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    VWVortex


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    Thread: I think I need new brakes.

    1. Member max asst's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 02:47 PM #1
      Eurovan MV 2003 with 160,000 miles on the odometer. We going on 75,000 miles on our EBC greenstuff pads on original rotors at all four corners. Recently, the braking power has diminished to the point my wife has noticed. There are no grinding or squealing sounds; no pulsations at the brake pedal, and it seems to brake the same way in wet or dry conditions.

      I have a very competent mechanic who would put brakes and rotors on the van if I supplied them. He obtains his parts through a local auto supply wholesaler who is is not confident of the exact parts I need. I would like to get a complete set of rotors and pads for front and rear.

      Currently, what are some good, reliable and economical online sources for these parts? I have been to:
      1. Tirerack (which didn't have everything),
      2. RockAuto (which has a lot of parts but difficult to narrow down to my model Eurovan),
      3. Parts4VW(seems very pricy because of the shipping),
      4. Eurocampers(no parts there),
      5. there is a supplier in San Diego (can't recall the name, but it is popular, but the parts seem to be much more expensive), and
      6. JCWhitney(downright wrong items came up from search; I'm not going back there).

      Recommendations please? I would be particularly appreciative if the poster made the purchase recently in the past 6 months or so. Thank you.
      I like lechon.

    2. Member vwbugstuff's Avatar
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      08-08-2012 08:05 PM #2
      Monroe DX880 for the front from rockauto.com. I just installed these in May 2012.
      Excellent braking, low dust and reasonable price.
      Rear pads would be DX877B

      I've ordered stuff from RockAuto half-a-dozen times - reasonable prices and speedy shipping. Just ordered a set of Monroe shocks from them and waiting for their arrival.

      Good luck!!!
      Last edited by vwbugstuff; 08-10-2012 at 12:46 AM.

    3. Member Operating Engineer O/O's Avatar
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      08-10-2012 07:14 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by max asst View Post
      Eurovan MV 2003 with 160,000 miles on the odometer. We going on 75,000 miles on our EBC greenstuff pads on original rotors at all four corners. Recently, the braking power has diminished to the point my wife has noticed. There are no grinding or squealing sounds; no pulsations at the brake pedal, and it seems to brake the same way in wet or dry conditions.

      I have a very competent mechanic who would put brakes and rotors on the van if I supplied them. He obtains his parts through a local auto supply wholesaler who is is not confident of the exact parts I need. I would like to get a complete set of rotors and pads for front and rear.

      Currently, what are some good, reliable and economical online sources for these parts? I have been to:
      1. Tirerack (which didn't have everything),
      2. RockAuto (which has a lot of parts but difficult to narrow down to my model Eurovan),
      3. Parts4VW(seems very pricy because of the shipping),
      4. Eurocampers(no parts there),
      5. there is a supplier in San Diego (can't recall the name, but it is popular, but the parts seem to be much more expensive), and
      6. JCWhitney(downright wrong items came up from search; I'm not going back there).

      Recommendations please? I would be particularly appreciative if the poster made the purchase recently in the past 6 months or so. Thank you.
      Max, please let us all know what happens next, looks like your doing a good search, T, in Ozaukee

    4. 08-11-2012 03:49 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by max asst View Post
      5. there is a supplier in San Diego (can't recall the name, but it is popular, but the parts seem to be much more expensive)
      That would be http://www.europarts-sd.com. He is usually cheaper than the dealer but he also tries to carry OEM stuff and not too much aftermarket "junk".

      Also try http://www.germanautoparts.com. I have had good luck with them too for "common" maintenance items but for very specific Eurovan parts their selection isn't as extensive as Europarts in San Diego. Like brakes they probably will have. A specifically-shaped-for-the-Eurovan coolant hose, probably not (that's where Europarts excels on stuff like that).

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      08-12-2012 08:18 PM #5
      I'm curious as to why you think that the decline in brake performance is due to the pads and rotors. They should perform adequately until either are worn down to minimum thickness. Any incremental change would likely be due to other issues in the hydraulic portion of the system.

      I for one would also be checking/changing brake fluid and doing a performance & pressure test on the lines and booster - especially on a vehicle the age of yours...

    6. 08-12-2012 11:25 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by Seano View Post
      I'm curious as to why you think that the decline in brake performance is due to the pads and rotors. They should perform adequately until either are worn down to minimum thickness. Any incremental change would likely be due to other issues in the hydraulic portion of the system.

      I for one would also be checking/changing brake fluid and doing a performance & pressure test on the lines and booster - especially on a vehicle the age of yours...
      This is a good point. If the pads still have meat and the rotors have linings, the performance should be consistent. Something else may have changed though.

    7. Member vwbugstuff's Avatar
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      08-13-2012 12:01 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by gti_matt View Post
      This is a good point. If the pads still have meat and the rotors have linings, the performance should be consistent. Something else may have changed though.
      Just for kicks, check your brake booster hose and the check valve for cracks/leaks.

    8. Member max asst's Avatar
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      08-20-2012 12:00 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by gti_matt View Post
      This is a good point. If the pads still have meat and the rotors have linings, the performance should be consistent. Something else may have changed though.

      Until last week, I have not checked the brake fluid before since they were done at the dealership up until about 40,000 miles ago. We took an unexpected long trip from Wisconsin to Virginia Beach last week, so I did the usual checking the oil level, coolant, washer fluid, power steering fluid and this time looked at the brake fluid. Going over the Appalachian mountains was handled without incident.

      It seemed low so I added some Prestone Dot4 fluid and actually used half a bottle before reaching the fill mark. Pedal firmed up and braking improved, but I think it is still weaker than I remember. I alternate driving our Ford Explorer and VW Eurovan and in the past, the Explorer had the seemingly lesser effective brakes, and recently, I noticed that I had to apply more pedal pressure when braking the Eurovan. Since adding fluid, I think that both vehicles use about the same amount of foot pressure. And I think there is some pulsation now when braking that I didn't notice before.

      All in all, with 90,000 miles on pads and rotors, I'd just as well change them now before the school starts.


      German Auto Parts: haven't thought of them since I had a GTI. I think they have a good selection and I'm contemplating the following: oem rotors and semi-metallic pads since they are so durable.
      MakePartQtyPriceTotal
      VolkswagenFront disc, vented, 12.3 inch (313mm), 5 lug. Original equipment. Priced individually, order 2 for a pair.$65.20$65.20
      VolkswagenRear disc, solid, 11.6 inch (294mm), 5 lug. Original equipment. Priced individually, order 2 for a pair.$48.95$48.95
      VolkswagenRear brake pad set, Mintex Red Box. Set of 4 pads, one set required per car.$31.98$31.98
      VolkswagenBrake pad set, Mintex Red Box. Mintex semi-metallic pads offer improved fade resistance and less brake dust than original equipment pads at a reasonable price.$82.04$82.04

      Thank you everyone for the input. I will update as things develop/resolve.
      Last edited by max asst; 08-20-2012 at 12:18 PM. Reason: added info
      I like lechon.

    9. Member max asst's Avatar
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      08-20-2012 12:43 PM #9
      vwbugstuff: I don't have much competence when it comes to brakes, which is why I leave it to the experts, but I'm up for trying this if it is simple. Where is the brake booster hose and valve? How do I identify them?
      I like lechon.

    10. Member vwbugstuff's Avatar
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      08-20-2012 10:26 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by max asst View Post
      vwbugstuff: I don't have much competence when it comes to brakes, which is why I leave it to the experts, but I'm up for trying this if it is simple. Where is the brake booster hose and valve? How do I identify them?

      Remove your engine cover. The brake booster is on the driver's side, just to the left of the battery. The black can-like thing that the master cylinder is mounted to. There is a hose that runs from the booster to the manifold/valve cover. In the middle of the hose is a check valve with two smaller hoses coming off of it. Remove the two smaller hoses first and remember which one goes where. Remove the manifold end and then remove the booster end (with the adapter piece that goes into the booster. Check for cracks. Cover the two small ports on the check valve and blow through both ends of the hose. There should only be air movement in one direction.

      Good luck!!!

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