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Volkswagen Jetta Brakes and Rotors



  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    um - I can reach in and feel the thickness of the pads based on the space between the rotor and the backing-plate. Also, one can use a mirror with ones head behind the wheel.

    However: You are correct that a more thorough inspection is accomplished by removing the wheels. Since a tire-rotation is supposed to be done regularly, while the wheels are off, that is the perfect time peek at the pads too.

    The factory pads on my Jetta went about 90K miles.... then the rotors got so rusted from roadsalt, I replaced the pads at the same time the rotors were renewed. (The pads had more life in them... but while it was apart, I replaced them)
  • I do accomplish the brake pad inspections every 10,000 miles when I rotate the tires. It makes for a more thorough inspection and I like to actually measure pad thickness. I replaced my rear pads with 5mm of material remaining at 57,700 miles. They could have gone on to 80,000 miles I believe but the wheels were already off and pads are really inexpensive at Autozone ($21.00 set).
  • Update...I took my 2008 Jetta to Meineke to have the brakes inspected. They discovered that my calipers were defective. My emergency brake was remaining engaged, causing the premature wear of the brake pads. The mechanic actually had to use a crowbar to pry loose the emergency brake. Volkswagen stated that they could only replace one caliper with the warranty. I was told I have to wait and see if that fixes the4 problem before they will replace the other. Yes, brakes are indeed wear items. However, brake pads should NOT wear out after 10,000 miles. That IS a problem.
  • Have the mechanic inspect the calipers. My Jetta did the same thing. VW did NOT catch that the calipers were failing, causing the emergency brake to stay engaged.
  • Did the Meineke mechanic tell you exactly what was defective? I ask because the emegency brake piston needs to be rotated...not compressed to release. The hydraulic or primary piston though needs should retract in its caliper bore. Have them write on your receipt exactly what was wrong.
  • My experiences with VW dealership mechanics locally has been consistant...incompetence.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    As I mentioned in previous post.... if the rear pistons are not "reset" properly using correct tool, the internal parking-brake mechinism can be destroyed. The result could be EXACTLY what you describe as the problem you are now encountering.

    Does it not scare you that Meineke "pried" on your calipers?.... dont forget that Meineke does not necessarrly employ the sharpest people. (High-shool kids and mechanic-wannabees) I stopped going to Meineke after they used a torch to work on my exhaust system... AND BURNED THRU THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM!!

    You should be greatful that VW is even CONSIDERING covering something that another mechanic 'pried' on. It sounds like VW is willing to work with you on this one... take what they offer and thank them.
  • tmv2tmv2 Posts: 1
    I have experienced the same challenge with my 2008 Jetta. I noticed some squeaking here and there around 26,000 miles. I asked the dealership about the noise at that time. They didn't share that anything was wrong so I drove off the lot.

    From that point forward, I heard the same squeaking noise only when it rained and they mentioned that happens when frost gets in between the rotors and pads so I did not think much of it.

    When I drove into the dealership at 31,000 miles they shared my rear brakes were between 2-3; therefore the rear rotors would need to be replaced.

    I shared my concerns as a volkswagon owner, (have owned 4 in the last 5 years), that it seemed odd that the rotors had to be replaced at such a young age of 31,000 miles.

    They assured me that they did nothing wrong and they assured me that there was not a recall about this issue.

    Overall I am disappointed with my dealership in their response considering I have been a long standing customer who does all of my service with them. And I am still left wondering if there is an issue with the making of the car; therefore causing pre-mature problems with the rotors.

    What would be a next step to share this information? I wonder how many other people have been affected.
  • I have to disagree with you bpeebles. Had VW taken care of the brake issue to begin with, I never would have had to take my car to Meineke. This is my third VW since 2000. This one is a lemon. The brakes have had major issues twice. The paint completely peeled off of my front hood within the first month and is now peeling again. They repainted it initially. I'll need to take it in again. I've had the car for 19 mos now. One third of my engine went out the second month I had the car. It was BRAND NEW when I bought it. This will be my last VW. I'm disappointed that the dealership did not choose to step up but fought me when the brakes were messed up a second time. They are aware of the issue. Their actions are no better than Toyota's.
  • rn_missyrn_missy Posts: 2
    I am now beginning to experience this issue with a 2007 VW Jetta Wolfsburg that has about 15K miles on it Right now, I only hear the noise when it rains. I am freaked by all the brake complaints I read on here concerning the 07 Jetta because this is not an inexpensive issue.

    Do I need to take it into the dealer and have them look at it or is this normal??
  • thess02thess02 Posts: 32
    The brake rotors are made of cast iron and will develop surface rust after rain or high humidity situations when the car is not being driven. You will hear the surface rust being scrubbed off when braking initially. This is normal until the surface rust has been removed by the brake pads.
  • dthemandtheman Posts: 5
    Same car: 2008 Jetta SE 2.5L. My brakes are suddenly depressing all the way to the floor and the passenger side pads look like they are gone. I have only 31,000 and the dealer did an inspection at 29,000 when they replaced the transmission under warranty. This is WAY too early for brakes to wear out, and the driving has been mostly highway. I am curious: the manual says I should get a light if the fluid is low or the pads are low, but I am getting no warning lights. Is this itself a defect? I plan to get the car into the dealer ASAP and am assuming I should not drive the car except to the dealer.
  • I didn't have a light come on either. Yes, take the car in to the dealership. The dealership explained that the mechanic must not have taken the wheel off to check the pads but must have just looked instead. It's a continual problem. I filed a complaint with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Perhaps if enough of us file a complaint, then VW will be forced to deal with the defects. Here's the link: 8a0c/
  • thess02thess02 Posts: 32
    You didn't state rear or front brake pads worn so I will assume it's the rear pads. Only the front pads have wear sensors. As the pads wear, the brake pedal will depress further and the brake fluid reservoir level will be lower. This is normal. As I stated in earlier posts, I remove the wheels to check brake pad wear. I rotate tires myself at 10,000 mile intervals and check for wear with a $10.00 digital caliper I bought at Harbor Freight. The Bentley shop manual states 2mm thickness is minimum for the pads. I went ahead and replaced mine before that at about 5mm. If memory serves, new pads start with about 13mm of friction material. If you only have one set of pads (1 wheel) wearing more than the others, there is a problem in the caliper (pistons sticking) or parking brake (adjustment). My parking brake adjustment was way too tight. Rear pads will cost about $60.00 - $70.00 at the dealership, plus labor. If the pads wear to their metal backing plates, the rotors will need replacing. I bought aftermarket pads at Autozone for $21.00. The Autozone pads have a lifetime replacement warranty...when they wear out, I get a new set free...not so with the VW pads. There is a problem with the Jetta rear calipers in my opinion. When I replaced the rear pads on my Jetta, I noticed a bit more force necessary to rotate the driver side caliper piston in to make clearance for the new pads. The passenger side rotated with less required force. Not coincidenatally, the driver side pads were more worn (thinner) than the passenger side. I didn't want to damage the rubber dust seal on the caliper piston, so I didn't investigate further. I believe there is either a manufacturing defect in the piston threads not being matched/cut properly grease/anti-seize on the piston threads. I also think the parking brake adjustments are not being done properly coming from the factory. The dealerships probably won't mess with readjustment because it's a pain. The rear half of the center console has to be disassembled to get access to the primary adjuster nut. It's hard to believe your transmission needed replacing but with the Jetta 6 speed tiptronic, fluid level can't be checked with a dipstick so the fluid may have been too low coming from VW when the car was built. I'm pricing fluid/filter kits for my car now as I have 62,000 miles on mine. Looks like around $145.00 for everything.
  • jetta7jetta7 Posts: 17
    Did you ever experience chatter, or shudder in the front end at certain speeds, or when stopping with this vehicle?
  • Mine were the rear brakes. The dealership finally replaced the calipers as the emergency brake was sticking.
  • thess02thess02 Posts: 32
    Well..hopefully, the new calipers fixed your problem. Good luck.
  • dthemandtheman Posts: 5
    Thanks for this info. The car still stops fine; but if I keep pressure on the brake it gradually descends to the floor. This occurs after the car has stopped. I am taking it to the dealer. From previous experience I usually find it's much cheaper to fix brakes anywhere but the dealer, so I really don't want the dealer to fix it unless there is some warranty coverage. Normally brakes would not be covered, but is there a chance there is a defect or improper setting here?
  • dthemandtheman Posts: 5
    I have not experienced any chatter or shutter.
  • thess02thess02 Posts: 32
    If the pedal goes to the floor, there is definitely a problem. There could be a leak in the vacuum booster or a problem with the master cylinder. I agree with not wanting to go to the dealer. Mine has a pretty incompetent service department. I'm an aircraft mechanic and pretty much a stickler for details. The clowns at my dealership have given my car back in worse shape than when I dropped it off. They have only touched my car for some warranty issues...but man, they would all be fired if they were wrenching on airplanes. Have your brakes looked at ASAP.
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