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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The wife was complaining about a noise and feeling when braking. I got in and it’s the rotors. (80k miles 2nd set of pads). Gonna use the AutoZone brake pad warranty and replace the pads for free but I need to get rotors.

What do you all subscribe too on cheap rotors vs expensive?

IMO Rotors are mostly throwaway parts and I have been going smart cheap (raybestos $98 for 4) as mostly all rotors are made in China now, even the expensive ones and I’d bet some are the same coming from the same factory. Some are painted fully and some just the hubs and spine. For what it’s worth I put painted hubs and spine rotors on my Accord and they still rust here in the northeast - salted roads and I live near the beach so salt all year round - for me painted is just a waste of money - a layer of anti-seize is all that is needed.

I haven’t paid more than $50 a rotor And I have never had warped or prematurely worn rotor ever but I never had a vehicle as heavy as the MDX.

What camp are you in?

I am in the inexpensive rotor and good pads camp.

Anyone have to swap out their 3rd gen Rotors yet? Any results to speak of or will
I be the guinee pig?
 

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I had some rotor warping issues on another SUV and replaced them with brand name somewhat more expensive rotors (I think Bosch) and the new ones were definitely better and remained warp free. I think it makes a difference. Usually the difference in cost between the lower cost and higher cost offerings isn't much. I try to stick with brand names rather than the house brands for brake parts - Autozone's house brand is Duralast. I've noticed though that Autozone and O'Reilly don't have a lot of choices for the MDX.

I don't really care that much about the rust - that's just cosmetic and I live in an area that's not bad for rust (no salt, no snow, not much rain), but the more expensive ones I think typically do better on the rust aspect. I never paint the rotors.

If I was you I'd opt for the bigger brand name and sometimes more expensive of the choices without going nuts. If you have a brand/line that performed well and satisfied you, regardless of the lower cost, then go ahead and stick with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
From what I am seeing there’s not many choices for the MDX. For house brands it’s all premium rotors which I have used on other cars and seem to have no difference in performance and life from the economy brands.

Amazon carries a Brand called DuraGo (sold and fulfilled by amazon) that’s inexpensive and looks like the Raybestos and the House brands ($16 for the rear and $24 for the front) but they are limited on stock (not enough for all wheels) The same exact rotors are available from other sellers at double or triple the Amazon Fulfilled cost.

All (auto parts, Amazon, eBay, Internet) seem to have Raybestos, same part but prices are wildly different. Rock Auto seems to be the cheapest for Raybestos.

I am very tempted to put the DuraGo’s in my cart to check them out but with Amazon limited stock / out of stock you never know when you’ll get them.

I have been using the Duralast CMAX Gold / Platinum pads without any issue. They are quiet and virtually dust free and with the lifetime warranty it’s a great deal if you use it. I had to stop short several times and never had a control or slip isssue. I don’t tow but I do a lot of driving in the mountains (east coast so not that big) they have been great for me on the MDX. But at 80k on my 2015 the rotors are due and I want to get it all done when I swap out the winter wheels this week or next (weather permitting) to my all seasons (Rotors, full fluid bleed, pads, caliper boots and seals)

I was wondering how this group has done with non OEM rotors on the MDX (which are priced ridiculously high - compared to aftermarket and if anyone has experienced a difference in giving the inexpensive rotors a try.

For every other car / mini van I have owned I used Raybestos or a House Brand without any issue or difference from the OEM. But now there are so many new options and they are either getting cheaper in price or ridiculously expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had some rotor warping issues on another SUV and replaced them with brand name somewhat more expensive rotors.
Do you recall which ones warped and how long ago? I get a sense they are all pretty much the same now made by the same factory just for different “brands”

For my Odyssey I used Raybestos without any issues - I would have went with AcDelco (the whole set would have been $75) but they were out of stock and I needed them that week, Raybestos was $98 for the whole set.

I have on Carquests Premium Coated Rotors on my Accord (got discounts and used speed perk bucks) and they are doing great but they still rust on th hub and spine. I don’t have any speed perks left and it’s just their standard 25% off which still makes them priced higher than other available options.
 

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is the question about who is least inexpensive or what is best? If it about least cost then how will you ever know you found it. You could buy a set on tuesday and by wednesday find something else less costly.

The factory has changed the rotor part number which means they have probably changed suppliers or design. I only buy factory parts as long as they are available. That way if there is a recall they usually give you the money back that you spent.

In fact just as an FYI - Acura has already started a campaign for the RDX, 90 days ago, which has the same issue. http://www.urvi.net/forumfiles/SB/B16-002.PDF
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
At 80k miles I am past the ability for warranty claims, only recalls.

When it’s time to change the rotors I have been doing inexpensive rotors (less than $50 a rotor) with good pads and normally getting 2 pads worth by the time it’s ready for a 3rd set of pads on the 2nd Rotor (which means new rotors) I usually will have sold the car by then. Depends on the car.

I can tell you for my Accord and Odyssey I had no issues using the Raybestos rotors on the Odyssey (twice so 6 sets of pads and 3 sets of rotors including the original over its life with me) I am on my 2nd set of rotors on my Accord and they are CarQuest and so far so good. I just wouldn’t pay for the coating again as from what I am seeing it the hats and spine rusts anyway in my region.

I am hoping to get feedback from those that have replaced their rotors on the MDX with standard aftermarket ones and what experience they had.

I know a lot of folks like to go back to OEM and that’s all they will use for rotors but at over $100 per rotor and in my non MDX experience that’s a lot and not necessary (for those cars) when there are so many inexpensive options where you can get a whole set (4) for the cost of (1) OEM rotor.

Even if I had to change the rotors with every pad change I’d still be way ahead vs OEM.

I may be the only one here willing to try inexpensive rotors (Raybestos or DuraGo) on my MDX so that will be a good how-to / review for us all. I would love to come back an report “man those rotors were complete junk and I had to get xyz or OEM”

or

“These $98 (for a set of 4) Raybestos (or $80 (for a set of 4 DuraGo’s) rotors work great with x pads and you can save yourself $400 by skipping the OEM Rotors”

That’s what I am asking - anyone with that experience?
 

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I usually get 50K to 70K on front pads, and 100K on rotors in all my Acuras. Sometimes I'll change them early. Haven't bought a non-Honda part for the Acura in years other than a set of driveshafts for a Legend that lasted less than 200 yards. Can't help ya myself. There are a couple other threads where the question has been asked and answered several times by different folks. I'd probably go to TireRack and see what they have if you want after market. They usually have buyer ratings too - Amazon does also.

Unless you go with Bosch, Ate, Varga, etc, many brands of autoparts are just marketing companies. They bid out manufacturing. The part you get Wednesday may be different than the part you get six months later. In fact on some other brand cars I've bought generic aftermarket parts I've seen totally different parts come out of two identical boxes other than one box has a made in Brazil sticker and the other made in China.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow - you get 70k on pads? I replaced my OEM pads at around 46k miles. They still had meat left (maybe another 10-15k miles) but I was in the process of putting on the winter tires and NYS inspection so I just replaced the pads. The rotors were fine so I just replaced the pads to ceramic.

Outside of the MDX being my wife’s daily driver it has become the car we take to the poconos so it’s a lot of pocono mountain driving. This was formerly the job of the Odyssey but I sold that car and I didn’t check the last set of rotors and we didn’t have the place in the poconos prior to that last set so I really have no idea how that held up. We are now starting to get braking feedback and I can feel the groves and there is a lip. At 80k miles and a good portion of that being mountain driving I think that’s normal. But it could also be because I didn’t “turn” the rotors when I replaced the OEM pads with the new ceramic pads. These are all new dynamics for me. In the past I always just change the pads and on the 3rd pad set I get a new rotor. In this case the OEM rotor has worn faster than the pad. The pads have 1/2 it’s meat left.

I do love me some reviews but I know half of them are completely fake - I have a family member that worked for a company that provided reviews for hire (good or bad) and after their stories I don’t give reviews much weight. They even go as far as buying the products so that they are verified reviews. It’s bad!

I tried searching but BOY some
threads get really deep and are hard to follow.

I will give the Raybestos Pro a shot and do a how-to and then follow up with a review. At he very least it will be good fresh learnings for everyone who is interested especially for 3rd gen owners who are getting to the point in the life cycle of needing these things.
 

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I've never purchased OEM rotors for a vehicle as far as I can recall. I've always purchased aftermarket. Again, I like to stick with bigger, more well-known, brand names when it comes to brake parts but I have purchased house brands as well. When purchasing house brands they often will have a choice of the 'regular', sometimes 'economy', and 'premium'. I'll always opt for the premium in those cases even though they usually cost a bit more. In the scheme of things, especially relative to the cost/value of your MDX, the cost difference isn't that significant.

If I have a choice between Raybestos, Bosch, and the like vs. a house brand I'll go with the non house brand.

Not all rotors are the same and they're not so generic. I think there's a difference in material, finishing (how accurate the grinding/finish was), coatings, etc. It's not a matter of 'made in China' or not - even 2 items made in China can be different due to different specs and factories. Even brand A vs brand B made in the same factory (anywhere) can be different because they're being made to different specs at different cost points.

With the MDX there's not as much choice as there was on my prior domestic vehicles and the cost is higher. This'll cause me to research a bit more before I buy rotors for it but I haven't needed to yet - my vehicle only has around 44K miles on it and has a ways to go until I do the brakes.

I definitely wouldn't try to cheap out when it comes to pads and rotors. Brakes are too important and it's too annoying and can be dangerous when they don't perform well, warp, fade, etc. More expensive doesn't always mean 'better' but it can mean a difference. I suggest buying higher quality parts, even if it costs a bit more, but would likely still be substantially less that OEM. Again, if you have experience with certain brands/parts you're happy with and the equivalent is made for the MDX then maybe you should consider going for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
When purchasing house brands they often will have a choice of the 'regular', sometimes 'economy', and 'premium'. I'll always opt for the premium in those cases even though they usually cost a bit more. In the scheme of things, especially relative to the cost/value of your MDX, the cost difference isn't that significant.
So some good news to make this easier for folks like us, my research is showing that there are not many options for standard rotors for the 2014/16 MDX, they are all Premium or Professional levels, there are no regular or economy levels as of today.

You do have to shop for price as the same part# can be double on some sites vs others.
For instance:

RAYBESTOS 981063R
Rock Auto: $28
Summit Racing: $70
Amazon: $56
Ebay: $64
 

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When comparing costs make sure you account for shipping costs since rotors are quite heavy. One place with the low price that charges shipping might end up to be more than the more expensive place (or brick and mortar) with no shipping charge. I'm wondering if the Rock Auto is really less expensive than Amazon when accounting for shipping - but I've never purchased anything from Rock Auto. You're right though - prices can vary a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
When comparing costs make sure you account for shipping costs since rotors are quite heavy. One place with the low price that charges shipping might end up to be more than the more expensive place (or brick and mortar) with no shipping charge. I'm wondering if the Rock Auto is really less expensive than Amazon when accounting for shipping - but I've never purchased anything from Rock Auto. You're right though - prices can vary a lot.
AHH YES! Good Call! Rock Auto charges shipping!!!

For the full set:
Rock Auto is: $120 (including shipping)
Amazon is $109 if you have prime (but they are out of stock of the rear)

But odd thing about Rock Auto is the price literally just increased after I purchased them from them. I know what I paid and have the receipt and it's not what they have listed for me now.
I hate this price optimization tactic. Gotta use multiple browsers and clear cookies often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
so what I am reading is that you are wondering who has the cheapest rotors? Make sure the stud spacing is correct. It changes between MDX years.
Yes and No, turns out there are not many standard options for the 2014 - 2016 MDX like there are for other cars. I was just pointing out that for the same part# the pricing is wildly different but as MDXstang points out in the case between Rock Auto and Amazon, Rock Auto's shipping charges make it more expensive than Amazon but still cheaper than the others. Unfortunately at this time Amazon is temporarily out of stock and I have some good weather hitting us next week so I want to get it done now rather than wait for Amazon to be back in stock to save $10
 

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Look at Power Stop they have a front and rear kit for the 3rd gen MDX. I installed them on my 2011 MDX and they were a nice improvement over the stock Acura rotors and pads. Performed flawlessly for 40K miles till we traded for the 2015 MDX. When my brakes need replacing on my 15 I am going to do the Power Stop kit again.

https://www.powerstop.com/products/#y=2015&mk=ACURA&mo=MDX
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Localbar - don't you have a couple other threads going on brake rotors?
Not the same though - The other one is about what I received from RockAuto - a dirty returned rotor and then how I found out that the rear rotors are not the brand I purchased even though the Box and their customer service confirmed it was.

In all this I now have several sets of rotors from different manufacturers which I will do a unboxing video comparison on once I have some time.
 

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I ordered the Power Stop rotors and pads for the front and Akebono pads for the rear. My wife’s 2014 MDX has 77k miles on it and the pads / rotors have never been replaced. I figured it’s about time to replace them sooner than later. Will keep everyone updated.
 
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