OEM or Performance Brakes

What to Buy for Your Car

Are your brake system parts OEM–‘Overused and Extremely Matured’ Okay, that’s not really what OEM stands for, but perhaps that might be your line of thought as you choose between parts for your braking system repairs. OEM actually stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer parts. These are the parts that came on your vehicle when it was new and that the manufacturer produces to replace worn or damaged parts when you need a repair. You might wonder if these parts are good enough or if you should buy the more expensive performance parts. The ASE certified technicians at AutoStream Car Care in Columbia, Maryland, can discuss the differences with you and help you determine what you need based on your driving habits and conditions.

Why Buy OEM Parts?

Under general use conditions on average vehicles, OEM parts perform well on your car. These and the more economical aftermarket parts meet the minimum required safety standards for braking and stopping. They provide a decent balance between price and quality (length of time they typically last, stopping ability, and brake fade resistance). Therefore, if you drive an average vehicle under normal conditions, OEM parts may be a viable option for you.

Why Buy Performance Parts?

In contrast, performance braking parts are quite a bit more expensive, but they are designed to be tougher and hold up under more extreme conditions. Racecar drivers (or those who risk driving like the professionals) need higher performance brakes. The heat of constant slowing from high speeds heats the rotors and other metal braking parts, causing brake fade (the reduced ability to stop after repeated brake application), warped rotors, etc. Therefore, performance drivers often choose parts that have been cryogenically treated to resist damage from heat or rotors with drilled holes to accelerate the cooling process. Likewise, people who drive in hilly or mountainous terrain may also opt for performance parts due to their increased and prolonged downhill braking habits.

Making a Decision

So what should you buy? If your car repair involves racing down a mountain to reach the parts store, you may want to think about those performance parts. If your daily commute takes you around the 10 villages of Columbia, Maryland, however, you’re likely to need only OEM parts. Visit AutoStream Car Care to talk about what your car actually needs and schedule your repairs.

Written by Doug Grills

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