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Duralast brake pads - you'd think I'd know better. Login/Join 
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I didn't think, and it cost me $280 in new rotors, and $70 + $40 core charge for a new rotor.

Back in December I replaced my rear brake pads and rotors. I decided to go with the Duralast Gold premium ceramic pads, as while I loved how the Hawk HPS ferrometallic pads I had stopped and wore (fronts finally hit the "danger zone" after 75,000, and rears were done 2 months and about 5k before), I absolutely hated the amount of dust they threw out. Installation went fine.

I did the fronts in February, also with the Duralast Gold premium ceramic pads. Again, installation went fine, though I did have an issue with the driver's side retention bracket bolts rattling loose. My fault, I didn't torque tight enough apparently. Still, all that happened was a squealing noise when the steering wheel was in certain positions. No bolts lost; I just snugged everything back up and called it a day and haven't had a problem since.

Fast forward to yesterday. Thursday and Friday I noticed a grinding noise at low speed that seemed to be eclipsed by a different yet uncharacteristic noise when I applied the brakes, so I decided to take a look at it this weekend. I am appalled by what I found. Keep in mind that the photos are of the rear brakes.



The rotor on the side that was making noises. I noticed it Friday evening, something's obviously up.

The corresponding pad, or rather, what was left of the metal plate.

What was left on the other side of the rotor.

This is what the pads on the other wheel looked like. Both pads were about this thick.

These pads had about 20,000 miles on them.

I called around and found out that O'Reilly's is apparently the only place that still turns rotors, so I put the back end up on jack stands and pulled everything apart so I could bring in both rotors after borrowing a car and sourcing a pair of rear OEM rotors "just in case" with the intention of returning them unused. Good thing, too, because the guy at the counter told me the damaged one was probably fucked, and as it turned out he was right - he got it turned, but in doing so he took it down below minimum safe spec, so now it's scrap.

Of course, while I just had the one wheel apart I decided to check to see if I had a sticky piston. So I pumped the brakes. Nope, it worked fine. Well, at least it did until I let it go out too far and it sprung a leak. Fuck. No Ford dealers in the Memphis area have any calipers in stock, which means that an OE part would mean that I'm missing work on Monday to get and install it.

Walked into Autozone, and I showed them the one pad and explained that this was a rear pad, and that there was 20,000 miles on it. Because they didn't have any replacements in stock they refunded my money.

Then I made the trek to NAPA to see about a caliper. What they brought to me looked nothing (and I mean NOTHING) like the part it was "supposed" to be replacing, so I went back to O'Reilly to get one there, and to buy some pads. There was some stuff that happened involving sending me to the wrong store because of where the stock was and me ending up having to go down to the hood to get the pads, but I got and installed them. Bonus: After tax, they were only $10 more than the Duralasts.

Fast forward to now - I've got the new rotors in, the replacement caliper installed, and all the pads in place. All that's left to do now is to bleed the brakes, reinstall the tire, and get the car off the jack stands.

On the one hand, I could have used all that money for other things. On the other, I'm glad I had the money. Bonus: I've been saying I need to change my brake fluid because it's not too far off in color from Coke. Now I can't procrastinate any further on replacing my 4-year-old brake fluid (hey - gotta find the bright spots where you can). Not bad for only having 9 fingers at the moment.


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Posts: 2475 | Location: Memphis, TN | Registered: August 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Who charges a core on a brake rotor????

I almost am exclusively NAPA brakes anymore.


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Posts: 17819 | Registered: September 06, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So the outer pad is what went into metal? It might have simply de-laminated (friction material falling off the backing due to improper bonding), but are you sure the caliper slide pins are moving freely within the bracket? One or both being seized will also cause that. There also needs to be lubrication, with a high temperature grease, where the pad contacts the caliper bracket. Don't fall for this "it will attract dirt" business. Even if it does it makes no difference. You want the pads to keep from rusting to the bracket, or else they will keep dragging on the rotor even with the brake released.



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Posts: 19108 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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^^^^^^^^
Egregore is right. I also check the clearance at the pad ends with filler gauge due to rust build up and file down the bracket if there is not sufficient clearance and lube as well.

Also I don't use the expensive pads. Which would you rather wear the most the pads or rotors?



"Donald Trump is the grizzly bear in The Revenant. If you get his attention, he’ll be awake, bite your face off, and sit on you.".. Newt Gingrich.

41
 
Posts: 9317 | Location: Herndon, VA | Registered: June 11, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Black92LX:
Who charges a core on a brake rotor????

I almost am exclusively NAPA brakes anymore.


Whoops, I mistyped. Core charge for the caliper. I'd been wrestling with this all afternoon and it was midnight. My bad.

The part they wanted to give me at NAPA looked nothing like the stock part, absolutely nothing. By comparison, the O'Reilly part was a rebuilt Ford caliper. And by the time I was getting pads NAPA was already closed for the day. I'd been waiting for the call on my rotors to buy them, which never came because the guy wrote my number down wrong.

And yes, egregore, it was the outer pad. The slide pins were not seized as they were replaced and greased with Mobil 1 high temp synthetic grease last time the caliper was off, just like I do every time I do brakes. These was also grease between the calipers and the pads, on both sides. I do that for vibration mitigation. I also feel that the other 3 pads wore rather heavily for 20k miles. I do wish I'd thought to measure the amount of pad left on those with my Mitutoyo before surrendering them to Autozone. Thanks for the suggestions, though.

I don't worry about the wear on the rotors. It's going to happen no matter what pads I use, and I'm going to have to replace them again. That's what happens when you use a friction based stopping mechanism like a disc brake. Considering that the OEM rotors lasted 105k miles (and honestly I might have been able to squeeze another 20-30k miles out of them), and I went and got rotors from Ford again just like I did last time with performance pads, I'm expecting at minimum the same performance from these. What I do worry about is stopping power.


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Posts: 2475 | Location: Memphis, TN | Registered: August 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My Honda eats from brakes (apparently that is normal) and I can plan on a brake job every 25K...It is easy to do when you get the right parts.

Int the past I had always gone to O'Reilly or NAPA for pads and never had an issue. The last time I went to Autozone and got Duralast pads.

All looked good and normal until I tried to slide the calipers back down and they would not budge....weird...I double checked that pistons were all the way in and I had the pads on right...yup!

Finally, out of frustration I took the pads off and set them aside and walked to O"Reilly (closest to my house) to buy another set from then. When I got them home I compares to the Duralast pads and they were significantly thinner. They went on perfectly and after I got the car buttoned up I wet to Autozone and was told "yeah, that happens once in a while"...awesome quality control!!
 
Posts: 3074 | Location: Peoria, AZ | Registered: November 07, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I went with OEM pads (true OEM from dealer) and a Brembo rotors. Really nice combo. Thanks for sharing Duralast horror. Almost bought those.


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Posts: 2360 | Location: Commonwealth of Virginia | Registered: January 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would definitely check the slider pins on the caliber. When one side wears like that and the other doesn't there is a good chance the slider pins are a problem.

Often you can just pull them out, clean them up, lube the heck out of the pins and the holes they go in and install everything.

Hawk pads may produce a little more dust but they stop and feel better them Duralast or most other pads. I've been using them exclusively for over 10 years now.


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Posts: 13977 | Registered: March 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I definitely think very low of the Duralast pads in terms of feel. I thought they feel very, very spongy.

I took the caliper off again and cleaned out and regreased the slide pins, just in case. At this point, it's already disassembled and it can't hurt anything.

Brakes are bleeding now (finally; I've only been all over creation collecting stuff I didn't realize I'd need). Good lord, that old fluid is NASTY.


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Posts: 2475 | Location: Memphis, TN | Registered: August 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I always do my own brakes. But I was talking to a guy who does my auto work that I do not want to do and he told me he would never use Duralast brakes.
I try to use Wagner, love em.


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Posts: 1548 | Location: Ohio | Registered: December 18, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm going to keep an eye on the front brakes because I'm expecting them to do something similar and I'd like to head that mess off at the pass. The pads in there are apparently near impossible to get hold of, so I'm anticipating a similar reaction there, then I'll just take that money and buy the pads I should've gotten in the first place.


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Posts: 2475 | Location: Memphis, TN | Registered: August 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I use Wagner pads and have only had to change the rotors on one vehicle because the lug nuts were tighten to tight and warped the rotor.



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41
 
Posts: 9317 | Location: Herndon, VA | Registered: June 11, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by 41:
Also I don't use the expensive pads. Which would you rather wear the most the pads or rotors?


That kind of reasoning would only hold true, IMO, if you're using old-school asbestos brake pads (soft). Modern brake pads (semi-metallic / ceramic / composite) are much, much harder and the rotors wear a hell of a lot faster than they used to. Almost as fast as the pads in my experience. Good on you if you've ever had to change your rotors once! Eek

I change rotors with brake pads every time. Well worth the knowledge that they're going to be perfectly mated.

-Rob




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Posts: 14394 | Location: Maryland | Registered: March 16, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Two years ago, I took my 2006 4-Runner to a dealer closer to my home than the dealer where I bought it. I had been told I needed new discs and that a caliper was cracked. Thought I would try this new dealer. They replaced calipers and discs.
Within a month, I noticed that discs and calipers were covered in rust. When I took it back, they admitted they had used parts from Car Quest. I told them in the strongest terms, that I expected a Toyota dealer to be using factory parts . When I mentioned that parts so cheap as to rust in a month might be a safety issue, they agreed to replace them with Toyota parts at no charge. I did get a laugh out of it though, when the girl in the service department said she didn't whether or not Car Quest would take the parts back. I pointed out that was not my problem.
 
Posts: 804 | Registered: July 20, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Only the strong survive
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quote:
Originally posted by BurtonRW:
quote:
Originally posted by 41:
Also I don't use the expensive pads. Which would you rather wear the most the pads or rotors?


That kind of reasoning would only hold true, IMO, if you're using old-school asbestos brake pads (soft). Modern brake pads (semi-metallic / ceramic / composite) are much, much harder and the rotors wear a hell of a lot faster than they used to. Almost as fast as the pads in my experience. Good on you if you've ever had to change your rotors once! Eek

I change rotors with brake pads every time. Well worth the knowledge that they're going to be perfectly mated.

-Rob


My thoughts are that too many people use impact wrenches to tighten the lug nuts which warps the rotors and causes the pads to wear uneven.

I can't recall but I think my 1969 Corvette had the original rotors when I sold it at over 400K miles.



"Donald Trump is the grizzly bear in The Revenant. If you get his attention, he’ll be awake, bite your face off, and sit on you.".. Newt Gingrich.

41
 
Posts: 9317 | Location: Herndon, VA | Registered: June 11, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I swear by Wagners. I put duralast on a vehicle once and there was brake dust everywhere and the didn't last long. Wagner ever since, no question.



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Posts: 1154 | Location: Kansas City  | Registered: November 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wagner thermo-screams are the loudest, worst pads I have ever used. Will never buy Wagner pads again.

For store brand, the Advance Platinum pads are fantastic. Quiet, no squeals, good stopping power, good dust.


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Posts: 3857 | Location: Floriduh | Registered: October 16, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I use a lot of duralast pads. No problem.

Put them on a rotor without any prep, you will see accelerated wear, and problems. Dont lube the brakes when you install them, you'll have problems. Dont clean everything, you'll have problems.

New pads can't make the brake feel spongy. That's not the pad, that's a brake that hasnt been bled properly.

Air ratchets dont warp rotors. Heat warps rotors. So can parking brake, especially when hot. I never use parking brakes.

If the caliper is leaking because it was pimped while not installed, why buy a new caliper? It's a piston. Put it back in, install the brake, and bleed. No neec to replace the caliper.
 
Posts: 1203 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by BurtonRW:
quote:
Originally posted by 41:
Also I don't use the expensive pads. Which would you rather wear the most the pads or rotors?


That kind of reasoning would only hold true, IMO, if you're using old-school asbestos brake pads (soft). Modern brake pads (semi-metallic / ceramic / composite) are much, much harder and the rotors wear a hell of a lot faster than they used to. Almost as fast as the pads in my experience. Good on you if you've ever had to change your rotors once! Eek

I change rotors with brake pads every time. Well worth the knowledge that they're going to be perfectly mated.

-Rob


All of the above, and the rotors aren't nearly as thick to begin with as they used to be on cars built in the 90's and earlier.....on most cars you have to do the pads and rotors every break job.
 
Posts: 14346 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I just did the front brakes on my 2013 Frontier. 69k miles on the original set.

I bought a pad and rotor brake kit by PowerStop. They seemed to get good reviews and for $170 for a little bit better pads and slotted and drilled rotors I figured it was worth a try.

The original rotors were worn more than I've ever seen rotors wear. Two shops told me in that they were still thick enough to pass inspection but they couldn't cut them without going under the min thickness.

The back brakes are still OEM and have more than 60% of the pad left still. Will just replace them next summer.



 
Posts: 9743 | Location: PA | Registered: March 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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