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Old August 11th, 2008, 05:25   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: New England
Fuel Economy: 56.10/55-50/35.67
Default Clicking noise upon depressing brakes

Hi everybody. I own a 2001 Jetta TDI, currently with 132,000 miles on it.
I've noticed lately when I'm cruising down the road, if I depress the brake pedal, with the window open, I hear a "clicking" noise that happens just once, when I depress it approximately the first 1/4 of the entire pedal stroke.

So lets say I'm driving down the road at 40 and start to ease off the gas pedal, now say I'm at 30mph and I tap the brake pedal bringing the speed down a few mph. I will usually hear this click noise. But if I take my foot off and then reapply again I usually won't hear it again until I get the car moving for a longer period of time.

The car has excellent braking power, and I never feel any resistance in depressing the pedal, even if I hear this click noise. The car never seems to have excessively low coasting range, and I typically return 50+mpg on all highway, so I don't think any of the brakes are "stuck on".

It's odd because I never remember this before nor do I hear it on other cars I drive.

As a final note to try to provide as much history as possible, at 127,000 miles I put new brake rotors and pads on all four wheels. Note that I did not bleed the brakes at all, I just used the caliper tool commonly found for sale on TDI websites which allows you to screw the piston back into the caliper housing. I will note that when I screwed in one of the back calipers, it seemed to take much longer, and I wasn't making full progress of screwing the piston back into the caliper; it just kept turning without going back in. Then it was suddenly that it did start going back in.

Like I said braking is great and I'm not noticing any excessive brake dust on any 1 wheel in particular, and braking power is great. Any ideas?
PP520s, RC3 AHF 110, PD Lift Pump, VR6/G60 clutch, VDO boost & EGT gauges, Provent, 2.5" CAT-back & cherry bomb, CAT 2u fuel filter, Koni Sports

245,000 miles and counting
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Old August 11th, 2008, 06:34   #2
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Location: Williamstown, Mass

You only need to bleed if you open the circuit, which you shouldn't have done in just changing rotors and pads.

Did you clean & lube all the sliders? It may be one pad sticking of moving slightly. I would start by jacking one corner at a time, removing the wheel, and checking to see if a pad moves if you turn the rotor by hand, or if you poke at it with a screw driver. Maybe have an assistant step on the brake pedal for you, you might get lucky and hear which wheel the noise is coming from. Check the rotor mounting bolts. Given that you're in NE, clean & lube the sliders if you didn't do it originally. There's probably plenty of rust on them by now.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 12:54   #3
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: South Africa

I have the same issue on a 2005 Golf 5. What exactly are these sliders you are talking about? Would love the sound to go away! It definitely feels as if something is a bit "sticky".
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Old October 20th, 2008, 18:12   #4
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Location: Vermont, USA
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This single "click" you are hearing is the pads being shoved against their 'slider' which then takes all the weight of the car and directs it into the stationary part of the spindle.

This is most often heard when changing direction...ie backing out of parking spot and hitting brakes.

One should have used "brake lube" on these sliders when changing pads. (after filing off the rust!) The rear pads on VW actually have a stainless-steel thingie whch fits between the pad and the slider. This tends to take up the 'slop' betwixt them.

Last edited by brucep; October 20th, 2008 at 18:14.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 09:56   #5
That Guy
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I have the same thing on my 2001 Golf.

The front passenger side brake makes a click or clack type noise when pressed.

It started happening after they were changed (pads and rotors). I didn't do the work. Had the car in for something else and decided to let them do the brakes as it was cheap enough.

As far as I can tell the pads on that side move slightly in the direction of the tire when they clamp down and hit the cast iron part of the brake assembly. (Unlike the driver's side where they don't move.)
The shop told me it was nothing to worry about. And that on some brakes there are metal shims or something that can be put in there to fix that, and that no shims are available for the brakes I have.

I find it odd that one side has the problem while the other does not. And both are identical.

The brakes seem to work fine so I haven't given it much thought. Now it's spring and the windows are down so I am hearing it again.

Guess I'll be learning something new again....and probably buying some more tools too.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 11:51   #6
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Location: Oregon, WI
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if its toward the rear my money is on one of the retaining pads springs sticking out the hole in the middle of the caliper body.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 07:37   #7
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I hope to be changing out the winter tires this weekend. I'll see if I can figure out what's happening with that brake then.
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