The owner of a brake shop is hot under the collar after Tom & Ray recommend using factory brake pads on a Nissan.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jul 01, 1997

Dear Tom and Ray:

I own a 1991 Porsche and a 1997 subscription to my newspaper. It's the
newspaper I'm having trouble with. "Judy" wrote to you a while back with
squealing brakes on her Nissan 300ZX. She had just had Wagner pads put in, and
you guys said it was probably the pads, and you told her to get Nissan pads
from the dealer. My brother and I own and operate 20 brake shops, and see
40,000 customers a year, which does give us some working knowledge. We stock
Wagner pads because they are some of the best pads out on the market. We have
sold thousands of Wagner brake pads to satisfied customers (we call back our
customers and ask them if they're happy, and 97.7 percent are happy). And now,
because of your article, we have customers saying that they don't want that
"Wagner stuff." You guys misinformed the public. Now, what are you going to do
about it? -- Patrick

TOM: You think YOU'RE hot under the collar, Patrick? You should have seen the
poison pen letter we got from Wagner's PR flack!

RAY: We never said that Wagner makes an inferior product. We use Wagner and
Bendix brake products in our shop, too. But not in all applications. We've
found that on some Japanese cars and some Volvos, aftermarket brake pads,
including Wagner, tend to squeal, even when installed correctly.

TOM: How do we know they tend to squeal? Because our customers tend to squeal
when we use those pads on those cars. And when the customer squeals, you've got
to do something about it. You can't just say, "Well, Wagner makes great pads,
so tough luck, lady!"

RAY: So we've stopped using aftermarket brake pads for certain cars. And on
those cars, I've never, ever had a squealing complaint after using factory

TOM: I wouldn't hesitate to put Wagner or Bendix pads on a Ford or Chevy or
Volkswagen. And I wouldn't hesitate to use Wagner wheel cylinders or emergency
brake cables either. But I think "Judy" is better off with original Nissan pads
on her squealing 300ZX, and that's why I recommended them to her. But thanks
for writing, Patrick.

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