Buying brake pads/rotors online?

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  #1  
Old 06-18-17, 03:25 PM
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Buying brake pads/rotors online?

Hello, was wondering what are good online auto parts sellers to get brake pads and rotors from, so that I could find the parts matching the car model? Want to replace both the front and rear brakes on a 60,000 mi Mazda 3, so need a matching set of pads and rotors for normal everyday driving. Thanks and best wishes, h.
 

Last edited by harum; 06-18-17 at 03:43 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-18-17, 04:28 PM
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We always buy from RockAuto
They have everything for every car.
 
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Old 06-18-17, 05:33 PM
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Also Amazon, but for them a lot of times they're just the middle man for the actual seller.
 
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Old 06-18-17, 05:43 PM
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Thanks, Shadeladie and the_tow_guy! Appreciate the reference. What I don't understand is why at the dealership they charge $92 per one rotor (just the part, no work etc.) while one can buy the entire set for this money.
 
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Old 06-18-17, 06:06 PM
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What I don't understand is why at the dealership they charge $92 per one rotor
Because they are Dealerships and people will pay the prices they ask.
 
  #6  
Old 06-19-17, 02:15 AM
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Most of your local auto parts store will sell parts a LOT cheaper than the dealer will!
Hard to beat RockAuto if buying online.
 
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Old 06-19-17, 04:12 AM
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I wasn't much of an on-line auto parts buyer until my local independent mechanic told me that getting parts for my Volvo S60 was proving difficult. The closest Volvo Dealer is about 100 miles away, and though they will supply independent mechanics with parts; but they refuse to sell them for anything less than 5% below Volvo's MSRP.

So I began searching for parts online and found that other Volvo Dealers were selling the same parts online for 40 and 50% off MSRP, and other OEMs would sell the items for even less. I've purchased genuine Volvo parts from Dealers in Texas, Oregon and Rhode Island . . . . they get sales that would otherwise never occur.

So I began buying parts myself, and taking responsibility for their being the correct parts; and I've saved myself several thousand dollars on parts ranging from oxygen sensors to tie-rod ends to timing belts, wheel bearings, steering components, mufflers . . . . and beyond.

The key is that you have to know what specific parts you need BEFORE you can really go shopping. So far I've only once purchased the wrong item, and that was due to a mid-year design change in fuel filters, and the VIN could have alerted me to that issue.

Some mechanics do charge a slightly higher labor rate if I supply the parts . . . . others really appreciate my taking responsibility for procuring the appropriate parts without their having to be involved; and I am free to shop for the best prices in advance, and without a mark-up.
 
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Old 06-19-17, 05:04 AM
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The other down side is that in the event of a problem the mechanic/shop will probably back away with hands up and say, hey, you supplied the parts.
 
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Old 06-19-17, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by the tow guy
". . . The other down side is that in the event of a problem the mechanic/shop will probably back away with hands up and say, hey, you supplied the parts . . ."
Yes, that risk is always present; and I have no problem with that.

So far, my mechanics (and I use 4 different shops) have never created an issue for me due to their workmanship; but that time may come. It has been more of an issue when I'm serving as my own mechanic and the need for specialized equipment wasn't a factor.
 
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Old 06-19-17, 10:29 AM
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Thank you Vermont!

The key is that you have to know what specific parts you need BEFORE you can really go shopping.
Yes, I have found what I think is a matching Brakes Replacement kit which includes rotors and pads -- but have no idea how their quality compares to the original rotors and pads, the ones I want to replace.

With the original pads/rotors I only started hearing weak metal-on-metal squeaking/grinding a few days ago from the right rear wheel, right after 60,000 miles, when the brake pedal is slightly pushed, not when it is released or when it is pushed with more force. I suspect a worn pad but don't know why the rear brakes had to go first not the front. Maybe, I'll start with replacing the rear pads.
 
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Old 06-19-17, 11:00 AM
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Traditionally the front brakes wear out first BUT on my 2010 jeep, my rear pads wore out at 55k and at 62k the factory front pads are still good. The only way to know for sure is to visually inspect your brakes as they can squeal for numerous reasons. I buy most of my parts at AutoZone because of the convenience and warranty. I don't know if their brakes are better, worse or the same as factory but they come with a lifetime warranty.
 
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Old 06-21-17, 04:54 AM
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This thread reminds me of my last brake job . . . . and the importance of doing a thorough inspection BEFORE deciding what to replace.

I had a brake pulsation develop on my Volvo S60 last spring, and just presumed that I had warped a rotor during the winter (often happens when hot rotors encounter ice cold puddles of water or snow banks . . . . or so I thought). I could feel it in the steering wheel, so I concluded it was in the front brakes, not the rear.

So I bought new front Rotors and Pads and some Dot 4 Fluid and set myself up to swap then out one Sunday afternoon.

Upon dis-assembly (which for me is always more difficult than re-assembly), I discovered that II had two ridges of rust on one of the rotors: one along the outer circumference of where the pad was making contact with the rotor; and another along the inner circumference . . . . and the ridge of rust around the inner circumference was broken and missing for about 180. And when I examined outer pad for that wheel, it had a wear groove in it that corresponded precisely with the ridge of rust that I was seeing.

I made note of those discoveries; but proceeded to complete the installation of my new rotors and pads that day; but later, I showed that rotor to a friend (who's about 85 years old) with a machine shop to turn turn rotors and re-finish drums (among other things), and I asked if he had ever seen that kind of ridge, and he said no; but it was probably the underlying cause of my "pulsation" felt at the pedal. He simply took a ball-peen hammer, and bumped off all of the remaining rusty ridge and said "There, that should end that pulsation; and there's still plenty of thickness in that rotor ! "

I could have done that . . . . if I had inspected my rotors before doing my brake job. Next time, I'll look before I leap.
 
  #13  
Old 06-21-17, 05:30 PM
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This is interesting story, Vermont. Live and learn! And also, don't fix it if it ain't broken.

Well, in my case, I found out that rear brakes are completely gone: the right one wore down to the metal; on the left one barely 1 mm is left.

What worries me is that three weeks ago, which is also 400 mi earlier, I took this car for the 60k service to the dealership and they said the brakes were fine and needed no attention. I am sure they haven't taken the wheels off at all. Now I'm not even sure if they have ever changed oil and filters.

Should I confront them about the issue or just leave them crooks alone?
 
  #14  
Old 06-21-17, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by harum
". . . don't fix it if it ain't broken . . ."
My update is "If it ain't broken; then don't break it !"

Meanwhile, I might save the rotors and the worn out pads to confront the Service Manager later; but right now, I'd focus on getting brakes back on your vehicle . . . . pronto !
 
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Old 06-22-17, 08:54 AM
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What I don't understand is why at the dealership they charge $92 per one rotor (just the part, no work etc.) while one can buy the entire set for this money.
So there is a HUGE difference between OEM parts and aftermarket parts. If you want cheap noisy parts go for aftermarket, if you want original performance then OEM is the way to go!

So I began searching for parts online and found that other Volvo Dealers were selling the same parts online for 40 and 50% off MSRP
Be cautious of "genuine" part sold online, so much counterfeit parts being sold that you really have to watch who you are buying from!
 
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Old 06-22-17, 09:01 AM
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presumed that I had warped a rotor during the winter (often happens when hot rotors encounter ice cold puddles of water or snow banks
Actually brake pulsation is not due to warpage in the rotor, brake pads deposit a layer of material on the rotor surface and when you get uneven layers that is where pulsation comes from.

When you cut the rotor it would seem like you are truing the rotor but actually you are removing the pad material.
 
  #17  
Old 06-22-17, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Marq1
". . . Actually brake pulsation is not due to warpage in the rotor, brake pads deposit a layer of material on the rotor surface and when you get uneven layers that is where pulsation comes from . . ."
Think that's true for ALL such warped rotors ?

My machinist hasn't seen those deposits from the pads . . . . should he be looking for black ceramic or semi-metallic raised areas on the rotors ?

In the case that I mentioned, it wasn't a "deposit" at all, nor was it warping; but rather the absence of the described "rust ridge" for ≈180 that was causing my pulsation.
 

Last edited by Vermont; 06-22-17 at 10:27 AM.
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