Thursday, April 3, 2008

They're cheap for a reason.

A friend of mine had the misfortune of having a brake failure on a road trip recently. The culprit turned out to be a corroded brake piston which wasn't retracting fully into the caliper. It had heated up so much the caliper eventually warped, the brakes stuck on and the brake rotor looked like one of those expensive wavy crisps that come in a tube instead of a packet.

When he was telling us this story, he mentioned in passing that he had the option of low-end rotors for $15 a piece (which he took) or high-end rotors for $45 a piece.

Now I've been around cars and motorbikes since I was 16. Frankly $45 is cheap for a brake rotor. I shudder to think what the $15 option is made of - hamster droppings and sawdust? Do Dodge brakes really need replacing so often that the demand has pushed the price down to $15 a piece?

Perhaps if they manufactured a quality item that had some chance of wearing normally, people wouldn't need to replace them as often. Or is it that Dodge prefer $15-a-rotor annually versus $100-a-rotor every 4 years?

I'd expect to pay around $100 for a brake rotor but at the same time, I'd expect it to last for a very long time. I got over 100,000 miles out of the original rotors on my 1985 Audi Coupe and when I finally replaced them, they still technically were within wear tolerance.

Is this all just part of the modern day disposable lifestyle? Are we now to believe brake rotors are a disposable commodity?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An expensive rotor would also warp if brake was stuck on.