Volvo-specific Calipers vs Universal Calipers

volvo
brakes
s40

#1

I have a 2004 Volvo S40 4 cylinder and I need new rear calipers (both) - I did some research online and saw that the Volvo specific brand calipers are almost $200 for each one, where as the generic / universal calipers are around $60 each - do I have to buy volvo specific or would I be okay with the universal, cheaper calipers?


#2

Just go with the aftermarket calipers. Just an FYI, but the original Volvo calipers are actually aftermarket as Volvo farms these out just like every other car maker.


#3

We had a post about 2 years ago where a poster specified “Genuine Volvo parts” . He got to see the boxes for his brake parts and the shoes were made in India and the pads in China. Those companies make brake parts for dozens of different makes.


#4

Volvo doesn’t make calipers…it’s made for them by some aftermarket company. Just stick with a good brand name.


#5

Remanufactured Volvo specific brake calipers are available in the aftermarket for about $50 each. Universal calipers are for building race cars.


#6

I think OP means aftermarket vs OEM, which is the better choice for Volvo brake calipers. If so, and f the cost difference was $140 per caliper, I’d probably go with the OEM version myself. Especially for a Volvo, which tend to be designed to tight-specs and don’t sell in huge quantities, so the aftermarket folks have less experience making them – as say would be the case for a Honda Civic. Me, I think there’s less chance of having to re-do the brake job b/c of some unforeseen problem with the aftermarket version. But the aftermarket versions, there’s a pretty good chance they would work out ok too. You pays your money and you takes your chances I guess.


#7

The S40 is a version of the Ford Focus. Nothing that special. I’d get quality aftermarket calipers.


#8
I think OP means aftermarket vs OEM, which is the better choice for Volvo brake calipers. If so, and f the cost difference was $140 per caliper, I'd probably go with the OEM version myself.

As we’ve stated…OEM does NOT mean it’s made by Volvo…it’s made by one of the aftermarket manufacturers FOR VOLVO.

Most calipers you buy are remans…they take an old caliper and clean it replace seals…hone the piston walls…But you can buy aftermarket NEW. And from a quality like Wagner and others…it’ll be as good or better then OEM.


#9

Mike,

George is no dummy, he knows they don’t make the parts. If you READ his post, he gives his reasoning (which I happen to agree with):

Especially for a Volvo, which tend to be designed to tight-specs and don't sell in huge quantities, so the aftermarket folks have less experience making them

I’ve done similar myself. Sometimes, I actually spring for the OEM equivalent part and often they tend to be the more expensive option but also, in certain cases, are worth the extra expense.


#10

Well, I don’t think Volvo uses any unusual specs on their brake parts. This one in particular, it was designed while Ford owned Volvo, based on the same chassis as the Focus and Mazda 3. Nothing wrong with that, but nothing special, either.


#11

Twin,

The point is…If Volvo isn’t making the parts…then one of the aftermarket companies is making it for them…Wagner (a huge aftermarket company) is also and OEM provider for many manufacturers. Brembo is another brake company that makes and sells aftermarket parts…and is an OEM provider.

The term OEM gets skewed…Does it mean it’s made by the manufacturer? Does it mean it’s sold through the Dealer but can actually be made by someone else?

So when I buy a set of NGK sparkplugs at my local parts store…is it OEM or is it aftermarket? The ONLY DIFFERENCE between the Toyota OEM plug is the Toyota name stamped on it. Both are made by NGK.

Aftermarket does NOT mean lesser quality. Good brake companies like Wagner know how to make parts…I’d trust them getting the part right. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if Wagner makes the brakes for Volvo. Manufacturers like to keep a tight lip on who makes what for them.


#12

his brake parts and the shoes were made in India and the pads in China

Not surprising since Volvo is owned by the parent of a Chinese car company, Geely Motors. They don’t seem to be sold in India, though.

Oddly enough many of Geely’s early products were based on the Xiali TJ7300, a variant of the 1987 Daihatsu Charade - discussed in another thread on this forum.


#13

Mike, the fact Volvo doesn’t make the parts is acknowledged. Nobody is disputing that.

So XYZ corp makes brake calipers. They happen to sell directly to Volvo for installation on their product line. They also happen to make various “aftermarket” replacement parts for various applications. If I choose XYZ at the parts store, it is likely to be listed as “OEM” part and the price is likely to reflect that.

At the same time, ABC brakes also makes equivalent calipers but only for the aftermarket. Volvo does not source from them. ABC brakes can sell for less because they may have taken certain liberties with the design or materials or quality of the processing of the parts. They are priced appropriately for this reason and to make them slightly more attractive to the repair industry/DIY mechanic.

So, there are instances where REPUTABLE companies sell the same quality part that is installed on the car by the manufacturer.

There are also less reputable companies that cut corners, use inferior materials and sell a component that will fit your car but may not perform as well as the competitors.

Not all parts are created equal. The only way I could see you making the claim that “Aftermarket does NOT mean lesser quality” is if you have never bought one of the less expensive alternatives at the local parts place. There are OBVIOUS quality issues with a lot of these parts.

Yes, there are instances where the parts are no different. But there are far more instances where they are significantly different. This is why your blanket statement makes no sense to me. I have seen it, lived it and even regretted it quite a few times :wink:


#14
If I choose XYZ at the parts store, it is likely to be listed as "OEM" part and the price is likely to reflect that.

I’ve NEVER EVER seen a part as marked OEM bought from a parts store. I’d be very surprised if they legally could. As for price…the NGK or Denso plugs I buy from my local parts store is 1/3rd the price of the plug I buy at the toyota dealer.

Not all parts are created equal. The only way I could see you making the claim that "Aftermarket does NOT mean lesser quality" is if you have never bought one of the less expensive alternatives at the local parts place.

I agree…places like Pep-Boys and Autozone sell sometimes questionable parts. I just buy wax and cleaning supplies from them. We have a couple local auto parts chains around here. They don’t carry junk…and their prices are far better then the dealer. The manufacturers they buy from are usually the best for making that specific part. Many times I’ve been at the stores as they were loading up one of the trucks to make a delivery to one of the local dealers.


#15

Notice I said LISTED not marked.

Well, we’re not too from each other so we probably have similar buying options. Most of the places I go, even the more “upscale” places have their budget line of parts. They tend to steer customers away from them more than the McParts stores do…


#16
Notice I said LISTED not marked.

Listed OEM is completely different meaning. All it means is the part meets the OEM specs. Nothing more.

Autolite, Champion and even AC/Delco make OEM plugs for Toyota…but that does NOT mean they ARE OEM plugs. NGK and Denso ARE OEM plugs.


#17

No Mike, that’s not how it works. Do you really think a company that makes the same caliper as installed by the vehicle manufacturer somehow modifies it in some way before putting it in a plain box so they can sell them anywhere? No. It is the same exact part, just not marked as genuine to avoid the exact situation you described earlier. It is different than a part that is advertised to meet OEM specs. You’re confusing the two…


#18

No Twin…that’s NOT what I said.

If fact you’re arguing on the side I’ve been saying. The same OEM manufacturer sells the part to the dealer and parts stores…it’s the same part.

But that’s NOT what listed OEM part is (at least not around here). Companies are allowed to call a part Listed OEM if it is designed to meet the OEM specs of the vehicle…doesn’t matter if they are a supplier to the manufacturer or not. Let’s look at shocks/struts. A company manufacturers struts/shocks. They make many different shocks/struts for the same vehicle. One of them may be OEM. All that means is that shock meets the same specs as the OEM shochs/struts that came with the vehicle. They also offer an UPGRADED shock/strut that was NOT designed to meet the OEM specs…In fact it was designed to give the suspension a superior handling characteristics.


#19

When I said “volvo specific” I didn’t mean volvo brand (I see now that I actually put the word 'brand" right after it too) - but I saw this listing: https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/volvo-disc-brake-caliper-c70-v50-s40-36000731?gclid=CLmXlsDF48kCFQcOaQod_XAHSQ - and it says that it’s a “VOLVO Disc Brake Caliper” and it’s $200+ so I figured they were made specifically for VOLVO instead of the other generic calipers that can fit a number of vehicles.


#20

I’ve never seen generic calipers. Every time I buy calipers or pads…they are designed to work for that vehicle or any of it’s clones.