FAQs— Volkswagen Brake Disc
- During brake inspection, the mechanic told me that my Volkswagen brake disc now has hard spots and warrants replacement. Won’t resurfacing do any wonder?
Hard spots, or uneven wear across the brake disc, are caused by excessive heat. While other brake issues can be remedied by resurfacing, this method may not work for such problem because hard spots usually extend below the disc surface. If you try to shave off those high spots to achieve a smooth braking surface, the remaining metal may not be thick enough to ensure proper and safe braking.
- Does my Volkswagen brake disc really necessitate resurfacing every brake pad replacement, even if there seems to be no surface issues?
Majority of professional brake mechanics recommend rotor resurfacing after brake pad replacement. This is because resurfacing restores the rotor’s flat and even surface, which ensures maximum brake pad friction and minimal vibration during braking. If you use new brake pads on a rotor with grooves, the pads won’t achieve full contact with the brake disc, thus compromising your Volkswagen’s braking performance. It can also cause uneven wear on the new brake pads, therefore decreasing their service life.
- How can I fix the excessive runout on my brake disc? What will happen if I ignore this brake issue?
You can do away with it by resurfacing your disc using an on-car brake lathe. You can also put on tapered shims in between the brake rotor and the hub. Another way to solve such brake problem is to use conventional bench lathe. Excessive runout means fluctuations on the rotor’s thickness, resulting in vibration. Even just .001 inch of thickness variation can create very noticeable vibration or pulsation in the brake pedal, and this can affect the vehicle’s braking performance if not dealt with properly and immediately.
- What can cause rotor distortion, and how can I prevent this from happening to my Volkswagen brake disc?
One cause of rotor distortion is improperly tightening of the lug nuts. This can be prevented by making sure the lug nuts are tightened well and there’s no gap between the rotor and the hub. To avoid creating such gap, make it a point to get rid of the dirt, rust, and other debris on the face of the hub and the inside portion of the rotor hat. You can do the cleaning before rotor installation using a drill-powered brush.
- How will I know if my existing Volkswagen brake discs are still reusable or are now in need of replacement?
You need to look at several factors when deciding whether to reuse your rotors or not. The first thing you must do is to assess if your rotors can still be resurfaced. If you think they will end up very thin after resurfacing, you’d better have them replaced. If the rotors fitted in your brakes aren’t vented, find out if they’ve been overheated as overheating can cause cracks on the disc, resulting in lateral run-out that will render the rotors useless.
- After resurfacing, how can I properly clean my Volkswagen brake disc to prevent it from causing brake noise?
You can wash the disc with warm, soapy water or blast it with brake cleaner to get rid of the metal particles that you’ve shaved off the rotor. After applying brake cleaner, wipe it using a paper towel. If you’ve sprayed warm, soapy water, you need to rinse it and wipe the disc dry. You can repeat this method until the disc surface is smooth and free of any dirt or metal particles.
- I reside in an area with lots of corrosive elements. Can you give me some tips on how to prevent corrosion on my Volkswagen brake disc?
One way to prevent rust from eating up your brake disc is to apply high-temperature grease to the mating surfaces before installation. This will act as a sealer to help delay corrosion. Remember that in corrosive environments, rust can develop in between the brake hub and the rotor and any rust formation can jack the disc away from the hub, causing runout. So, it’s important that you protect this part before rotor installation rather than dealing with rust issues in the future.
How to Diagnose and Troubleshoot Issues with Your Volkswagen Brake Disc
Volkswagen classics like Beetles, Super Beetles, and Convertibles usually have drum brakes of the four-wheel variety. It was around 1967 that disc brakes were installed on Volkswagen vehicles. Since 1972, Volkswagen automobiles like the Karmann Ghia sports car have had disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. Brakes for Volkswagen machines are similar in most respects to those in American-made autos. With that short history lesson of brake disc usage in Volkswagen cars in mind, what should you do in case these discs start failing? Thankfully, this guide is here to help you out.
Non responsive brakes
If you push your brakes and nothing happens, you should have those brakes looked at immediately because your car is in (and an) immediate danger on the road. There are several reasons why this is so and to each reason, there 's a corresponding separate solution. You might need to adjust your brakes because you have a bit of scraping on its front drums. Attempt a brake bleeding procedure by yourself or with the help of a mechanic then adjust the parking brake afterwards. If you still have issues, then look for wheel cylinders and lines that are leaking. Other than that, you might need to replace your master cylinder.
How to bleed your brakes
Bleeding your brakes requires you to remove the master cylinder reservoir top, siphon the old brake fluid, clean the reservoir, refill the cylinder with new fluid, and then pump the brake pedal about 15 times or more. From there, loosen up the bleeder valves and hook up a tube to the bleeder volt. Place long lumber or some other spacer under your pedal. Refill the reservoir again and replace the top of it. Get an assistant to slowly depress the pedal with an even force while holding it down. While this is happening, turn the bleeder bolt a quarter-turn counterclockwise. Tell your helper to remove his foot off the pedal. Do this repeatedly until the bleeder tube lets out clear fluid. Tighten the bolt up and then do the same thing to the rest of the brakes.
Worn and corroded discs and/or pads
Once your brake pads and discs are damaged, your best recourse of action and repair is to have them replaced. They get worn down and corroded because of road salts and the fact that the discs rotate with the wheels and get gripped by the brake pads whenever you activate your brakes to slow your vehicle down, thus it gets worn down by the friction. This is especially true of drivers who are trigger-happy with the brake or brake suddenly often rather than slowly easing the car to a gradual stop. At any rate, you can prevent wear-down and corrosion by watching out where you drive and checking the status of your brake discs and pads regularly.
Squealing brakes and grinding noises
When your brakes squeal or produce a high-pitched noise, this is usually caused by vibration. This can be the symptoms of worn brake linings, a brake disc or drum that requires machining, front disc brake pads that have been worn down, missing or loose anti-rattle clips, or low-grade brake lining replacements. If you feel grinding from your brakes as you push the pedal and hear an accompanying noise to go along with it, then stop driving immediately and get your vehicle towed to the nearest auto repair shop, since this could be an indicator of excessively worn brake linings. Further driving could only damage your brake discs further.