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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2002 V6 Passat GLX 4Motion. I brought it to garage to have exhaust work done. And the garage owner who seems like a slippery guy called me over to look at the brakes as the front wheels were off. He pointed out that on the faces of the rotors on all 4 wheels, the outer 1/4" has a layer of rust. This is not just the typical little thin coating that wears off the first time you touch the brakes.It is built up thicker than where the pads are.
To me it seems like the pads just do not go all the way the the outer rim of the rotor. The pads and rotors were replaced 12/2010. There looks like there is plenty of pad thickness on both the inner and outer sides.
Brakes seem to operate normally except I do notice an occasional squeak when driving slow without foot on brake. If I would touch brake pedal, it would go away. It does not do it regularly. I had brought it in to original repairman who did brake job, and he did not find anything wrong (about 6-8 months ago).
This new guy made it sound ominous and "offered" to fix them for LOTS of money.
Is it normal to see some rust on outremost edge of face of rotor? They are aftermarket but a good brand. Can't remember the name off the top of my haed.
Thanks.
Dave
 

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Maybe post some pictures if you can.

It's normal for the areas of the rotor not contacted by the pads to get rusty. Some rotors come with a coating to combat this. If the rust ring is unusually large, that could indicate the pads aren't contacting the rotor properly or completely. Rust on one side of the rotor face but not the other could indicate a caliper that isn't moving/sliding (caliper not centering itself). You could also have a different shop take a quick peek at them and see what they say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Steve. Car is still at shop having exhaust done. I will post photo when i get it back. All 4 rotors look the same so i would think the possibility of all calipers sticking would be low. Also, mileage doesn't seem to have suffered.
 

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As Steve said it is completely normal for rotors to rust on the outer edge where the pads do not touch. Hey, it's the end of the month and the guy has a boat payment coming up in a few days and is trying to get you to pay it!
 

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From what you have described, I would think your brakes are fine, but as Steve suggested you could get another
shop to check them.
A smear of brake grease on the sliders and the backs of the pads should stop the squeak, you would need to
remove the pads to do this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As Steve said it is completely normal for rotors to rust on the outer edge where the pads do not touch. Hey, it's the end of the month and the guy has a boat payment coming up in a few days and is trying to get you to pay it!
Yeah. This guy is a real sleaze. Broke one of my O2 sensors taking it out and blamed previous mechanic saying wires were melted. Told me i needed a proprietary VW sensor for $300. I balked but was not near a computer to look it up. Found one later on Amazon with correct connector for $95.
When i went to garage, i found my sensor bent in half where upper metal connector is. No melted wires. He denied it was mine.
I plan to offer to renegotiate his bill when i pick up the car or write him a scathing review on Yelp and Google.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
From what you have described, I would think your brakes are fine, but as Steve suggested you could get another
shop to check them.
A smear of brake grease on the sliders and the backs of the pads should stop the squeak, you would need to
remove the pads to do this.
I did that for the rear ones last fall. Will do that for fronts when i get car back.
 

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Post pictures of your rotors so everyone can see what we're talking about.

Here is a picture of an abnormal rust/wear pattern on a Passat rear rotor.


Here's a newer Passat front rotor with some rust buildup on the inside & outside edges where the pads don't contact.


Here's another newer Passat rotor with very little rust buildup.
 

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It is completely proper to ask for any and all old parts back. After all they belong to you. Not the garage. If he cannot furnish the part I would not pay for the new one. Above all document date and time and who you spoke with as well as the conversation. Maybe even send comments or concerns via email or written letter to keep a document trail. I have heard of these type shops filing a lean aginst the vehicle and it took a lot of money to get rid of something that was not even a legitimate bill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update on car. Cats replaced. Total charge was $550 labor including O2 sensor. CEL off. Could have been worse. Got a free direct fit cat from manufacturer as the first two they sent has o2 sensor bung welded in wrong spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Post pictures of your rotors so everyone can see what we're talking about.

Here is a picture of an abnormal rust/wear pattern on a Passat rear rotor.


Here's a newer Passat front rotor with some rust buildup on the inside & outside edges where the pads don't contact.


Here's another newer Passat rotor with very little rust buildup.
Steve, Actually I went back and looked at my rear rotors. they look like your first photo with a wide swath of rust. But very thin layer. What would be typical cause of this? Obviously, my pads are not making complete contact, but what would be the mechanism?
 
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