The following are the top consumer questions concerning brake pads, along with the answers that can help you to upsell. These answers can also save you from getting into hot water, and are written in language the customer can understand.
1. Aren’t all brake pads the same? Isn’t that why some shops are able to sell brake jobs for the same price?
No, almost every vehicle model has a different shape of brake pad. The friction materials that are on the pad are also different since almost every vehicle has different requirements and performance capabilities.
2. Why do some pads cost more?
Buying a quality brake pad is like buying prescription medicine. When you are buying a prescription drug, you are not just paying what it costs to manufacture, package and market the pill. The bulk of what you are paying for is research and development. The same is true for brake pads.
Brake pads require a great deal of testing and engineering because they are made for a specific vehicle. A quality brake pad manufacturer will spend a lot of time and money developing a brake pad application for your vehicle.
3. Aren’t brake pad manufacturers just copying the original brake pad?
Can you make meatloaf or chocolate chip cookies exactly like your mother’s? Brake pads are one of the few components on a vehicle that can’t be duplicated by just physical measurements and simple testing.
Carmakers do not say to replacement brake pad manufacturers, “Here is the recipe for our friction material for the 2015 models.” No, replacement brake pad manufacturers have to figure it out on their own, and this is not easy or inexpensive.
4. Would a company sell an unsafe product?
In the United States, there are no federally mandated laws that reg- ulate the performance of replacement brake pads. The burden of selecting a safe replacement brake pad is up to the shop and driver.
Some inexpensive brake pad manufacturers are constantly playing the odds by weighing profit against braking performance. Their pads may perform well during normal operating conditions like city and highway driving, but if the pads encounter a situation like a panic stop or steep hill descent, they could fail or have longer than normal stopping distances. Would you really want to “call their bluff” when you have to go all-in during a panic stop?
5. What is in a box of brake pads?
The typical box of disc brake pads has four pads (two pads for each side of the car). Some manu- facturers will included other piec- es of hardware to make sure the pad performs to its full potential. The items include anti-rattle clips, shims to reduce noise and wear sensors.
Some low-quality brake pad manufacturers do not include these items in the box so they can maximize their profit and be the lowest-priced product on the store shelves.
6. I want a pad that will last more miles. Can I get a set on my car?
Brake pads are designed to wear out. How fast they wear is dependent on the driver and the vehicle more than the pad’s friction material formulation. While there are pads on the market that promise more miles, it is difficult to say if these will last longer than other pads. What can make a brake pad last longer is replacing the hardware and resurfacing the rotor with the correct finish. These two items can increase the life of the brake pad more than any other factor.
Courtesy Brake & Front End.