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Volkswagen Jetta Brakes and Rotors

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Comments

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 15,159
    Barring manufacturers/ oem defects, (should be still under warranty) she might want to change the way she brakes. She should firmly apply the brakes and not PRE brake, as the pre braking makes the boosters in the rear work harder transfering way more of the braking action to the rears- when it should be the fronts.
  • trepinetrepine Posts: 15
    Hi all,
    I'm new addition to this forum and here's my case--new 2008 jetta, 3-4months old, 4200 miles, both rear brakes completely GONE. Grinding metal on metal. Rotors damaged. Locking up and jumped the median b/c my brakes caused me to lose control.
    This is not a routine overuse problem nor maintenance problem unless I have used my brakes to slow me down as I reentered the atmosphere from space on my last trip to the space station.
    Mechanic at the dealership tried to strongly insinuate that this was my fault as the driver because I used the emergency brake for parking and that I didn't downshift as much as he thought I should have been.
    My car is in the shop right now being fixed so I'll have to update this thread after they tell me what they think.
    I have researched this extensively and most cars, including most VWs, don't change brake pads remotely often and NOBODY...NOBODY...has to do it at 4200 miles.
    If I end up having to fix the brakes in another 10000 miles as it seems others have had to do on this forum then it's a lemon--no two ways about it.
    Not happy about this and If you're reading this I would make a point of asking your dealer when you're shopping and immediately seeking service for squeeking/grinding/squealing brakes. (I thought mine was just a rock and it was only grinding for the last week)
    Good luck,
    will let you know
    Tom
    :confuse:
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    thanks tim for your post, i myself was considering a 08 jetta for my next car purchase...however,i have been reading owners reviews on this website for the 05-08 model year jetta's trying to get a good idea of the jetta's reliabilty...it's obvious now that the only thing i have learned during my research is that i need to avoid the jetta like the plague...issues such as premature brake wear such as your brakes issues,electrical problems,ect.....the premature brake wear seems to be a common thing with all jettas and they are not cheap to replace...iv'e owned cars in the past where i didn't have to replace the brakes for 80,000.00 miles let alone have to replace the rear brakes at under 5000 miles as in tim's case....steve
  • handimanhandiman Posts: 6
    Tom, If you care to, read what I wrote starting way back at message # 9 of 35 and the responses from others after mine. There is a lot of helpful info here. I believe that the brakes that were shipped on the car new, were defective as with many other Jetta's. Since 11000 miles, I have not had any other problems with my rear brakes. It is an on going problem with the new brakes and of course should be taken care of by the dealership ASAP. For free mind you. I have not had any other problems other than a couple little things and now I'm on 20699. The car has been doing just fine. I personally give it high ratings and am still very happy with it. And it really matters whether or not how your dealer's service department treats you and the problem. Let me know if you got any questions......Roy
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    According to Forbes, Jetta is one of the "Best Small Cars For The Buck" and CR Reliability Rating is "Good".

    http://www.forbes.com/home/2008/05/02/best-small-cars-forbeslife-cx_jm_0502cars.- html
  • trepinetrepine Posts: 15
    I like the car don't get me wrong and I read every entry in this thread before I posted.
    This is a design flaw/defect though, no two ways about it, and that raises some big concerns for me as a car owner.
    The fact that there is a forum thread about my problem is proof of principle.
    The other fact that bothers me is my service people's response--no brakes burn out from wear...no matter what you are doing..at 4200miles.
    I explicitly asked them too if there was a known problem like this with jettas/VWs and they denied it, but took me about 2 secs to find this theme on the internet.
    VW is notorious for their great service and this should be addressed in that manner.
    Oh, and if it is related to your brakes VW may want to be a little more concerned since it's a safety issue and not just a cosmetic one.
    I want to see what they say after they take a look at it and get back to me--that will tell me whether or not I'll be keeping/buying a VW in the future.
    more to follow
    Tom
  • handimanhandiman Posts: 6
    Tom, I agree with you 100% and I don't want to seem like I make light of the situation either. It is a flaw just like in my '99 Suburban in which the brake system mainly the calibers were too small to do the job. I too am interested in the response of your service people. Thanks for the feedback and your input.....Roy
  • trepinetrepine Posts: 15
    An update
    So I talked to my dealer service representative today and here's what they (HOY-FOX in El Paso, TX) said:
    "It's driver habit" that caused your brakes to wear prematurely and we aren't paying for anything.
    You need to pay 270$ more to fix your brake pads and replace both rotors
    and everything else was working perfectly.
    It's your fault and we aren't responsible."

    Needless to say, I'm flabbergasted.
    I said before how I felt they were trying to find a way to blame me for this and that they insinuated that it was my fault right from the beginning...well, now they've made it official.
    And for the record, they stated this is what VOLKSWAGEN told them not them as the dealers.

    When I mentioned this forum, the other people who reported early brake failure on the web, the other people who drive the exact same route I do to work (which is over a 5000 ft altitude mountain pass called Transmountain Drive x about 15miles each way) who don't have brake problems, the other 3 manual transmission cars I've had that didn't burn out their brakes, and the fact that no mechanic that has seen this car nor any of the lifelong mechanic friends/family that I know have ever heard of a car completely burning out its brakes at 4200 miles, they reassured me that I was wrong and that is was my fault and that they wouldn't pay for it.

    Furthermore, they told me I was wrong to not bring it to them immediately upon hearing the brakes grinding--even though I only heard it for 1 week and by the time it was grinding it was ALREADY metal on metal and that I did call to make an appt and they told me it would be 1 week for me to see them even though I described having brake problems.

    Then they said that I screwed up by taking it to Meineke first. Meineke about 1mile from my house and I pass it on the way home every day. When I took it to them, I was still convinced it was just a rock, after all "it was still practically brand new and ONLY HAD 4200 miles". I figured i'd just get a quick look and hopefully fix a simple problem and when they took off my rear wheels they (the whole shop of mechanics) couldn't believe that I had metal on metal in both rear brakes. They stated they'd never seen this before even in cars with 10000 miles. I made the mistake of letting Meineke replace the brake pads right then for 150$ out of pocket already before I got my act together and called Hoy-Fox and told them that I was bringing my car to them THAT SAME DAY no matter when they would see it because it wasn't safe to drive. I brought the car to the VW dealer the same day I had a mechanic tell me that I had serious problems with my brakes...not a rock. I actually thought they might even reimburse me for already buying the brake pads, dumb ol' me--they felt that having Meineke inspect my car and change the brake pads should void the warranty, which they were already saying didn't cover my brakes anyway. That's service huh!

    So, I have lots of sympathy from people who aren't the ones working for Hoy Fox, Volkswagen, or the auto service industry in general, and I don't have a lot of appreciation for how I've been treated so far.

    I complained directly to VOLKSWAGEN on their hotline at 1-800-822-8987. They are looking into it directly and I expect to know more from them tomorrow.

    I've challenged them, and ask you all too, to come up with another example of a car with total metal on metal brake wear in 4200 miles that they think is from driver habit...excluding monster trucks and Indy 500 cars I guess. How far do you think you could drive without ruining the brakes with the parking brake on?

    Not sure what I can do now.

    I think they should pay for new brakes and I've told them that directly.
    If they do, then I'm still not sure what the future will hold--maybe I can ask them to plough Transmountain drive flat so that my driving habits don't endanger my car's health. If the brakes burn out every 4months, ...assuming that I don't die in a fiery wreck with no brakes,...then that should be about 250-500$ a pop.
    I am looking into my options for legal action and contract violations on the part of the lease, but this is almost always a losing battle it seems.
    If Volkswagen decides that they aren't going to fix this car, then I'm not sure even more.
    But that would be one step closer to recommending to the known universe every chance I get not to get involved with VW.
    This company is renowned for its service?
    :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
    Tom
  • bobtravbobtrav Posts: 3
    Do they have break problems TOOOOOOOOOO :)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Some people have had premature brake wear on the Jetta many (most, I presume) have not. If you buy one and do have a problem, certainly do not go anywhere but the dealer. As the post above indicates, it'll be difficult to get any consideration if you have had someone else work on the brakes and then go to the dealer...which while unfortunate for the person who posted that, is understandable from the perspective of VW.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 15,159
    Indeed, I have a 2003 TDI Jetta with 108,000 miles and the pads & rotors look easily to go 200,000 on the rears and maybe 180,000 fronts. (more on both hopefully). We do not pre brake and have even had the brake and clutch system bled. :shades:
  • trepinetrepine Posts: 15
    "understandable from the perspective of VW'?
    did you read my post?
    1. taking it to Meineke instead of directly to the dealer was a mistake, I agree, but what was I supposed to do?
    2. does this negate the damage that had been done before I went to Meineke in any way?
    3. does this explain the damage to my brakes in any way?
    4. when I call to make an appt with my dealer and they say it's going to be 1 week, even when I tell them that my antilock brakes are locking up and I'm jumping the median into oncoming traffic, does that seem appropriate?
    5. does the fact that when I talk to the people at Meineke, professional car mechanics, and tell them that VW is telling me this is all my fault b/c I'm a bad driver makes them consider this as much [non-permissible content removed] as I do?
    6. I explained why I took it to Meineke in my previous post and I think it made perfect sense--what I shouldn't have done was have them do any replacements or work on the car at my own expense...but since VW considers their car to be in perfect working condition in all respects except the drive, all I did was give the dealer one more EXCUSE, yes just an excuse, to wimp out on their end of my contract. That's all Hoy-Fox has done for me is to work on every possible angle to say it's my fault--what about the other 15 year old car I had for 4 years driving back and forth over transmountain that never needed any work on it's breaks, what about ever other driver in El Paso who goes over this route and doesn't need break work?

    seriously, I'm a big boy...if I did something wrong...tell me but since every sane person I've talked to about this with any knowledge of car functioning thinks I couldn
    't have possibly caused this damage this much this fast no matter what I was doing...maybe VW ought to reconsider.
    thanks
    still waiting for the final word from VW headquarters
    Tom
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 15,159
    Your item #1 was why almost every corporation pays HUGE lawyers fees. As soon as you let anybody other than VW correct the situation, you have legally let VW off the hook. So as a 1b. you could have had an alternative shop give a second opinion. It also didnt fall into the category of just submit what you paid a third party vendor and VW will reimburse you what you paid. This is not to mean that it will be any easier to get VW to do anything. If it were me I would have flat bedded it to the VW dealer and ask them what loaner they would give you free for a delay not of your own making. Funny how stuff like that gets them to focus.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Yes, I did read your post and I was essentially highlighting this part:

    I made the mistake of letting Meineke replace the brake pads right then for 150$ out of pocket already before I got my act together and called Hoy-Fox and told them that I was bringing my car to them THAT SAME DAY no matter when they would see it because it wasn't safe to drive.

    As you indicate this was mistake. My post basically said to another poster "don't make this mistake, if you have a problem with the brakes". Now you have VW and your dealer looking at a car that Meinke has already done brake work on. From their perspective, this has given them a reason (or excuse, if you prefer) to have some suspicion about this situation.

    Of course, assuming you do not ride the brakes or drive with the parking brake on, it certainly is a problem to have brakes last less than 5K mi. In addition, the dealer mechanic that blamed using the emergency brake for parking and not downshifting is an idiot. Many believe that using brakes for stopping is preferable to using the transmission, besides don't they have the same brakes on automatics. It also is rather ridiculous to say the parking brake (aka. emergency brake) is not to be used for parking.
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    folks,my girlfriend who owns a 07 jetta recently needed the rear brakes replaced at 22,000 miles...she was suprised that the rear brakes needed replacing at only 22,000 since she has owned other vehicles that did not need new rear brakes till well over 50,000 miles....the service advisor at the vw dealership told her that the jetta is designed to have the rear brakes and rotors replaced every 20,000 miles...
    if i was in the market for a brand new VW and was told about the rear brake issues that would have killed the deal for me as far as i am concerned......
  • trepinetrepine Posts: 15
    The final verdict is in!!!!
    and it's crap.
    Volkswagen, and my dealer HOY-FOX in El Paso, TX have both stated that my 2008 Jetta car breaks have worn out completely to metal grinding metal in 4200 miles is my, and only my, fault.
    They officially told me that because I drive over a mountain pass that is 5000 ft elevation (with probably a 1000-1500 change in elevation up and over the path) and because I must suck as a driver and ride my brakes and quote/unquote "not downshift enough" that I caused this to happen.
    No warranty.
    No manufacturer defect.
    No problems with my brakes otherwise and everything was working "perfectly".

    No acknowledgement in any way shape or form by HOY-FOX or the National 1-800 complaint line of hearing of anyone else [this meaning everyone else on this forum at least] of having any problems with rear brakes on a Jetta wearing early. I specifically asked them if Volkswagen had received any problems like mine (early rear brake wear on Jettas) and they stated they had no database, other records, etc. about this. AND they were not able to explain why I could find other people with these concerns and they didn't know about them nor why other people might be having the same problem I was even though they 1) weren't me with my driving habits and 2) weren't taking the same road I was apparently. (to me, the fact that anyone else has reported this problem immediately defeats their argument that this was my fault...that's why I bet they didn't acknowledge it)

    I'm disgusted.
    I've never been treated so poorly or ridiculously by a company in my entire life.

    Every person I have talked to that doesn't work for HOY-FOX or Volkswagen has stated that this is "unheard of", "preposterous", "insane", and frankly "not possible no matter how you're driving" including most people who know a whole lot more about cars than I do. But apparently everyone at HOY-FOX and Volkswagen are undaunted in their assessment, as the only ones who feel this is remotely reasonable, that it was my fault.

    Mind you, there is absolutely no proof that this is/was my fault. That's why I feel so perfectly free to badmouth this company. Prove me wrong. It seems that the tie, if that's what this could even possibly be construed as, maybe should go to the runner in a new car with spent brakes. When you weigh the cost of making the customer happy long term vs. telling the customer it must be their fault seems like a very simple business decision too.

    My recommendations for anyone on this forum or who reads this forum are as follows:
    1. avoid HOY-FOX at all costs
    2. avoid Volkswagen
    3. if you go to a car dealer (not an independent mechanic) don't tell them anything...they are looking for something to use against you to prevent them from honoring their warranty and making anything their expense--I don't think there is anything that you need to tell them--the experts--about what you are doing with your car. Stonewall them or lie...how are they going to know. Even if you know you haven't done anything...don't tell them a word. No matter what question they ask you say "all I do is drive back and forth to my good driver's award ceremony and to church...nothing else"
    4. don't even go for a "courtesy ride" with a mechanic or sales "assistant"--same reason as #3. This is a farce. They want to figure out what's wrong...let their expert drive the car.
    5. if you trust your dealer, then go directly to them...this was clearly a mistake on my part (of course this didn't help me one little bit in the end but that's my problem)
    6. if you are having problems with something serious--like brakes/engine/SAFETY issues then I'd talk to a manager level service person and only if you are getting your windshield wipers changed or something on par with this complexity level would I let the first line service "assistants" help you
    7,. If you own a Jetta--do not use the parking brake either for parking or emergencies; downshift at the expense of your clutch to save your brakes (much less expensive I guess to replace the transmission than the brakes right?); don't go over hills bigger than speed bumps; don't brake ever actually...these are apparently considered "bad driving habits" and "extraordinary wear and tear" beyond the standard use of this car and not covered by a warranty.

    My Plan:
    1. I plan on sending a complaint about Hoy-Fox to the Better Business Bureau--this won't help me but the next person they give the shaft to can use my case to help them.
    2. I plan on sending a formal complaint to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) about Volkswagen and their apparent lack of recognition that 1) this is a clear safety issue and 2) that more than one person has apparently had this problem and yet Volkswagen doesn't seem to know this...or care to track it. If Volkswagen isn't keeping a database about this problem then I hope the NTSB will consider doing so.
    3. I'm going to tell everyone I know not to buy a Volkswagen and see how much my 270$ bill for new brakes on my new car that they felt I should pay might cost them in negative publicity about how they treated me.
    4. I want everyone on this forum and anyone who reads it to know that if they are ever hurt or know someone who gets hurt in a VW Jetta because of premature break wear that I'd be happy to be a witness in their case and tell their lawyers in painstaking detail how "my car did the same thing and the company blamed me" and "VW denied knowledge of other people having this problem". If this happens to one other person after me and they could have done something to avoid this problem, then me being a loudmouth blab now might be worth it.
    thank you all
    Tom :lemon:
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Not sure if NTSB deals with such things, you might want to try NHTSA:

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/
  • homerkchomerkc Posts: 113
    My '07 Jetta was depositing a LOT of brake dust on the rear wheels when new. The wheels also were very HOT after driving, clearly due to dragging brake pads. The dealer who sold me the car told me "German cars use the read brakes more than fronts". Since that is nonsense on a front wheel drive car, I took the car to another dealer in town, who actually took the problem seriously. They admitted the brake dust was excessive, due to wear. After trying and failing once, they contacted VW, who told them there were defective rear calipers used. VW sent new calipers and the dealer replaced everything. Excessive dust gone, and my brakes work fine. Defective parts can slip into new cars - - you just want the dealer to fix the problem. (By the way, I recommend Baron VW in Kansas City. Excellent service.)
  • ndmike88ndmike88 Posts: 155
    My wife is looking to buy a Jetta this weekend. Maybe we better research this rear brake issue a little more. :confuse:
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    DESTROY THE VW HUMANOIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • homerkchomerkc Posts: 113
    If you are buying a new car, or even one under warranty, I wouldn't worry too much about the brakes. VW knows the fix - replacement calipers. In fact, I would expect that new Jettas today would have the "improved" calipers. My Jetta has been a great car, with 29,000 Mi. currently. I average 27 MPG, the car is very comfortable, and they're not that expensive anymore (VW lowered pricing with the '07s). My car is a base, 5 spd car, but if I were buying today, I'd get the SE. It's a great deal, in my opinion. Don't worry about the brakes.
  • trepinetrepine Posts: 15
    Dear homerkc,
    I'm wondering if you would mind calling my dealership: Hoy-Fox in El Paso, TX and explaining what you said to me to them.
    "don't worry about the brakes" "VW knows the fix"
    were you even paying attention to what I posted
    1. I would worry about the brakes on these cars...after all..they're the BRAKES and when you don't even consider that at 4200 miles they might be gone you are heading for a wreck.
    2. VW may "know the fix" but my dealership and the national complaint line for VW flat out denied that this problem has ever been reported or encountered before. If you're on this forum and have had/seen this problem I strongly encourage you to call the VW national complaint line on behalf of all of us and all the people who might buy a VW Jetta--VW doesn't consider this a problem and blamed me outright. If VW hears about this from other people maybe they'll take it more seriously.
    But at this time, I think homerkc is dangerously wrong.
    Tom
  • pholetapholeta Posts: 3
    I have a 2008 Jetta that I purchased in September of 2007. I had a defective rear passenger rim and had to have the dealership replace it. At the time the rim was replaced I was notified at 16,500 miles that my rear brakes were almost out and if I waited another 2 weeks or so I would have to replace brakes and rotors. It wasn't two weeks before I was cringing every time I stopped my car. I finally broke down and took my car to Good Year for a 2nd option. Let's say I have been very impressed. Good refused to repair the brakes until they spoke with the dealership service manager. Apparently they have received a lot of work from the 2007/2008 Jetta's and are just as floored as me that they will not replace them under warranty. If I have to pay this out of pocket I will, but I will never buy another VW. I'm a first time VW buyer and I am happy with the brand, but the warranty sucks. Also, I had a blow out on the interstate within about 17500 miles and the tires didn't have road hazard warranty. Never experience this issue as well. I must say that there are some benefits to buying American made as well as Toyota.
  • pholetapholeta Posts: 3
    Unfortunately the new Jetta's brakes are not any better than the old ones. Read my story below. I am going through this situation right now and glad I came across this forum. The dealership said nothing about defective calibers, but basically told me not to use the emergency brake and to pay for the repair.

    I have a 2008 Jetta that I purchased in September of 2007. I had a defective rear passenger rim and had to have the dealership replace it. At the time the rim was replaced I was notified at 16,500 miles that my rear brakes were almost out and if I waited another 2 weeks or so I would have to replace brakes and rotors. It wasn't two weaks before I was cringing every time I stopped my car. I finally broke down and took my car to Good Year for a 2nd option. Let's say I have been very impressed. Good refused to repair the brakes until they spoke with the dealership service manager. Apparently they have received a lot of work from the 2007/2008 Jetta's and are just as floored as me that they will not replace them under warranty. If I have to pay this out of pocket I will, but I will never buy another VW. I'm a first time VW buyer and I am happy with the brand, but the warranty sucks. Also, I had a blow out on the interstate within about 17500 miles and the tires didn't have road hazard warranty. Never experience this issue as well. I must say that there are some benefits to buying American made as well as Toyota.
  • trepinetrepine Posts: 15
    Pholeta,
    thank you for your reply
    to anyone who reads this forum and has had or heard of similar problems...please please please call the VW national complaint line at 1-800-822-8987 and for all of our sakes register a formal complaint.
    oh and tell them that I sent you--Tom Repine from El Paso, TX and have them addend my formal complaint with your example (I'm serious--tell them that)
    Again, VW flat out denied this problem existed to me and refused manufacturer defect issues, warranty issues, etc....
    If you have a dealer that responded favorably to this issue then please show them this forum and ask them to chime in with their company.
    thanks
    Tom ;)
  • packer3packer3 Posts: 277
    Brakes with certain car mfg's are funny, I replaced front brakes on a few Toyota's with less than 20M miles on them however the cars were over three years old. As far as any tire warranty goes, a tire blow out without hitting or running something over is a tire defect and is covered automatically, however based on the amount of miles that are on the tire you will pay some sort of tire wear charge.
  • I'm shocked to see that I'm not the only one who is having problems with my rear brakes. I just hit 29,000 miles and my rear brakes are shot. The VW dealership where I bought my car, told me it was going to cost me between $300-$500 to fix this and the back cost more... are they serious? Brakes pads are cheap if you buy them at the store, they must be talking crazy talk. Also, I've never heard of rear brakes going out first and at 29,000 miles. Absurd!
    Also, I was told that since I lease, if I go to a place other than a VW dealer, my lease is void? Is this true? I ask because my cousin, fixed his own and said he would do mine as well if I bought the parts? I'm not paying $500, period. Love my car, but maintenence is outrageous on it.
  • ndmike88ndmike88 Posts: 155
    I thought I read somewhere that VW has fixed the problem on the rear brakes. I think it said it was fixed starting with the 07 Jettas.
    Not sure about getting it repaired at a VW dealer because it's a lease. I would think as long as you produced a receipt showing the brakes were replaced that would be enough.
    Maybe others will chime in. Good luck.
  • alcu77alcu77 Posts: 5
    To all,

    I am an Engineer who used to work for the OEM of Jetta Brakes (through 03 model). There are rigorous Dyno and Wear tests that are performed on pads, and typical minimum mileage is usually 50K miles. There is no way brakes should wear before then. When I was working for this manufacturer, we never had any complaints or recalls from VW, and all customers were very satisfied (Toyota, Honda, VW, Chrysler). I can honestly say that 99-03 VW brakes themselves are designed, manufactured very well, and are extremely reliable. Although, it is correct that poorly designed calipers have caused increased brake wear on certain vehicles. The dealer will not admit this b/c they would have to replace calipers + brakes, and since caliper wear is impossible ... they blame defectiveness on brakes + owner. When I purchased my 03 Jetta TDI back in 2004, VW had worst reputation, and was voted worst by consumer reports for dealare customer satisfaction, so I am not surprised by everyone's complaints. FYI, if a dealer tells you it's time to replace your breaks, ask them to tell you how much wear in (mm) the pads have. then ask to see the pads. If they cant pull them off, then ask them to bring you to the vehicle, and measure the brakes in front of you. Why? because there are VW wear specs for brakes. I purchased a VW Jetta, Golf, GTI service manual for 99-03 models (published by Bentley Publishers) which contains documented service instructions for areas of the vehicle (Engine, suspension, brakes, HVAC, electrical, transmission, body, interior, steering, clutch, exhaust, trim, etc) this manual has pictures, diagrams, step-by-step instruction, specs, wiring diagrams, etc) it has everything the owner needs to troubleshoot, identify, and fix the issue. And if you can't fix the issue yourself, at the very least it prevents you from being ripped off by the dealer of other mechanic. Ebay - $80. Anyways, the wear limits for 99-03 Jetta, Golf, GTI is: 1.8/2.8L (FN3 caliper) Front: (both pads) - 7.0 mm thickness (including backing plate). Rear: (both pads) - 7.5 mm thickness (including backing plate). for 1.9/2.0L (FSIII caliper) - Front: (both pads) - 7.0 mm thickness (including backing plate). Rear: (both pads) - 7.5 mm thickness (including backing plate). for all of the above pads, the new pad thickness is 14mm for fronts, and 9mm for Rears. this means that for 99-03 models the front brakes work harder, hence the reason for thicker friction material, and therefore will wear out faster than the rears. Also, you should not have to change the front brakes until the electonic wear sensor indicates change needed via your info panel next to the speedometer. The rears do not have wear sensors. My Jetta has 92K miles, and I have not changed either the front or rears. Th reason I accessed this forum was because I am experiencing squeeling, but the brakes do not look that worn, and the rotors are not scored. I may be getting down close to the friction underlayer (used to absorb noise and vibration) becuase I can see more brkae dust than usual at the rear. I hope this helps anyone who is in need. Overall, my Jetta has performed well, but has had several issues. At 80K miles the bearings seized in my alternator and I lost power steering and a pulley belt. Cost me $350 for new alternator and labor (not at the dealer) . Now I am experiencing A/C issues where I cannot get cold air when I turn to full blast, or I turn on my recirc button. In closing, I suggest never going to the delaer after warranty expires, and try to find a reputable mechanic (by a friends referal only). For TDI owners, and VW owners in general, Try these websites also:

    www.TDIClub.com
    www.TDIparts.com
    www.illicitvw.com
  • trepinetrepine Posts: 15
    Thank you very much for your post. very helpful
    I'm curious if you have any specific comments for my case with no brakes at 4200 miles, and how you, as a brake engineer, might have approached things with my dealer.
    their assertion to me was basically so preposterous that I didn't even know how to argue it...certainly didn't do it right b/c I ended up having to go off warranty and pay out of pocket outside of VW to get my brakes fixed and get reasonable customer service.
    very interested in your reply: 1) is it possible to have no brakes/damaged rotors on both rear brakes on a 2008 VW Jetta in 4200 miles? 2) how would you explain this if it is possible--driver error?
    thanks

    oh, and btw, I'm gonna take your post #61 and shove it up my dealer's [non-permissible content removed], or wallpaper his car with it and snot/superglue :blush: , or make it into a banner behind an airplane and fly circles around his dealership all day and then parachute out of the plane using a big blown up version of it as my parachute, and then stuff the parachute version...up his [non-permissible content removed] too.
    thanks
    Tom
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