Brake Pads- OEM vs. Aftermarket

OEM and Aftermarket Brake Pads and Components

Everyone knows about their vehicles’ brakes, and most know about the brake pad component that actually wear down as you use your brakes more and more. Brake pads are designed to last as long as possible, with an average brake pad lasting between 30,000 and 70,000 miles, but there are outliers. When you replace your vehicles brake pads, there are two categories you can go with, either OEM or aftermarket.

There are pros and cons to either category of replacement brake pads, lets check out a quick overview.

OEM Brake Pads and Replacement Components

OEM automotive parts are what came on your vehicle when it was new, OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer and customers are very confident in these part because they are made by Honda or other brands. Automotive manufactures are required to meet many criteria with all of the aspects of their vehicles, and these are the component that they manufactured to meet these requirements. Because of this rigorous testing, you know the quality of the OEM components, and Honda OEM components are also covered by a 1 year warranty.

When searching for replacement parts, OEM components are simple to sort through based on your vehicle and will provide you with a limited number, or possible just a single, high quality replacement part. This makes finding the right part simple because you know exactly the right part or parts automatically, whereas with aftermarket parts it can be difficult to identify the correct component for your vehicle.

Even though OEM components are easily defined as to what you need, you will need to visit a dealership or authorized re-seller in order to purchase OEM parts, so they are not as universally accessible as aftermarket parts.

Manufacturers put a lot of resources into the development of their OEM components in order to optimize them for the vehicle they are fitted on. Honda develops their brake pads specifically to limit noise and dust while promoting stopping ability and an expansive useful lifetime. These are the optimal properties for most Honda drivers and Honda is focused on those values by harnessing positive molding process while aftermarket manufacturers primarily use less sophisticated processes to keep costs down and can prioritize other functions.

Aftermarket Brake Pads and Replacement Components

Aftermarket components encompass all of the options you can install that are not produced by the original manufacturer of your vehicle. Aftermarkets components are widely available and carried in a variety of automotive parts retailers so they are more widely accessible than OEM parts.

As previously started, there are usually one or a small selection of OEM parts that can meet your needs, aftermarket parts are not as select. There is a gigantic market for aftermarket automotive components, so there are a lot of players out there. It can be overwhelming to shop for aftermarket components because of the large selection of offerings. You will need to know a bit more about your vehicle and what you need in order to find the proper component, making it a more complicated endeavor than shopping for OEM parts.

If you are looking for a specific performance aspect of your brake pad outside of the features on the OEM brake pads as outlined above, there might be a specific aftermarket offering that appeals to you. Aftermarket brake pads are manufactured through a different process than OEM pads to make them more affordable which can give them properties outside of OEM components, like stopping very heavy loads repeatedly more efficiently than OEM parts, but other performance aspects may be compromised.

Due to the variety of aftermarket companies manufacturing parts, there’s also a variety of price points offered as compared to the limited standard OEM offerings each at a single price point. The variety of prices can be appealing to some shoppers on a budget, but the principle of getting what you pay for is very true with aftermarket parts. You probably shouldn’t go with the absolute cheapest brake pads available to stop your vehicle. Also, where Honda parts are guaranteed for a full year, its much more common for aftermarket parts to not come with a guarantee to curb costs, though some do offer warranties. A lack of a guarantee makes the possibility of buying faulty parts more worrisome as you would just need to replace them yourself, rather than being covered like an OEM part would be.


There are both pros and cons to OEM and aftermarket automotive parts, Fisher Honda and Kia obviously recommends and only installs tested OEM components as an authorized dealership. Brake pads are crucial to safe function of your vehicle and OEM parts are tested and guaranteed to be some of the best out there, so they’re a very safe bet. On a related note, when having body work done on your vehicle, always go through OEM parts as no aftermarket parts are crash tested so aftermarket parts could compromise the crash safety of your vehicle.