2004 Town and Country -- crappy OEM brake pads

In another thread, I spoke of the poor braking of my grandfather's 2004 Town and Country. Almost all of the ~23,000 miles it has seen have been in-town. The longest highway drives it has seen have been
give or take 70 miles each way.
Okay, so... Before I waste my time going to the dealer, I am going to replace the brake pads myself and see if the braking improves. I plan on purchasing Bendix pads. Hopefully in organic flavor.
Anyone recommend another type? I've had good results from Bendix on other cars.. When I worked on German trash, we *always* used OEM pads, so not trusting the OEM brake pads in this case is something new to me.
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Nza wrote:

I've had good luck with Wearever Gold semi-metallic pads sold by Advance Auto stores. There may be better pads out there but these work well and don't wear out abnormally fast. They also have a lifetime warranty if you plan on keeping the vehicle for a while. Put your old pads in the box along with the reciept for the new ones. When you need to change pads the next time just return the ones you took off this time.
There was a good article in Car Craft magazine about bedding new brake pads. It may help the brake performance with whatever pads you choose to use. See: http://www.freefilehosting.org/public/44720/Brake_bedding.pdf
--
Ken



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Before I say anything, I would like to say that I am not trying to flame you at all. However, I have to vehemently disagree with this practice. IMHO, this is part of the reason everything costs so much these days and also a reason many mom-and-pop stores go out of bidness -- the "replace it under any circumstance" attitude.. If I use a set of brake pads for 3 years and wear them to the backing, that is not a manufacturer's defect. That is normal wear and the company from which I purchased the brake pads should not have to pay for a new set of pads. I really don't understand why *any* parts-store should have to replace a normally worn set of brakes. Or even abnormally worn set of brakes. Unless they failed a week after I installed them, or i never used them to begin, I would never return them -- honestly, I would feel guilty returning them for replacement if i wore them out normally.. That said, I have had good luck with the "highest quality" advance auto brake pads as well. Alas, this is not my vehicle, and I don't like to put less than the best on something I'm working on for someone else. It saves re-dos and reputation as well.. and it's the brakes.

I always do this procedure when installing new brakes. I hate squealing brakes. Was a bit disappointed that the section about bedding the clutch was not there.... hadn't read this article before.
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Nza wrote:

Huh? The parts guy is going to say "Hey, these aren't Wearever Gold semi-metallic pads!"

And the "lifetime" warranty may only be good once anyway. That's how it worked with my lifetime warranted headlights back around 1989. At exchange time, I needed to surrender the original "lifetime" certificate that came in the box.
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I think your overestimating the visual parts identification and revision history memorization skills of the average Advance Auto parts guy.

That's an interesting 18 year old electrical equipment story. How does it apply to Wearever's current brake pad warranty?
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Nosey wrote:

I guess so. It's either Pep Boys or NAPA here and I mistakenly didn't place Advance Auto in the Pep Boys league.

Eighteen years ago or current are meaningless. We don't know the details of Wearever's warranty now, and I didn't know the details of Sylvania's warranty then. I learned that my headlight lifetime warranty meant that only the *originally* purchased headlights would be replaced free at any time during my lifetime.
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Nza wrote:

The company is using the warranty as a marketing strategy to charge more for the product and make it more attractive to buyers. When you buy pads with a lifetime warranty you pay extra for that. They make the promise that if you ever wear them out they'll replace them for free as long as you own the car. It's a simple business transaction. I agreed to buy their product and they agreed to replace them. I don't see it as cheating them out of anything. They are hoping you (like most people) don't keep your receipt or you forget about it when it's time for replacement, or you replace the car before then. I paid a little more up front just like the 99% of the other customers that will never use the warranty. If they didn't make money off the warranty they wouldn't offer it.

I still have that magazine around here somewhere. I scanned the brake article for a similar discussion a few years ago and saved it on my computer. If I can find it I'll scan and post the clutch article too.
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Okay, I never heard the warranty explained this way... I'll definitely return an alternator or starter if it has a "lifetime warranty", but not consumables like brake pads or shock absorbers. But I guess that really *IS* throwing away a bit of money if the place has its pants down and is bent over waiting for me to bring back some worn out crap..

cheers!
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We've been using lifetime mufflers for decades, Salt eats them out every five years or so. Its definitely worth it to me. My father in law has a 82 Dodge 1/2 ton he bought new. He's paid for two mufflers on that truck. The First life time muffler and a new lifetime when Sanel's no longer carried the original brand any more
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