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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hoping someone can help me here. I was coming back from jetskiing the other day and lost the brakes on my allroad while towing the jetski (~800 lbs combined trailer/boat weight), as in the brakes went to the floor and the brake fluid boiled out of the reservoir. The brake pedal has always felt a bit soft, but has never done this. When I finally stopped I checked the wheels, all of them were a little warm, but the front passenger side was scorching hot, as in I could spit on the wheel and it sizzled off.

I took the front wheels off and checked the pads and calipers (I have the calipers with 4 pads per caliper). The pads on the passenger front are worn down to within 1/8" of the backing and the rotor is worn. The pads on the drivers side still have about 3/8" left on them. I suspected a frozen caliper, so I checked the caliper pins and pistons, all of them move smoothly.

My conclusion is that the passenger side has been doing all the braking and that's why it's worn out and eventually overheated. Neither caliper is seized though. What would cause the driver side caliper to not brake properly? Air in the system? Some sort of a fault one of the ABS or ESP sensors? Internal master cylinder fault? I am not getting any codes related to the abs/esp through my VAG-COM.

I'd like to get this sorted out before I throw new pads/rotors on there, I'll also flush & bleed the whole brake system. I'd appreciate any theories or advice. Also, what pads would you guys recommend? At $200/set EBC Yellows are a no go, besides it's a camping/jetski towing/winter mule that doesn't really get driven hard. BTW, the car is a 2001 Tiptronic.

TIA,
Jacek
 

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doesnt sound like its too much towing for the car..

sounds like there might be some air in the system.

make sure the pins are all lubed up properly. another thing that is commonly over looked it the rubber brake hoses that go from the body of the car to the caliper itself. they can crack causing a minor leak you dont notice. or they can swell up when you hit the brake making the pedal feel weak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I've never ran into this before where the caliper wasn't seized. I think I'll start by changing pads, rotors, replacing the brake lines with Stoptech SS lines and flushing/bleeding the whole system. I'll re-lube the pins while I'm in there as well. Hopefully that takes care of it.
 

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should be off to a good start and notice a difference
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just an update, brakes are done. Ended up using Zimmerman rotors, stoptech braided lines all around, ebc yellow stuff pads and flushing the whole system with pentosin dot4 lv fluid. Had a bunch of fun with that crap because my left front bleeder broke off and had to be drilled out. There seemed to be some debris inside the same caliper, rubber or dirt, couldn't quite tell what it was.
400 miles later the brakes seem to be working fine, I checked the brake temps with an ir thermometer and both calipers seem to be braking evenly. Dunno wtf the issue was, maybe the little piece of debris that came out of the left front caliper was restricting flow.
 

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Ghost said:
Just an update, brakes are done. Ended up using Zimmerman rotors, stoptech braided lines all around, ebc yellow stuff pads and flushing the whole system with pentosin dot4 lv fluid. Had a bunch of fun with that crap because my left front bleeder broke off and had to be drilled out. There seemed to be some debris inside the same caliper, rubber or dirt, couldn't quite tell what it was.
400 miles later the brakes seem to be working fine, I checked the brake temps with an ir thermometer and both calipers seem to be braking evenly. Dunno wtf the issue was, maybe the little piece of debris that came out of the left front caliper was restricting flow.
You might have a rubber line that is disintegrating internally. I had that happen with similar symptoms a few years ago. Finding it drove me nuts as the lines looked fine externally, but once I removed them I found that one a couple you could barely get fluid to flow through them.
 
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