Honda Civic Ex - brakes

Is it okay to use other brands when replacing brake pads and rotors. In other words, is it okay to not use Honda parts. A couple mechanics have told me there are other pads/rotors one can use. And that some of the pads even last longer. And the cost is less than the Honda parts.

One mechanic uses Honda parts. This mechanic said ceramic pads might make a noise that the driver would not like. I had read on this site that one mechanic recommended using ceramic pads. Also, I don’t put many miles on my car each year. maybe 6K per year. Should I still change my brake fluid every 3 years?

thanks for any advice.

I have never bought pads/rotors from the dealer. Always get aftermarket and no issues. The reality is that Honda orders and buys the parts from someone else. I know Toyota pads are by Akebono, you might want to google the ones for Honda.
I also changed my Camry from semi-metallic to ceramic and now don’t have to wash the hub caps as frequently-they don’t squeak either.

Yes you should have the brake fluid changed every 3 years.

There are all kinds of brake parts out there. Sticking with Honda parts, basically replaces what you have with the same thing. If you are happy with the brakes now, sticking with Honda parts is not a bad option, but the parts will cost more.

Some brake pads are soft, and wear faster but don’t dig up the rotors and don’t make noise - they just don’t last as long.

Other pads are very hard, last almost forever but don’t stop as fast, can make grinding and screeching noises, and can gouge the rotors so when the pads are replaced the rotors need replacing also. And, there are mid hardness pads between the extremes.

You can use non-Honda parts and be perfectly happy, or have problems. For your driving miles per year, I’d opt for a brake pad on the mid to softer side. They should give you less problems overall and last for years and years given your low miles per year. In general the harder the pad the more potential problems come along with the hardness.

I have an '03 Civic EX and I drive a lot of highway miles and I’m relatively easy on brakes compared to normal drivers. I got about 70K out of the OEM front pads, and the rear brakes (drum on my car) have never been replaced and I’m at 140K now. The brake job at 70K was done by a Honda dealer who was offering a really good deal at the time. I’ll be due for brakes in a year of so (in PA brakes are inspected for wear yearly) and I’ll use my local garage and I won’t spec Honda parts, but I don’t want a mega hard pad either. My mechanic will recommend parts that he has confidence in and that will work for me.

I think it is the cheap brake jobs by unknown shops that have the most problems. Look for a good deal on brakes, but don’t just shop on price alone. That really cheap brake job can be a nightmare. My feeling is the brakes are the single most important component on your car, good brakes can save your life, bad brakes are a risk. Noisy, grinding brakes are very annoying to live with.

I had pretty frequent problems with rotors warping on my "81, '85 and '88 Accords.
I finally put high quality aftermarket rotors on the '88 and had no more issues for the last 70K miles of ownership.

Brake fluid degrades with time for various reasons, whether you’re driving or not.
With ABS it’s especially important to change the fluid on a regular basis.

I hate to tell you this…but Honda doesn’t make brakes. They’re made for them by one of the many brake manufacturers out there. Wagner, Bremo…just to name a few.

I’ve NEVER used OEM brakes…on any vehicle I ever owned (including my wifes 2 Accords). Never had a brake problem using aftermarket parts. Don’t get me wrong…there are cheap brake parts out there. But if you stick with a good quality part manufacturer you’ll be fine. I just bought new brakes for my 05 4runner. I bought Wagner. And one nice thing is it comes with a full hardware kit…The price is about half of the brakes from the Toyota dealer…and they are just as good or maybe even better.

I have used OEM Honda pads on our Accord, they were ceramic BTW, they worked fine and they really weren’t much more than an equivalent aftermarket pad, and they came with new shims and hardware, something the aftermarket pads didn’t come with. It was not convienent for me to go to the dealer for the last set of pads so I got Wagner Thermoquiet OEM ceramic pads for it. no issues.

I use the Wagner pads on other cars too with very good results. However, on one vehicle I did try a “house brand” ceramic pad from a popular autoparts store because I wanted the lifetime warrantee. They are noisy and don’t last very long and though I have used the warrantee to get free replacements, next time I think I will just get the Wagners for that vehicle too.

If you do go aftermarket stick with a ‘name brand’. You find extremely CHEAP pads and rotors out there, they are much more likely to cause problems.

I’ve been using cheap aftermarket brake pads on my Civic for years without problems.

In my professional experience, I have found the Wagners to be noisey . . . even the Thermoquiet

Cutting or replacing rotors didn’t matter. The wagners were noisy.

I buy my brake pads for my Corolla at a big box auto parts store and never had a problem. I always buy one priced in the middle, not the cheapest, and not the most expensive. But check the prices at an auto parts store and at a Honda dealership. If the Honda components (the ones you buy at a Honda dealership) are about the same price, that’s probably the way to go. As said above, for some reason, Honda dealers usually are quite price competitive on brake components. And a Honda dealer wouldn’t likely sell a version known to cause problems on Hondas.

Quite often the same parts sold by the (in this case Honda) dealer are manufactured by the same people who produce them for the aftermarket parts houses.
What car makers do mostly is assemble a collection of farmed out parts.

I never use dealer parts except in the rare case of a propretary part unavailable as an aftermarket part. Or when doing a routine change of tranny fluid or coolant.