Excessive brake dust 2003 vw passatt


#1

Had rear rotors turned & new pads installed 3000 miles ago in august 2007. Immediately noticed black dust within two weeks. Initial pads lasted 21000 miles. Work performed @ V W dealer since new.Had brakes checked for wear two days ago & found to be only one thirtysecond of an inch 11/32 now 10/32.Has anyone else had this problem? Dealer said they ( V W ) do not use same pads as originally supplied when car is new.original brakes never covered wheels with dust. Thank You…Ken


#2

Well, some types of pad material leave more noticeable dust than others. If you don’t do the work yourself it’s harder to find a shop willing to try different products.


#3

I have found that most or all after market brake pads generate more dust than the originals. They probably ware faster than the originals too.


#4

Is this happening on ALL the wheels??? If so…it’s the pads. If NOT it could be a stuck caliper. Some pads just don’t wear the same as others. Nissan OEM pads have a 2/32 layer of a very abrasive material to rough up the rotors. This wears off quickly and then the rest of the pad is normal ceramic brake material. Maybe this is what’s happening.


#5

20,000 miles and you needed new pads?? I have over 70,000 miles and I am no where near needed new pads. (VW NB TDI) I guess driving like a little old lady not only increases my mileage (over 40 mpg in the city about 60 on the highway) but it also extends pad life.

I don’t believe all dealers us OEM pads. It is also possible the VW has decided that a different pad might be preferred. You had rotors turned??? Today rotors are generally made very light weight and usually last for a single set of pads. If you have them turned, even if they are within spec you may find that they will warp rather easily. For the small difference in price I would go for a new set.

   Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car.  They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies.  They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent. Note: I like my dealer and generally use them as they are convenient and not too expensive.  But not all are that good. 

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  

There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee.  During the warranty period be sure to have all required (as listed in the owner's manual) maintenance done and to document all maintenance work.

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic. 

Note: Never ever use a quick oil change place. They are fast cheap and very very bad.


#6

The other benefit to changing the rotors, rather than having them turned, is to check the front bearings. This doesn?t work on every car, my Chevy Blazer the rotors popped off by just removing the wheels and calipers. But for the extra ~$20 in parts (don?t know what the extra labor would be) I generally change the bearings whenever I change rotors.


#7

The other benefit to changing the rotors, rather than having them turned, is to check the front bearings.

How do you turn the rotors WITHOUT removing them…THUS…checking the bearings???


#8

I had the same problem with my 2002 passat. The rear brakes went very early while the fronts lasted a lot longer. I heard from others with passats that had the same problems.


#9

We’ve had a number of folks with later model VWs reporting that the rear pads wear out faster than the fronts. Those rear brakes must be rather under-sized.

The brake dust problem comes from the pad composition. Try a set of ceramic pads, if they are available. But you should run ceramics at all four wheels because the friction characteristics are different. You’ll want to keep the cart balanced.


#10

It’s entirely possible VW reformulated the pads for some reason. Perhaps to reduce noise. The trade-off is more dust. As others have suggested, you might want to try other brands of pads. There are many out there, some even advertise as being “low dust” (such as Mintex).

As for the life of the pads. . . . The brake system on this car has and electronically controlled brake bias. Under light braking, the rear brakes work very hard in comparison to the front brakes. This gives better brake response and an improved pedal feel. Under moderate to heavy braking, the front brakes are working much harder. This gives better control and stability. As a result, the light footed “conservative” drivers will have the rear pads wear much faster than the heavy footed “spirited” drivers. This explains why many people complain that the rear pads wear too fast or incorrectly assume that the rear brakes are undersized.
On the flip side, you’ll find people like Mr. Meehan who can get 70K miles out of a set of rear pads. He might claim to drive like a little old lady, but so do I :wink:


#11

Top-hat style rotors. I’ve had them on every FWD car Ive ever owned. The rotor comes off with the lugnuts removed and brake caliper bracket off. The hub and bearings stay on.

My Toyota pick-up truck had a captured rotor, meaning I had to remove the hub to detach the rotor. But I had that truck for 15 years, 325,000 miles on it, and never replaced the bearings. I re-packed them every other pad change, and only replaced the rotors twice. The bearings still looked great at that last re-packing.

Alas, I lost that truck to a retaining wall. Wife was driving, and fell asleep at the wheel. At least she woke up before hitting it, and managed to not hit it square on.


#12

Sounds like your dealer used semi-metallic pads instead of ceramic. The semi-mets make a lot more dust and wear the rotors about twice as fast. I think your dealer should either put in OEM or a quality ceramic replacement like Hawk, EBC or Akebono. One of those is probably the OEM supplier.


#13

I was pretty sure that some places turn the rotors on the vehicle. They use a caliper or hub mount lathe.

*Edit: Found a picture of an on the vehicle rotor turning unit:


#14

The brake system on this car has and electronically controlled brake bias. Under light braking, the rear brakes work very hard in comparison to the front brakes. This gives better brake response and an improved pedal feel. Under moderate to heavy braking, the front brakes are working much harder. This gives better control and stability. As a result, the light footed “conservative” drivers will have the rear pads wear much faster than the heavy footed “spirited” drivers.

I never heard of this. Thanks for your post; I learned something today!


#15

I want to thank all those that responded.I was aware of the rear brakes engageing first. next time we need brakes will request ceramic pads and new rotors.will also be using independent garage now that warranty has ended. once again, Thank You All…