Brake material

So I had bought the Duralast Gold semi-metallic pads for the front brakes of my Dodge Caravan. Had to go back to the shop who did the rear brakes when the rear cylinder gave out. The shop is known to us and use it in urgent situations when I would not get around fixing stuff. The guy saw I have the front pads on the seat and said while I have the car up I will just put them in. He did resurface the rotors.

So he was saying that the quality of the pads is really poor. I asked him where he gets HIS parts from and he said we get professional grade stuff from the distributor and these are not sold in the stores. He was saying at least go to the dealer for parts.

So knowing a lot of mechanics on this site, I have seen you guy actually recommend rotors and pads from the usual chain stores. Is this guy just making things up, or the stores have really brain washed him? Is the quality of the material between dealer/Mechanic shops that different from what we regular guys get from the chain stores?

My comment is that sourcing brake pads at the Dealer is usually a last ditch effort to cure some issue lke disc brake squeal you cannot eliminate. I believe it is more of a “you see I am using the same parts the Dealer would use” type thing in regards to the explaination you give to your customer rather than some technical aspect.

The general public has access to the same quality brake parts that shops do,why would they not?

The “poor” quality is the lack of money the shop makes if they don’t apply a surcharge because they used your parts. The dealer gets his parts from sources that are usually the same as the customer uses. The only thing you are missing that the car manufacturer isn’t missing is the ability to buy 20,000 parts from the cheapest supplier.

ADP is their quality standard. (Added Dealer Profit) It was nice of them to use the parts that you provided, if and only if they didn’t raise the price of the other work that they did for you.

The Porterfield R4S I put on all of my cars beat the living hell out of what the factory puts on. You don’t have to go through the dealership to get top quality, and in fact since no manufacturer that I know of uses Porterfield or Hawk, you can’t get top quality going through the dealership.

OP here. Thanks for the responses, to reiterate, the guy was saying the lowest quality he will use is the dealer parts, but claims what he gets is actually of higher quality.

He was putting my pads on for free, which is nice. We obviously have paid him some over the last month with 3 visits for various things on this car that is falling apart.

I guess the responses so far validate my theory that he was saying this somewhat in a “prophylactic” way, so to justify the marking up on the price of the parts during previous and future visits.

Some aftermarket parts are NOT that good. I’ve been using Wagner or Raybestos brakes for years without any problems. Never tried Durolast.

I do know that places like PepBoys and Autozone…some of their parts are questionable. Here in NH we have a couple of local chains that are very very good (Robins and Sanel Brothers). Both of these chains sell QUALITY parts.

I feel sure the Duralast pads will be more than adequate. Auto Zone struggles to distance themselves from the poor quality reputation they acquired in earlier years. The chain began selling the cheapest junk available and a bad reputation is difficult to overcome.

You have access to the same quality parts as the dealers do. You also have access to cheap parts that would not be authorized suppliers to the dealer’s parts distribution chain.

Manufacturers that specialize in specific technoologies made much of your car. They get their parts approved through a testing and examination process for use in the original vehicle, the vehicle manufacturer documents the specifications for the parts in order to prevent changes without their approval and assigns their own part number, creating a “spec control drawing”, and the manufacturer then sells the part to the vehicle manufacturer under the “spec control” part number and to parts suppliers under their own part number. Parts houses have the references for the parts, and call them “OEM replacements”.

Unfortunately, other companies can create their own parts under their own part numbers that while they fit the application may not perform as well. They’ll not be listed as OEM parts, they’ll just be listed under the part manufacturer’s listing.

For example, NGK and Nippon-Denso are the two sparkplug manufacturers that supply to Toyota for their cars, but all the other manufacturers such as Champion list replacements for Toyotas also. While the Champion plugs will physically fit the holes, they have not been screened or testing in the Toyota engines and may not perform as well.

Shops such as the ones Mike mentioned supply the garages, and they’ll generally deal in OEM replacement parts. Consumer-oriented parts stores, such as Pepboys, sell NGK and Nippon-Denso, but they also sell the junk, the Champions and the “designer plugs” with fancy tips etc…which often do not work well.

Dealerships will often charge twice as much for the parts because they’re obligated to buy through the manufacturer’s authorized supply chain. That guarantess that you’ll get the same part as originally went into the car, identified with the auto manufacturer’s part number, but it doesn’t necessarily make the part better than an OEM replacement.

So, basically, there are three categories of parts:

  1. OEM parts from the dealer
  2. OEM replacement parts from parts stores
  3. aftermarket replacement parts from parts stores…and bigbox stores.

Consumer-oriented parts stores, such as Pepboys, sell NGK and Nippon-Denso, but they also sell the junk, the Champions and the “designer plugs” with fancy tips etc…which often do not work well.

AutoZone, Pep-Boys both carry NGK plugs…HOWEVER…very very limited supply. Last time I checked for plugs for my wifes 96 Accord…the ONLY plug they sold for that car was either Champion or Autolite…Neither of those plugs would I ever consider using. When I asked them about NGK…they said they don’t sell NGK plugs for that car…(then what car are they selling the NGK plugs for???). At the time the Accord was either the #1 selling car or the #2…and they didn’t carry the NGK plug for that vehicle…That tells you something.

For example, NGK and Nippon-Denso are the two sparkplug manufacturers that supply to Toyota for their cars

First time I replaced the sparkplugs on my 4runner…the drivers side were NGK and the passengers side was Denso…that’s the way it came right from the factory.

There are usually choices for manufacturers quality and price. I don’t know any parts stores that have repair shop items only. I know my brake guys use the best parts available, and I bank on their experience. Who knows, rotors from this guy might be best, and pads from that guy might be best. Many times you have the good better best option at the counter.

Perhaps I should have said VIP. That’s where I got my NGKs for my Scion.

It’d wierd me out to find two different manufacturers in the same vehicle, but I suppose it doesn’t really matter. I’m sure the spec control drawing defines everyhing in detail and simply lists them both as approved suppliers. That’s the way spec control drawings generally work.