Bosch is well-known for their power tools. Yet, for some reason the brand’s a little bit out of the spotlight when it comes to brake pads and rotors.
That’s a bit undeserved, considering that QuietCast aftermarket parts are quite decent.
Now, let’s be real…they’re not top of the top brakes for offroad adventures or the heat of the racing track.
For daily driving and at their price point though? Bosch QuietCast brake pads are easily one of the better investments you can make.
Especially if you have an Asian car.
Those Honda, Nissan, Subaru vehicles around? I can guarantee you that half of them have QuietCasts as an OEM replacement. It’s the closest to OEM you can get – with the added benefit of improved dusting and performance.
QuietCast rotors are also OK. Nothing too special, just something reliable, corrosion-resistant to get the job done on a good price.
Note: Why I recommend Amazon? Because AdvanceAutoParts don’t have these available for store pickup. Also, you can’t beat Amazon’s prices on QuietCast parts!
Alright, I’m rambling. Here’s the deal, I’ll do two things:
- First, I’ll do a Bosch Quietcast (and Blue) review on both brake pads and rotors
- Second, I’ll outline how they compare to other popular manufacturers
Hopefully, by the end of the article you’d get the information you needed. If not, let me know in the comments!
Bosch QuietCast and Blue Brake Pads Review
OK, let’s take a look at what type of products we have here first. Unknowingly to some, Bosch actually have two different types of QuietCast brake pads:
- QuietCast Copper-free
- QuietCast Premium
In exactly 100% of the cases, I suggest you opt for the copper-free pads. Most online suppliers sell the Copper-free version but they call it Premium Ceramic (some examples).
In any case, these are an upgrade over the previous gen of Bosch pads. First, they’re more eco-friendly if you care about that as much as me.
More importantly, though – with street/commuter vehicles, ceramic brake pads are the best thing since sliced bread. Three very important reasons:
- They’re quiet. No, seriously – you can try hitting the brakes at midnight if you want to.
- They dust less. I’m pretty sure nobody likes dusting, right?
- They handle heat well. Less fade, less wear and tear on the rotors too.
Now, the issue with ceramics is that they’re not available for all vehicles. Luckily for you, as I said, Bosch do OEM replacement for a lot of models – especially Asian vehicles. You’re set.
Don’t mistake them with being poorly manufactured just because they have a neat pricing point. Let’s look at their shims:
As you can see, it’s an OEM-style shim construction. You have multiple layers, with the core being rubber.
Two notes about this:
- Rubber shims are the quietest thing you can ever get.
- Rubber shims suck for offroad use or if you want to go racing.
As I mentioned before, most probably you’re looking for something for your daily drive. In this situation, rubber shims like the ones QuietCast brake pads have are the best thing you can get.
Another cool thing: you get all the hardware you need and some lubricant, too. Full service.
What about the Blue brake pads?
Don’t get them, simple as that.
They’re inferior to QuietCast in all regards. Shims aren’t as well-designed, and you get no ceramic benefits here. QuietCast is the newer, improved technology. You can feel that performance-wise: in the improved dusting, the silent braking…literally in all aspects.
Worried About Fit? Here Are a Few Links For Specific Vehicles:
- NISSAN Pads: Infiniti, 350 and 370Z, Altima, Juke, Leaf, PathFinder, Sentra etc.
- TOYOTA & LEXUS Pads: Lexus, Avalon, Camry, Sienna, Solara, Tacoma
- HONDA Pads: Acura, Accord Crosstour, CR-V, Odyssey
- TOYOTA & PONTIAC Pads: Vibe, Scion, Toyota Corolla – Matrix – Prius
Obviously, there are many others too. Check around and you’ll find them.
A note: Sedans like the Altima I recommend them for, and some SUVs are OK. But for example, I wouldn’t put them on a pickup like a Tacoma.
Bosch QuietCast Rotor Discs: Decent, But Nothing Exquisite
The QuietCast rotors come in only one style: your general plain rotor with smooth surface.
The good thing about them is they run quiet – thanks to the heat flowed castings. Obviously, they’re also 100% compatible with the QuietCast brake pads. In that sense, it’s a bargain to get both of them if you need your rotors changed too.
As long as you stick to standard street driving, they’ll be OK. The coating is there, and it’s decent. It’s a mix between aluminum and zinc, dealing with rusting and corrosion issues.
Obviously, there’s no heavy coating for heavy-duty applications. For everyday rides it doesn’t matter that much and Bosch’s rotor brake discs will stick around for a healthy amount of miles.
In short, they’re your typical affordable brake pads from a reputable manufacturer.
Pretty mundane and limited in their applications. Don’t stick them on an offroad Tacoma, right? But if you want to cruise around with your, say, Accord, you don’t really need much anyways. They’ll be perfect.
If you are looking to pair them with other brakes or are looking for heavier usage, I’d suggest picking something else. EBC, Wagner, PowerStop offer different types of rotors – from drilled to slotted etc.
They’re sturdier, and especially in the case of EBC there’s a lot of additional coating too.
Back on the topic of Bosch replacement parts – if you’re wondering how to DIY the rotor installation…There’s this absolutely wonderful, helpful video:
Bosch vs Wagner, PowerStop Etc: Comparison to Other Brands
Let me get this off my chest:
Bosch are just atrocious in giving details about their products. I thought PowerStop were bad on the marketing side, but Bosch is just…
Even if you go on their official site, you won’t get much information. There’s a reason:
Bosch brake pads were meant for the generalist.
They don’t specialize in anything. Bosch just sticks to the general market and gives a solution for drivers who just want their everyday ride to feel good.
In comparison, with Wagner you have 4 absolutely different types of Wagner brake pads, ThermoQuiet, QuickStop, SevereDuty, OEX – every single one targets a specific segment of drivers. the ThermoQuiet line being most widely used.
EBC have their Yellowstuff, Greenstuff, Redstuff – pads targeted at anything from extreme offroad warriors, to hot-blooded racers or 4WDs. Some of their pads are rated the highest in terms of heat resistance.
Bosch tries to target the heavy-duty/offroad market with their Severe Duty pads. However, this niche is just out of their league – I would never recommend you get these over the better performing Z36 from PowerStop or some higher-end Wagner stuff.
I guess the conclusion is…Stick to Bosch for your mundane, general needs as a driver.
That’s what they’re good at. For anything else, anything more niche-specific, look for other high-performance brands.