prepare yourself in advance. They include brake caliper replacement, brake fluid flush, brake drum replacement, and brake line replacement.

What to look at while selecting the best brake pads for your Nissan Altima

Front or Rear Brake Pads:

You will need two different sets of brake pads; pads for the front and rear wheels. It is important to note that the pads are not similar and cannot be used in place of each other. Identifying which pad belongs where is important for optimum performance.

Brake Performance Details

An ideal brake pad set would have high stopping power, quiet operation, affordable cost, dust-free, and all-weather compatibility. However, in most scenarios, finding a brake pad that features all key service issues is hard. In this case, you go for quality brake pads with most of your desired traits.

Brake Pad Materials:

The material used for the pads has an impact on the performance and durability of the braking system. There are four common types of brake pads depending on the material used:

  • Metallic brake pads
  • Semi-metallic brake pads
  • Organic brake pads
  • Ceramic brake pads

Metallic and semi-metallic pads are firm, durable, and produce great stopping power. However, they are hard on other braking system components; you will need to do repairs and replacements more often.

Organic pads are the best if you are looking for easy pads on your braking system. However, organic pads are susceptible to extreme conditions, making them the least durable.

Ceramic brake pads are the best option if you are looking for a combination of performance and durability. Ceramic pads are a favorite to many because it is resistant to wear and tear and can perform in all weather conditions.

Compared to metallic and semi-metallic, the ceramic material is not as harder; does not give as much stopping power. On a lighter note, it is softer on the brake components.

With the 2025 copper-free legislation, it is important to ensure that your brake pad complies with the spirit of creating sustainable environments.

When is the time to replace your brake pads?

You know it is time to replace your bad brake pads when you experience screeching when braking. In addition, you will have abnormal vibration in the steering wheel or brake pedal. Sometimes you will smell burning rubber as a sign of metal being in contact with the rubber.

You should take your car in for a brake system inspection as soon as you notice these signs.

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