Brakes for Sprinter Vans

A Comprehensive Guide to Sprinter Van Brakes, Brake Kits, and Brake Controllers

The braking system of a Sprinter van is a critical aspect that significantly influences safety, performance, and overall driving experience. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various components that contribute to the stopping power of Sprinter vans, including the brakes themselves, aftermarket brake kits, and brake controllers.

Sprinter Van Brakes 

Importance of Reliable Brakes

Sprinter vans, known for their versatility in commercial and recreational applications, require a robust and reliable braking system to ensure safe and efficient operation. The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) brakes that come standard with Sprinter vans are designed to meet general driving needs. However, depending on the van's usage – be it for heavy-duty hauling, frequent towing, or off-road adventures – upgrading the braking system might be necessary to enhance performance and safety.

Signs of Brake Wear and Performance Issues

Regular inspection of the braking system is crucial for identifying signs of wear and potential performance issues. Squeaking or grinding noises, reduced responsiveness, and vibrations during braking are common indicators that the brakes may need attention. Timely maintenance and replacement of worn components can prevent more significant problems and ensure the longevity of the braking system.

Upgrading Sprinter Van Brakes

Upgrading Sprinter van brakes involves a strategic selection of components to match the specific needs and preferences of the owner. The goal is to unleash the full potential of the braking system, addressing challenges such as brake fade, enhanced stopping power, and durability. Aftermarket brake kits and brake controllers play a key role in achieving these objectives.

Sprinter Van Brake Kits 

Introduction to Aftermarket Brake Kits

Aftermarket brake kits are a popular choice among Sprinter van owners seeking tailored performance upgrades. These kits typically include brake pads, rotors, and sometimes additional components, providing a comprehensive solution for those looking to enhance braking efficiency.

Types of Brake Kits for Sprinter Vans

Performance Brake Kits

Designed for enthusiasts and those seeking improved stopping power, performance brake kits often feature high-performance brake pads and slotted or drilled rotors. These components dissipate heat effectively, reducing the risk of brake fade during demanding driving scenarios.

Heavy-Duty Brake Kits

For Sprinter vans involved in frequent towing or carrying heavy loads, heavy-duty brake kits are essential. These kits include components designed to withstand higher temperatures and provide consistent braking performance under stress.

Ceramic Brake Kits

Ceramic brake kits are an excellent choice for Sprinter van owners prioritizing reduced brake dust and noise. The ceramic material offers enhanced heat dissipation, contributing to prolonged pad and rotor life.

Benefits of Aftermarket Brake Kits

Upgrading to aftermarket brake kits can provide several advantages, addressing specific needs and preferences of Sprinter van owners.

Enhanced Stopping Power

Performance-oriented brake kits provide improved stopping power, ensuring a more responsive and controlled braking experience.

Reduced Brake Fade

High-quality aftermarket brake kits, especially those designed for heavy-duty or performance applications, resist brake fade, ensuring consistent braking performance even under intense driving conditions.

Extended Component Life

Ceramic brake kits contribute to extended pad and rotor life, offering a longer lifespan for the entire braking system.

Popular Aftermarket Brake Kit Brands

Several reputable brands specialize in manufacturing aftermarket brake kits tailored for Sprinter vans.

Power Stop

Power Stop is known for its comprehensive brake kits, offering various options for different applications. Their kits include high-performance brake pads, rotors, and sometimes calipers, providing a convenient solution for upgrading the entire braking system.

EBC Brakes

EBC Brakes offers a wide range of brake pad and rotor combinations, catering to various driving styles and preferences. Their products are known for delivering consistent performance, durability, and ease of installation.


Brembo, a renowned name in the braking industry, provides high-quality brake kits that often include components used in high-performance and luxury vehicles. Their kits are designed to meet the demands of enthusiasts and those seeking top-tier braking performance.

Sprinter Van Brake Controllers 

The Role of Brake Controllers in Towing

Brake controllers are crucial components for Sprinter van owners engaged in towing activities. They manage the braking force exerted on the trailer, preventing issues such as trailer sway, uneven braking, and strain on the Sprinter van's braking system.

Types of Brake Controllers for Sprinter Vans

Proportional Brake Controllers

Highly regarded for their ability to provide braking force proportionate to the Sprinter van's deceleration, proportional brake controllers offer a natural and controlled braking experience, crucial when towing varying loads.

Time-Delayed Brake Controllers

These controllers apply a preset amount of braking force with a delay after the Sprinter van's brakes are engaged, providing a reliable and cost-effective option for many towing applications.

Inertia-Activated Brake Controllers

Utilizing sensors to detect the Sprinter van's deceleration, inertia-activated brake controllers provide responsive braking without requiring manual adjustments, offering a balance between proportional and time-delayed systems.

Benefits of Aftermarket Brake Controllers

Integrating aftermarket brake controllers into a Sprinter van's towing setup offers numerous advantages, enhancing safety, control, and overall towing performance.

Customizable Settings

Aftermarket brake controllers allow customization of braking settings based on the specific load being towed, ensuring optimal braking force and preventing issues such as trailer sway.

Enhanced Safety

Brake controllers contribute significantly to overall safety during towing by reducing strain on the Sprinter van's brake system, minimizing the risk of overheating and brake fade.

Improved Towing Stability

Maintaining stability while towing is crucial for a smooth and controlled driving experience. Aftermarket brake controllers contribute to improved towing stability by distributing braking force proportionally between the van and the trailer.

Popular Aftermarket Brake Controller Brands

Several reputable brands specialize in manufacturing aftermarket brake controllers designed specifically for Sprinter vans and towing applications.


Tekonsha is a well-known brand offering a variety of models with advanced features such as proportional braking, boost functionality, and easy-to-read digital displays.


Curt provides a range of brake controllers that offer precise braking control and are known for their durability.


REDARC specializes in advanced electronic brake controllers, providing options with proportional braking, manual override, and compatibility with modern braking systems.

Mastering control over a Sprinter van's braking system involves a thoughtful approach to upgrading components. Whether through aftermarket brake kits for improved performance or brake controllers for enhanced towing capabilities, Sprinter van owners have a range of options to tailor their braking