OEM Ford Brake Pads Vs. Aftermarket Brake Pads

There are two options when it comes to replacing your brake pads: OEM and aftermarket brake pads. Which option is better? Let's compare OEM brake pads to aftermarket ones and see which option comes out on top.

What are OEM Brake Pads?

OEM means "original equipment manufacturer". If a Ford part is (truthfully) labeled as OEM, that means it was designed and manufactured by Ford or a subcontractor hired by Ford. An OEM part is an exact replica of the part it's replacing, as it's designed to OEM specs. For example, OEM brake pads have the exact same shape, size, and friction material as the OEM pads already in your car.

What are Aftermarket Brake Pads?

Aftermarket parts are basically spare parts and components manufactured by third party companies that aren't affiliated with the OEM. They exist to either provide affordable replacement parts to the general public or "beef up" OEM parts.

The Pros and Cons of OEM Brake Pads

Let's take a look at the pros and cons of OEM brake pads first.

OEM: Pros

  • Assurance of quality: Since OEM brake pads are exact replicas of the stock brake pads already in your car, you have the peace of mind that these brake pads will function as expected. A set of OEM replacement brake pads has the same design and composition as the stock brake pads in your car, after all.
  • Easy to find: Ford has a gigantic catalog of OEM parts. Each part has its own set of variations to fit different Ford models. For example, there's one variation of brake pads for the Ford Edge, and another variation for the F-150. This is because each model is designed differently. To find the right brake pads for your Ford, you need to know the right part number specifically assigned to your year model. It's actually quite easy to find. Just look up your Ford model here.
  • Great warranty: Ford offers a comprehensive manufacturer warranty on all of its genuine OEM parts. The warranty is good for 24 months with unlimited miles. So if in the off chance that something happens to your OEM brake pads, Ford will get it replaced for free.

OEM: Cons

  • Cost: Despite all the great advantages OEM brake pads bring, Ford owners still shy away from them because they cost quite a bit of money. What most people don't know is that Ford dealerships, which charge a huge markup for their parts, aren't the only place you can get OEM brake pads. You can find a much better deal online. In fact, we offer wholesale prices for OEM Ford brake pads.

The Pros and Cons of Aftermarket Brake Pads

And now here are the pros and cons of aftermarket brake pads.

Aftermarket: Pros

  • Cost: A big reason why the aftermarket market is so successful is because aftermarket parts are pretty cheap. However, what a lot of people don't realize is that aftermarket parts are only cheap upfront. It's common for aftermarket parts to end up costing you a bit of money in the long run. Check out the list of cons to see what we mean.

Aftermarket: Cons

  • Poor fitment: Aftermarket parts are designed to the aftermarket manufacturer's discretion. Very rarely (if ever) are aftermarket parts designed to OEM specs. If you install an aftermarket set of brake pads on your Ford, chances are high it won't fit into the caliper that well. That can really affect your Ford's braking performance.
  • Questionable quality: To keep costs down, aftermarket manufacturers use low-grade materials in their parts. In the case of brake pads, it's common for aftermarket manufacturers to cheap out on the friction material, which can really affect braking performance.
  • Short-term or no warranty: Another cost-saving tactic aftermarket manufacturers use is to offer either no warranty or a limited short-term warranty on their products. Aftermarket brake pads rarely last as long as OEM brake pads due to poor fitment, incorrect friction material, and questionable quality. When your aftermarket brake pads fail, you'll have no choice but to buy a new set of brake pads because chances are high the manufacturer won't cover anything.
  • Lots of research required: If you want to find a quality set of aftermarket brake pads, you'll have to know what you're looking for in terms of size and friction material. When you have the information, you'll have to spend even more time researching different aftermarket brands to find out which ones fit your needs the most. You could easily spend hours doing research, and there's still no guarantee that you'll find a good set of aftermarket brake pads.

The Verdict

Judging by the amount of pros OEM brake pads have compared to cons, and vice versa for aftermarket brake pads, it's clear that OEM is the far superior option. If you order OEM brake pads from us at wholesale prices, then there are no cons to having OEM brake pads in your Ford.