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Volkswagen Passat Brake Questions



  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    It's actually a 2.8 V6.

    That black plastic shield is very easily removed. Simply grasp the rubber gasket on the front edge (towards the engine) and pull it forward. Then lift the shield slightly and pull it out from under the windshield. It's harder to describe than it is to actually do. You'll then have a full view of the brake fluid reservoir. Youmight even want to change your cabin air filer while you have that cover off. It's cheap and easy to do (dealer has a special running right now to do this for $37. You can DIY for the cost fo the filter fo maybe $12).

    To give us a better idea what might be going on thw your brake fluid, a little more info would help. How many miles are on your current brake pads? The reservoir drops as the pads wear. This could be telling you it's time for a brake job. Alternatively, your brake fluid could be leaking - in any case, it's worth investigating.

    There could be other factors at play here, too. You might want to pull the codes with an OBD scanner at your local auto parts store (many do this for free) to see if there are any codes from the ABS module. Good luck!
  • CC won't engage. The indicator light on the center console that shows the brake is depressed to shift into gear is reversed (lights up when foot off the brake and turns off when depressing brake. In addition, the console lights come on when I apply the brakes (like they do when I turn on my headlights. I think all are associated with Fuse #31. The CC is probably not engaging because it thinks I have my foot on the brake. I have checked the fuse and replaced it. It seems as if I have a problem with a switch somewhere...any ideas?
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Skelley2, are your brake lights functioning properly? I am wondering if the brake light switch on the brake pedal is the source of problem. Assuming this is an automatic, can you move the shifter from "Park" into "Drive" without depressing the brake pedal?
  • Thanks for the response. GLX 4Motion Auto. Brake lights work fine and I can not move shifter from park to drive without depressing the brake pedal. Really confused on this one.
  • I have a problem that i can't figure out that may be more related to the electrical system than the brakes but thought i'd post here. My 2001 VW Passat rear drivers side light bulb went out. I drove with it out for over a month. I got a replacement bulb and it was easy to replace but now I have some weird side effects.

    When I hit the brakes the dashboard lights always come on. Also, when I have the headlights on the rear brake lights are always on.

    If i take the replacement bulb out everything works as designed except i have a rear light out.

    Has anyone encountered something like this with VW lights? Does it sound like a problem with a fuse or a bigger issue with the wiring? I am out of ideas and hate bringing the car into the dealership. Any suggestions are appreciated.
  • I am havingthe same problem although I did not connect it to the light bulb I replaced. When I press the brake, the dash lights come on. I will take out the bulb and see what happens. Maybe this explains my previous posting.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Makes you wonder if it is the correct bulb number/style.
  • Pulled the bulb and the dash light problem disappeared. Looks like you may have fixed my problem. Now to the auto parts store to see if I had the wrong bulb
  • hi all. a while ago i braked in my 01 passat and the pedal stuck on. i got it free but the brakes kept sticking. i have changed the master cylinder but when i start driving its ok and after a few minutes the brake pedal is gone really hard and the brakes are slightly stuck on. any ideas???? thanks
  • Hi - I just had new brakes and axles put on my 2004 passatt
    The dealer told me i needed new front and rear breaks (91k ) and new rotors. THe price, along with two new tires was over 2500. I went to the place where I get my brakes done and tires - they did everything that VW was going to do but suggested new axles? -- still less money then VW. However, when i brake now, the car feels like the ABS system is coming on - like when you brake on ice. No lights come on -- the tire dealer said he wants to try a different type of pad which he has ordered - has anyone heard of this?
  • i'm having a similar problem - but it only started AFTER i had my brakes and rotor/axle replaced to the tune of over 1000.00. I never had the problem before. The tire dealer thinks it's the brake pads and that it will eventually go away - but it's been over a week and it feels unsafe.. any suggestions?
  • Hello, I was having the same problem with my passat to. Same exact thing! I asked around and everyone told me to buy a new abs module ($1200.00). I studied the wiring diagram and found a way to fool the ECU in to thinking the abs module is working. But it would require you to un-plug your abs module and do a little re wiring. It should only take you about 45 minutes. but after you do, your car will work like new with only the abs module out, no abs and brake lights on, beeping, your tack working etc.... If you do, e-mail me at with your e-mail address and I will e-mail you back some pictures and instructions of what I did.
  • Hi - I took it back and they put a different brake pad on -- but they said the reason my ABS was kicking on was that there was a small piece of metal on the sensor -- got it back and we are good to go!
  • Hi,

    I own a 2003 VW Passat GLS sedan with 65k miles. Today my dealer said that the brake pads have worn down to 3 mm and needs to be replaced. Can this wait for another 5 k miles. Also what is the typical cost of this repair.I live in MN.

    Also will 3 rd party brake parts work fine or is it advisable to go for genuine VW parts.

    Any helpful comments will be greatly appreciated.
  • tbags4tbags4 Posts: 3
    Recently had the cv boot replaced and now notice when i apply the brakes it is rubbing/vibrating - feels like when the anti lock brakes are activated.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Hard to say if you can wait another 5K miles. Is this the first time the brakes were done (to give an idea of your wear pattern)? Front or rear brakes? Need more info.

    As to OEM VW parts - you certainly don't have to use them. I've used PBR Deluxe pads on thr front and rear with great success. I've used Ate rear rotors (bought on line - look for free shipping) for the rears and Zimmermann rotors (also bought on line) on the front with no problems.

    I like, but there are other online suppliers that are just as good. When comparing prices, check the total price including the shipping. Rotors are heavy!
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Could be that the ABS sensor is not properly reinstalled.
  • ads2ads2 Posts: 11
    Which are worn to 3mm, front or back? You have some chance of making 5000 miles, but wear isn't linear as a big part of it is displacing heat, and the thinner they get, the less they displace heat. That is to say, the thinner they get, the faster they wear.
    On my 2004 GLX, I found all OE fitment/mfr pads and rotors for about $225 plus shipping (didn't shop that much but this was online at autohausaz dot com. You don't have to use OE/OEM parts, but read all the previous comments about abs coming on and funny feel. All depends on what you expect, if you want to keep the car, but getting OE for $225 is pretty decent price for brakes that last 65k miles; why mess with that kind of success?
  • ads2ads2 Posts: 11
    anybody have the specs on both front and back minimum rotor thickness? It is probably stamped on the back of the rotors, but it appears I can measure them w/o removal with a little luck - at least the backs.
  • Hi,

    Thanks for the reply. The rear brake pads are down to 65 k. Also I bought this car at 38 k miles and this is the first brake job at 65 k.

    Also can I ask how much you paid for labor.

    Thanks again.
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