VW Passat Anti-Lock Brakes/ Squealing/ Not working = HELP!

I have been having problems with my anti-lock brakes for about 2 months now, and I’m starting to think that I should be looking into getting it fixed before they stop working completely! Whenever I need to stop really quickly or I slam the brakes (it happens way too often living in Boston haah) the anti lock brakes slip and only catch themselves at the last second. Further, it seems that on certain days the brakes are squealing/making the nails on the chalkboard sound. Is it actually a problem with my wheel bearings or rotator cuffs, or just brake pads? Please help! I am a 21 year old female who would like to not ask her father for help for once. Thanks!!

I Doubt The Problem In Your Shoulder Is The Culprit, But It Could Be Worn/Defective Brakes.

This may or may not have anything to do with the actual ABS portion of the system and could be just what you were alluding to, worn out brake pads/rotors.

At any rate, 2 months is way too long to wait. Get it checked out ASAP. This could be and will be dangerous as you have already pointed out. It will be cheaper to fix prior to the collision.


We’d have a hard time telling you what to look for. It may just be your pads but you don’t want to take risks with important stuff like brakes.

Being a dad myself, I’d be upset if my daughter went to some pepboy outfit, got hosed for $800 to replace some brake pads and blinker fluid. I’d be ever more upset if she asked some yokels on a forum for advice over me.
If your dad is a capable mechanic, ask him. Maybe look over his shoulder so you know what to look for next time.

I have to agree with common sense answer. Of course, without doing diagnostics, it’s hard to know for sure, but my guess is that it’s not that your ABS isn’t working, it’s that you have no brake pad left. Take your car immediately to the mechanic and at least have them check the amount of brake pad left.

When was the last time you had your pads replaced and how many miles do you have on your car?

It’s likely just worn out pads, but I have to comment on what Remco said. I have always been happy to help my kids, and was always terribly flattered when they asked. I knw you mean well, are trying to finally become independent, and are trying to releive your dad of the extra burden, but it relaly is no burden at all. It’s a pleasure. It’s an opportunity for us dads to “strut our stuff” in front of our kids. Your dada probably feels the same way. Give him a shot.

I am concerned at how you describe the noise as well as the way the brakes “slip and only catch at the last second”. I think it very likely that you have NO pad friction material left on your brakes and that you are down to “metal on metal” and the rotors are likely ruined now as well.

If you were my daughter and drove the car this way then got into a wreck (as lack of getting this checked when it first started happening 2 months ago would make it no “accident”) I would be distraught.

My advice is DO NOT DRIVE THIS CAR, call your Dad and have him look at it wherever it is parked now. I am certain he will be happy to do it, and will feel better than if you keep driving it in it’s current condition and find you can’t stop at the next intersection you encounter.