RANT: OES+OEM=BS When it Comes to Brake Pads

OEM Brake Pad Coupon
You can’t make judgments on brake pads or other parts, or making blanket statements on what pads are better. But, there are some confusing marketing messages used by both aftermarket and OE marketing people when it comes to brake pads.

For the past 20 years, the phrase “Meets or Exceeds OE ______” has been used by the replacement parts industry to the point where it has lost any and all meaning. Some companies even use it to sell snake oil. But, it is still part of the collective conscious that OE or OEM equals quality.

When it comes to OES (Original Equipment Supplier) pads, chances are it will not be the same pad, or even manufacturer as the pads installed at the factory. It will be close to the OE pad because, in some cases, the OE is willing to share design and engineering specifications with the OES supplier. But, more often than not the pad is selected by an accountant.

Most shops will tell you they buy brake pads from the dealer if the customer specifies it or if they have confidence in the dealer’s product (which is rightly deserved in some cases). Some of these OES pads are manufactured by many of the advertisers you see in this magazine.

But, the most irritating aspect of these second-line pads is when local dealers try to pass off $99 “pad slaps” as “approved service” with “genuine” parts.

Most of the marketing and advertising at the local level by the dealers makes it sound like the consumer will drive out of the service department with a new car for $99. It is a marketing ploy that plays on the assumptions and ignorance of the consumer. Also, it is hurting the automotive service industry as a whole.

Beware the Brine: Engineer Tells Why Brines Are Worse Than Rock Salt For Cars

salt brine

To pre-treat roads, a liquid salt “brine” mixture of 23% salt and 77% water is sprayed as an anti-icing measure and helps to prevent dangerous road conditions. (Lisa Bolton/The Washington Post)

To pre-treat roads, a liquid salt “brine” mixture of 23% salt and 77% water is sprayed as an anti-icing measure and helps to prevent dangerous road conditions. (Lisa Bolton/The Washington Post)

Starting in the 1960, many cities started a “bare pavement policy” when it came to treating the roads. Before this policy change, snow on the road would be plowed away and either grit or cinders were thrown on the roads. Thanks to more idiots driving, the only way to keep roads moving is to use rock salt and now brines.

Bob Baboian, is a fellow at the National Association of Corrosion Engineers and he gave an interview at the Washington Post about brines.

“Inside that garage is a 100 percent time of wetness and a very corrosive situation,” said Baboian, who has written two books on automotive corrosion. “Sometimes the corrosion rate can be 100 to 1,000 times faster in the higher humidity and the higher temperature.”


He also exposes what happens when the brines dry out:

“The salt brine already is a frozen liquid, so the automobiles driving over that will get sprayed in the undercarriage and all the crevices, the wheels where the brake pads are and all of that,”

Read More at the Washington Post


ESSAY: Man Wants To Remove the Brakes From His Car

vaccinesThis is a pretty interesting and funny argument about parents who do not want to vaccinate their children. Instead of using multiple sources on how vaccines save children, he takes the argument down a road with no brakes. Good read for mechanics.


Guys, I wanted to let you know about a personal decision I recently made. I don’t really feel like discussing it, but I want to put my position out there. Please be respectful. This is a really long post, but please read the whole thing.

I’m taking the brakes off my car. This isn’t a rash decision, so please listen up.

A few weeks ago I saw a car accident – two people went through an intersection at the same time. Both slammed on their brakes at the same time and collided. Fortunately no one was seriously injured.

But then it occurred to me – if they had just gone through the intersection, they wouldn’t have collided. The brakes CAUSED the accident!