When it’s time to replace your car’s brake pads or rotors, you want to choose a brand you can trust. But with so many options out there, how do you know if Detroit Axle is a good brake brand to go with? As the owner of over 200,000 vehicles, I’ve tested my fair share of aftermarket brake components. Here’s what I’ve learned about Detroit Axle’s strengths and weaknesses to help you make an informed decision.
Here’s a quick answer:
Despite their budget-friendly pricing, Detroit Axle brake components offer good value for daily drivers not needing ultra-high performance. Their ceramic pads provide low dust and noise, while some rotor kits feature cross-drilled and slotted designs. While maximum stopping power falls short of premium brands, Detroit Axle’s 10-year bearing warranty and competitive lifespans make them a worthwhile choice for most commuters.
An Value-Oriented Brand
Detroit Axle positions itself as a value-focused brand. Instead of chasing ultra-high performance claims, their goal is to deliver dependable brakes that meet the needs of everyday drivers on a budget. I’ve installed Detroit Axle ceramic pads and rotors on several family vehicles over the years and have been happy with the performance for commuting, hauling kids around town, and even the occasional highway trip.
While the stainless steel shims and rubberized undercoating aren’t as flashy as premium brands, they get the job done. For a fraction of the cost of high-end brakes, Detroit Axle delivers respectable stopping power and durability. This makes them a great choice for getting the most bang for your buck.
Decent Materials and Construction
The most popular Detroit Axle brake pads utilize ceramic compounds rather than semi-metallic. Ceramics have become mainstream thanks to qualities like low dust, minimal noise, and improved braking in cold weather. I prefer ceramics for daily driving since they don’t kick up as much dark dust on my wheels. Detroit Axle’s ceramic pads check the box for livable noise levels too.
In addition to ceramic pads, some Detroit Axle rotor kits come with cross-drilled and slotted rotors. The holes and slots provide extra channels for heat, gas, and water dissipation. While I’ve found drilled and slotted rotors to be somewhat interchangeable for daily use, they do add a performance look behind open wheels.
The grey cast iron alloy that Detroit Axle uses for their rotors seems on par with other brands in this price range. I haven’t encountered any cracking or warping issues over years of use. For occasional track days or aggressive mountain driving, I’d recommend upgrading to a two-piece floating rotor. But Detroit Axle’s one-piece rotors stand up fine to typical commuting.
Shopping for brakes on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice warranty coverage. Detroit Axle provides a standard 10-year warranty on hub bearings purchased as part of a brake kit. The warranty protects against defects in materials and workmanship.
In my experience, Detroit Axle has delivered on bearing warranty claims without any pushback. I’ve found their customer service team responsive in processing returns and getting replacement parts shipped out. A 10-year warranty demonstrates Detroit Axle’s faith in their manufacturing quality. Of course, like any warranty, be sure to read the fine print about exclusions.
Some Fitment Inconsistencies
The main complaint I’ve seen from other Detroit Axle brake users surrounds occasional vehicle fitment issues. When shopping for brake components by vehicle make and model, you expect a precise match. However, a few reviewers have run into problems with Detroit Axle pads and rotors not lining up correctly on all four corners.
Incompatible parts that don’t mount flush can cause uneven pad wear along with grinding or vibration. Thankfully, the fitment problems seem to be isolated cases and not across the board. Before purchasing anything, be sure to triple check dimensions and specs for your exact vehicle’s brakes. Reaching out to customer support with questions is another smart move.
Not Track-Tested Stopping Power
Here’s the reality – Detroit Axle doesn’t offer track-grade performance brakes designed for repeated heavy loads. The trade-off for the lower price point is that Detroit Axle brakes are not torture tested under extreme temps and pressures lap after lap. If you’re planning to compete at the drag strip or shred canyon roads each weekend, I’d recommend upgrading to a track-focused system.
That said, Detroit Axle brake pads and rotors provide completely adequate stopping power for daily commuting and moderately spirited weekend drives. For those of us who just need dependable, affordable brakes that we can install ourselves, Detroit Axle fits the bill. Unless you drive predominantly in mountainous areas towing heavy loads, Detroit Axle has the baseline performance needed for typical vehicles.
Ideal for Daily Drivers on a Budget
At the end of the day, Detroit Axle offers good quality brake components for regular daily transportation. They cut costs by skipping the racing pedigree and aerospace-grade materials. What you trade off in outright performance is made up for in value. In my years of hands-on brake experience, Detroit Axle delivers on their brand promise.
For middle-of-the-road price tags between $25-$120, Detroit Axle brake kits bring respectable value. As an economical choice, I believe they make sense for students, fixed-income households, and really any daily driver on a tight budget. The ceramic pads tick important boxes like low dust and noise too. So if you don’t demand ultra-stopper performance, Detroit Axle deserves a test drive.
How Detroit Axle Compares to Other Brands
To help give context around Detroit Axle’s value, here’s a comparison across common brake brands for key factors:
|10 years on hub bearings
|Semi-metallic (most kits)
As you can see, Detroit Axle competes well on price while matching the warranty coverage of the major players. The ceramic pads also keep dust and noise respectable for most drivers. When it comes to max stopping power, premium brands like Akebono do have Detroit Axle beat. But you’ll pay nearly double the cost for that extra performance you may not fully utilize daily.
Tips for Getting the Most from Detroit Axle
Here are my top five tips for having the best experience with Detroit Axle brake components:
- Confirm exact sizing – Use your VIN and chat with customer support to validate the right parts for your make, model, and year.
- Upgrade hardware – Spend a few extra bucks on premium brake lubricant and stainless steel hardware for corrosion resistance.
- Bed-in properly – Help pads and rotors mate through a series of moderate stops to build initial friction surface.
- Flush brake lines – A full system flush can dramatically improve pedal feel by preventing fluid contamination.
- Drive reasonably – Adapt your driving style and towing needs to avoid overtaxing budget brakes beyond their design limits.
Following these best practices will help Detroit Axle brakes last for years while maintaining smooth operation. Be realistic about the performance level you need and remember the old saying “you get what you pay for.” Compared to high-end brands, Detroit Axle is focused on reliable function over form.
The Verdict: Quality and Value
In the world of vehicle brakes, Detroit Axle manages to hold their own. They offer kits made from common materials that have been tested over time. While stopping distances might run a bit longer compared to premium brands, Detroit Axle delivers baseline performance for daily transportation.
For budget-focused drivers not pushing their vehicles to the limit every drive, Detroit Axle checks the right boxes. Their ceramic pads offer low dust and noise to keep your wheels and cabin quiet. Plus the 10-year bearing warranty provides valuable long-term coverage. If you mostly just need dependable replacement brakes you can install in your own garage, Detroit Axle won’t let you down.
So if you find a complete brake kit or pad and rotor bundle with the specs to fit your car, I say roll the dice. Considering the affordable price and respectable quality, Detroit Axle brake components will serve you well for years of everyday driving ahead. Just don’t expect ultra-high performance without the premium price tag. For the average commuter, Detroit Axle has you covered.
1. Are Detroit Axle and Power Stop brakes the same?
No. While both brands offer affordable, aftermarket brake components, Detroit Axle and Power Stop are different companies. Power Stop is manufactured by Power Stop LLC, while Detroit Axle is its own separate entity.
2. Do Detroit Axle brakes produce a lot of dust?
No. Most Detroit Axle brake pads utilize a low-dust ceramic compound instead of semi-metallic pads. This helps reduce wheel dust kicked up while braking. Keeping brake dust low also helps avoid residue that can corrode wheels over time.
3. What vehicles are Detroit Axle brakes compatible with?
Detroit Axle offers brake pads, rotors, calipers and kits for a wide range of makes and models. Brands covered include Chevy, Ford, Dodge, Jeep, Toyota, Honda, and more. Be sure to check that the parts match the specs of your exact vehicle before purchasing.
4. Is bedding-in required with Detroit Axle brake pads and rotors?
Yes. Properly bedding in fresh pad and rotor sets helps ensure maximum braking performance. The bed-in process mates the surfaces through heat cycling. Follow the pad manufacturer guidelines by accelerating and braking moderately for the first few hundred miles.
5. What is the warranty period on Detroit Axle brake components?
Detroit Axle provides a standard 10-year warranty covering defects on hub bearings sold with brake kits. Other brake components like pads and rotors carry more limited one to three year warranties under normal driving conditions. Be sure to register your purchase to take full advantage of warranty coverage.