FAQs—Volkswagen Brake Disc and Pad Kit
- I just received the Volkswagen brake disc and pad kit that I ordered, and I’ll be doing the replacement by myself for the first time. Is there any good tip I should know before I get this done, like how I can get better access to the brakes and where I should start?
It doesn’t matter which side you take on first, as long as you do it one side at a time. You can get better access to the brakes by turning the steering wheel to get the best angle. When changing brake pads, be sure to use new clips. Also check if the kit comes with some grease. The graphite-based grease should be applied on the clips of the new pads to prevent squeaking. If this is your first time replacing the pad and disc, it would help if you’ll first familiarize yourself with the different brake components so that installation will be more or less straightforward.
- I borrowed my girlfriend’s Volkswagen for the weekend to drive across the state. A few hours into the drive, I heard some noise coming from the brakes. What can I do to fix this?
The noise could be an indication of wear and other brake issues. You may have loose brake parts that need to be adjusted or retightened. If the shims or clips are loose or damaged, these should be replaced right away. If there are no loose parts, consider using a thin layer of dampening paste at the back of the brake pads. Allow it to dry fully before putting back the pads and checking for brake noise when you drive. Brake squeals and other types of noise may also be caused by worn-out brake pads or may be a symptom of a brake rotor or drum that’s already scored or grooved. In this case, the rotors need to be resurfaced or changed completely.
- When I had my brakes inspected and fixed, the mechanic told me about the accumulated brake dust on the wheels. How can I prevent or minimize the brake dust?
To figure out why there’s excessive brake dust, regular inspection would help. This will determine if the accumulation of the dust is due to rough rotors or because of the calipers that have lost their proper alignment, which leads to too much friction. Through periodic maintenance, the issue can be fixed right away. To prevent or minimize brake dust, there are a couple things that you can do. You may install brake dust shields, for instance. It’ll also help if you wash the wheels from time to time and allow the brakes and wheels to cool down first before cleaning.
- I had my brake pads replaced a while ago. I found some rust on the disc/rotor. Does this mean I should replace the rotor/disc as well?
It’s not unusual to spot some rust around the edges and other parts of the rotor/disc. However, if there are grooves or scores on the disc/rotor, that’s when you should consider resurfacing or replacing the disc/rotor so it won’t cause braking inefficiency and lead to the premature wear of brake pads.
- How can I get rid of rust on the rotor—the side that don’t touch the pad?
If you want to remove and prevent rust, it would help if you brake moderately—avoid hard braking. Also use your handbrake as much as possible. The rotor hat may be sanded if the rust really bothers you and you want to get rid of it right away. And for the rust not to go back, you have to paint the bare metal after sanding. Just make sure not to pain the braking surface.
- I just changed my brake pads, and I think they wore down too soon. How can I extend the life of my new brake pads?
Invest in top-quality pads. Make sure that you get the right type and set for your vehicle, your driving style, and the road/driving condition. One good practice is to avoid riding the brakes. Avoid hard braking as much as possible—go easy on the brakes. It will also help if you have the brakes checked and serviced from time to time to fix issues right away.
- What’s the best way to avoid riding the brakes? It’s a bad habit of mine.
Don’t make abrupt stops. Consider the distance and then step on the brakes lightly for a short while, release it, and then reapply the brakes until the vehicle makes a complete stop. Don’t brake on a rush to prevent the brakes from heating up fast.