Brake noise - do I need new brakes?


Ready to race!
Phoenix, AZ
Hi everyone, I am having an issue with my brakes - I am getting a very annoying squeal type sound when braking at low speeds. It sounds like it's coming from the passenger front wheel. It isn't noticeable at all if I'm braking from a normal drive (i.e. going 30+ mph and then braking), but I do get the sound sometimes with gradual low speed braking (like slowly going over speed bumps or coming to a stop in my neighborhood). I don't get the noise when coming to a stop getting off of the freeway, only with very low speed braking and only sometimes (it honestly seemed like it was worse in the warm weather, but it's gotten colder here the last couple weeks and the noise hasn't been as noticeable). I have taken that wheel off and didn't notice anything stuck in the dust shield or anything that looked obviously off. The car is a 2017 with around 41k miles.

So I'm mainly posting to get some verification that my brakes likely need to be replaced and wondering what my cheaper options are. I don't drive the car as much as I used to, I have kids now and don't race around and drive nearly as aggressively as I used to. I'm not sure if I'll have this car for more than a couple more years so I don't want to spend too much on this. Are there any decent upgrade options for <$500 or am I mainly looking at OEM parts for that price range? Thinking I'll likely need front and rear pads and rotors and hoping the timing works out to take advantage of a black Friday sale. Thanks. My car does have the performance package and I will likely do the install myself.


Go Kart Newbie
Did you look at the condition of the rotor and the thickness of the pads when you pulled the wheels off?

For upgrades, I'd go with slotted rotors and slightly more aggressive pads. I put stoptech slotted rotors and their street pads on my previous 2017 GTI. Still running stock brakes on my 2019 and 2021 GTIs.


Autocross Champion
Slow FWD VW Hatch
My pads needed to be replaced around 30k. I would think your rotors should still be fine. Stock (perf pack) pads are fine, i switched to ebc reds for more stopping power just be sure to grease them up or they get noisy