VW Audi Brake Pads Rotors
German Car Depot makes a visual inspection of your VW Audi Brake Pads Rotors every time your Volkswagen or Audi vehicle comes to our shop.
Read this helpful brief and learn the basics and 6 useful tips.How to save on brake job costs.
Brake fluid (hydraulic fluid): VW and Audi recommends flushing your fluid every two years. Brake fluid is hygroscopic and will absorb water from the atmosphere. This degrades the fluid’s performance by reducing its boiling point and it could ruin your ABS system. The fluid should look clear and clean, if it gets dark or cloudy it means there is moisture in the system. Moisture accumulates very quickly in Florida because of the high humidity. This is the main reason for expensive ABS brake repairs.
We find that customers who follow the correct VW Audi maintenance schedule rarely have problems with the ABS or hydraulic system.
ABS Brakes: On slippery roads, even the lightest application of brakes can lead to wheel lock-up, causing the vehicle not to react to the drivers steering movements. With ABS the vehicle remains under control so that it can be steered around an unexpected obstruction even when the driver has slammed the brakes in panic.
Rotational-speed sensors continuously monitor each wheel. As soon as lock-up is detected at a wheel, ABS temporarily reduces the braking pressure at that wheel so lock-up is prevented. ABS repeats this monitoring and control cycle in rapid succession for each wheel. This form of electronic wheel-slip control ensures optimum braking distances while at the same time maintaining full steer-ability and stability.
Brake Rotors (discs): The rotors should be inspected all the way around the surface and on both sides for any concentric scoring (grooves) or obvious defects. If defects are found, replace your rotors immediately. Any rotor discoloration may be a sign of overheating. At German Car Depot, we check the brakes for wear during every oil change.
Brake Pads: These will normally match rotor scoring but should also be inspected for uneven wear, breakage or cracking on the friction surface. Again, if defects are found, replace the pads immediately. Many cars also have brake pad sensors to warn of pad wear. If your Volkswagen or Audi brakes use sensors, replace these at the same time as your pads.
Brake Drums (if equipped): Check for the same types of flaws as noted above. The drums should not have excessive grooves or have a deep “trough” dug into them where the shoes ride. Worn drums will make the brake pedal feel lower than normal, in most cases with drum brakes the shoes retract inward and the pedal travel gets further as the shoes wear.
Brake Shoes (if equipped with drum brakes) should be worn evenly and have no cracks or rivets protruding.
Additional Troubleshooting: When inspecting brakes, check calipers, wheel cylinders, hoses and fittings for any hydraulic fluid leakage. Inspect the master cylinder, reservoir, brake booster lines, check valves, proportioning valve assemblies as well. Replace as required.
If a break booster line is cracked, the brakes can feel fine but cause your car to have poor fuel mileage. Most mechanics would never even think to check this because it is not that common on most cars. This is one of the main advantages of having GCD the Volkswagen – Audi specialist in South Florida work on your car.
A “spongy” brake pedal or one that has gotten lower underfoot needs looking into. It can be caused by sticking calipers, worn pads, low fluid or hydraulic system problems. If you always have to pump them up, at the very least your hydraulic fluid (brake fluid) needs replacement.
To check brakes by sound, know how your brakes should sound and listen for out-of-the-ordinary noises. Most cars have a slight brushing sound from the pads lightly touching the rotors. This is perfectly normal.
Sounds to beware of include:
Squeaking may be caused by dust or dirt on the brakes, loose pads vibrating when applied or worn pads. Squeaking just before you come to a stop – Does not mean you have a brake problem.
Next time you wash your car, spray water onto the brakes. Make sure the brakes have cooled down from your last drive first.
As long as you have OEM brakes and rotors installed, not aftermarket, you should have not have problems with noise. About 5% of cars (we have noticed) will always have a slight amount of squeak when breaking very lightly, no mater what is done.
Rhythmic noise might mean you have a warped rotor. Instead of a solid squeaking noise, it pulsates. In extreme cases, the brake pedal will also pulsate underfoot.
Constant brake noise is never a good sound, and any grinding noise spells real trouble !
Most importantly: As soon as you notice any problem get it repaired immediately. Delaying brake repairs is extremely dangerous. Even if you manage to avoid physical harm, the longer you delay fixing brake problems, the more you increase the cost of doing so.
Badly worn, warped or overheated rotors can damage wheel bearings and the complete wheel hub assembly as well as ABS sensors. These parts often cost more than the brakes themselves.
Even if you like doing your own brake work, every few years have your brakes examined by a VW / Audi professional. Checking brakes for conditions such as “run-out”, warping, wheel bearing play and proper proportioning balance will help prevent or discover underlying problems that could eventually become costly or dangerous.
6 Important Brake Tips
Heed these tips to ensure that your VW or Audi brakes won’t fail.
Repair Tip #1: Keep the hydraulic reservoir at the proper level with the fluid type recommended by VW-Audi. Never substitute or mix types of fluid. Remember also that hydraulic fluid absorbs water. Never use old hydraulic fluid – always use a fresh container.
Repair Tip #2: Keep brakes clean by washing them off at the same time as your car. This keeps squeaky dust and dirt off the pads and makes brakes easier to inspect and work on.
Repair Tip #3: Never spray, touch or drip any oil or lubricants on the brake friction surfaces. If this occurs, spray immediately with brake cleaner to remove completely.
Repair Tip #4: There are no shortcuts or quick fixes to brake problems. They either function properly, or they don’t. Know your brake system – how it should work, feel and sound – before it acts up so you’ll know when something’s wrong.
Repair Tip #5: Brake rotors for cars made in the last 10 years, are built with minimal thicknesses to save weight – meaning they can’t be “cut” or “turned” to remove imperfections. There isn’t sufficient metal thickness to safely accomplish this. They must be replaced at the same time as the pads.
Repair Tip #6: Use only OEM/OES (original equipment manufactured/supplied) or equivalent pads and rotors. The price is not cheap, you do, however, get what you pay for. OEM parts will give you the most trouble-free driving and peace of mind.
These are some of the items the German Car Depot technicians check during a brake inspection:
Front Brake Rotors, Front Brake Pads, Rear Brake Rotors or Rear Brake Drums, Rear Brake Pads or Brake Shoes, Brake Sensors, Brake Calipers, Wheel Cylinders, Hydraulic Hoses, Wheel Bearings, Brake Master Cylinder, Brake Power Booster and Brake Proportioning Valve Assembly. If the vehicle is ABS equipped, we also check, ABS Rings, ABS Pump, ABS Control module and the ABS Sensors.