Tips for Counter Pros: Answering Brake Pad FAQs

January 16, 2024

When it comes to recommending brake pads to your customers, there’s a lot to consider. As a counter professional, you’re likely an educator for your DIY customers, providing product recommendations based on pricing, installation hardware, warranty information and more. Here are some tips from the ADVICS team, designed to help you navigate some of the questions you’re presented with.

“How much do brake pads cost?”

Customers often want to know why some brake pads are more expensive than others. Additionally, they may wonder if a premium priced product is worth the investment. This is your que to explain the difference between premium OE replacement aftermarket products versus entry level aftermarket products, as well as semi-metallic and ceramic friction formulations, and explain why you would recommend one or the other, based on their needs and driving style.

Next, if the customer is still hesitant about making the investment for a premium OE replacement product, you can provide insight on the level of engineering effort OE brake pad manufacturers put forth, and that this expertise is implemented into the premium OE replacement aftermarket products. Additionally, the raw materials that make up each friction formulation are a factor that not only impacts price but also braking event performance and brake pad and rotor wear characteristics.

For example, ceramic raw materials are more expensive than semi-metallic raw materials, and each type of friction material will result in different types of feedback to the driver during braking events.

“Is hardware included?”

Since your DIY customers are likely replacing their own brake pads, they may inquire about whether hardware is included in the box. As you know, this differs between each brand and product. Some boxes will come with only four brake pads and others will include the pads and hardware to make the installation process easier for the customer. If hardware is included, customers can expect components like anti-rattle clips and abutment clips to reduce noise and wear sensors that ensure the brake pad performs optimally.

Let your customer know that hey should be replacing the brake pads and all of the hardware to ensure they’re restoring their braking system as close to OE specifications as possible.

Nearly all of the ADVICS ultra-premium brake pad SKUs include the necessary hardware for installation.

“Is there a lifetime warranty on these brake pads?”

Customers may be looking for a brake pad with a lifetime warranty. While that would be great news for any customer, brake pads are not meant to last forever. They’re a wearable component. While many brake pad manufactures offer a limited warranty, the products must typically be installed by a professional technician in order for the warranty to be honored.

For educational purposes, you can also explain what factors determine how fast your customer’s brake pads will wear. This would include driving style, friction formulation and the impacts of corrosion from salt and other environmental factors.

“How long should brake pads last?”

While you know that mileage varies depending on brand and type of brake pads, driving characteristics and vehicle type, it’s a good idea to give your DIY customers a lifespan range to use as a rule of thumb. On average, a set of brake pads will last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles.

Following this conversation, it’s worth it to also provide tips on how your customer can make their brake pads last longer. Let them know that replacing hardware with each pad replacement can help sustain the brake pad’s lifetime. Additionally, you can share with them that replacing the brake rotors at the same time will provide the best scenario to realize the full life expectancy of the brake system wear components.

Communicating with Customers

Existing brake pad product knowledge will vary from customer to customer. With some, you may simply need to hand over the set they requested. With others, you may need to provide quite a bit of education and product information before they’re able to make a purchasing decision. As a counter professional, it’s important to be prepared for either situation, and everything in between.

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