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    Thread: Front Brake Pads Not Sitting Flat

    1. Member
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      12-10-2011 02:12 PM #1
      I thought I saw a thread on this once, but can't find it.

      Why do the front brake pads not sit flat against the rotors? There's quite an angle, with the outer edge of the pad apparently worn about twice as much as the inner edge:



      This is with about 42.000 miles on the original pads.

      It's the same both sides on my GLI, and on my wife's Jetta.

      I had my daughter stomp on the brakes with the engine running, so I could see what happens. I expected to see at least some tightening or flattening of the brake pads against the rotor, but didn't notice any movement at all. Brakes seem to work fine while driving.

      Rear brake pads sit perfectly flat against the rotors.
      Last edited by Marek K; 12-10-2011 at 02:25 PM.

    2. Member anteramk5jetta's Avatar
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      12-10-2011 03:00 PM #2
      Good pads will have that. It cuts down on brake noise. Cheaper pads usually are completely flat but will end up making noise cause dirt and dust gets stuck between the pads and rotor. That is completely normal

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      12-10-2011 03:39 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by anteramk5jetta View Post
      Good pads will have that. It cuts down on brake noise. Cheaper pads usually are completely flat but will end up making noise cause dirt and dust gets stuck between the pads and rotor. That is completely normal
      Oh, OK... never saw that with our previous VWs or other makes. None of them cheap.

      Does the pad flatten against the rotor when working? I'd expect the inner edge to cause more wear/scoring on the rotor than the outer edge.

    4. Member anteramk5jetta's Avatar
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      12-10-2011 03:44 PM #4
      Some higher end pads do come as a flat pad. I've never seen any difference in the way the pad performs. as the pad wears it becomes flatter but during braking it doesn't. whenever I perform a brake service, if the pads that I'm putting on don't have the chaffer at the ends, I do it to the pads. I've rarely have ever had any brake noise problems with pads like that as opposed to flat surface pads

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      12-10-2011 04:02 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by anteramk5jetta View Post
      if the pads that I'm putting on don't have the chaffer at the ends, I do it to the pads.
      I've been looking at the images of brake pads on the ECS web site. I can see they're chamfered on each end of each brake pad (which I can't see on the pads on my GLI). But that's not what I'm talking about... I'm talking about the angle of the pad from the inner edge to the outer edge, causing the wedge-shaped gap you can see in my image above. Which I think I can also see on at least some of the ECS brake pads.

      So you're saying the pad doesn't flatten out against the rotor when the brakes are applied? (I'm not talking wear, I'm talking the actual angle of the entire brake pad when the piston presses it down.) That would mean only the inside edge presses against the rotor. Seems like that would cause serious wear to that inside edge, as well as to the inside edge of the rotor where the pad hits. But I'm not seeing any such wear to the pad or rotor after 42,000 miles. In fact, I'm seeing even wear on the rotors across their width, which means that the pads must flatten out when pressed down.

    6. Member anteramk5jetta's Avatar
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      12-10-2011 04:26 PM #6
      sorry, my mistake. Misunderstood what you meant. The pads DO make full contact when the brake is applied. Google wagner thermoquiet brake pads, they actually explain the chamfer on the edges, they are designed to help reduce brake pads temps, noise, and excess wear. Not all brake pads come like that, and I have seen some pads without problems that are completely flat, but I prefer when they have the chamfer since they seem to perform better overall

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      12-10-2011 04:41 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by anteramk5jetta View Post
      Google wagner thermoquiet brake pads, they actually explain the chamfer on the edges
      I did that, thanks. That applies of course to the chamfering on the ends of the brake pads, not the beveling of the entire pads.

      I see the end-chamfering on images of all replacement brake pads for the Mk5, but I don't see it on my pads. I assume the pad wear has gone past the chamfering by now?

    8. Member anteramk5jetta's Avatar
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      12-10-2011 04:44 PM #8
      You still have some towards the top of the pad, when new at the end of the pad (near the rotor hat) is very minimal and usually is great going towards the top of the pad. From a mechanic point of view, your rotors look a little glazed, nothing major, and the pads looks to have 7-8/B meaning about 3/4 life

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      12-10-2011 04:49 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by anteramk5jetta View Post
      sorry, my mistake. Misunderstood what you meant. The pads DO make full contact when the brake is applied. Google wagner thermoquiet brake pads, they actually explain the chamfer on the edges, they are designed to help reduce brake pads temps, noise, and excess wear. Not all brake pads come like that, and I have seen some pads without problems that are completely flat, but I prefer when they have the chamfer since they seem to perform better overall
      You don't know what he's talking about do you?

      Pads can wear unevenly because of the condition of the slide pins, how their installed and the type of rotor your using. Looks like those pads were not installed correctly or the guide pins aren't moving freely. They are not supposed to look like that.
      If it sounds like sarcasm, it probably is.

    10. Member anteramk5jetta's Avatar
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      12-10-2011 04:54 PM #10
      Normally when a caliper slide sticks, or when a pad begins to wear uneven you will see it when looking at the pad from one side to the other. With the picture that is provided I see nothing out of the ordinary regarding the brake pad itself. all in all it is hard to actually give a full CORRECT answer in regards to it since I can't see everything first hand or see the pad comepletly. In the picture you see an area that has far less material then the rest of the pad. That part is designed into the pad and is completely normal. Only other thing I would recommend is the area on the caliper bracket where the spring contact, apply grease there in an effort to help everything moving freely

      Wagener Thermoquiet edge brake pads are shown

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      12-10-2011 05:04 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by anteramk5jetta View Post
      You still have some towards the top of the pad, when new at the end of the pad (near the rotor hat) is very minimal and usually is great going towards the top of the pad. From a mechanic point of view, your rotors look a little glazed, nothing major, and the pads looks to have 7-8/B meaning about 3/4 life
      Sounds good. Thanks.

      I just had an independent mechanic I trust (as opposed to the local VW dealer) do a check of the car a few weeks ago. He said the front pads have about 7/32" left (I'm not sure at what point on the pads), and the rear pads have 4/32".

      Quote Originally Posted by Dronks View Post
      Looks like those pads were not installed correctly or the guide pins aren't moving freely. They are not supposed to look like that.
      I'm not a brake expert, but I disagree. First, they're the stock pads that came with the car new. Second, both sides (left and right sides of the car) look like that. Third, the wear across the rotors is even. Fourth, it's the same on the brake pads on my wife's Jetta.

      It's just that I've never seen pads with that beveling.

      Anyone else see the same thing on their Mk5?
      Last edited by Marek K; 12-10-2011 at 05:09 PM.

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      12-10-2011 05:14 PM #12
      Pads always wear at a slight angle with the outside pad being more angled than the inside. The high clamping force of front calipers causes that due to the caliper itself flexing. You do have a bit more angle to those pads than normal though. Id check the slides on both calipers and clean/grease them to ensure they are moving freely.

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      12-10-2011 05:50 PM #13
      Well, here's what my wife's front pads look like on her Jetta after 22,500 mi. Original pads that came with the car new:



      Looks like exactly the same beveling of the pad, thicker toward the inner edge (toward the hub), touching the rotor surface; and much thinner toward the outer edge.

    14. Member Dronks's Avatar
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      12-10-2011 07:26 PM #14
      If it sounds like sarcasm, it probably is.

    15. Member anteramk5jetta's Avatar
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      12-10-2011 07:40 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Dronks View Post
      don't have to believe me or trust what i'm saying, not saying you do either. Just giving my experience on the situation since I've been a cert. and licensed mechanic for 12 years now

    16. 12-10-2011 07:45 PM #16
      I understand what you think you are seeing. The pads are chamfered on the ends, but I guess it's what you would call a compound angle. If you were to take the pad off the car you would see that the center of the pads are flat in the center. I noticed the same thing in the first pic on my car with my stock pads. If you pop the wheel off and shine a flashlight in there you will see what I mean

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      12-10-2011 08:18 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by blackvento36 View Post
      I understand what you think you are seeing. The pads are chamfered on the ends, but I guess it's what you would call a compound angle. If you were to take the pad off the car you would see that the center of the pads are flat in the center. I noticed the same thing in the first pic on my car with my stock pads. If you pop the wheel off and shine a flashlight in there you will see what I mean
      I see the stock pads are chamfered on the ends. Courtesy of ECS Tuning:



      You know...maybe what I'm seeing is an optical illusion, like you're saying...because of the diagonal edge of the pad, narrowing toward the hub; and the angle I'm looking at it through the wheel opening. Makes it look like the hub edge of the pad is touching the rotor face, while the outside edge isn't.

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