How to fix rear brakes dragging? Already adjusted Parking brake cable

coolusername

Veteran Member
Joined
May 4, 2022
Location
Orange, CA
TDI
2012 Jetta Sportwagen TDI
So I have a 2012 Jetta Sportwagen TDI, and recently I've started having issues with my rear brakes. Randomly at the end of a 40 mile drive the left rear brake started smoking and smelling. My guess was that brake was caught engaged. After that, I had the parking brake cable loosened from the center console spot (drilled a hole behind the outlet for easy access, so I didn't have to remove the entire console). With that parking brake cable loosened, the car drives fine, but the problem isn't completely fixed. I bought a IR temperature gun, and have been consistently measuring that the left rear brake rotor is consistently 50-100 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the right rear brake rotor. For example the right rear would be 150°, while the left rear would be 250° as measured by the temp gun after a long highway drive. Now, I found this caliper piston rebuild kit on ECS (https://www.ecstuning.com/b-dorman-parts/rear-caliper-piston-rebuild-kit/d352103~dor/), but it's for the Mk6 GTI, and I was told that while the TDI wagon has the same front brakes, the rear brakes are different. Does anyone have a good link to a quality rebuild kit for my rear calipers on my car? Is attempting to rebuild my calipers even the right idea? Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Nuje

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2002 Golf 6MT; 2015 Sportwagen 6MT; 2016 A3 e-tron 6DSG
Before going through the effort of replacing the caliper, I'd definitely try replacing the brake cable. Even if it feels like it moves smoothly, a little resistance goes a long way to calipers. This was a regular occurrence on the Mk4 cars, not sure how prevalent it is on the mk5-6, but like i said - a whole bunch easier than rebuilding calipers.
 

Fogcat

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2019
Location
Central NY
TDI
2011 Jetta Sportwagen
Just a thought here. I had to replace a caliper because of the piston boot was causing it to drag. You can check the cables easily from the caliper (under the car but I believe you already know this) and the back pressure on the brake handle. Because of how the piston twists, I think it makes the "bind" happen more easily. Again; just a thought.
 

pipesta

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 15, 2020
Location
Chicago, IL
TDI
'14 JSW TDi 6MT
Did you adjust the hand brake by applying the brake and pulling up the handle 3 times before you adjusted the cable? They are supposed to be self adjusting and you might have the cable out of adjustment causing the pistion to be out too far and the caliper to drag. When you jack up the left rear, does the wheel spin freely?
 
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