FAQs— Volkswagen Brake Pad Set
- How bad is glazing in brake pads, and how can I prevent it from occurring in my Volkswagen’s brake pads?
Though glazing make the pads look smooth and shiny, this is a sign that you are now in need of a new Volkswagen brake pad set as a glazed pad can no longer be repaired. Glazing is a result of brake overheating, which means the pads worked beyond the operating temperature in which they are designed to operate. It can also be caused by the failure of the driver to follow the required bed-in procedure for the pads. You can prevent it from happening by bedding in your pads properly and avoiding driving habits like frequent hard braking, which could lead to overheating.
- What’s the proper way to bed-in my newly installed Volkswagen brake pad set?
The specific bed-in procedures for brake pads depend on the type of pads and the materials they are made from. Check the printed manual or set of instructions that comes along with your brake pad set. The steps for proper bed-in are usually included in there. Generally, it takes most brake pad compounds 300-400 miles to achieve an even transfer of film on the disc. Make sure, though, that you perform the bedding-in process carefully and slowly. Heat buildup in the brake system can lead to overheating, which in turn results in glazing on the pads and/or warping on the rotors.
- My new brake pads do not come with shims. Can I re-use the old ones, or do I need to buy new shims?
Yes, the shims can be re-used in case your new Lincoln brake pad set doesn’t have any. Just make sure that they are still in good working condition. If you intend to reuse them, clean the shims thoroughly and inspect them for signs of damage. Do not bend the shims and see to it that they are compatible with the new brake pads you are planning to install. Also, clean the caliper sliders as dirt on those components will not only cause the shims to not seat properly but will also cause the brake pads to stick into the brake calipers.
- I notice that my brake pads are starting to rattle. It it something I should be worried about? What causes rattle, and how can I prevent it?
Brake pad rattle should be dealt with as soon as possible because that could mean the pads are moving inside the caliper and may not be operating well. The pads can even get jammed, therefore causing you to lose braking power. If left ignored, brake pad rattle can make the pads skew sideways and lock in the caliper. When this happens, the backing plates may bend and the friction material may be broken away, causing serious braking problems. One of the most common causes of brake rattle is the use of incorrect or incompatible brake parts. To prevent this from happening, make sure to use only correct and compatible brake components.
- I noticed a weird smell coming from the brakes after installing my new Lincoln brake pad set. Is this normal? I don't remember experiencing something like this in the past.
Brake smell can either be normal or not; it depends on what’s causing it. It can be an indicator that you are having overheated brakes, probably because you left your emergency brake engaged while driving. This can be remedied by simply disengaging the emergency brake and continuing the drive normally. The smell is normal an hour or two after brake pad installation because during that time, the brakes are still breaking in. If the smell doesn’t vanish after a reasonable period, it’s more likely that you have a problem with your brake calipers.
- My brakes won't work and seem stuck. What can be causing this? What are the things to check?
Stuck brakes can be caused by misaligned brake pads or parking brakes or stuck wheel cylinders. It can also occur due to brake drums that have been dislodged or caliper piston that has been stationary. Before you can remedy the problem, you have to check all of the mentioned components first for you to know what the culprit is.
- I have just installed the pads from my new Lincoln brake pad set, but it seems like they are producing a grinding sound every time I brake. Is this normal?
This is normal for new pads but should be gone after using the vehicles for a few days. This can also be a sign of rust in the rotors. If the noise is caused by surface rust, it should also vanish as the pads wear the rust off. However, this grinding noise can also indicate brake problems like improperly positioned calipers, shims that are not lubed, as well as worn rotors. Check the brakes to be sure.
Volkswagen Brake Pad Set: Care and Maintenance
If the brake pad is already too thin or it's already down to the metal backing, then it won't make a smooth connection to or a firm grip on the brake disc or rotor. Braking power will be greatly compromised. A worn-out brake pad won't only affect the braking performance of the Volkswagen. This can also ruin the brake rotor, causing deep, uneven grooves or rough spots on the disc surface. For preventive maintenance on your Volkswagen brake pad set, check out these tips and tricks:
- Check the brake pads before they wear out or show signs of wear.
Regularly inspect the brake pads to determine their real condition. A good rule of thumb is to inspect them every 6 months, when the tires are rotated. Some also recommend brake pad inspection during oil change or every 12,000 miles. By checking the brake pads periodically, rotor damage can be prevented.
In some vehicles, brake pads can easily be checked by looking through the wheel. If there's less than ¼ inch of the pad lining (or 1/8 inch or less for some), you have to replace the brake pad. Some brake pads also have a wear indicator-that slot in the center. If the slot is barely there, then it may be time for a replacement. The wear indicator is a small metal piece that's attached to the pad. This will come in contact with rotor when the pad material is worn down to a certain level. This can produce a squealing noise when the brakes are applied. If you notice any irregularity, then brake service is probably needed. If the brake pad can't be seen through the wheel, you'll have to remove the wheel for the visual inspection of the pad.
- Take note of the recommended interval or schedule for replacement.
Brake pads may require replacement every 20,000 to 60,000 miles. This depends on a long list of factors, such as the type of vehicle, kind of brake pads, road conditions, and driving habits, among other things. Check the vehicle manual for the brake service and maintenance schedule.
- Break in the newly installed pads.
The back of the new pads have to be lubricated with grease. After you install the pad, you also have to break this in properly. Drive the vehicle to a speed of 60 mph and smoothly slow down to 40 mph. Do this several times. Also go up to 50 mph and gradually decelerate to 30 mph. After this, drive to normal speeds.
- Observe the vehicle's braking performance.
Listen to any unusual noise when braking such as clicking or screeching. Metal scraping sounds can warn you that the brake pads are already worn out and need replacement, especially if these noises become louder over time. A pulsating brake pedal shouldn't be ignored as well. If you notice that there's less brake dust than usual or it seems that the wheels are cleaner, this can be a sign that the brake pad is wearing out. Have your brakes checked if you notice a longer stopping distance or if the car is pulling to one side when braking.