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Talk about being light on the brakes!

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by webbie, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Mystery.....

    Every time I took my new 2010 Passat in for service, they said the brakes were hardly worn at all.

    At about 42K I replaced the tires, mostly because I had gashed one on a curb.

    But other than that, I have not spent a nickel other than the last two oil changes (first 3 were on VW).....

    Ok, so at 52K I'm thinking it's time to look at the brakes...I'm going to do some long drives soon. So I bring it into the local shop and they remove the tires and tell me "you are kidding, right?" - they say that the brakes are all perfect and they KNOW they have been replaced recently. I ask them how recently - they say in the last 3K miles or so, which is a joke since that's about a 45 days and I have not had the car in anywhere since last spring (tires)......

    On one hand I'm glad to have perfect brakes. On the other hand, where they came from is a mystery! Or, maybe I drive so much like an old man that they hardly wore!
    flyingcow likes this.

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  2. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    They checked the rears too right?
    Occum's Razor = they are just wrong. Brakes can last a long time these days
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Removed all the tires - I watched them......

    I just checked the receipt for the tires I put on in April in case I forgot......and got brakes too.

    It's just for tires and an oil change - $140 total.

    I would certainly remember spending $300 for brakes. I even looked up the 3 free dealer services...the last one showed brakes as being good - but that was at 31K. I also waited for that service, so they could not have put them in by accident!

    The Razor, at this point, is telling me that I am so light on my brakes that I will not have to touch them until well after 100K. No other possibility as the car didn't drive itself somewhere and pay $$$. I don't even have a repair shop because I don't trust the local VW dealer (bought it in Hartford and took it back there for the freebies).
  4. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Had over 120k on my Jetta with the factory brakes. I changed them not because they were too worn but because they were glazed really bad and wouldn't stop worth a damn.
  5. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Brakes last a long time anymore. I replaced pads on my FIL's 2006 GMC Sierra pickup for the first time a few months ago. They had about 90K on them...well worn but nothing terrible. My 2009 F-150 are still 75% or better with 50K miles...not perfect but it hasn't had an easy life between my lead foot and towing/hauling. My Caravan has 45K on them and still look good....again, not perfect...but good.

    The old Ranger I had ate front pads...every 30K they were completely shot.
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Good driving habits mixed with good topography can lead to exceptional brake life.

    I don't change pads until I hear the squealers and then I spend the 15$ for the cheapest pad available. No new or turned rotors, just slap in new pads. I have only ever had to do this once per vehicle since I buy lightly used and then keep them until they die. Easy to get 50,000 on a set.

    Going through brakes would indicate a wasteful driver in most cases.
    Shane N likes this.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Or a very hilly terrain. We went thru brakes at 35k on Toyota and Honda when we lived on Queen Anne in Seattle. No matter when you went it was either up or down a steep hill.
  8. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    My wife's Camry has 67k miles and the brakes look like new (around 3/8" thick)
  9. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    Biggest problem with brakes are if you run into a caliper hanging up or the slides getting rusted or gummed up.

    Gary
    mikefrommaine and Swedishchef like this.
  10. Lighting Up

    Lighting Up Feeling the Heat

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    Betting you have a Standard Transmission and Ceramic Pads they will make a big difference... ?
    md
  11. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Exactly what I was thinking. Engine braking and tough pads.
    When it does come time to replace them likely the discs will also need replacement.
  12. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Nice Craig! I do believe that some car companies put better pads than others (at work we have a few GMs and change the pads every 25K).

    Isn't it a good feeling? I changed my 2005 Subaru Legacy's pads at 118K. The guys didn't believe me that they were original. It is simple: mostly all the mileage was highway KMs. Not many hills whatsoever.

    Andrew
  13. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Craig's a closet hypermiler ;)
    woodgeek and flyingcow like this.
  14. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I replaced the front brakes on my '06 Ford focus at around 90K miles. Still on the original rears at around 142K. I try not to use the breaks much and it is a manual too.
  15. Rear wheel disc brakes seem like such a great idea. Except on my truck they barely get used and the calipers freeze up every 80-90k. Had an s-10 with rear drums went 270k without ever touching them. Probably weren't doing much at that point though!
  16. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Yep, most of your stop is done by the fronts, Unless you really get on them the backs seldom come into play. 187K on 99 f150, used as a truck no soccer stuff here, Replaced only because the parts were rusting off internaly, Drum style.
    Slider pins are almost always the culprit causing brake repairs.
  17. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Truck rears are exposed to more of the elements than other vehicles. Road spray (especially in salt states!) is a killer. Drums are better protected than discs. I got 100K+ out of the rear drums on my Canyon. Shoes were worn out. I'm getting 50K+ out of each front set so I'm not complaining at all with this truck. Truck is my commuter and gets loaded heavy often.
  18. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    Good job Craig.
  19. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

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    Yep. My 2006 mini just had her first brakes put on over the summer around 70k. I'm not complaining ;)
  20. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Funny thing is that I bought the car because it is relative fast and sporty, while still being somewhat frugal on gas (turbo)....

    Also, we drive on decent sized hills - not big mountains, but almost always hilly.
    The VW Passats have a computerized DSG transmission...that all might help.

    I think it's somewhat a state of mind. Some of you probably HAVE to recycle...you find yourself out somewhere with a bottle or can, a trash can, yet you have to save it and bring it home to recycle! I probably drive like that! That is, I know how much dinosaur juice the thing sucks up, and realistically I am not going to get to my destination any faster by braking a lot.

    I do regularly drive it at 80 MPH though.

    Come to think of it, Webwidow is probably responsible. When she drives with me and I apply the brake AT ALL, she is on my case! That's not because she is frugal, but rather sensitive to the loss of comfort as she experiences 1/10 of a G more than usual. She's fussy like that.
  21. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I'm surprised you didn't get a TDI. :)

    On my 2000 TDI Beetle, and similar VWs of that general vintage, I recall that VW for some reason biased the rear brakes more, so they'd wear down first.
  22. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Our 2006 Civic has over 300,000 kms on it. The front brakes have been done once (a long time ago now), the rears are still original. The rears are drums. It has a standard transmission, which likely helps on the brakes.

    On the other hand, our 2007 Pilot has less than half the kms it has and the rears have been done a couple of times now, fronts once.

    I like drums in the back.
  23. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Maple: holy crap! Do drive from Halifax to Truro for work? 300 000 KMs on a 2006 is quite a bit of mileage! I have a 2005 impreza and it has 155K.

    I don't think back breaks make much difference: as mentioned above they do barely any of the breaking on a vehicle. THe only difference is that drums will last longer in terms of rust, etc. That is my 2 cents worth...

    Andrew
  24. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    My VW had disks in the back.

    I like disks in the back. :)
  25. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    When I bought in 2009, they didn't have the TDI readily available on the Passat...just on the Jetta. We looked at that one, but decided on the bigger Passat.

    Funny, it's the first sedan I've owned in my entire life (all trucks, vans and station wagons prior).....

    Next time around I'll look at the TDI, but with 40MPG compared to 30 it's not so great if diesel is 10% or more expensive and the car cost more.

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