Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Volkswagen Passat Brake Questions



  • turned out to be grease on the ab sensor - dealership corrected at no cost
  • hymehyme Posts: 1
    I heard some noise from the car (like metal) when I press the brake and the wheel is not in straight direction. When the car is not turning and I press the brake, there is no noise.
    It is a 2001 passat 4 motion. I just bought it and alread paid much to misfire :cry: . Hope some one can help me.
  • ads2ads2 Posts: 11
    I would expect either your brake pads or a wheel bearing, either way you'll need to have it inspected to find out. These noises of metal are always something wearing that shouldn't, the longer you let it go, the more likely it is you'll have more trouble and it will cost more.
    Good luck.
  • The brake fluid reservoir in my Passat is covered by black plastic bodywork that makes it impossible to see the minimum fluid level.

    I've considered removing the bodywork but it doesn't look like it comes off easily.

    Does anyone know how to get round this?
  • Hi! Don't know if you still have your 2002 Passat, but I still have mine. I've had exactly the same problem (twice, over two years). Dealer topped up my brake fluid levels, and the warning light went away. I now have a new problem - water in my brake fluid. Don't know if the problems are related, but I suspect they are. Water is getting into the brake master cylinder from the windshield wiper tray (meant to collect rain water from the wipers). This problem is described in more detail in this forum. Don't know if I've solved the problem yet - car is sitting in the driveway now with brake pedal frozen solid.
  • I have a 2002 Passat wagon, which has been mostly trouble-free for nearly 10 years. I have had the brake-warning light and alarm problem noted in this forum (solved by topping up the brake fluid - was there an underlying problem causing the brake fluid to leak out?). I'm now having another brake problem, which may be related.

    The brake pedal freezes at temperatures below freezing, and there is a considerable amount of water in the brake line. My mechanic diagnosed the problem as a water infiltration issue caused by water getting into the brake booster from the windshield wiper tray (this problem is described in more detail in this forum). We have cleaned out the windshield wiper tray, and opened up the drain hole, but are still getting the problem (water must still be getting into the brake booster).

    Any suggestions?
  • ads2ads2 Posts: 11
    You may have something else going on, but three things:
    1. the brake fluid lid should easily seal it from water dripping or even flowing around it, although I think if the cowls (and look for drain holes) are clear, this shouldn't happen. If it has been covered in water, frozen, then maybe cracked somewhere, but even this seems unlikely, you'd lose pressure. So it seems really unlikely you're getting water in this way.
    2 Modern disc brake systems almost NEVER need fluid added unless something is wrong. The fluid goes down by exactly as much as the pads wear, and if you push the brake pistons back to get new (thicker) pads in, the fluid in the reservoir will rise back up between the min/max lines. This is just to illustrate how it works, because, that said, here is the most pertinent thing:
    3. Brake fluid is agroscopic, it picks up moisture. BMW and I think Audi/VW recommend changing fluid every two years. If you track your car (road coarse), you change it a couple times a year, maybe more, or the moisture will actually boil in the lines and vapor then makes for serious brake fade. Also, I've seen brake fluid with rust in it (a 97 ford ranger with drum rear brakes). Again, moisture in the lines. I had to replace a wheel cylinder in rear it was so bad it couldn't be honed out! However,
    4. If your pedal is frozen in pace (won't go up or down), you may be right with your diagnosis, but, something VERY odd is going on to allow that much water in there.

    Good luck
  • barrosobarroso Posts: 2
    edited February 2012
    I have a 89 vw passat, which already has ABS, the rear brakes do nothing. it hangs in front with the pedal, but not behind. The handbrake is also good. The pedal is very stiff, it costs to go down.
    The van has brake fluid, master cylinder and rear brake system are also good, but not lock.
    What could it be?
    I thank you most help.
    Thank you.
  • ads2ads2 Posts: 11
    edited February 2012
    Your wording is less than clear, you've mixed too many things together.
    For now, let's ignore ABS and the hand brake.
    You say front "hangs". do you mean the tires skid, or the brakes don't release and get hot, or ?
    The "pedal is stiff". I think you mean it is normal, it isn't soft so it doesn't go to the floor. Is that right or is it stiff such that it doesn't provide good stopping poer?
    So the rear is good, or not providing any braking?
    So now, what you may be saying is that everything works, but the front brakes are allowing the wheel to lock up and skid? Is that the key problem? Or are the rears not doing anything as your title indicates? I'm a bit confused.
    How many miles on the car, when were front brake pads and/or rotors replaced if ever? Same question for rear brakes.

    Do you have any error lights on the dash, like an ABS light?

    How long have you had the car?
    Are you positive it has ABS on both front and rear brakes? Some cars in the early days of ABS only had rear ABS (not sure about VW or your year).
    If you're new to the car AND this is the design, it wouldn't be abnormal under heavy braking for the front wheels to skid but not the rears - this is why I ask.

    Until you clarify these things some, the possible problems are too many to comment on.

  • barrosobarroso Posts: 2
    Hi, i´m sorry but i don´t speak and write english fluent.
    My vw is a passat b3 89, with 353574 km, the front brakes have been changed 2 months ago, but the rear brakes i don´t know, i have the van almost 13 months and they are the same, the van have abs in front and rear, but only works in front.
    But don´t worry, because the problem is resolved.
    Connector plugs from the abs were having some sort of loose connection or dirt, and they work good now .
    i appreciate the help.
    Thank you.
  • jrb46jrb46 Posts: 2
    I have a 07 Passat wagon. I bought it new and I do 99.99% of the driving on it. I am 65 yrs old and I take really care of my cars. I have had many cars in my life time many of them
    Volkswagens. At 27,000 miles my dealer said I needed front brakes, the pads were down to 5%.
    They ALSO wanted over $650 just to do the brakes. I went to a Porsche repair shop and got them for $400
    My REAL Question is WHY did I need brakes so soon. I usually get 40 to 50 or more thousand or more miles out of my brakes. PLUS I have never heard of front brakes going before the back.
    Out of the many cars that I have owned and I have had a lot of them a lot were Volkswagen I have had only 2 that needed brakes before I got rid of them
    One because the brakes were down before I bought it. The other was a car that I bought new and I gave to my cousin. That car had 70,000. SO I am NOT hard on brakes or my cars. I saved the brakes shoes one was warn more than the other. My repair person said my brakes were out of adjustment. I took the pads to the dealership and talked to the senior service advisor. He did not seemed conserned
    I have really loved my past VW's and I love this one. But I think Volkewagen is getting just like everyone else and no longer cares for the customers. All they want is the money in your pocket.
    OH, just one more thing I have NEVER HEARD of brakes costing $150.00 a wheel just to replace the pads?
  • ads2ads2 Posts: 11
    A few things: Brakes on most cars wear out first on the front, because that's where the weight transfers when you stop. Having said that, my 2004 Passat sedan, needed it's second replacement set on the rears at about 80,000 miles, and I put rotors on this time (not the first time I did pads). I inspected the fronts closely; they are no where near needing replacement. However, after 2005, the Passat is build on the same frame/platform as the Jetta, so the brake design is probably different. In this case I'd not be surprised that the fronts went first. Original brakes usually last pretty long, so I'm not sure what happened that yours went at 27k. There is no adjustment on disc brakes, but a proportioning valve or other component could be at fault.

    Labor is now $75 - over $200/hr depending on where you live - West coast is high, Northeast is high on labor. I would seem if they only did pads that would be 1-2 hours max on labor. I'd not doubt the pads were $100 for the pair; you could easily spend $150 or more on some high performance pads, but most shops wouldn't do that for normal service on the street (versus track pads). I take my cars to independent mechanics for the work I don't do on my own once a car is out of warranty; dealers seem to be overpriced and not always the best skill. But Porsche shops can be high; find a shop that does VW/Volvo, maybe BMW and VW/Audi.

    Sure hope these last more than 27,000 for you!

  • jrb46jrb46 Posts: 2
    Well as I said I have NEVER had to replace the front brakes before the back on any car I have owned, with having one side wearing different than the other as you say disk brakes can not be adjusted. the $650 was to replace ONLY the front pads with OEM brakes.
    Where I got them done I had premium ceramic brakes and it only cost me as I said $400.00.
    The dealers just want to rape the customers and get all the money they can from them by LIEING.
    I read of a person that was told by his dealer that replacing the tires can only be done by them. It turned out the dealer was charging $300 more for these SPECIAL TIRES.
    I can't believe how the customer are treated by today's businesses. All the businesses want to do is get the highest price possible and give NONTHING IN RETURN.
    I have been dealing with the public all my working life. I CAN'T believe how bad it has gotten. Everytime I hire someone I expect to be screwed in some way. Last year I did find someone that SURPRISED me to no end. I had a person come to my house to detail and wax my car. To me it cost a lot of money but I just can't do that any more. The person was a great guy and he spent over 5 hours on my car WITHOUT even taking a break. I offered but he did not want to stop. Being he did such a great job I have told people about him and he told me that he has gotten over a 125 jobs from people I had told about him.
    On the other side my landlord bought some new appliances the stove was 3/4 inch too wide. Well, after calling and stopping by shops for a couple of weeks we FINALLY got someone to come out and cut the counter. It was one cut 21 in. long. It cost $175.00 for 10 minutes work and that was with the senior discount as she is 75 yr. old, that's $8.34 an inch.
    I am so glad I am the age that I am and I have not much time left.
    But I have a cousin that is like a son to me. He is in the third year of college.
    I am so sorry we have left this mess for him. What ever he does he is going to have a hard time in the future. Plus in ten years or so, we are likely to have another world war I am so WORRIED FOR HIM.
  • It really depends on how you drive, if you are a very responsible driver and brake "early" dont speed and use the transmission to brake on hills they should last you 5k barely, however you will most likely need rotors at that point as well becasue of the amount of heat worn brakes retain, but you may already need rotors, VW doesnt add much "meat" to the rotors for turning so if you have already had them turned you need new rotors. But dont go to the dealer for that work you will pay alot more than say going to a firestone. as far as VW parts vs others Its really a matter of personal preference, the cheapo brake job wont give you the same "quality" as the VW parts but the more expensive pads and rotors will and at that point its what you like.
    Price for all 4 rotors and pads assuming the calipers are fine you will probably be looking at $400-600 depending on what pads and rotors you get, at a Firestone or wherever you will have a choice of pads and rotors, The more expensive the longer they should last and they should perform a little better, but you wont notice the difference unless you were doing 60-0 tests and so on
  • pnikopniko Posts: 3
    hello all, having crazy brake light issues. when I have my headlights off, and depress my brakes, the front parking lights come on. When my headlights are on, all three brake lights stay on continuously... I have already replaced my headlight switch (first mechanic suggestion); I also replaced my stoplight switch on pedal (second mechanic suggestion).... AND, I have disconnected my ABS, as it was stopping on me randomly, and the mechanics said i did'nt need it so they disconnected the wiring harness, which stopped the ABS isssue (although my dash message lights still flash "STOP & See Manual", is it possible the ABS issue is also causing the brake light issues.... SO FRUSTRATED! Is there anyone out there that can help me? Anyone have similar problems they have fixed? Desperately need to correct these lighting issues as Tampa, FL police love my car already.... Thanks
  • ads2ads2 Posts: 11
    I'd expect you either have a ground issue or maybe harness to the trunk has rubbed and is shorting. Get some emory cloth and sand the inside of all your rear light sockets, then wipe them out with alcohol.
    If that doesn't work, I'd move on to inspecting the harness in the rear for wear points.

  • 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. Did anyone figure out what the problem that is causing this?
  • pnikopniko Posts: 3
    Thank u ads2-im working on all that now. Did find a lot of bare headlight wires. Could that be part of my issues?
  • ads2ads2 Posts: 11
    Yes, well, the bare wires sound odd, leads me to believe someone has had this apart or had options installed. Make sure connectors are good, get them taped up.
  • I'm having the exact same issue with the lights any fix yet ??
  • If you don't want to get charged crazy prices , then learn to do the work yourself. 400 dollars is crazy for brakes. I just installed new brakes on my passat and the pads were only around 50 then found a 20 dollar online coupon and then i found a rebate for $10.00. So I did the same thing on my passat as you and I only spent $20.00 and it was easy. Disc brakes are very easy to install. Even if you have to go buy new tools it's still cheaper then $400. This is why garages charge so much. People are not willing to try to do their own work anymore. Just let someone else get their hands dirty.
  • pnikopniko Posts: 3
    Hi bellew87, no resolve as of yet, have a mechanic friend doing diagnotics and electrical ground tests, but, he is pretty baffled as well.... Will post whatever outcome so the next guy knows where to start.... Not fun...
  • Here's a short video on changing rear brakes (rotors/pads) on a 2003 VW Passat. This video applies to the 1998-2005 VW Passat and 1996-2001 Audi A4.

    VW Passat Rear Brakes
  • No issues with my brakes. That must be the driving style. I have 12mm on my fronts with 130,000 miles on them, still original set.
    Rears had to be replaced at 55k miles and cost over 400$ for rotors and pads. These brakes are electric brakes and need to be reset with a proper VAG tool. When descending hills, I shift down instead of riding the brakes as everyone else does.
  • I have the exact same problem with my 99 Passat. Both brake lights are out, but the center brakelight strip is good. I've replaced both bulbs on both sides and the fuse, but still no luck. According to the circuit diagram, all three brake lights (left, right, center strip) all go through the same switch and fuse. Anyone else have this problem?
Sign In or Register to comment.