This is our grand finale for month of brakes and its a good one I feel!!
so I went to check a customers brakes the other day…..honestly the nicest guy you will ever meet!! with the most beautiful E-class you will ever see.
so after a quick inspection we found he needed new discs and pads all round.
knowing he wanted new discs before hand, and that he mentioned he wanted genuine Mercedes parts, I went armed with a quote for the front discs and pads. from Mercedes they are £217, from my local motor factors they are something like £135. when I gave him these numbers he asked a very good question!
“Is there a difference or am I just paying for a name?”
so what is the difference ?
the selection of brake pads is greater than you might think. simply, no! not all brake pads are the same.
There made of different materials you have ceramic, organic, low metallic and semi metallic.
the thing with cars is, when they come out the factory they’re working at their optimum rate . so for someone to say, “i’ve tuned my car up to 300BHP instead of 150bhp…” well, if it was that easy don’t you think the manufacturer would have done it ? what that person has gained in power he has lost in fuel or torque or what ever, its a trade off, you only improve one at the cost of something else. Its the same with your brakes.
right, so I had a customer once who had a standard Megane but wanted to fit EBC (GreenStuff) brakes to his car. the pads cost almost £100 just for the front and the discs were almost £100 each . To be fair they looked really nice behind his alloy, but on the test drive their braking power was worse then normal brakes (so he wasn’t happy).
the reason for this is, EBC brakes or greenstuff as there known, are made for track use. now I know what your thinking “if they’re for track use surely they’re meant to be good?” and the fact of the matter is they’re brilliant brakes well worth the money on the track, but lets be honest you might feel like Collin McCray at your traffic light grand prix but lets face it your not tracking your car around Bridgend. your brakes get a lot hotter on a track. “greenstuff” brakes work brilliant at they’re optimum temp (not reached on the way to your local Tesco), they’re also are noisy and dusty compared to normal brakes. so is it worth paying the extra for these just to drive around Bridgend? ….NOT AT ALL!! your brakes wont be any better. they will be squeaking or squealing all the time and will make a hell of a mess of your wheel.
Okay, so just buy cheap ones? Again your sacrificing quality then so they wont last and cheap pads are more likely to damage your discs. they can also be noisy and have a lot of braking dust sticking to your wheel.
so OEM (Original Equipment Manufactured) parts ? OEM parts are only available at the dealership, They are designed to a spec that best suit the car. like I said earlier, with the track brakes, you sacrifice brake power at low temps, you get an increase in noise and brake dust. so your trading everything off. cheaper ones may have less brake dust but less stopping power and be noisy. OEM ones will have the right mix you wont be trading one against the other. OEM tend to come with longer warranties, you can buy a cheap £35 disc for the Eclass that will have a 1 year warranty at the most, But id like to see you try getting money or replacement ones of those., where as OEM parts will have 2, some even 3 year warranty on brakes……
But wait…. you can buy OE spec parts. these are said to be just as good as the OEM parts… okay okay, there are arguments that the friction materiel isn’t exactly the same or that its made different….. but then most V6 x-type Jag owners will tell you the OEM brakes are not up to the job on their car, that they have to use stronger after market parts. what i’m saying is there is an argument for everything, but legally they cant say they’re at a standard they’re not can they ? surely not ? if they say they are just as good then they must be.
so if your buying brakes or any part really get OEM parts for assured quality, if you can buy ones at the same standard form the motor factors a little cheaper then go for it, they’re at the same standard so why not !!
P.S I recommend Delphi, not far off the price as Mercedes but they are far better than any Etchers, Padgets or other budget brakes you will come across. If you cant afford Delphi, get a cheaper option in the grand scheme of it all cheap brakes are better then no brakes.
like i’ve said before, have your brakes checked every 12 months or 12,000 miles even if they have a 3 year warranty, that doesn’t stop the caliper from seazing up.
well this brings an end to a month of brakes, but still feel free to contact us at facebook.com/ellsautocare with any brake enquiries you may have.