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Rear brakes temporarily seizing on cold mornings

kooyler

New member
Location
Toronto
Car(s)
2012 Golf Sportwagen
Hi Everyone,

Bought a 2012 sportwagen a couple of months ago. Pretty happy with it so far. I have had an issue that seems to arise on cold mornings. After I start the vehicle, I release the parking break (Light extinguishes on cluster) and I usually coast down my sloped driveway after the hill hold releases and point myself in the correct direction on the road. As I brake to slow the coasting I select first gear to start the forward progress. It is at this time that the rear brakes appear to lock up. The vehicle struggles along (cuz the rear brakes are on) and eventually the rear brakes release (smelly and hot) and the car accelerates and coasts normally. I've seen a few threads about this. I also have an appointment booked with a reputable German (mexican) repair shop next week. Any ideas in the mean time?

Cheers!
 

kooyler

New member
Location
Toronto
Car(s)
2012 Golf Sportwagen
Had the right rear caliper, rotor, and pads replaced yesterday under warranty from the shop that installed them. No issues today on a snowy cold morning. I'll keep you posted if the issue pops up again.
 

kooyler

New member
Location
Toronto
Car(s)
2012 Golf Sportwagen
Issue popped up again this morning. It was a very cool night here last night (-5c/23f). As I progressed up the road and came to a stop the right rear caliper would not let go of the rotor. Brought it to a German repair mechanic this morning with a very hot rear brake assembly. Any other ideas would be appreciated.
 

1ashchuckton

Autocross Champion
Location
Ohio
Are the calipers that are being installed reman or new ones? I had a similar issue on my MINI. After going through 2 sets of rebuilt ones the final fix was brand new calipers. The rebuilds were total crap.
 

kooyler

New member
Location
Toronto
Car(s)
2012 Golf Sportwagen
I believe most replacement calipers are all rebuilds and yes, the ones installed were rebuilds as well.
 

1ashchuckton

Autocross Champion
Location
Ohio
It has been my experience that the quality of rebuilt units whether they be calipers, alternators or starters has really dropped. Yes rebuilds can save money, but I'm sooo tired of doing jobs multiple times. I'll now spend the extra money on parts & save myself a headache.
 

Elwood

3-7-77
Location
Long Beach, CA
The only thing I can think of is that the pads are getting wedged in the calipers. This happens sometimes with aftermarket pads that aren't machined correctly and sometimes happens when the wrong shims are used (or not used at all).
 

kooyler

New member
Location
Toronto
Car(s)
2012 Golf Sportwagen
Sorry for the late response. It appears the parking brake cable was in very poor condition allowing moisture to infiltrate the cable thus freezing the rear caliper on cold mornings. The cable was replaced and the issue appears to be resolved.

Thanks again for the input.

Happy New Year!
 

theDoktor

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Buffalo, NY area
Car(s)
2017 GTI Sport
Sorry for the late response. It appears the parking brake cable was in very poor condition allowing moisture to infiltrate the cable thus freezing the rear caliper on cold mornings. The cable was replaced and the issue appears to be resolved.

Thanks again for the input.

Happy New Year!

I've had noisy rear brakes right after I first start driving the car after a cold soak virtually since new. In the last few months I started to notice that my handbrake appears to be not releasing fully- there's noticeable excessive slack in the cable when the handbrake is released. When the emergency brake on warning light started flashing recently after releasing the handbrake just before the start of driving, I took it to the dealer for a emergency brake cable adjustment a couple of days ago. The tech advised me that BOTH of the emergency brake cables were corroded, would not move, and could not be adjusted. He recommended that the cables be replaced- a 2 1/2 hour job. The cables were not in stock and had to be ordered.
As a motorcyclist and former motorcycle mechanic, I am quite familiar with cable-actuated mechanical devices, and have never seen a cable corroded to the point that they were seized up. I suspect there's an issue with inadequate lubrication of these cables that is causing them to seize, even with normal, regular use. I have requested the dealers parts department to immediately advise me when the new cables arrive so I can inspect them for lubrication issues and address prior to the tech installing them. I will keep everyone advised on what I find.
 

acorazza

Go Kart Newbie
Location
NYC
I've had noisy rear brakes right after I first start driving the car after a cold soak virtually since new. In the last few months I started to notice that my handbrake appears to be not releasing fully- there's noticeable excessive slack in the cable when the handbrake is released. When the emergency brake on warning light started flashing recently after releasing the handbrake just before the start of driving, I took it to the dealer for a emergency brake cable adjustment a couple of days ago. The tech advised me that BOTH of the emergency brake cables were corroded, would not move, and could not be adjusted. He recommended that the cables be replaced- a 2 1/2 hour job. The cables were not in stock and had to be ordered.
As a motorcyclist and former motorcycle mechanic, I am quite familiar with cable-actuated mechanical devices, and have never seen a cable corroded to the point that they were seized up. I suspect there's an issue with inadequate lubrication of these cables that is causing them to seize, even with normal, regular use. I have requested the dealers parts department to immediately advise me when the new cables arrive so I can inspect them for lubrication issues and address prior to the tech installing them. I will keep everyone advised on what I find.

Do you have a picture of this or any information on where to look. I have had some rear brake sticking upon first start off after the rain but I have always thought that the rotor and pad just stuck together because my stock rotors rust very quickly.
 

theDoktor

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Buffalo, NY area
Car(s)
2017 GTI Sport
Do you have a picture of this or any information on where to look. I have had some rear brake sticking upon first start off after the rain but I have always thought that the rotor and pad just stuck together because my stock rotors rust very quickly.
Sorry- no photos. Just the experience of noisy rear brakes after an overnight cold soak. I thought the same as you- the pads & rotors sticking together because of the quickly rusting rotors. Now I'm not so sure. I will be requesting that the old cable is returned to me when the new one gets installed. Still waiting for the new cable to come in.
I'll take lots of photos of both cables and post my findings. New cable should be here any time now.
 

kooyler

New member
Location
Toronto
Car(s)
2012 Golf Sportwagen
Sorry- no photos. Just the experience of noisy rear brakes after an overnight cold soak. I thought the same as you- the pads & rotors sticking together because of the quickly rusting rotors. Now I'm not so sure. I will be requesting that the old cable is returned to me when the new one gets installed. Still waiting for the new cable to come in.
I'll take lots of photos of both cables and post my findings. New cable should be here any time now.
Hey folks,

Close to three weeks after the parking brake cable was changed and no issues to report. Looks like this may have been the fix.

Cheers!
 

theDoktor

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Buffalo, NY area
Car(s)
2017 GTI Sport
Good timing on your post & glad things are working properly. My replacement cables just came in to the dealer this morning & I have picked them up for examination & possible supplemental lubrication. They get installed late next week.
They appear to be typical heavy-duty cables, with a rubber boot and ball at the caliper end and a fixed Teflon or similar tube in contact with the full length of the steel cable. The cable itself appears to be a standard steel wire cable.
I will be making an educated guess as to where the corrosion on the cable is and will be lubing it accordingly. I will be requesting that the original cables be returned to me when the new ones are installed. See the attached photos in an attached Zip folder to see what we are dealing with.
A potential moisture penetration location is the rubber boot at the caliper end, which slides over the plastic exterior cable end. I will be lubing the steel cable inside the Teflon sheath with a graphite lubricant, Dri-Slide, which will not gum up the interior of the Teflon sheath like some cable lubes will do. The ball that connects to a socket on the caliper I will be lubing with waterproof grease, as it will be permanently exposed to the elements. Hopefully these supplemental lube additions will provide a long-term level of protection for these cables.
 

Attachments

  • VW Brake Cables.zip
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