What brakes job parts should be replaced when doing a brake job?
You might think that all brake jobs include the same brake job parts and services, but you’d be wrong. Some shops use a minimal brake job parts list that replace only the friction material, while others do a much more thorough job by replacing more parts. Still others insist on replacing everything, which is good for their bottom line at the expense of your bank account. Here’s a brake parts list that should be replaced on every brake job.
Brake pads • new noise reduction shims • new abutment hardware/anti-rattle clips • new brake caliper pin boots
If the brake rotor passes inspection (see this article) you can reuse them. If they don’t pass inspection, replace them with quality rotors (see this article on brake rotor quality).
In most cases the brake caliper can be reused. The only time you should replace a brake caliper is if it’s leaking, the dust boot is torn or the caliper is providing uneven braking or release (not caused by corroded caliper slide pins). To learn more about brake calipers, see this post.
Choosing the right brake pads
Name brand brake pad manufactures usually offer at least three grades of brake pads for every vehicle; economy, OEM quality, and premium quality. If you’re getting a brake job just to get your car ready for sale or trade in, you can get away with installing economy brake pads. But if you are keeping the car, insist on at least OEM or premium brake pads. The increased price for premium brake pads is worth it. They’ll last longer, provide better braking and reduce brake noise.
Here’s an example of the four different brake pads all for a 2011 Toyota Camry. They’re made by respected brake parts manufacturer Raybestos. All are made with ceramic material, but each is a different quality level and includes different or better accompanying hardware. Economy (service grade) is what you’ll get if you buy a brake job on sale and don’t voluntarily upgrade to a better brake pad. OEM quality (Professional Grade) is what most independently owned repair shops install when you ask for a brake job. But notice how the minor price difference between OEM and Raybestos top quality Advanced Technology Cermaic pads—there’s only a $10 difference. Also, notice that the economy pads don’t include abutment clips and come with the most basic noise reduction shims. Shops will charge extra for those parts.
Advanced Technology Ceramic ATD1222C Retail price $98
Top quality formulations to defeat noise, dust and brake fade while delivering increased stopping power. • Nitrile-Polymer Coated Hardware for maximum life • Stamped or Shaved Backing Plate to facilitate proper movement of the pad within the caliper assembly; closer tolerances reduce noise, premature wear and brake pulsation. • Steel Plate Mechanical Attachment reduces edge lift and prevents rust jacking. • Shims, Slots and Chamfers that match OEM design to reduce noise, vibration and harshness. • Orbital Staked and Spring Lock™ attached shims to retain the shim in proper position.
Enhanced Hybrid Technology EHT1222H Retail price $98
Delivers the best attributes of ceramic and semi-metallic all in one pad. Element3 supports optimal performance, improves pad wear and durability, and increases stopping power during aggressive braking. Includes: Abutment Clips, Piston Clips, Spreader Springs, Anti-Rattle Clips, Mechanical Wear Sensors (where applicable)
PG Plus (Professional Grade) PGD1222C Retail price $88
These friction materials match or improve on the OEM formulation for operation that’s clean, quiet and smooth. The ceramic material is low-dusting, strong and silent; delivers improved pedal feel and enhanced responsiveness. Maximum stopping power, less noise, smooth braking, steel backing plate attachment method to reduce edge lift and prevent rust jacking, abutment clips, premium noise reduction shims,
Reliant MGD1222CH Retail price $62
Includes premium noise reduction shims, Spreader Springs, Anti-Rattle Clips, Mechanical Wear Sensors (where applicable).
Service Grade SGD1222C Retail price $54
Affordable quality line of friction material for budget-conscious customers. Includes basic shims, wear sensor.
©, 2016 Rick Muscoplat
Posted on by Rick Muscoplat