Engineers at Carlson don’t just believe new brake hardware saves money and reduces noise. They know it does.

A 2016 study in an independent automotive testing lab in Sweden proved that reusing old clips wears out new pads prematurely and leads to more noise, costing customers extra money and causing a lot of potential comebacks.

Before we talk about the test results, let’s talk about shoelaces.

New shoes come with new laces because they keep the shoes on your feet the way they’re designed to. You probably don’t think about your laces unless they snap and you have to tie them together.

In the photo, you can see how the shoelaces have frayed and worn out over time.

Now imagine you buy brand-new shoes but have to keep your old, worn laces. You’d be mad. They could snap prematurely or they might not keep your new shoes on tight enough.

Brake clips are the shoelaces of your brakes. When you get new brake pads but don’t get new brake hardware, you’ve just increased the chances that the new brakes won’t work the way they’re designed to.

And although the cost of replacing brake pads is usually hundreds of dollars, the cost of replacing old hardware to extend the life of the pads is only around $10 to $20.

Brake Clips and Brake Hardware

Just like brake pads, brake hardware wears out over time.


The first photo shows an example of a worn brake clip. Would you use this in your car? No. You wouldn’t.

The next photo shows QuiteGlide™ the newest technology in brake hardware engineered by Carlson. On one side a layer of low-friction PTFE coating reduces brake pad drag and the other side is coated with vulcanized rubber to reduce noise.


Carlson has a wide variety of brake hardware kits that can replace the OE clips in everything from passenger vehicles to commercial fleets. Each kit includes four new clips and pin boots in order to keep the new brake pads securely in place.

Lab-Tested Brake Clips

Now, let’s get back to those test results from Sweden. In order to assess how new brake hardware affects vehicle performance, the lab ran a series of tests. In the first, they wanted to see if old brake pad clips still met the manufacturer’s OEM specifications at the time of the first brake job—35,000 to 45,000 miles.

In the second, they wanted to find out if replacing old brake clips and hardware reduced brake noise.

Brake Test Findings

The diagram shows the 17 dimensions of a brake clip. The lab-tested clips were on vehicles with 35,000 to 45,000 miles.

After measuring and studying the dimensions of these used brake clips, the lab found that on average 16 of 17 dimensions were out of OEM specifications on all the clips tested.

In fact, 100 percent of the used clips failed to meet OEM specifications. That means that the pads no longer moved within the brake as intended, causing a drag on the rotors, premature wear, and reduced pad life. Plus, out of spec hardware can also diminish braking performance.

As the lab director noted, “The majority of dimensions are no longer within specification and, therefore, the part will not perform to design intent.”

Brake Hardware and Noise

Not replacing brake hardware also causes something customers can’t stand—squeaky brakes.

To understand the correlation between reusing old brake clips and noise, the lab simulated more than 1,400 stops at every temperature/brake pressure combination in a 2014 sedan with 45,000 miles and a 2014 pickup truck with 35,000 miles.

Getting new brake pads and reusing old brake clips still caused the brakes to squeak.

However, using new clips virtually eliminated all noise in the sedan and lowered it 45% in the truck.

The Carlson Take-Away

A few extra dollars spent on new hardware extends the life of the pads and reduces or eliminates noise at the same time. Plus, replacing brake hardware along with the pads gives customers like-new braking performance and helps stop comebacks.