Cheap replacement brakepads vs. OEMs
THE STARTER - Lord Seno (The Freeman) - May 7, 2018 - 12:00am

A friendly guy named Dan chatted with me in Facebook asking why some brakepads cost considerably high more than others.  He had his car's brakes serviced in the dealership and was shocked to know after that the replacement brakepads in the autoparts shop in Mandaue only cost half the price. He asked if the brakepads are all the same and if it's inferior in quality.   He said if the difference in the price is that big, he doesn't feel the difference in performance.

Well, first, original brakepads(OEM- Original Equipment from Manufacturer) cost more than replacement ones mainly because these are quality guaranteed parts.  Buying quality pads are like buying quality prescription medicine. When you buy these, you actually pay for the research and development, the marketing on top of the cost to manufacture these parts.

Brake System parts are safety issue parts and require a great deal of testing and engineering.  This includes a whole lot of simulated testing.

Not all replacement brakepadsare of bad quality.  I know of a few that are better than OEM. But neither of these don't come cheap. The ones that are ridiculously priced do not have the same stopping power, are noisy when you apply the brakes and may damage your brake disc or rotors because of the excessive metallic compound that they use on the pads.

Second, carmakers don't share their data to replacement manufacturers. Replacement manufacturers have to figure out the recipe on their own.  These tests are not easy nor is it inexpensive.  This is why a lot of cheap replacement brakepads have so much metal content in their compounds, just so stopping power is assured, even if braking becomes squeaky or noisy. Manufacturers of these cheap pads are constantly playing with the odds game by weighing  profit against braking performance and quality.  Yes, these pads do perform well enough in normal operating conditions, like in the city or around the island.  But when these brakepads encounter difficult situations like stopping from a steep incline or panic braking, these could fail to stop at the required distance or fade.

Older cars, on the other hand, have wide choices of good quality replacement pads.  This is mainly because manufacturers had enough data from the cars running on the road and have either adjusted their recipe for a good, solid performing pad.  Yet, older cars still have to stop the same way new ones do.  Accidents do not exempt older cars. So quality brakepads should always be used.

Lastly, OEM pads may be much more expensive than cheap replacements but they do last so much longer.  Brake pads are designed to wear out to as much as 50,000 kilometers.  How fast they do relies so much on the driver.  But cheap pads are proven to wear out twice much more than originals.

In the Philippines, there are no laws mandated that regulate the performance of replacement brakepads. The burden of selecting a sure and safe replacement brakepad is up to the driver or the shop. So, instead of putting your money on useless car accessories, save up and get those OEM pads.

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