Brake Problem

Hi! I just had new brake pads and rotors installed on my front brakes (VW Passat, 2003) in late May. For about 3 weeks, they’ve been squeaking terribly, and now they are starting to smell like they’re burning, and there’s black powder all over the wheel covers and wheels. I’ve made an appointment to have them checked. Any thoughts on why this is happening? Thanks for your help!

You have a stuck caliper.

Oh, that doesn’t sound too dreadful. Thank you for your help.

You’re welcome.

It’ll only get dreadful if you fail to get it fixed.

Drive a mile or two, perhaps to the library or a grocery. Then park the car and carefully feel the metal wheels. If one is unusually warm, even hot, you have found the culprit – stuck caliper on that wheel.

If all wheels are equal, perhaps you have no problem at all. Squeaky brakes and black brake dust might simply be the normal result of cheap brake pads. Don’t get talked into an expensive repair bill without a second opinion.

I’s imagine the stuck caliper is correct for the smell but very possibly not for the squeak. When you get the problem with the caliper addressed ask whomever to make sure that everything that ought to be done for anti-squeal has been done. This normally involves some anti-vibration hardware and some well placed brake grease.

The black brake dust is probably just something you’ll have to live with. You can inquire about ceramic pads if you wish. Those are not as bad for the dust.

Steve, thank you so much for your suggestion. You were right. Inferior pads. I could have continued using them, but since the shop had the brakes apart, I asked them to put on good ones. Thanks again.

Thanks Cigroller. Yes it was the pads. I had them replaced so they’re not so annoying.