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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Replaced all four rotors and all brake pads with Auto Zone Parts. Used ceramic pads. Burnished brakes properly after replacement. They felt and sounded fine for about a week. Then I get a thumping from front brakes (seems to be pass side) on brake application. No vibration felt in steering wheel. I figured since noise follows wheel speed it must be a rotor defect. I exchanged the rotors under warranty, still have same problem. I took the car to a reputable independent VW/Audi/BMW shop. They said I didn't lube my caliper slide bolts and did this for me. I was good for a few days and now problem is back. There is no brake rattle when brakes not applied. I cleaned axle flange and inside of wheel with wire brush.
I have read some other posts in this forum and seem to feel the Auto Zone pads may be an issue. Before I go to the dealer and order OEM pads, would anyone else agree this is the correct course of action?
BD
 

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I had a steering knuckle in my shed. Really!
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The pads are stationary. They are unlikely to be the source of your sound/feeling (which is it?).

I would look at the rear right brake, as you said it was from that side, and since there's no steering feel to go along, it's probably the rear.

You could also try replacing that tire with the spare or moving it around to see if the sound follows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It is mostly a sound, slight vibration can be felt in the car. It does not happen if pulling park brake handle, therefore isolated to the front. It does not happen when driving, only on brake application, therefore not likely a tire issue. It also did not happen before the brake job where the only parts changed were the pads and rotors.
 

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Just throwing ideas here, as you took it for a check at a good shop too. Are the caliper brake pad pins correctly attached? I had a *thud* during brake application in the front caliper when I failed to put one of them correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Solution Found!
I changed the caliper slide bushings (rubber) and anti rattle springs, still the problem persisted. I then went to the dealer and bought OEM pads. I noticed these inner pads are directional, with a slight cutout on the shim which would make the trailing edge of the pad contact slightly before the leading edge. The AutoZone pads were not like this. I took the car for a test drive after replacing the pads, the noise is gone. Lesson learned: No more Chinese parts on my German car!! Now the only question is where can I get VW/Audi OEM quality parts without going to the dealer?
 

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2004 GLS 1.8T
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There are any number of online vendors who sell the entire VW catalog, plus quality aftermarket parts. Many are mentioned here; I personally like ECS Tuning. A fair number of VW dealers also sell online, often at a substantial discount. I order mine from the local dealer at 15-20% off, then specify local pickup.
 
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