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so, i was due to try an leave town to see family [finally break free of COVID isolation] this week. but like so many, my 2013 Jeep GC TH sat for 3 months. and before that, i was on medical leave from work and it sat for 3 months. only drove it to appointments and for about 2 weeks to work before we closed.

to get through my to do list, i wanted to get the new inspection sticker since it expired in March and the VA governor extended the window to July 31 for Safety Inspections. i was pretty shocked to be rejected for VA inspection for what appears minimal and passable grooving from where the pads or rotors rusted. they explained the pads are not contacting the rear rotors at all. i have noticed no change in braking, pumping, noise or smoke from the rear. having only had to replace rotors 2x before - in vehicles with 3x the mileage - i have begun to explore options, such as dealer and local shops with good reviews. mind you, i have 14 more days to inspect the Jeep, so i feel like i am scrambling.

first, i don't believe the truck is a safety hazard, despite failing inspection. so, I am considering driving the 358 miles to a trustworthy mechanic in my home town that all my family uses rather than get taken by shops where i live, like the one that failed my Jeep. over time i have come to learn places i have taken my Jeeo charge dealer prices and put in after market bits, or charge half dealer prices and put in Wrangler parts. i even may have to correct part listed on the recipt but when i go to replace or inspect have found a different number of after market part entirely.

called a company called "the brake squad" who come to your location and install the brake rotors and pads. but they usually jack the cars up at a midpoint to get both wheels up. i explained to the scheduler that Jeep only recommends raising at the spots indicated in the manual. when i asked where they sourced parts from, she asked what make and model Jeep i drove (b/c different brands parts are sourced from different places), and said they are "white label international parts manufactured in Canada in the same plant that Jeep parts are made but with a different label". so upon digging, i didn't see anywhere in Canada that was manufacturing Jeep parts. so unknown after market ceramic pads and who knows rotors.

SO WHY I AM POSTING: what are your opinions and experiences using OEM over aftermarket parts and going to local repair places over the dealerships. mind you, this is just rotors and pads, not something proprietary to Jeep. until Feb 2020, i was still running conventional oil, as that was how my Jeep came in Dec. 2012. but the last o-change, they put in whatever, not even 5/20, of that i am sure.

i would really like to hear your thoughts of the pros and cons for either OEM/aftermarket, and how you arrive at using dealers over other repair shops. at my old age, i want piece of mind when i get repairs to my vehicles. with after market, i worry the parts may not perform as intended. what if the rotors and pads won't stop the Jeep when towing?
we're all dealing with a lot during these most crazy times so be kind in your reply!
 

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2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 5.7L Hemi
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Lots of recommendations for PowerStop z23 and z36. Some folks have reported problems, though, so you could research an alternative. I bought replacement rotors and pads for all 4 corners through ebay from a forum member's recommendation. Haven't put them on, yet.
 

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I am currently using Centric Coated Premium Rotors and Akebono Performance Ceramic Pads....
The OEM pads are supplied by Akebono, but they may not be the same as the Akebono aftermarket pads, and definitely not the exact same as the performance pad, likely the Akebono Premium Pad is closer to the OEM pad.....

I have put on my daughters and son-in-law cars, and an old beater I use as a pick-up.... ...Raybestos "E3" Pads and Coated Rotors..... .....if you order them off RockAuto, they are very cheap, one of the lowest priced pads and rotors out there.... ....BUT, they perform very well, smooth and quiet..... ....in fact they perform surprisingly well, my first thought during the test drive after installing them in my daughters Altima, "I can't believe I only paid $20 for these pads"....

My daughters Nissan Altima, if you haven't driven it for a couple of days, and likely some rust gets on the rotor surface, the rear disc brakes might squeel lightly the first stop or two.... ....after that, perfectly quiet. I suspect its more a Nissan Altima thing than a Raybestos E3 thing....

I have NOT tried the Raybestos on the WK2, but I have no reason to suspect they would disappoint.....
 

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Trailhawk
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I've been a staunch believer and user of Wagner ThermoQuiet (TQ) brake pads. Wagner manufactures a nice coated rotor as does Centric. You and your wallet won't be disappointed. Oh and don't be surprised if you have to replace the parking brake shoes and hardware.
 

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Also, be careful if you decide to go OEM, the Dealers sell a "Value Line" of brake replacement parts, that are cheaper than the OEM parts, because they are just cheap aftermarket parts they are reselling, not the actual parts used on the assembly line. Often the Dealer will give you the value line without even checking with you or telling you.....

Any good aftermarket brand is better than the garbage they give from the "Value Line" the Dealer hocks....

Oh, and I have never purchased the OEM Brake Parts for replacement, I've always used upper tier Aftermarket Parts for Pads and Rotors and never regretted it. The only time I've regretted it, is if I had bought the cheapest lowest line of brakes....

So look for the well know brands and their more premium offerings, doesn't have to be the most expensive one the sell, just avoid the cheaper or mid-level parts... ....Names like Raybestos, Bendix, Wagner, Akebono, Centric, AC Delco, MotorCraft, etc.....

Like I said, I've been thoroughly impressed with Raybestos E3 Pads and Rotors, on three different vehicles, I'm convinced its the best value pad and rotors out there.... ...But, I've never tried them on a WK2, so a bit of a risk, since I can't tell you how they will be on a WK2.....
 

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JGC Overland
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I second the Akebono pads and centric rotors… I am at roughly 56,000 miles on this replacement set and they work great. For what it’s worth, I am surprised that you actually have to replace your brakes. My first set from the factory lasted 150 Thousand miles.

If that were my car I would take it to a trustworthy mechanic and ask for an honest assessment. I would be willing to bet money that there is nothing actually wrong with the pads and rotors,, but rather a little bit of corrosion or sticking or something like that. One possibility is that if you live in a damp climate and you’ve never done anything with the brakes you may have corroded brake caliper cylinders. That would easily explain the problem you were informed of by the inspection people. Given the low miles you drive, I would probably have those rotors turned instead of replaced if there is any little bit of grooving or rust.
 

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I know for me personally I usually stay away from dealerships because their hourly rate is high. Now brake jobs for the most part are usually easy jobs, yet shops way overcharge for the job.

I would call around for prices to swap NEW pads AND rotors. Don't let them turn yours down, when new rotors can be had now days for a good price. I would have no problem going aftermarket parts as long as they're named brand and not the economic line as posted.

If you are on FB and in a local jeep page or off-roading page, maybe ask on their for good reasonable local shops. I think there is also local forums on here, maybe look for yours and ask there as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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2015 WK2 Overland
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My Powerstop rotors are junk after 12k and I'm not impressed with the Z36 pads. I'll be swapping out to Centric rotors and Black Magic pads - at least for the front until rears are available.
 
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My Powerstop rotors are junk after 12k and I'm not impressed with the Z36 pads. I'll be swapping out to Centric rotors and Black Magic pads - at least for the front until rears are available.
Are Powerstop Rotors Drilled and/or slotted? The drilling and slotting often weakens them and results in them wearing faster, if not cracking.... ....if not, then yes, that is evidence that the powerstop don't really last....

As for the Orginal Poster, I think she just wants good, reliable, long lasting brakes for normal street driving..... ....I definitely would recommend against the Drilled/Slotted Rotors for her, Z36 pads, I just don't know, never tried them.....

Centric Rotors are good.....
Akebono is the OE Supplier, but that doesn't mean their Pro ACT aftermarket pads are the exact same they are supplying to Jeep as the OEM pads.... ....but they have a good rep....
I haven't heard of "Black Magic", at least yet....

even if i picked these up at Advance Auto and had a local shop my cousin uses install the kit, it's still hundreds cheaper than dealer. although the front looked alright, i kind of feel like it's just a matter of time before they wear down and would maybe want them just done for the heck of it. Advance Auto Parts - Down for Maintenance
Well, think about it, it always just a matter of time before they wear down.... ....but yes, we know what your saying is, is it worth it just do all 4 now, instead of just the rear, and then have to do the fronts not that much later.....

Check with the shop that is doing the repair, they may charge less to do all 4 at once, then the total for doing rears and then fronts later at a different time...

I'd stay away from slotted/drilled rotors, they look cool, but problems with them are very common, the drilling and slotting weakens the structure, they can develop cracks and/or wear faster and need to be replaced much sooner... ....in most cases, for driving on the street, they do not perform better, in fact sometimes they perform worse than regular rotors in street driving..... ....just the greater chance of having trouble and having to replace them sooner is enough reason to just avoid them.....

And like I said, you might have to order them off RockAuto, either cause not many sell them in the stores or sell them at the bargain price they are on RockAuto, but I have found the best value rotors pads are Raybestos "E3" or "Element 3" pads and rotors.... ....$110 for a kit for front, both rotors and pads.... ....I haven't tried them on a WK2 yet, but have for 3 other cars and they were priced near the bottom with the junk, yet they perform just as well as the top of the line pads and rotors.... ...the rotors are coated, with the new silver coating, that covers the entire rotor, it easily abrades off from the pads, there are no bands of uncoated metal on either side of the pads, that starts to rust...
 

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My Powerstop rotors are junk after 12k and I'm not impressed with the Z36 pads. I'll be swapping out to Centric rotors and Black Magic pads - at least for the front until rears are available.
I'm surprised about the pads. What don't you like? I've put them on my last few vehicles and think they work great. I've never used the rotors, but Brake Motive also sells the solid rotors as well.
 

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$85.79 for Rear Kit, Raybestos Element 3

$110.89 for Front Kit, Raybestos Element 3

You'll have to pay shipping of course, and with how heavy rotors are, that could come out to $25 or more....
This also assumes you have SD brakes? Do you know if you have SD or HD brakes? If you don't know, you need to figure that out before you buy rotors. The pads are the same between HD and SD brakes, but the rotors are different.

Or Centric Rotors (looks like Centric has switched to the new Silver Coating now):
$34.79 each for rear rotors (SD)

$45.79 each for front rotors (SD)

And Akebono ProACT pads
$53.79 a set for rear

$47.79 a set for front

OR if you want to go OEM:
OEM Rotors
$99.79 each for rear

$95.79 each for front

$91.79 a set for rear

They are out of stock of Mopar Front Pads

If you go OEM, look out for part numbers that start in "2AMV", these are the "Value Line" brake parts I warned you about, they are nothing more than bottom of the line aftermarket garbage, You're better off getting aftermarket higher end items yourself than getting Mopar "Value Line" parts......
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks Mongo53! that's a fantastic list. i would love to pick up one of thos

in my case, i need to get them installed before i leave travel back to VA. so, mail order is out of the question.
my home town only has an O'Reillys, Auto Zone, and Advance Auto so I am stuck with whatever they sell.

having trouble finding stuff in stock but if you have any ideas from the selection of what local stores can get in stock within the week i am home, i'd welcome them -

Advance Auto Parts - Down for Maintenance

https://www.autozone.com/brakes-and-traction-control/brake-rotor



 

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Do you have SD or HD brakes? If you don't know, we can tell you the trick to figure it out real quick and easy.

Personally, I would not buy "Generic" for brakes for myself. That is the inhouse brands, the BrakeBest, Duralast and Wearever, although Wearever I might buy.....

You want to get coated/painted rotors, the bare rotors will rust badly, even the coated/painted will eventually rust and there be some small amounts rust in several places, but an uncoated/unpainted rotor, within weeks, when you look at your wheels you're going to see tons of rust between the spokes.... ....its just worth the couple bucks more to get the coated/painted rotors...

AC Delco, I wouldn't hesitate to get there better/more expensive offerings, same with Wagner.... ....looks like Wagner have a choice between Ceramic or Semi-Metallic, usually Semi-metallic stops harder/performs better, but are hard on the rotors and wear them out faster, Ceramic is quieter, smoother, lasts longer and the rotors last longer....
 

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Are Powerstop Rotors Drilled and/or slotted? The drilling and slotting often weakens them and results in them wearing faster, if not cracking.... ....if not, then yes, that is evidence that the powerstop don't really last....
I don't believe in drilled/slotted rotors for street use. So no.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Mongo53, i have no idea what SD or HD is so i may need to hear the trick to distinguish. thanks for running through the list. i was leaning toward the Power Stop until someone mentioned the pads only lasted 12k miles and that most folks here advised against.

I can get Wagner thermo quiet pads now just need to find decent, reliable, COATED and vented rotors locally.
 

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4 Wheel Parts near me recommends the PowerStop z36 (I understand this could be a conflict of interest since they sell the product but they're not selling it to me. I bought elsewhere and they're just doing the cheap labor).

They put them on trucks and 4x4 suvs all the time and indicated they never hear of any problems. It's a really popular product from their perspective.

The z36 are the heavy duty, compared to z23, and would be useful if you will be towing. Also, consider that you have a 5,000+ lb SUV when making your decision.

I'm no expert. Just passing along information that was shared with me from my local shop. @CHeYeNNe71 pointed me to brakemotive on eBay for a really big discount. They delivered quickly, however failed to deliver the front pads by mistake so I'm now dealing with that.

Since you can't wait, I recommend against the online ordering because there could always be an error in your order/delivery like what happened with me.
 

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Mongo53, i have no idea what SD or HD is so i may need to hear the trick to distinguish. thanks for running through the list. i was leaning toward the Power Stop until someone mentioned the pads only lasted 12k miles and that most folks here advised against.

I can get Wagner thermo quiet pads now just need to find decent, reliable, COATED and vented rotors locally.
The HD Brakes had bigger diameter rotors in the front and ventilated rotors in the rear, they will not fit inside 17" wheels.
The SD Brakes have smaller diameter rotors in the front and solid rotors in the rear, they will fit inside 17" wheels.... ...just because you have bigger than 17" wheels doesn't mean you have HD brakes....

Look at your rear rotors, if they are ventilated, then you have HD Brakes, if they are solid, then you have SD Brakes......
The first years, the WK2 came with HD brakes with the Tow Package (I think, someone correct me if I'm wrong)
Later years it depended on the engine, the V6 got the SD Brakes, the V8 and Diesel got the HD Brakes....


Non Vented = Solid

If you have Non Vented/Solid rotors on the rear of your WK2, do not buy Vented thinking they can just swap, the calipers won't fit, you need to get bigger calipers to switch from non vented to vented rear rotors.....
 
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