Tuesday, October 13, 2015

PowerStop Brake Review

powerstop brake review ford mustang v6 uprage brakes random automotive

Every now and then I put something new on my 2005 V6 Mustang to make it better, or to just keep up with maintenance.  When I realized that my brake pads were pretty much just down to the metal plates behind where the pads used to be, I figured it was time to get new brakes.  Since my rotors had seen about 100,000 miles, and bits of rust flaked off of them, I figured I would go for brakes and rotors.

I could have gotten OEM stuff, but I figured I would do something a little different, but still stay on a budget.  I decided to go with a kit for my car by PowerStop which included four drilled and slotted rotors, and a complete set of Evolution ceramic brake pads.  The whole kit I got off Jegs for just over $250.  Reviews elsewhere said they were a good kit, and anything would have been better than the non-existent stock ones I had, so I figured I would go for it.

Jegs got them to me super fast.  Installation would have been easy, but my rotors were rusted in place, so I had to take my car to a shop to get them installed.  Kind of embarrassing, but it is what it is.  Once they were on, the rotors looked badass, and that’s about where the positives stop.

First off, these brakes have to be broken in.  It says that in multiple locations on the box and paperwork, and the guys at the shop told me that too.  It involves a series of hard braking from various speeds, and then a cool down period.  I drove very carefully from my shop to a street I knew I could do this on.  I made sure to use the brakes very lightly, and I kept the car in neutral at lights to avoid pad pressure on them.

I followed the break in steps, and I knew it was working because I smelled the resin it said I would.  Even after doing so, the brakes felt mushy and only slightly better than my worn out stock ones.  I was confused, but it’s not like we were talking about a six piston Brembo system, so I accepted it and dealt with it.

After about a week, I was driving home, and when I went to brake for a traffic light (at a normal braking speed), I nearly flew through the windshield.  Out of nowhere, I felt like I finally had new brakes.  That continued for the ride home.  The next morning, just tapping the brakes while exiting my parking lot caused the car to instantly stop.  Finally!  I thought that maybe they had to break in more. 

Well, as the day went on, brake fade took over and they were back to mushy.  Then the next later on they were fine.  The next morning, they started mushy, then not, and the sporadic pattern still continues to this day, months and hundreds of miles later.  I can’t tell when brake fade happens because sometimes they are there, and sometimes not.

The ABSOLUTE worst part is the rattle I have from one of them.  Granted, this could be something the shop did when installing them, but after about a month of having them, my front right something rattles VERY loudly each and every time I do so much as run over a snail or the painted lines on the road.  When I brake (even slightly), it’s gone, so it has something to do with the brakes, I’m just not sure what.  So, who knows what it is.  It really makes my car seem old and not well put together when I hear that.

Also, these brakes are “coated” to prevent rust.  That lasts a couple weeks.

powerstop brake review ford mustang v6 uprage brakes random automotive

powerstop brake review ford mustang v6 uprage brakes random automotive

So after all that, what is my conclusion?  You get what you pay for.  If you want the look of something high end, but can’t afford it, go with these.  Want something to stop like Brembos?  Seriously, get Brembos.  They have the look, when they are not rusty, but that’s about it.

  • Look cool
  • Good price
  • Anti-rust coating fades quickly
  • VERY inconsistent braking
  • Rattles (potentially not the brake’s fault)
So while you get fancy looking drilled and slotted rotors and you get ceramic brake pads, it’s really all about the looks with these.  Would I get them over stock again?  If I can fix the rattle, yes.

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Pictures courtesy of Powerstop


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