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Diagnosing 2003 VW Jetta Brake issues
02-20-2014, 09:24 PM
Post: #1
Diagnosing 2003 VW Jetta Brake issues
I have a 2003 VW Jetta GL 2.0L(gas). In September of 2013 I replaced the front and rear brakes.. new front rotors/ rear rotors/ and pads. I purchased TRW brand OEM replacement for the job.

Fast forward to December/January and I notice that I am starting to feel a shimmy/vibration during highway speed braking. I jacked the car up and spun the wheels. Three of the four wheels on the car when spun hit a spot where they meet slight resistance.

This week I purchased new pads/rotors for the front (TRW again) and installed them today. With the new pads and rotors on I spun the front tires when the car was jacked up and to my suprise the new pads/rotors have a spot where they meet resistance as well.

Could this be a caliper issue? When I retracted the calipers with the tool the front calipers didn't really push back much maybe a turn or two at most but they didn't seem frozen.. What about the flexible brake line? Could it be the reason my calipers slightly touch the rotors?

Please help!
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02-20-2014, 10:50 PM
Post: #2
RE: Diagnosing 2003 VW Jetta Brake issues
Hoses can be a problem but since you have the issue with brand new parts (no driving yet) I suspect the rotors were man-handled during shipping and are not competely true right from the get-go. I'd return them or ask if they can be machined true before using them.

As for the hose issue, if you seem to have one or more hot rotors and others that seem cooler I would change the hoses just because it's the most likely problem at that age. What happens is they collapse internally and don't let the pressure off after an application so they tend to drag the pads, which makes for a hot rotor. Extra heat makes the rotors warp and gives you that vibration.
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02-20-2014, 11:41 PM
Post: #3
RE: Diagnosing 2003 VW Jetta Brake issues
(02-20-2014 10:50 PM)Rupe Wrote:  Hoses can be a problem but since you have the issue with brand new parts (no driving yet) I suspect the rotors were man-handled during shipping and are not competely true right from the get-go. I'd return them or ask if they can be machined true before using them.

As for the hose issue, if you seem to have one or more hot rotors and others that seem cooler I would change the hoses just because it's the most likely problem at that age. What happens is they collapse internally and don't let the pressure off after an application so they tend to drag the pads, which makes for a hot rotor. Extra heat makes the rotors warp and gives you that vibration.
If I open the bleeder and the rotor spins freely am I to assume it is the hose and not the new rotor? Can I crimp the flex hose instead of opening the bleeder? I've seen this done and am unsure if that is ok to do?
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02-20-2014, 11:53 PM
Post: #4
RE: Diagnosing 2003 VW Jetta Brake issues
Crimping the flex hose generally damages it, especially an older hose. They get hard and brittle with age. Brake hose is made in layers like a tire so crimping is the same as hitting a curb with the side wall. It damages the plies and they can separate.

Try this and see if it makes a difference....

Apply the pedal hard and release. Note how much effort it takes to spin a wheel. At that point crack open the fitting between the hose and the steel brake line. If the wheel is still hard to turn then open the bleeder. If that makes it easier then you know the restriction is the flex line for that wheel.

BTW, always replace brake parts in matching pairs... front or rear.
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