Is there a large difference in the quality of pads (say a Midas shop) vs a dealer?
The main thing to remember is that you DON’T want brake pads or rotors that were manufactured in China. Ask to see the box that the parts come in so that you can verify that they are not crappy-quality Chinese-manufactured parts.
Thanks, makes sense
There is absolutely a huge difference in brake shoe/pad quality. My experience has been that OEM pads are the absolute best for most applications. I have also had good luck with certain aftermarket pads, specifically Akebono (OEM supplier to many mgrs)and Hawk. They can be purchased online at www.tirerack.com. Try the new ceramic pads and you will virtually eliminate brake dust on your wheels.
Regardless of whether you go to Midas or a dealership, or even if you buy your own brake pads in order to DIY, you will always be given a choice of grade.
I have always been well-satisfied with a middle-grade semi-metallic set. Avoid the low-grade organic pads. The more costly ceramic pads wear down your brake rotors too quickly.
Chains use the cheapest pads (and warranty them for life, you pay the labor) They also hope you will trade the car before the pads go again. Ceramic are the best in terms of longevity and yes OEM IMO also are great. Chains ( Midas, Tuffy, Sears) use cheap pads because most customers only want the cheapest price not the longest lasting part. They need to get people in the door and the cheap price does it
My experience with the chains shops, which admittedly consists of a single instance, is that they still try to upsell to premium brake service, which includes a better quality set of brake pads. The choice is still there.
Also, as Ray and Tom have mentioned several times on their program, if you have a Japanese car, after-market brake pads invariably result in noise that is not present when OEM Japanese pads are used. If you have a Japanese car, keep this advice in mind, as noisy brakes can be very annoying.
OK4450, you are in my humble opinion one of the single most knowledgable, experienced, and competent guys here. Your responses are always unbiased, knowledgable and comprehensive. I, for one, would be interested in your input on this question.
No disrespect to anyone else. There are others here, some who have already responded, whose opinions I value highly. Please also join the fray.
True story, My friend used to work for AC Delco and they were showing a video of brake parts made in china… The rotors were litterally being cast in holes in the dirt. They would dig a hole and shape it in to a brake rotor then cast the brake rotor. Can you say flaws. As a follow up the same friend purchased a used Chevy Truck, that had “new brakes”. On his to do list was replace them with quality parts. Well he did not get the chance and the front rotors on this truck is a combind rotor and hub. One day he slamed on the brakes to avoid hitting a car, and the rotors litteraly cracked off of the hubs and became free wheeling. Turns out they were the cheap chinease rotors he had seen in the video. Lesson leanrned.