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OEM Volkswagen Brake Pads vs: Aftermarket Brake Pads

When looking for replacement brake pads, you have two options:

  1. OEM brake pads
  2. Aftermarket brake pads

Some people believe that it doesn’t matter what kind of brake pads they get. It’s actually not true. The type of brake pads you put in your car matters a lot.

If you want your VW’s braking performance to remain optimal, always use OEM brake pads. Here’s why:

1. OEM Brake Pads are Made With the Right Materials

OEM VW pads3

Friction material is the most important part of a brake pad. It’s designed to generate the right amount of heat and to keep brake dust at a minimum. Volkswagen spent a lot of time developing brake pads with the optimal friction material that:

  • Allows for quieter braking
  • Works well in all kinds of weather
  • Causes as little wear as possible on the rotors
  • Doesn’t produce a lot of brake dust

The friction materials on aftermarket brake pads are rarely made to OEM specs. That means that aftermarket pads on OEM rotors may wear out the rotors much faster than OEM pads would. For effective braking, just the right amount of heat has to be generated, and aftermarket brake pads don’t always accomplish that. Not only are aftermarket brake pads more likely to quickly wear out your rotors, but they’ll also reduce your VW’s braking performance. Talk about a lose-lose situation.

Amazon reviewers have reported more noise and brake dust with aftermarket brake pads. A reviewer said that their aftermarket brake pads caused “unending brake dust and squealing”. Another reviewer wrote, “[My aftermarket] brakes have not stopped squealing since I installed them on my 2016 VW Passat. I broke them in and thought [the brake dust and squealing] would stop after the first 100 miles or so. Nope, they still squeal very loud, and they leave so much brake dust! My VW rims look super dirty after the second day of washing them. These brakes are not good quality at all.”

2. OEM Brake Pads are Cheaper

OEM brake pads may be more expensive upfront (but not always; you can order a set of genuine OEM brake pads from us at deeply discounted prices). However, OEM brake pads are cheaper in the long run. It’s not uncommon for aftermarket brake pads to fail early.

In fact, some Amazon reviewers aren’t happy about how little time their aftermarket brake pads lasted. A reviewer wrote that they had their aftermarket brake pads for only a week and they were already chipping. “Seriously?” They wrote. “One week and [already] showing signs of failure?”

OEM brake pads are known to last about twice as long as aftermarket brake pads. Not only that, but also you probably would have to replace your rotors much sooner if you use aftermarket brake pads. These costs add up over time.

3. OEM Brake Pads are Backed by a Warranty

Volkswagen offers a 1-year, 12K mile warranty on its genuine OEM parts. So on the off chance that your OEM brake pads fail within one year of installation (or 12K miles, whichever one comes first), you can get them replaced for free. You can’t really say the same about aftermarket pads, as aftermarket parts are rarely warrantied.

Also check out: How to Diagnose Failing Brake Pads In Your Volkswagen