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Comparing OEM and Aftermarket Brake Parts

When it comes to your vehicle's braking system, the choice between OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and aftermarket brake parts can significantly impact performance, safety, and cost. At TurboBrakes Mobile Brake Repair, we understand the importance of making an informed decision. In this article, we will explore the key differences between OEM and aftermarket brake pads, shedding light on the pros and cons of each option.


The Basics: Ceramic vs. Organic vs. Semi-Metallic

Brake pads fall into three main categories – Ceramic, Organic, and Semi-Metallic. Understanding these types is important in selecting the right brake pads for your vehicle:

Ceramic: Offering an excellent balance of durability, noise reduction, performance, and longevity, ceramic brake pads are commonly found in OEM braking systems.

Organic: Generally high-quality, organic brake pads can vary in terms of quality and are often reflective of their lower price.

Semi-Metallic: Ideal for heavy-duty applications like racing or towing due to their robust structure, though daily driving may impact their longevity.

Manufacturers design their brake systems to work seamlessly with one of these pad types, and the unique formulations act like a "secret sauce" affecting factors such as noise, longevity, braking power, and more.

To learn more about the different types of brake pads, check out this article


Qualities of a Good Brake Pad

Regardless of the type, all brake pads share a common purpose – to stop your vehicle. Essential qualities of a good brake pad include limited noise, minimal dust, longevity (typically between 40,000 to 60,000+ miles), effective braking power, and a proper fit for your specific vehicle.


Debunking the Myth: Cost of OEM vs. Aftermarket Brake Parts

Contrary to popular belief, OEM brake pads and rotors are not necessarily more expensive than high-quality aftermarket brakes. While there may be a difference in cost when comparing OEM to cheap generic brakes, the investment in reliable, durable brakes is crucial for your safety. Cheap brakes may seem cost-effective initially but often require more frequent replacements. The key is to use high quality aftermarket parts, such as PowerStop, FVP, NAPA, Centric, Brembo, Akebono, and other reputable brands. TurboBrakes uses high quality aftermarket parts that match the O.E specs of the OEM parts.


OEM vs. Aftermarket Brake Pads: Pros & Cons

OEM Brake Pads

Pros:

  • Fit: Specifically manufactured for your vehicle make and model.

  • Noise: Generally quiet operation.

  • Dust: Minimal accumulation compared to cheap aftermarket or semi-metallic pads.

  • Wear: May cause less wear on brake rotors.

  • Easy to Find: Readily available at auto dealers' service centers.

  • Reliable: Designed for longevity, often lasting tens of thousands of miles.

  • Peace of Mind: Backed by an extensive warranty.

Cons:

  • Stopping Distance: Premium aftermarket pads may offer shorter brake distances.

  • Spongy Feel: May feel too soft when applying pressure on the pedal.

  • Heat: Basic OEM ceramic pads may not withstand excessive heat from high-speed braking.

  • May cost double or more than aftermarket parts


Aftermarket Brake Pads

Pros:

  • "Special" Conditions: Ideal for specific driving conditions like off-roading, racing, or towing.

  • Brake Fade: Less prone to brake fade, ensuring consistent stopping power.

  • Variety: Numerous options available, including ceramic, organic, and semi-metallic pads.

  • Stopping Distance: Premium aftermarket brakes may provide greater stopping power.

Cons:

  • Value: Cheap brakes cost less but offer limited longevity.

  • Durability: Often made with lower-quality materials, resulting in shorter lifespan.

  • Noise: Cheaper aftermarket parts may be noisier than OEM. Performance brakes are also prone to make more noise

  • Slow to Warm Up: Performance brakes may require time to reach optimal effectiveness.

  • Not for Daily Use: Premium aftermarket brakes may not be suitable for daily commuting.



aftermarket brakes


Making the Right Choice

In the grand scheme of things, any replacement brake pads are better than worn-out ones. However, considering the safety, longevity, and overall performance of your vehicle, OEM brake pads often stand out as the superior choice for everyday driving scenarios, but at a much greater cost. For most applications, high quality aftermarket parts are the best choice.

Authentic brakes are designed with precision, considering the manufacturer's specifications, and perform optimally in day-to-day situations. 

At TurboBrakes Mobile Brake Repair, we prioritize your safety and satisfaction. For expert advice and quality brake services, contact us at 704-776-6394 or email Alex@TurboBrakesLKN.com. Visit our website at TurboBrakesLKN.com to learn more about our mobile brake repair services. Ensure your vehicle's safety and performance with the right choice in brake pads – choose TurboBrakes for a reliable and efficient solution.

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