Wagner OEX pads, poor performance

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I did a front brake job on my '15 Sedona about a month ago. The factory pads only had 1/8" left (at around 34k), so I swapped them out for a set of Wagner OEX pads and Raybestos EHT coated rotors.

I was a bit suspicious of the pads due to their strange design; the pad material is sort of a scalloped shape with more grooves and it was clear from photos that it had less surface area than an OEM or similar pad. The product literature also highlights how long the pads last, which is an attribute I couldn't care less about. But heck, I'm all for trying new things (price was under $30), the design intrigued me and reviews were very positive, so why not... I'm pretty meticulous with my brake jobs, and I flushed all the brake fluid since the van is a few years old now.

My initial impression was underwhelming-- pads lacked any sort of bite, and pedal no longer had a linear feel to it.. Just doing moderate stops required very noticeably more pedal input than before. It wasn't a safety issue, if you got on the brakes hard, it stopped well. But totally ruined that first 1/3 of pedal travel. My "break in" isn't elaborate; a few trips around the block with a couple 50-30mph braking thrown in to get the brakes hot (don't confuse that with too hot or scorching), then I advise the wife to avoid panic stops for the first couple hundred miles. Has always worked for me. I thought perhaps they needed more time to bed in, so we took the van on vacation to Colorado putting about 2500 miles on it before passing judgement. Saw no improvement.

I decided to order some new pads, but was open to keep using the OEX if I noticed something about the previous pad install that needed correcting. I also thought perhaps the cheap Rural King DOT3 brake fluid I used might be the culprit. After taking everything apart, I found nothing that would explain poor brake performance, so I swapped pads to Raybestos EHT which I've had very good luck with on other vehicles. Long story short, the Raybestos pads work great and performance is pretty much on par with the OEM pads, which I've felt was excellent for a vehicle this size.

Maybe the OEX pads aren't a good fit for this application, or the reduced surface area affects this particular brake setup more than others. There's too many positive reviews out there for me to conclude it's simply a garbage pad, but did want to share my experience.

On a side note, the Raybestos EHT pads are rated GH for this application, whereas the same ones I currently have installed on my Pacifica are GG. The OEX pads are rated GG. I've always been happy with GG rated pads so I tend to seek them out (I've had mixed results with FF pads), but the OEX is the first GG rated pad I've not been happy with. I realize friction ratings aren't indicative of pad quality or expected performance, but figured I'd mention it.

Here's a couple photos comparing the OEX pad design versus the Raybestos (which is more or less identical to OEM).

OEX:
p1.jpg


Raybestos EHT:

p2.jpg

p3.jpg
 
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I put OEX pads and Element 3 rotors on a '12 Civic in the past (2) months. No complaints with this combination and car at all. The OEX pads did have different grooving that most pads but I definitely don't recall them being so scallop-y like the picture you're showing.

OEX1578 (these have the groovy groove)
OEX537
 
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You should get better performance out of the Element 3 pads. They are classified as a hybrid pad. Supposedly the best attributes of ceramic and metallic. The Wagners are ceramic. I’m not a big fan of ceramic pads, for some of the reasons you mentioned.
 
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H-rated pads are very rare for cars, except for parking brake shoes. They are more common in motorcycles.

The GH is likely a problem solver for a compromised design. Minivans are hard on tires and likely brake pads, too.

The EHT should serve you well. EBC also makes their Greenstuff pads for your Sedona. Unfortunately, they don't seem to make the Ultimax pads in that size.

Did you get all the air out? :unsure:
Speed bleeders are awesome :)
 

92saturnsl2

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Clearly less surface area with those big grooves and wavy edges. Probably why you have to step on the brake pedal harder for the same amount of stopping power.

I thought the same thing before I purchased them, but I figured that any reduction in surface area would be compensated for by increased pressure per amount of brake pedal travel. I'll let someone with a better understanding of physics make that determination though.
 
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92saturnsl2

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H-rated pads are very rare for cars, except for parking brake shoes. They are more common in motorcycles.

The GH is likely a problem solver for a compromised design. Minivans are hard on tires and likely brake pads, too.

The EHT should serve you well. EBC also makes their Greenstuff pads for your Sedona. Unfortunately, they don't seem to make the Ultimax pads in that size.

Did you get all the air out? :unsure:
Speed bleeders are awesome :)

I've used Greenstuff in the past on several vehicles, and they're an amazing pad performance-wise for street use. But they dust something awful (and a nearly black dust at that), at least in every vehicle I've used them in. I stopped using them for that reason-- I don't have nearly as much time to clean wheels these days as I did when I was younger, before kids. I'd have no problems running them on a performance car that wasn't a daily driver. Never tried the Ultimax, saw no reason to as I was so impressed with the Green.

I bleed brakes the old fashioned way, but I'm confident there's no air in there as everything is hunky dory after switching away from the OEX pad.

It is interesting how the OEX pad on other applications retain the OEM pad shape and surface area. Wonder why they chose to remove so much pad area for this particular application.
 
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I thought the same thing before I purchased them, but I figured that any reduction in surface area would be compensated for by increased pressure per amount of brake pedal travel. I'll let someone with a better understanding of physics make that determination though.

That is so, but only extra pressure can make up for a lower coefficient of friction. Sometimes pedal feel is lost in low pressure braking, if the pads/sliders or pistons are sticking, but this does not seem to be the case here.

if the pad is quite hard, and the discs are uneven from prior use, you could be braking on even less surface (only the hills, not the valleys) and no amount of pressure can make the pad key in enough. A more compressible pad will do better here. So how even are your discs?
 
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I put on the Wagner OEX ceramic pads on all 4 wheels(ALTIMA in sig), May 2020 and they've been fine thus far. I have one tiny little squeak/squeal only when backing up and applying the brakes but it doesn't happen all the time. I am however, just starting to get a tiny bit is padal vibe/shimmy on the hiwy out of the cheap DURAGO rotors that I paired with the OEX pads. I believe my pads are FF and this is my CoF of choice. I have never liked anything GG for any of my applications.
 
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I'm a firm believer of Raybestos EHT pads and I use them almost exclusivly. I stopped using Wagners after a subpar experience with ThermoQuiets.
 
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Rotors were brand new and 2500 miles was sufficient to wear down any machining marks. I checked all the boxes trying to find causes, and only came up with pads.

Ok, didn't see in your opening post that you changed discs, that's why I asked. I also would think it's pads at this point.
 
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area doesn't come into it, only force and friction coefficient.

  • Amontons' First Law: The force of friction is directly proportional to the applied load.
  • Amontons' Second Law: The force of friction is independent of the apparent area of contact.

Wear goes up, heat generated goes up (same energy concentrated in a smaller area) at the friction interface but no significant difference in brake pedal effort, unless the pads are very soft, like tyres on the road
 
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area doesn't come into it, only force and friction coefficient.

  • Amontons' First Law: The force of friction is directly proportional to the applied load.
  • Amontons' Second Law: The force of friction is independent of the apparent area of contact.

Wear goes up, heat generated goes up (same energy concentrated in a smaller area) at the friction interface but no significant difference in brake pedal effort, unless the pads are very soft, like tyres on the road
So if the pads were dime size, you wouldn't need to step on the pedal much harder to get the same amount of stopping power?
 
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The pad materials have various compressibility factors. Their backing can be compressed by the pressure too. That gives the "feel" of the pedal, the travel. This is elastic compression, once braking pressure is released, they go back to original dimension.

Pads with larger surface may exert the same braking force, but will do that with higher internal pressure, so they will compress more under the same braking effort, than a larger surface pad (if materials are equal).
Pads are not like blocks of steel (that would not be compressible).

Also the brake hoses will "swell" a bit under pressure, so that's adding to the compression feeling (racing hoses are braided with SS so they don't expand like that).

And of course, any air in the system will be badly compressible.
 
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OEx pads on my Tahoe and Equinox. Zero issues, holding up to tow duty just fine also. It's when towing I see the improved stopping power. Initial bite when cold is better than stock AC pads when not loaded up also.
I'll buy them again.
 

cos

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I had a similar issue - I installed Centric PQ PRO pads in my SRX. Yes, I cleaned, sanded and lubed - I take my time and do it right. I bed them in correctly and after 2,200 miles they just had very poor initial bite, terrible pedal feel and overall friction was just awful. So I replaced them with Raybestos EHT pads. Now the Caddy stops! The Raybestos pads have a higher friction rating (Front - GG, Rear - GH) then the Centric pads did.

Raybestos certainly seems to know how to build a pad that stops well, throws almost no dust and sells for a great price.
 
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