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Volkswagen Jetta Brakes and Rotors



  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    hi folks,does anybody know if the brake issues have been resolved or are they still haveing problems with the 09 jetta's as well. have read many owners reviews on this site regarding 08 jetta premature brake wear on the back brakes and haveing to shell out in upwards of 400.00 bucks to have them replaced.iam considering a 09 jetta but don't want to have to spend 400.00 every time for premature brake wear.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,331
    I would say that really depends. Are brakes pads, rotors on ANY brand guaranteed to go 100,000 miles? Most folks would agree no.

    More to the VW point, again a firm maybe. In theory, the number and percentage of brake issues has gone down since the 2002 MY when the rear pads seemed to have very short interval life. This was due to 1. a very aggressive rear brake bias 2. very soft rear pad materials. Both were known to be corrected in 2003 MY. If I personally (judging by the pad thickness left @ 113,000 miles of HARD miles on oem brakes) do not get @ least 200,000 miles on the original set, 2003 MY Jetta, I will be severely disappointed. :blush:

    To post this again, VW's do have a rear bias. So the key to more "even braking" is not to so called " pre and/or trail brake. " What this means in practical terms, (given the majority of non emergency situations) is to brake firmly in such a way that the weight is transfered to the front brakes, which by design should normally handle most of the friction exchange.

    I am just as interesting in other folks experiences on the 2009 Jetta TDI model, but at 700 miles, nada so far.
  • ndmike88ndmike88 Posts: 155
    My wife as put on 6,500 miles on her '08 Wolfsburg Jetta and her brakes are fine. Also I have noticed very little brake dust on any of the wheels. (front or rear)
  • On a 2009 Jetta, when taking my foot off the break pedal the movement in the pedal causes a loud clunk sound. Is this common or is there a fix?
  • ndmike88ndmike88 Posts: 155
    No your problem with the brake pedal is NOT common. Go back to the dealer and drive another '09 Jetta. When no noise is heard tell the dealer to fix the clunk.
  • I have a 2005 new body style Jetta that I bought certified with 32k miles. I got stuck in South Jersey, when my brake pedal had a loud sound of air coming from the brake pedal. The brake felt different, like pressing against a wall. The car stopped, but I was shaken up, and had to had the car towed back to north jersey to the Dealer(who agreed to pay for the long distance tow to get me back home). At any rate, being a single girl, I just want to make sure I am not getting the shaft. I am disappointed that this happened, only after two weeks that I took the car in for the first service and as they said on the receipt "world class complete inspection of the vehicle". Would you know what is wrong with my brakes? If so, could it have been caught if it had been inspected properly?
    If you could help me with your advice, I would greatly appreciate it. You seemed very knowledgeable.
  • jayirishjayirish Posts: 2
    After reading all this, i think I may have folks beat on the miles. I bought my 08 Jetta brand new last aug. i have 8879mi and the back brakes are grinding like mad. loud, still enaged with foot off brake-bad shape. taking it in tomorrow. curious what they will say. I have the 5yr coverage. I ain't paying if these are shot already. normal driving, manuel tran. this problem seem odd to anyone else?
  • ndmike88ndmike88 Posts: 155
    My wife bought an '08 Jetta Wolfsburg in July of '08. She has put on almost 8,000 miles and no, zero, nada, none problems with the brakes.
    Maybe she bought a good one.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    It seems the brake issue is more often a problem with the manual transmission. Maybe because most automatic drivers do not use the parking brake.

    We have 27,000 miles and brakes pads still have about 50% left.
  • say I am disappointed in this car is an understatement! Just clicked over 41500 miles and for the past 1000 my rear brakes are making a horrible grinding noise...(this is after getting the pads and rotors replaces at 36000 miles). Why haven't I gone in to have it looked at because they will charge for another brake job, I just know it! And now my right turn signaling mirror is shorting out just like the left one which is not covered under any warrenty ($110 light bulbs)! VW has the worst warrenty in the world...SO your 4yr/50,000miles LIMITED new car warrenty and 5yr/60,000mile powertrain coverage will not cover brakes...what it actually covers, nobody knows? Sorry you will be getting a $440 brake job! As the dealership in NY says, "It is, what it is"
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,331
    In addition (to reading msg #109, to try to wring out more miles out of your next brake pad and rotor combinations), the other thing that might help you chose your NEXT car is because GERMAN cars are built to stop with a greater stated mph range, German law requires both brake pads and ROTORS to be changed (among other reasons) . When the car model hits the states, while it is BEST to continue to change brakes pads and rotors at the same time, if the rotors are still within tolerances and could be "reasonably" expected to last the service life of the now new pads, then some will just change just the pads. All the best.
  • I have a 99 Jetta GL/old body type, I just replaced all the front and rear brakes. Every time I hit the brakes there is a clicking noise coming from the front sounds like a card in bike spokes, I took everything off and inspected it, I have new rotors, calipers, pads. There is now evidence of damage and the car is stopping great, but the noise is horrible. What am I missing?
  • I bought a used '99 Jetta about a month ago and just found out the previous owner used the wrong brake fluid, Dot 3 instead of Dot 4. :mad: Does anyone know if this can cause damage to my car?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,331
    The answer is no. But it is better to use the DOT 4. The ATE and/ or DOT 4 meets higher boiling points than the DOT 3, as normally in Europe braking is done at a much higher mph generating higher heat loads and higher potential for moisture generation.
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    Not sure, but when ABS engages it makes a loud clicking noise. Perhaps you could put the car in neutral, jack up each wheel, spin each by hand, have someone apply the brake pedal and listen up close to the assembly.
  • nwjeffornwjeffor Posts: 8
    I have had my 09 Jetta TDI for a week, now, and I immediately noticed quite a lot of brake dust on the rear wheels. I've seen brake dust on the wheels on other cars, but not this much! Plus, the front wheels show almost no brake dust!

    For a while, I thought it might be normal, but the brake dust keeps piling up. I'm going to take it into the dealer for service next week and see what they say. I know that I'm going to have to replace the disk brake pads regularly, but if this keeps up, I'll be replacing them at every oil change!

    I'll let you know what they tell me.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,331
    See msg # 109 for the explanation of normal. There is no real reason why you should not be able to go 100,000 plus miles.
  • mjk10mjk10 Posts: 1
    We have a 04 Jetta TDI. Just recently the brakes would occasionally not work when we pressed on the petal. If we pressed hard enough, it would barely stop the car. Took it to the mechanic and they seem to be working fine now, but we noticed when we pumped the brakes fast, each time after the last pump the pressure would build up until about the fifth pump we could hardly push down at all. If we pumped slower the build up of the pressure wasn't noticeable, but when we pump rapidly the brakes definitely appear to not be working. Our mechanic didn't have an answer and we're not sure if we should take it in again, since the brakes work if they are not pumped. Any ideas on the pressure build up?
  • nwjeffornwjeffor Posts: 8
    They spun my rear wheels and found no caliper or brake sticking. My rear rotors were getting quite hot (hotter than any rotors on disk brakes I'd ever seen before!), but everything is working according to manufacturer specs. That initial brake dust I saw after 1 week of owning the car is greatly reduced. I can only guess that it was break-in? I'd never heard of "break-in" on new brake pads, though, especially that put out that must dust.

    Oh well ... car seems to be running just fine now!
  • drdatadrdata Posts: 1
    I've sent the below to VW corp, and also followed up with a verbal complaint. I also filed a compliant with the HHTSA regarding this matter ODI Number: 10267962.

    The below is wordy, but the truth is pretty basic.

    VW is applying a conventional braking system in an unconventional way, and the result is a predictable and unannounced premature wear of the rear components. The front brakes are bigger, and have the wear sensors. Pretty obvious where they thought the wear would be. Too bad the reality is different. In 20k miles I am now on my third set of rear pads. The original front pads are still at 13 mm. Its clear there is too much rear bias, given the small components and lack or wear sensor.

    This is for my "safety" I am told. Funny how no one at VW can tell me how my safety is benefited when I have to make an emergency stop with an unknown and unanticipated (by a reasonable person) rear pad failure. The physical design (larger front components, wear sensor on front), and lack of user manual cautions/warning result in a reasonable person assuming front wear occurs first, and therein lies the danger of this system.

    VW does not seem willing to predict how safe my rear biased braking will be when metal hits metal at speed, and they explicitly refused my request for an extended warranty on the new pads. Pretty clear VW does not expect the rear pads to last much more than 12K, else why not agree to a written extension in the vein of customer satisfaction?

    FWIW, I was told by the service manager that the pads are a new, harder material. That is OK if they combined it with new, thicker rotors. As my originals rotors were left in place I feel that VW is attempting to extend rear pad wear at the expense of rear rotors, such that I may get to 13K miles, which means no warranty on the pads, and now I also get the good news that I also need new rotors. After arriving home from freeway driving on the new pads I found the rear rims where hot enough to boil away water. That’s the rims, not the rotor. And this after being assured that all is well with my fine German, engineered braking systems that is designed with my safety in mind.

    [begin official complaint]

    To whom it may concern.

    This letter is to express my dissatisfaction with rear brake performance on my 2007 Jetta.
    The summary is extremely rapid rear pad wear, while then front, which have the wear sensor, remain unscathed. This is a known issue and the dealer admits its part of a “safe braking” design that tries to make the car squat rather than dive.

    The problem is, this is an unconventional method of brake application (rear biased when physics has the fronts normally doing more work), combined with a conventional brake design that has smaller parts and no wear sensors in the rear.

    The result of this “safety feature” is that I can expect to wear out rear pads faster than front, in as little as 9-10K miles. The problem is a reasonably minded person would not come to this conclusion, and the lack of a rear pad wear warning system creates a potential safety issue. The user manual does not warn that rear pads may wear faster, and in fact indicates they should be inspected each 10 k, or when the front wear sensor illuminates. Both of these cases may be too late, leading at best to expensive repairs when the rotors are damaged, or worse, to unpredictable braking in an emergency. If I have my car inspected at 10K, and the rears are still serviceable, I do not believe they would make it to 20K. With the stated inspection schedule and lack of explicit warning sensor the brakes should be expected to last at least 20K miles.

    The service manager at NCV tells me this level or wear is normal and to be expected on this car. Because my brakes are “working as designed” there is to fix. This is the problem and root of my complaint. The design is flawed. If they chose to design a vehicle that brakes from the rear they can reasonably expect more rear wear. A reasonable design would then increase the size of those parts, and ensure that wear sensors are positioned at the point of wear. In this design the front brakes are bigger and are equipped with the wear indicator. Ironically the fronts do not leave any appreciable brake dust, which combined with their current 13 mm thickness clearly shows there not doing much. In contrast, the rear brakes are smaller, have no wear indicator, and within days both rear wheels are blanketed in a thick layer of soot.

    And I am to believe this is normal, and for my safety. I bought this car for my daughter, who does not care much of things brakes and such. I cannot expect to her to diligently visually inspect the rear brakes before each drive. And despite being within warranty both the dealer and manufacture state rear biased brake application is an intentional aspect of the design, again for my safety, and that there is nothing that can be done, except stay on top of it and get a free set of pads within the 12k warranty on a on-going basis. That is not a fix, it’s a work around. If the window sticker indicated the vehicle needed brakes approximately every 9 months, for my safety of course, I would have walked away laughing. Now, it’s not so funny.

    The car was bought as certified used with some 18K miles, and we immediately noticed the rear wheels were always covered in brake dust. The front wheels have never shown any appreciable pad materials. I have no idea if new brakes were fitted as part of the certified new car. I was not concerned with the rear brakes at the time. While getting warranty service for an airbag warning light at New Century Volkswagen (NCV), we pointed out the rear wheel dust and we were told it was normal.

    At 27,075 (9K later) the car needed tires; the mechanic told us the rear brakes were worn, and that the fronts were still at 90%. At the time of the repair it was confirmed that OEM specified replacement brake pads would be used. The returned pads are Textar, 2391401, and are confirmed to be of OEM quality ( VW refused warranty consideration on the pads because they were not bought through VW, even though VW buys there pads from other sources; they refused to make any attempt to see if they were “officially supported”, which I believe they are and which they should be able to easily confirm.

    We immediately noticed the same abundance of dust on the rear wheels. I confirmed neither wheel was locked (both spun with out excessive drag), and brought the car back to the mechanic on 09/23/08. They too inspected the brakes and said nothing was dragging and to monitor. If continued they would put new pads on for 50% off.

    Approximately 10,000 miles later and the rear pads are almost worn to metal while the front pads show no additional wear. It was obvious that something was not right so we scheduled emergency service with NCV. As noted the outcome was the determination the brakes are working as desi
  • dvsgelatindvsgelatin Posts: 2
    I have a 2009 Jetta S Auto w/about 600 miles on it and my brakes are already letting out a loud squealing sound about 25% of the time that I brake to a full stop.

    According to the dealership, "the brakes on a vw are vented rotors, no squeak or rust prevention can be used on them or it wont vent the heat of the brakes properly. The noise you hear is surface rust being removed from the rotor."

    Does this sound like a legit explanation?
  • thess02thess02 Posts: 32
    I posted some comments earlier ( post #121) concerning Jetta rear brakes. We own a 2007 Jetta base model and I have experienced slightly higher than normal rear brake pad wear also. I do all of our Jetta's maintenance and discovered the rear parking brake cables were adjusted too tightly (out of factory specified limits). Each rear caliper has a separate cable used to apply brake force to its respective side with a primary tension adjuster (for both cables) in the center console. The left rear brake pads were wearing faster than the right rear and a quick check in the Bentley factory manual confirmed what I suspected, misadjustment from the manufacturer. The cable adjustment for most cars is easy to access...but not with the Jetta. The rear half of the center console in the cabin must be taken apart to get to the primary adjuster.....this is not a 10 minute process. After the primary adjustment is accomplished, each caliper is then adjusted. Long story I know however, this may be a reason for higher than normal rear brake pad wear. Have your dealer check this. The inspection is easy and done at each rear caliper. If your car is out of warranty and adjustment is required at the console, this will take approximately one hour to accomplish. The actual adjustment is easy...but having to open the console is a pain.
  • thess02thess02 Posts: 32
    You cannot apply any compound (oil, etc) to brake rotors. Squeeling disk brakes are a sure sign of brake pad glazing. Glazing is caused by heat and the normal fix is pad and or rotor replacement. The rotors themselves are cast iron and will rust immediately when the car isn't driven. This is normal and you may hear the pads scrubbing the rust away for the first one or two brake applications but squeeling is not normal. Is the squeeling noise from the front...rear...or all four brakes?
  • I checked this forum because my wife's 2003 Jetta wagon started emanating uggly noises from the rear recently, which I found rather odd, based on my nearly 40yrs of driving (rear brakes wearing out before fronts, that is). Having spent the past 30 mins reading the various complaints/rants, however, I guess I should consider myself incredibly fortunate, as this 5-speed car has over 151,000 less-than-gentle miles on the original brake pads. Granted well over half are highway miles, but my wife doesn't baby the brakes and we always use the parking brake. I know this doesn't make the people who are having problems feel any better, but I felt it was important to share our positive experience. Mark, in NC
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,331
    Well I think you folks' driving is indeed the real point !! Keep up the good work !

    I posted about the weight transfer issues, front wheel drive and front engine issues in msg # 109 .
  • paintchippaintchip Posts: 10
    The rear brake rotors are solid, not vented so that is a line of BS in itself. Their statement about "squeak or rust prevention" and it's relation to venting is just plain bizarre. Anti squeal compound goes on the pads not the rotors and any rust that forms on the friction surface of the rotor would be scubbed away in the first few minutes of driving/braking. Assuming that you haven't parked the car in a pond for 6 months.

    You have to remember though, the service rep. is more likely to have a degree in finance than an ASE certification.
  • paintchippaintchip Posts: 10
    My rear pads were completely gone at 18K miles (fronts still have at least 85%). There was no warning or anything, just started grinding when I hit the brakes.

    I was lucky enough that it happened near enough to my house to limp it home. Since it was a Saturday and I had a busy schedule for Monday (and didn't feel up to fighting with the stealership either) I went ahead and bought the pads and rented a caliper tool at AutoZone. The pad swap went smooth and I thought everthing was good until my front brakes started dragging and overheating on Monday.

    I've done plenty of pad swaps on cars and this one has me dumfounded. I've been told that it could be anything from a bad or misadjusted brake booster to sticking front calipers. The oddest was a theory that the pads I bought were too thick and that VW has about 10 different variations of pad thickness and have to be ordered using the vin#. If that's true...what a scam!

    I'm not even going to try the dealership or VW USA at this point so I'll check the front calipers this weekend test the booster. Not sure how to test the pad thickness theory if it comes to that.

    I'll post the resolution if I find it.
  • pholetapholeta Posts: 3
    I am 45,000 miles into my 08 and about to replace the pads for the 2nd time. Hopefully not rotors as well. After complaining to the dealership the first time that brakes wearing at 15,000 wasn't normal, I went to someone else to install the brakes. It is most definitely something wrong with the rear brake system. I was told that it happened because I used the parking\emergency brake when I at an incline occassionally. I haven't used it since and my brakes are still having issues.
  • seisinseisin Posts: 1
    2007 Jetta--love the car as I am short and I finally found one I can see out of, easy to get my toddler in and out of the car seat, a good car for me. How suprised I was when my back left brake begin a crazy Chewbacca noise and was told it was the brake! 35, 503 miles on it, have only had it for 7 months, the dealership has already pissed me off for some other issues, and now they tell me it will be $360 dollars--also they did not have the parts in stock! At the dealership! The only reason I went in was because with the noise and lower mileage I didn't want to screw up using my and learn I guess, but I will file a complaint with the organizations you all have mentioned.
  • jettadrvrjettadrvr Posts: 2
    My VW Jetta has about 53,000 miles on it and I just found out today the rear brake pads are nearly worn through. I started getting some vibration through the brake pedal about a month ago, so I called the dealer and was told that the FRONT brakes have a wear indicator/warning light, but the rear brakes don't, and that I probably have a warped rotor. The mechanic (at a local VW repair shop) who looked at the brakes today was surprised to find out there aren't wear indicators on the rear brakes. He said the front brakes are good for quite a while longer.
    Seems VW is thinking the front pads should wear out first, otherwise, why put the wear indicators in front only??

    I live in an area with lots of steep hills and hairpin turns, so pretty much have to ride the brakes to maintain the posted speed limit and avoid going off the road. I was wondering if that had something to do with it, but based on the other posts, it is a design flaw with the braking system. drdata, did you get a response from VW Corp?

    fyi, the dealer quoted me $450 for new rear brakes and rotors (sight unseen) but the local VW repair shop is only charging $325.
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