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VW B5 Passat TDIs This is a general discussion about B5 Passat(>98 (2004-2005 in North America)). Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old March 18th, 2017, 19:52   #1
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Georgia
Fuel Economy: 38 - 41 MPG
Default Time for Brakes - Warning Light On

As the title says ...

The brake warning light is on. I presume that means I need front brake pads.

I have 214K on the car and don't even remember when the front pads were replaced but the car spends most of it life on the highway. I presume that is why I have gotten so many miles out of the front pads.

Here is my question...

What is the consensus ... Always replace the rotors when you replace pads?


Can I get by with only replacing pads?

Also, what should I use to lubricate the caliper pins?

2005 Passat TDI (Unchained 05/03/2011 @ 87273 Miles)
2007 Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax LBZ Diesel
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Old March 20th, 2017, 13:22   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Cambridge

If the rotors look good, only replace the pads. Your local part store sells slider pin lubricant. I usually use antisieze or wheel bearing grease.
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Old March 20th, 2017, 13:43   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: St Louis
Fuel Economy: fantastic

I would use the correct lubricant, other stuff just causes the rubber to swell (which is why the CV boot failure causes them to swell up and the little dust caps fall out).

I always replace the rotors, too. You can certainly inspect them to see their condition, but typically there will be a lip on them, and some times the B5s can warp the front rotors easily.

They last a long time, though. And your indicator is on because of the sensor, which sometimes just breaks off when there is still 15% pad remaining. Given how long the pads last, 15% life could be 25k+ miles of use still left in them. You can disable the warning via scan tool in the Instruments.
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Old March 20th, 2017, 17:14   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Edinburg, Pa
TDI(s): 02 jetta
Fuel Economy: 48-50 avg. 44 lowest 51.5 highest

I don't usually mess with the rotors unless they are warped or really messed up. New pads may not last as long without new rotors. If I was pushing any kind of severe duty I would go all new rotors/pads. Definitely clean and lube the slider pins/holes. I buy the brake grease in a jar over the little bubble packs, since I maintain several vehicles.
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Old March 20th, 2017, 23:17   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Danville, CA
Fuel Economy: 45 Jetta, 30 Passat (MPG)

The pads&rotors from idparts looks to start at $120 for the B5 Passat. I'm sure the setup can be had cheaper if needed.

When I did the front brakes on my Passat a while back, I went with ceramic pads to cut down the dust. Not sure if I was supposed to switch both axles to ceramics at same time or not, but the car still stops.
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