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Volkswagen Jetta Brakes and Rotors



  • thess02thess02 Posts: 32
    Just an update on the rear brakes on my 2007 base Jetta 2.5l. I pulled the rear wheels today for the inspection and current mileage is 67,099. I replaced the oem original rear pads with aftermarket pads from Autozone (part number: MKD1108) on 11 Oct 2009. Mileage when the Autozone rear pads were installed was 57,700. No visible wear evident today on the aftermarket pads...but wear did measure about .015" less than new pads using a caliper. These aftermarket pads are a good buy in my opinion at $20.99...with lifetime replacement warranty.
  • Just got back from the dealer. At 19,000 miles my pads were completely gone and the backings eating into the rotor.

    VW covered it under warranty, but it is not acceptable. Definately going with aftermarket parts the next time around.

    Defective design. I have never owned a car where the rear pads wear out before the front. If the rear were engineered to wear faster, the should have made the pads larger. This is a joke.

    By the way, I got 110,000 miles out of my Chevy Tahoe brake pads. So much for German engineering.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    You were really lucky to get them done under warranty, since brake pads are not really covered by that.

    We are at 38,000 miles on ours, with the original brakes.
  • I'm nearly out of my second set of rear brake pads at 38,000 miles. I'm done with this Jetta!! Glad you got them fixed under warranty. I had to pay for the pads AND the rotors. :/
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    How in the world does *anyone* wear thru a set of brakepads under 40K miles??? I would have to be riden the brake pedal to make this happen.

    Have you ever considerd that perhaps you are following too close, or perhaps not watching the road ahead and anticipating stops? Most of the time, I use the brakes very little because I get off the throttle early and coasting slows me down. Brakes are for the final stopping.

    Also, it bears repeating that VW *purposefully* installs 'softer' pads on the rear from the factory for a better 'bite'. As soon as they need replacing, you can install longer-wearing pads. (NOT factory pads)

    Good thing a Set of pads/rotor costs under $100. That is less than 3 tanks of gasoline.
  • Oh yes, we must be horrible drivers for our brakes to wear out so quickly. It must be our fault and not VW's fault. I drive a 5-speed and do not follow closely, nor do I ride my brakes. Additionally, my rotors and brakes cost me $400, and that was AFTER I complained to the manager! You're a flipping idiot!
  • shriftyshrifty Posts: 255
    Not sure where you live, but I'd say it is quite possible to wear the brakes out prior to 40K.

    I would have to guess that if you drive in city traffic most of the time, it may be likely in stop and go traffic to wear them out early.

    For me, it is the complete opposite. I have around 70K miles on my 09 TDI, and the pads can easily last twice as long since almost 100% of my driving is highway. On any given trip, I may only use the brakes less than 10 times in 300+ miles :D
  • I'm going to have my check out tonight. The front shrieks when I hold the brake coming to a stop. I live in the Twin Cites and I'm driving constantly in stop and go traffic so pads needing to be replaced at 20k miles might be possible. I have a ton of speed bumps at my townhouse area and work. I'm just kinda shocked that they might need replacing already....
  • shriftyshrifty Posts: 255
    20K seems to be quick. Are they the original pads on your car?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    edited December 2010
    There is no need to call people names. I was only suggesting that one should look at their own driving habits. You seem very quick to blame someone else (VW in this case) but do not appear to be willing to consider other alternatives.

    Even in so-called "stop-n- go" traffic, I have been able to concisely change my habits so I do NOT need to use the brakes very often. Simply go a tad slower and leave more space in front of me. I Let the space in front of me be a 'sponge' which gets bigger -n- smaller as the driver in front of me constantly uses their brakes and accelates.... whilst my roadspeed is nearly constant with no brakes.

    The above driving-habit can be learned by anyone who is willing to try. Not only does it conserve brakepads... you fuel-consumption will improve too. (because the constant speed means you no longer need to keep accelerating after using the brakes)

    There have been extensive studies regarding traffic-jams and it was determined if everyone followed the above driving-habit... many traffic-jams would be avoided altogether. Everyonve accellerating and stopping forces all cars behind to do the same thing. (Or at least those drivers THINK they need to keep their bumper glued to the car in front of them) If everyone simply went 1MPH slower, (average speed) the traffic-pattern would change to a constantly-flowing mass of vechicles. (Which could then speed-up to the speed-limit smoothly)

    Dont take my word for it, the aformentiond traffic-pattern research is available online in extensive detail.

    I must be doing something right. My 50.0 MPG average speaks for itself. I have a spreadsheet of over 120,000 miles of fillups to back-up my numbers.
  • I took my 2008 Jetta in for it's 20,000 mile servicing today. I got it back, and didn't read over the paperwork until I got home. They left a check list in my car for me. Everything checked out ok except my rear brakes. They said my front brakes are at 11cm and my rear brakes are at 6 cm. I don't quite have 20,000 miles on it yet. From what I have read so far this seems to be a common problem. I am NOT a mechanic in any way and need some advice on what I should do.
  • jetta7jetta7 Posts: 17
    If your rear brakes are wearing faster, have the parking brake lever, which is located between the front seats, checked for slack. If you pull up on the lever and it does not move very far, chances are it is adjusted too tight. As you apply the brakes in normal driving, the automatic adjuster keeps adjusting the rear brakes too tight.
  • iamglenniamglenn Posts: 1
    Rear brakes do wear first on all VW models except Touaregs. If you've ever had to make an emergency stop the nose of the car does not dive to the ground. Rear brake calipers compress first and with greater force to prevent nose dive braking.

    53K for rears is amazing! I've seen as low as 15K and as high as 85K for the first set of rears on a Jetta. Almost all brake jobs on German cars require pads and rotors at the same time -- German car makers trade longevity for stopping power.

    Slam on the brakes on a VW and you stop -- quickly. Some squeal or grind on cold or damp days is unfortunately a by product of brake dust and binding to rotors ....... some of my customers get pissed at that answer but ...... like I said -- unfortunately .....
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I "2nd" the above append! This may be the #1 'complaint' I see here on the Edmunds forums regarding VWs. I wish people would just use "search" before asking this same question over and over.

    The rear brakes on most VW models wear faster than the fronts. VW *purposfully* uses softer pads in the rear to get a better bite into the rotors.

    You may chose to install NON OEM pads (ATE, Akebono, Mintex... etc) and the faster wearing will NOT happen. (but your car will not stop the same either)
  • shriftyshrifty Posts: 255
    Based on what you've seen with the lifespan of brakepads, I'm probably nearing the end. I currently have about 75K on my original pads on all 4 corners, but they still seem to be about the same as when I bought the car.

    I believe the 09 has brake pad sensors, but I'm curious how this works? I'm guessing once the pads reach a certain thickness (or lack of) you will see some type of indication on the dash? If this happens, about how much life is left in them? I don't want to push it to the max, but at the same time I don't want to panic and call for a tow out in the middle of nowhere when I can safely and easily drive back home and get it done the next day.
  • Hi to all,
    Took delivery 5 days ago. Has barely 100 miles on it. What bothers most is appearance of rotors. They all look rough and a little rusty. Feel somewhat rough too. Compared to wife's new car(Honda cr-v) not near the same. Her car delivered Saturday past has perfectly smooth rotors and more miles. Does this justify a service call to dealership?
  • shriftyshrifty Posts: 255
    I think mine have looked rusty since I bought the car, and have almost 77K on them now. So far no issues with them.
  • These are rusty and somewhat rough. Should a brand new car have perfectly smooth rotors?
  • shriftyshrifty Posts: 255
    It seems logical that they would be smooth, but I don't really know. My car sits outside in the elements, so they are almost always rusty. Does the car shake when braking? When I brake it is smooth when stopping.
  • No, stopping is not smooth especially at low speeds.
  • shriftyshrifty Posts: 255
    In that case I would get it checked out.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    edited April 2011
    My rotors occasionally get a little "surface rust" on them. I often get surface-rust after my car sits for a weekend in the rain. (Especailly after driving on salty roads in the winter.) Some (safely executed) panic stops tends to clean them up nicely. It is also good for the brakepads and rotors to be exersized once in a while.

    HOWEVER: On a brand-new car, it takes at LEAST 500 miles of driving to season the rotors. A very thin layer of brake-pad material gets imbedded into the surface of the rotors. (This is called "seasoning" the rotors) After several miles of seasoning, it is best to ""let the smoke out" and perform several back-to-back panic stops to get the pads smoking-hot. (This is called "bedding" the pads) ... then park car overnight and allow COMPLETE cooldown of the brakes. This aligns the molecular grain within the rotor which will help reduce the chance of warping.

    After that exersize, (seasoning and bedding) your brakes should provide many years of trouble-free service.

    Also.... never EVER touch the rotors wth your fingers. The oils from your skin can impede braking-performance.
  • shriftyshrifty Posts: 255
    edited April 2011
    I just had my brakes checked on my 09 TDI as they are the original pads. The fronts have 80% remaining, and the rears are at 40%. Not bad for just over 78K :)
  • With my 2004 VW Diesel Jetta Wagon my rear brake pads had to be replaced at 170,000 miles. The repair garage said my front pads had about 10,000 miles left on them. Now, at 190,000 miles, the warning light went on in my car indicating the front pads now have to be replaced. Obvously, most of my driving is longer distance, and I live in southern New Jersey where there are virtually no hills, and I'm light on the pedal and stopping and starting (e.g., I'm getting 90,000 to 100,000 miles out of tires, whether they're Michelin or Cooper). I'm not sure what all this means, but thought it of value to share. For me, the brake wear indicator light should probably be attached to the rear brakes but this obviously isn't true for most people's driving habits. I closely monitor tire air pressure, which certainly helps with tire mileage.
    I'm guessing that my driving habits and the flat terrain of South Jersey are mostly to credit for the low wear of my brake pads. My Toyota Corolla, which was totalled in an accident at 160,000 miles, had its original brake pads front and rear. And this Corolla had significant local mileage on it since it was used for half its life by wife for shorter trips.
  • Hello Handiman!,
    This question is not related to brakes , but VW in general. If you have time can you kindly answer?

    I have a 2008 VW JEtta 2.5 S ( When i got it , i t had 27500 miles on it).
    Now, 31k miles.

    1) I got it in summer. Now in the winter i see that it is emiting too much smoke compared to other cars on road. Do you think of anything that could be wrong? Emission, engine tuning etc

    2) Also when i drive like around 40mph, i hear a strange rattling noise, itook it to the VW dealer as is under warranty. He said he checked with mikes and doesnt hear sound, It might be because, the rear tyres are of different brand. And once you drive 5k miles, both become even.
    But i have driven 3k miles since and the sound stll exists.

    It would be great if you could give ur expert comments!.

  • jim532jim532 Posts: 1
    I had a similar issue with a 2007 Jetta Wolfsburg 2.5. The rear caliper pistons have to be turned in with a caliper tool. I used a snap on tool that I borrowed from a mechanic. You cannot simply compress the rear caliper pistons in. They must be turned in clockwise. I don't think it's the emergency brake adjustment although you should be sure to see that the pads move freely within the caliper pins. I used VW factory pads with all new hardware after 40,000 miles and had to replace the rear pads a second time at 24,000 miles. The second brake pads were manufactured by TRW. The VW pads are $99 retail and $65 wholesale. The TRW pads were $37 wholesale. Be sure to check the rear brakes regularly so you won't have to replace rotors too. I hope the TRW pads don't leave as much brake dust on the rear alloy wheels. I've heard that some people have experienced similar problems with Audi A-4s.
  • Smoke or steam? My 2.5 emits a lot of steam in the winter and always has. If it's definitely smoke then what color is it? Black or grey? Black is fuel, grey is oil.

    As for the rattle. Does it seem to be coming from the trunk? I had a rattle that was driving me nuts and the dealer also said they couldn't duplicate it (BS...heard it every time I hit the slightest bump). I finally found a VW engineer that told me the rear brake adjusters are tied to the e-brake. He told me to set the e-brake every time I parked the car. I did and about a week later the rattle was gone and has never returned. Might want to give that a try.
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