Why You Should Never Use The Cheapest Brake Pads

Cheapest Brake Pads
Why You Should Never Use The Cheapest Brake Pads

Planning on buying some brake pads? That cheap set on the shelf of your local parts store might seem tempting, but there’s a reason they’re so cheap.

Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained put together an in-depth video explanation that breaks down why the cheapest pads aren’t worth the ‘savings’.

Fenske teamed up with brake systems manufacturer NSR to get access to the company’s bespoke machinery made specifically to test brake pad performance.

He compared five different pads available from for the same car:

  1. a budget aftermarket pad,
  2. a mid-tier aftermarket pad,
  3. a high-quality aftermarket pad,
  4. an NSR pad, and
  5. an OEM pad.

Using charts to analyze the relationship between pedal force, temperature, and frictional coefficient, Fenske is able to discern the cheapest pad is by far the least consistent and worst-performing among the group. Fenske goes on to compare the pads in simulated harsh winter conditions to see how they hold up.

The most surprising result came from the shear test, where pads are put into a machine that calculates how much force it takes to separate the friction material from the backing plate.

The budget and mid-tier aftermarket pads performed the best, outclassing the high-quality aftermarket pads, NRS pads, and the OEM pads.

This is pretty interesting stuff…