I recently moved to the USA from the UK and now own a Malibu 2001. The
brake pads and rotors are needing replaced and I was hoping you could
recommend a decent manufacture of rotors and pads as I am thinking of
replacing them myself. I was looking at the price differences between places
like NAPA and Autozones stores and there is a big difference in price.. I
guess you get what you pay for, right? ;-)
Is this a fairly straight forward job or is there some pitfalls I should be
looking out for?
Any help appreciated.
There are many suppliers and many quality levels, particularly for brake
One good option is to use www.gmpartsdirect.com where you can get factory
original parts generally at good prices.
Failing that, I can recommend Raybestos and Wagner as two of the widely
available brands for US vehicles which are generally of very good quality.
Try www.gmotors.com for real deal replacement parts. If you go
aftermarket avoid rotors from India or China. As you noted cheap
parts are cheap parts. My personal opinion is to go OEM. You're saving
a pile on labor, why skimp on parts. Places like Autozone give you a
"lifetime" warranty. How much is that worth when your car craps out on
a rainy Sunday night in East Hockaloogie?
The GM rotors will warp. I had four OEM sets that the dealer installed
under the 3 yr/36000 mile warranty and they all warped within a few months.
After the warranty ran out I replaced the rotors and pads Raybestos parts
and have had no problems since.
I have a 2000 Malibu that the dealer has "repaired" the brakes on four
times. The problems are the pads AND the rotors. GM has updated the
recommended pad compound at least twice that I am aware of, and has also
specified the "correct" procedure for resurfacing the (too thin) rotors.
It's an on-the-car process that is supposed to cure run-out. IMO, a rotor
that is too thin will never perform.
My suggestion is to buy heavy duty rotors. I installed after market units on
my '93 Olsmobile purchased from my local NAPA jobber. These rotors easily
have 50% more metal than OEM. As for pads, well, good luck. I've had good
performance with Raybestos, but no matter what you buy, buy the best grade
available. Good luck.
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