OEM vs. Aftermarket Brake Pads

Your car’s brake system is a vital component that ensures the safety of your vehicle. Ensuring that your car is equipped with high quality brake pads is important because you want to make sure that your car reliability comes to a stop when you ask it to. The friction between your brake pads and brake rotors is what stops your vehicle when you press down on your brake pedal. Inevitably, these parts wear down after regular use and when it comes time to replace them, you’ll have to decide whether to go with a set of original or aftermarket brake pads. Continue reading below as our team of parts experts at Fraser Chrysler has listed out the key considerations that owners should make when deciding which brake pads are best suited for them.


What are OEM Brake Pads?

“OEM” is an acronym for Original Equipment Manufacturer and it refers specifically to parts that are made by your vehicle’s manufacturer that are exactly the same as the ones that came off the factory assembly line. This means that these parts have been specifically designed to precisely fit and function in your vehicle as intended by the manufacturer. When discussing OEM brake pads, owners can expect to experience the same brake feel as when they initially purchased the vehicle if they choose to install replacement OEM brake pads. These brake pads typically focus on comfort and reliable performance, are are made of either ceramic or organic compounds to achieve these smooth-braking results

What are Aftermarket Brake Pads?

Aftermarket brake pads refer to brake pads that are not made by your vehicle’s original manufacturer. As such, there are a multitude of brands that offer aftermarket brake pads that come in a wide variety of types, applications and qualities that differ from their OEM counterparts. Some may see aftermarket parts as “less than” what’s offered by the OEM and although this may sometimes be true, components related to safe driving (i.e. brake pads), are manufactured at extremely high standards. That being said, customers should be aware that aftermarket parts may not necessarily fit as precisely or perform at the level intended by your vehicle’s original engineers. Where aftermarket brake pads differ greatly from their OEM counterparts is in the pad material composition, with organic, ceramic, semi-metallic materials, or even all three types being used.

professional mechanics repairing car without wheel in auto repair shop

Pros and Cons of OEM and Aftermarket Brake Pads 

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of OEM and aftermarket brake pads to help you decide which route is the best for your specific needs. 

OEM Brake Pads 


  • Produce very little brake dust
  • Little to no rotor damage during their lifecycle
  • Very little to no noise when brakes are applied 
  • Offer a soft and smooth pedal feel when depressing the brakes


  • Not designed for high-performance braking and can experience fade
  • May have heat dispersion issues, causing warped rotors
  • Longer than expected stopping distances 
  • May incur higher costs when compared to aftermarket pads

Aftermarket Brake Pads


  • In general, most aftermarket brake pads cost less than OEM pads
  • Ceramic pads tend to produce less brake dust and don’t fade as quickly
  • Semi-metallic pads disperse heat efficiently from the rotor 


  • Ceramic pads require more breaking effort and can be expensive
  • Semi-metallic pads create more wear on the brake rotors 
  • Semi-metallic pads tend to produce more brake dust
  • Organic pads tend to wear out quickly resulting in more frequent replacements

Choosing the Right Brake Pads 

When it comes time to replace your brake pads, it’s in your best interest to do as much research, shop around and figure out what your specific needs are for your driving style. Do you need high performance brakes that can bring your vehicle to a full stop in a short distance or are you happy with putting on the same pads that the manufacturer installed at the factory? Regardless of which option you choose, don’t hesitate to visit our parts department at Fraser Chrysler and consult with one of our knowledgeable parts specialists.

Interested in pricing out a set of OEM brakes for your vehicle? Visit our Parts Department at Fraser Chrysler for all of your Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram-related needs. Our friendly and knowledgeable parts associates would be more than happy to assist you in finding the right parts for your specific vehicle. Already know the specific part you’re looking for? Order parts using our simple and intuitive parts ordering form and we’ll get to work sourcing the part you need for your vehicle.