Cars With Carbon Ceramic Brakes Are Going to Be the Used Car Plague

I’m curious if anyone here has had to do a ceramic brake job at their own expense on a higher-term/higher-mileage lease.

And so, if you’re buying an AMG and you want to keep it for only a few years, carbon ceramics might be a good idea — because they’re relatively maintenance-free compared to normal brakes. But if you start creeping up on the 7- or 8-year old mark and you go to sell your carbon ceramic-equipped car … don’t be surprised if it’s avoided like the plague.

Earlier 2018‘17 f type deals? If someone got a 15k, they’d be at about 30k right now?

I’ve always wanted to own an RS5 or RS7 and now that prices on them are taking a nose-dive, I will be able to afford one in one or two years…

With that being said, I don’t think I’ll be buying one. I can’t imagine having to drop 10k on a brake job as those cars are often specced with carbon ceramics. That’s on top of the other maintenance you have to do to their differentials and transmissions. The dual clutch in the RS5 for instance requires both an automatic and manual transmission fluid change after 25k to 35k miles.

Absolutely insane to maintain those cars.


I have zero mechanical knowledge or aptitude. Can the ceramic brakes be replaced with more traditional brakes, or does that require surgical removal and replacement of other parts/components that make this unfeasible?

This topic hit my radar last year when I was considering buying a ~2 year old AMG GT Coupe. I asked a trusted independent MB mechanic about potential pitfalls, and he warned me about this.

I gave up looking for one I liked that didn’t have ceramic brakes, and moved on to other pursuits.

It’s mechanically possible to replace them with traditional brakes, but only after a steep up-front cost. Kits may exist for certain cars (like Porsches mentioned in the article), but it would require extensive overhaul of the braking system. I don’t know if the upfront cost to have an indy do the custom job is worth it just to change to steelies every 50k miles. I haven’t done the math so I don’t know if it’ll make financial sense.

For the amount of work required, I think it would be a wash. It’s just not worth for us plebes to buy carbon ceramics. I have zero desire to autocross a car like this so I wouldn’t even benefit from carbon ceramics. Were I to do tracking, I’d probably get a dedicated track car like a GTI TCR or maybe even a Miata with a rollcage. You can actually go flat-out with those cars on a track.

I’m man enough to admit that high-horsepower performance cars are out of my driving capability.


There are plenty of people out there that are similar, and not everyone looking at these high end cars has any understanding of these Ceramic brake components. I hope someone tells them to sit down should they purchase one of these cars having no understanding of the brake components installed, when it’s time for a brake job.

I know a guy that shoehorned a Northstar engine in a Miata. The thing looks and sounds like a literal rocket on the Auto-X track.

I learned to ask broad, open-ended questions about risks before selecting a vehicle, after multiple painful bouts with the braking and suspension systems on a previous vehicle (2003 MB E500).

But why a Northstar? Those are needlessly complicated engines. LS is the most common Miata swap.

No clue why he chose a Northstar vs an LS. I suspect it was cost, but couldn’t say for certain though. It’s a later model though vs an earlier variant, so he doesn’t have the infamous head gasket problems.

I was tempted to option the carbon ceramic brakes on my M4 since I do a few track days a year and some rallies/cruises that are intense. Decided against it since it would be more cost effective to replace the pads and/or rotors a few times before I even get close to the $8100 to add ceramic brakes in 3 years/36000 miles.


Porsches and Ferraris with CCB haven’t stopped being desirable.

AMGs have always had eye-watering depreciation. Don’t blame CCB for that.

It was the cheapest at the junkyard.


You can downgrade to steel and keep the ccb, this is not that uncommon by people who track the car a lot like Porsche enthusiasts. Then once you decide to sell the car put the ccb back on. For all intents and purposes ccb are supposed to last circa 100k miles. The difference between ccb and steel is insane on the track.


Somewhat related… Imagine what some of these gauge clusters are going to cost to replace on the higher end stuff when they eventually break?


I actually own an 2013 Audi RS5 with Carbon Ceramic Brakes. The maintenance on the vehicle is pretty high for what it is but it isnt too too bad. Compared to my CT200h, the cost for maintenance is roughtly 5x more. The CCBs have been good to me so far and I have put 100K miles on my car and not needed to change the rotors but 2 sets of pads.

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That’s the 1st thing I thought of when I saw VW introduce the virtual gauge cluster. Those likely will need to be replaced the nanosecond the warranty expires.

Funny thing is, with screen prices dropping, I wouldn’t be shocked if the all digital dashes are actually cheaper to manufacturer than mechanical gauges and such.

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Ccb’s cost 4x more than normal brakes on performance cars but also last 4x longer than steel brakes. I don’t see any problem with that formula. The data points on ccb seem to show that they go anywhere from 100 to 150k miles depending on how rough you are with them.

The only people who don’t like ccb are frequent track users because they don’t last 4x as long on the track, yet still cost 4x as much. Also the rotors are a lot more brittle and if you go off the track those rocks can damage the brakes.

Have you driven a non ccb rs5 to compare out of curiosity?

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Manufacturing maybe, but I have a feeling that the amount of labor needed to replace those units might be a lot more than a conventional cluster.

I wouldn’t expect there to be. If anything, the more digital we go, the easier things should be. No longer is there a need to hook up mechanical speedometer lines, etc. Just plug in a harness and go. There may be some configuration programming needed, but I don’t see why things would be getting more difficult.

Now, if the cost savings will be passed on is a totally different matter.


Sweet, I’d still buy one.
Many people don’t know but if you’re not going to track the car, brakes should likely outlast the car.
Easy to tell if the car has been tracked.

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