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Thread: Brake pad/rotor replacement difficulty

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    New Member Frickard is a jewel in the rough Frickard's Avatar
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    Brake pad/rotor replacement difficulty

    Okay, so after searching around the forums a little bit, I'm torn between brake pad/rotor replacement being difficult or being doable. I've replaced brake pads before, not rotors (I know, I know, I should have - I know better now), but never on a VW. I just got a 1000 dollar estimate (plus tax!) from my local VW dealer (Capo VW) to do front and rear brake pads/rotors. That's crazy money! I know that most of that is labor. So, I guess my question is this... I own a 2004 Golf GL. I have experience changing pads. Should I attempt to do this myself? Or should I just look for a better estimate? I know where all the DIY guides and such are, just debating on the issue of actually doing it. Also: what after-market pads/rotors do you suggest? I've seen a bit about Hawk equipment here and there... Do the Hawk pads fit OEM rotors? If so, I'll just buy the rotors from the dealer, but I'm open to other suggestions?

    Thanks a lot!

    Edit: I'm going to get the Hawk ceramic pads. Is there a specific rotor for use with ceramic pads? Or is the rotor just going to wear faster? At this point, I'm planning on buying the rotors from the dealer and picking up Hawk pads. Any reason not to?
    Last edited by Frickard; 05-19-2009 at 08:56 PM.

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    caffeinalienated le0n has a reputation beyond reputele0n has a reputation beyond reputele0n has a reputation beyond reputele0n has a reputation beyond reputele0n has a reputation beyond reputele0n has a reputation beyond reputele0n has a reputation beyond reputele0n has a reputation beyond reputele0n has a reputation beyond reputele0n has a reputation beyond reputele0n has a reputation beyond repute le0n's Avatar
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    if you have done them on your 04, i don't see why you can't do that on your rabbit, and as far as the rotors go, just take them to a machine shop and have them resurfaced (turned), you can do that a few times on a new set of rotors that have been treated properly, the shop will tell you if you need to replace them or not, just get you a set of tools to do the actual job from start to finish and you shouldn't have a problem...

    if you want you can pick up the pads at the dealership just to stay OEM, turn the rotors and put everything back together for waaay less that 1k... call your local parts store and see if they'll turn them for you...
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    New Member Frickard is a jewel in the rough Frickard's Avatar
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    Awesome, thanks guys. I guess the only question I have left is whether or not the Hawk ceramic pads will work with OEM rotors from the dealer?

    Thanks

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    As far as I know they should work.

    Just a note:
    Make sure you turn your pistons back into your calipers and do not try to compress them straight in like most caliper pistons. This can tear your seal!! You can rent or buy the correct tool to do this at your local auto parts store.

    Use the correct took to compress and twist the piston back into the caliper.

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    Guru Member mlowmk5 is a name known to all mlowmk5's Avatar
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    If you don't feel comfortable with DIY try to get some estimates at brake and tire places other than the dealer. The dealer also quoted me $480 for the rear brake job and about the same for the front. TOO MUCH!!!

    A couple local brake shops quoted me 780 for the job. (Big O tires and Wheelworks)

    Going to do it myself with my friend next month! Keep us updated!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frickard View Post
    I own a 2004 Golf GL.
    Quote Originally Posted by le0n View Post
    if you have done them on your 04, i don't see why you can't do that on your rabbit
    Were not even talking about the same car.
    I would imagine it's similar though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlowmk5 View Post
    As far as I know they should work.

    Just a note:
    Make sure you turn your pistons back into your calipers and do not try to compress them straight in like most caliper pistons. This can tear your seal!! You can rent or buy the correct tool to do this at your local auto parts store.
    Thanks for the heads up. I found this out a few days ago, so I'm already planning on renting the tool.

    Quote Originally Posted by mlowmk5 View Post
    Going to do it myself with my friend next month! Keep us updated!
    I'll definitely be putting together a post with pics for this, since I haven't been able to find a DIY brake guide specific to my car. Thanks a lot guys.

    Side note: The dealer was real quick to respond (within the hour) with a quote for the brake job. However, when I asked how much it would cost me to buy the rotors from them, no response.

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    First my rear brakes went out at 25k. I was PISSED, my dealer quoted my 340$. I got rear pads (30$ from dealer) and rotors (80$) dealer. And I never replaced the rotors because I didnt have the right tool to take them off.lol

    I have been told that these rear brake discs, come from the factory at spec. So you CANNOT turn them, they will not perform as good and they will warp very easily. Plus the shop is not legally able to turn the rotors under spec cause that against the law. So your just better off either you buying the parts and do it yourself (with the RIGHT tools ) or take it to someone you trust and paying an arm+leg.

    Thas jus ma pocket change
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGGREEK View Post
    First my rear brakes went out at 25k. I was PISSED, my dealer quoted my 340$. I got rear pads (30$ from dealer) and rotors (80$) dealer. And I never replaced the rotors because I didnt have the right tool to take them off.lol

    I have been told that these rear brake discs, come from the factory at spec. So you CANNOT turn them, they will not perform as good and they will warp very easily. Plus the shop is not legally able to turn the rotors under spec cause that against the law. So your just better off either you buying the parts and do it yourself (with the RIGHT tools ) or take it to someone you trust and paying an arm+leg.

    Thas jus ma pocket change
    I am under the assumption our rotors front or rear cannot be turned and re finished a second time. You should just replace them generally with every brake pad change. Could be wrong but found that similar brake shops have told me the same thing.

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    i'm also about to do my brake job... Question is though, I'm at 26k miles and I feel the brakes getting really worn out, do I need to replace both front and rears?
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    Quote Originally Posted by argue53 View Post
    i'm also about to do my brake job... Question is though, I'm at 26k miles and I feel the brakes getting really worn out, do I need to replace both front and rears?
    Measure to see how many MM are left in your front pads. I would assume you should replace your pads and rotors when your around 3mm or less. Just take your wheels off and measure your front pads.

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    I don't think you have to change the front brakes at 26k mi. I have 45k and my front pads look almost new.lol (LOtsa lotsa meat left)
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    are you a spirited driver? slam on your brakes a lot? I wouldn't really consider myself one so if your front brakes have lasted thus far, than i think i'll just replace my rears. I just dont have time to work on the car and take the tires down till maybe two weeks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by argue53 View Post
    are you a spirited driver? slam on your brakes a lot? I wouldn't really consider myself one so if your front brakes have lasted thus far, than i think i'll just replace my rears. I just dont have time to work on the car and take the tires down till maybe two weeks.
    Bryant u should be able to tell how the pad is by looking through your wheel...should be enough space to see.
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    they are looking fine to me lol... but they feel weak. either way i know i'm rounding around the time for a change. I was going to by a who GTI kit, but they ended up getting sold.
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    feel weak?! even if they are worn they should still feel strong. maybe the pedal will feel to low.
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    Re: Brake pad/rotor replacement difficulty

    It's funny that I ran across this forum on Brake/pad replacement. I have my 2007 Rabbit in the shop right now having the brake rotors front and rear and pads replaced for a sum of my first born plus labor costs. They use OE VW parts and work is under warranty for 3 years.
    I have had several air cooled and water cooled VWs and used only VW parts on all of them. I still have my first MK2 and it is cheaper to replace rotors then have them turned at a machine shop. Any time you remove material from your rotors, you are loosing that much more stopping material.
    Do yourself a favor and replace your brakes by a shop with a good warranty. Here in Texas i use RUSH Automotive and they do great service/warranty.

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    Re: Brake pad/rotor replacement difficulty

    I do mine myself, and it is not hard, at all...

    I use Semi-Metallic pads too, on whatever rotors I buy.

    I just replaced my 2013 TDI front pads and rotors, for the first time, at over 220,000 miles.
    The pads were still good, the rotors were warping. I got a set from an on-line source, worked
    just fine, and got the pads at Advance Auto... PADS are easier to replace, as you have to pull
    the entire caliper and bracket assembly off to replace the rotor. I have rear rotors on
    standby, and are on my 3rd set of rears, to one set front...

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