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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got my 2018 Atlas SEL Premium in March 2018. It has roughly 46,000 miles on it.

Short story: Why would the passenger side brake pads wear way faster (front passenger pad with 1/32 remaining, rear passenger pad 3/32 remaining) versus the driver side brake pads wearing appropriately with my mileage (front driver pad with 8/32 remaining, rear driver pad 6/32 remaining)

Long story: Took it in this week for a “grinding” noise that I was hearing from the front passenger brake pad and rotor. Originally I thought that something was stuck in between the pad and the rotor because back in September of 2018 there was an acorn of all things stuck in between the pad/rotor. The dealer called me within an hour or so and explained that they were surprised with the uneven wear from and that the pads should not have worn so much. They said they were going to do some test with the ABS system and check a few other things. They sent information to Volkswagen technical (whatever or whoever that is) and they said it was “normal” and to replace the pad/rotor. The dealer then asked for “assistance” from VW and they decline helping at all financially. Background... I had an unexplained vibration in the front passenger side that I had taken to another VW dealer two times. Each time they said they diagnosed the issue and just did an alignment each time to “fix” the problem.

So I called VW customer care and talked to a very nice lady that basically didn’t help at all. She apologized a bunch and basically told me she could not give me an explanation of WHY this is happening and to talk to the service manager. But I am not going to replace the pads/rotors without someone explaining WHY this is happening so that it doesn’t happen AGAIN!

HOW can this happen? Has anyone experienced this?
Who can I talk to at VW technical or something to get an answer?
 

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Be realistic with the expectations. At 46K miles you will get zero warranty coverage for brakes. The dealer has done exactly what is to be expected and VW has said "normal". Have them replaced and move on. 46K on a set of pads/rotors isn't crazy for a large/heavy vehicle if the use was more around town than highway. Just my $0.02 of course. If it makes you feel better, my rotors are uneven at 21K and will get replaced in a few weeks. Just cost of owning any vehicle. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I totally agree with you on the warranty aspect... But someone needs to explain to me WHY they passenger side is basically gone and the drivers side is not!!!

There is an underlying issue here. I don't want to put a bandaid on this and then have to replace the passenger side twice as often as the driver's side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is the crazy part... The dealer techs looked at all of it and were shocked. Did diagnostics on the ABS system and nothing. That is why they even went to VW for assistance. Guess I will just have to press it with the service manager for an explanation as to why this is happening.
 

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Heading to the dealer tomorrow... anyone have anything to chime in on here?
By 46k mile. I was at the end of my 2nd set on my Town-n-Country. My 09 Jeep Liberty had this issue till the front caliper got so stuck it melted my front brake line by the time I got home. That was around 98k. My 19 Atlas w/8500 miles sofar is fine but I will keep an eye out. HOWEVER IMO, unless a vast majority of VWs are having this issue, it's NOT normal.
 

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I have had a similar situation occur. I had my 2018 Atlas SEL into the dealer for its 50,000 mi oil change and inspection. The dealer informed me that the front brakes had about 1-2mm left and the rear around 6mm and that the front should be replaced. I decided to wait and check prices. Less than 1000 mi/and a week later, I had metal on metal scraping, so I took it to a Firestone Auto Repair place close to my house. When they inspected the Atlas, the front passenger pads had 0/3mm remaining, front driver pads had 6mm, the rear both measured 7mm. The Firestone mechanics checked other parts of the system and said they couldn't find anything definitively wrong, so they didn't suggest throwing parts at it. Firestone replaced the pads and the damaged rotor. I contacted VW Customer Care and they wanted a third opinion/second dealer to look at it. The second dealer has now determined they could not find anything wrong and the new pads (~900 mi) seem to be wearing fine at this point. First, I'm wondering what may be wrong that caused this abnormal wear, but I'm also seeing others with potentially the same issue. Second, another dealer has lost my trust for not informing me of the obvious issues between the front sides. Gives me the feeling they knew the pads needed replacing, but wanted to sweep any other issues under the rug and hopefully I wouldn't realize them. I have saved the parts and all documentation moving forward.
 

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I have had a similar situation occur. I had my 2018 Atlas SEL into the dealer for its 50,000 mi oil change and inspection. The dealer informed me that the front brakes had about 1-2mm left and the rear around 6mm and that the front should be replaced. I decided to wait and check prices. Less than 1000 mi/and a week later, I had metal on metal scraping, so I took it to a Firestone Auto Repair place close to my house. When they inspected the Atlas, the front passenger pads had 0/3mm remaining, front driver pads had 6mm, the rear both measured 7mm. The Firestone mechanics checked other parts of the system and said they couldn't find anything definitively wrong, so they didn't suggest throwing parts at it. Firestone replaced the pads and the damaged rotor. I contacted VW Customer Care and they wanted a third opinion/second dealer to look at it. The second dealer has now determined they could not find anything wrong and the new pads (~900 mi) seem to be wearing fine at this point. First, I'm wondering what may be wrong that caused this abnormal wear, but I'm also seeing others with potentially the same issue. Second, another dealer has lost my trust for not informing me of the obvious issues between the front sides. Gives me the feeling they knew the pads needed replacing, but wanted to sweep any other issues under the rug and hopefully I wouldn't realize them. I have saved the parts and all documentation moving forward.
I wonder if the uneven wear has anything to do with the lane keeping system? I guess the other questions would be - do other vehicles/brands ever have uneven wear with the modern safety systems? We have no idea...maybe it's not all that uncommon. No clue. At 50K it's not odd to replace brake pads. Was the call to VW b/c you felt that the dealer didn't do a good job assessing your vehicle? The dealer told you to replace them and you refused. Dealer brake service is almost always competitive with Firestone etc. and at least with a dealer you know they used VW parts.
 

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I wonder if the uneven wear has anything to do with the lane keeping system? I guess the other questions would be - do other vehicles/brands ever have uneven wear with the modern safety systems? We have no idea...maybe it's not all that uncommon. No clue. At 50K it's not odd to replace brake pads. Was the call to VW b/c you felt that the dealer didn't do a good job assessing your vehicle? The dealer told you to replace them and you refused. Dealer brake service is almost always competitive with Firestone etc. and at least with a dealer you know they used VW parts.
This is a good thought. The lane assist could cause uneven wear. (We actually turned ours off along with most Of the other tech features. Our atlas has 35k on it now and I’m starting to feel slight pulsating. I just got the 30k mike svc completed and all was well. Assuming I still have it when it’s time for brakes I’ll report back if I had uneven wear.

As for VW and the dealers. Everything is “normal” when they have no legit answers to your concerns.
 

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This is a good thought. The lane assist could cause uneven wear. (We actually turned ours off along with most Of the other tech features. Our atlas has 35k on it now and I’m starting to feel slight pulsating. I just got the 30k mike svc completed and all was well. Assuming I still have it when it’s time for brakes I’ll report back if I had uneven wear.

As for VW and the dealers. Everything is “normal” when they have no legit answers to your concerns.
To be fair, can you imagine working at a dealer and dealing with the day-in-day-out folks that come with a myriad of concerns that are often user error, noises that can't be re-produced, etc.? Just always trying to look at these issues from both sides so I at least understand why things are handled the way they are (whether I agree with them or not). They can only fix what is broken or what they can show is broken (so they get paid on the warranty claim) and often, people just get upset when the dealer says "normal" when it actually may be/within the tolerance of the system. Also understand the "flat rate" system that dealer techs are typically paid on....it unfortunately incentivizes not spending a lot of time on minor issues that will be hard to pinpoint....not the best for customers. They don't get paid to chase a phantom rattle in a back seat for 2 hours and not be able to re-produce it. Back on topic - no clue here on the brakes, seems like a non-issue - replace pads and move on. My front rotors need to be replaced at 22K - pulsing from slow downs at high speeds. I'll DIY it as the VWs are easy and the rotors aren't v. expensive. Not odd for a large/heavy vehicle driven primarily around town...our Honda Odyssey always had brake rotor issues (warping etc.).
 

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To be fair, can you imagine working at a dealer and dealing with the day-in-day-out folks that come with a myriad of concerns that are often user error, noises that can't be re-produced, etc.? Just always trying to look at these issues from both sides so I at least understand why things are handled the way they are (whether I agree with them or not). They can only fix what is broken or what they can show is broken (so they get paid on the warranty claim) and often, people just get upset when the dealer says "normal" when it actually may be/within the tolerance of the system. Also understand the "flat rate" system that dealer techs are typically paid on....it unfortunately incentivizes not spending a lot of time on minor issues that will be hard to pinpoint....not the best for customers. They don't get paid to chase a phantom rattle in a back seat for 2 hours and not be able to re-produce it. Back on topic - no clue here on the brakes, seems like a non-issue - replace pads and move on. My front rotors need to be replaced at 22K - pulsing from slow downs at high speeds. I'll DIY it as the VWs are easy and the rotors aren't v. expensive. Not odd for a large/heavy vehicle driven primarily around town...our Honda Odyssey always had brake rotor issues (warping etc.).
Good point. I can’t imagine being a service advisors with today’s autos. Especially with forums available. Lol. Kinda like running to the doctor because every time you get sick you self diagnose on WebMD.

I just did my rotors and pads on my tundra and was surprised how easy it was. Especially being my first time ever self replacing. Been overpaying for this service for way to long.
 

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Got my 2018 Atlas SEL Premium in March 2018. It has roughly 46,000 miles on it.

Short story: Why would the passenger side brake pads wear way faster (front passenger pad with 1/32 remaining, rear passenger pad 3/32 remaining) versus the driver side brake pads wearing appropriately with my mileage (front driver pad with 8/32 remaining, rear driver pad 6/32 remaining)

Long story: Took it in this week for a “grinding” noise that I was hearing from the front passenger brake pad and rotor. Originally I thought that something was stuck in between the pad and the rotor because back in September of 2018 there was an acorn of all things stuck in between the pad/rotor. The dealer called me within an hour or so and explained that they were surprised with the uneven wear from and that the pads should not have worn so much. They said they were going to do some test with the ABS system and check a few other things. They sent information to Volkswagen technical (whatever or whoever that is) and they said it was “normal” and to replace the pad/rotor. The dealer then asked for “assistance” from VW and they decline helping at all financially. Background... I had an unexplained vibration in the front passenger side that I had taken to another VW dealer two times. Each time they said they diagnosed the issue and just did an alignment each time to “fix” the problem.

So I called VW customer care and talked to a very nice lady that basically didn’t help at all. She apologized a bunch and basically told me she could not give me an explanation of WHY this is happening and to talk to the service manager. But I am not going to replace the pads/rotors without someone explaining WHY this is happening so that it doesn’t happen AGAIN!

HOW can this happen? Has anyone experienced this?
Who can I talk to at VW technical or something to get an answer?
the reason the brakes are wearing on one side is that’s how the lane keep assist bounces you back in the lane it will wear the breaks on one side only
 

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Another easy place to check is to ensure that hte slider pins are lubed and moving feely on both calipers. On my Sportwagen, I have more wear on teh d. side. The XDS system which uses the ABS/brakes to reduce understeer in tight cornering situations also could be at play - it uses the brakes out the opposite side you are turning to help you turn-in BUT this is going to be aggressive driving, not just daily type stuff.
 

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The same issue happened with my 2018 SE V6 where my right front pad were 6mm inner/6mm outer and the left side was 1mm inner/5mm outer. This is a known issue with improper lubrication of the guide pin which is not available separately. VW replaced the entire caliper (carrier) and all front brakes and rotors free of charge. This was of course after I complained about needing pricey brakes and rotors so soon and told them to hold off until I check into things myself. Miraculously, 30 minutes later they called back saying it's all covered by VW. I'm sure they were worried I'd find out from another dealer or online and didn't want to look like the thieves they are.
 

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Got my 2018 Atlas SEL Premium in March 2018. It has roughly 46,000 miles on it.

Short story: Why would the passenger side brake pads wear way faster (front passenger pad with 1/32 remaining, rear passenger pad 3/32 remaining) versus the driver side brake pads wearing appropriately with my mileage (front driver pad with 8/32 remaining, rear driver pad 6/32 remaining)

Long story: Took it in this week for a “grinding” noise that I was hearing from the front passenger brake pad and rotor. Originally I thought that something was stuck in between the pad and the rotor because back in September of 2018 there was an acorn of all things stuck in between the pad/rotor. The dealer called me within an hour or so and explained that they were surprised with the uneven wear from and that the pads should not have worn so much. They said they were going to do some test with the ABS system and check a few other things. They sent information to Volkswagen technical (whatever or whoever that is) and they said it was “normal” and to replace the pad/rotor. The dealer then asked for “assistance” from VW and they decline helping at all financially. Background... I had an unexplained vibration in the front passenger side that I had taken to another VW dealer two times. Each time they said they diagnosed the issue and just did an alignment each time to “fix” the problem.

So I called VW customer care and talked to a very nice lady that basically didn’t help at all. She apologized a bunch and basically told me she could not give me an explanation of WHY this is happening and to talk to the service manager. But I am not going to replace the pads/rotors without someone explaining WHY this is happening so that it doesn’t happen AGAIN!

HOW can this happen? Has anyone experienced this?
Who can I talk to at VW technical or something to get an answer?
I'm not sure whats going with these Atlas' I've had my tires balanced 4xs in an attempt to stop the vibration in the front passenger wheel...as I write this I'm here at Bob Rohrmans getting the rotors looked at on a 2019 Atlas....I believe they Fd up in the factory...thats my weigh in...and yeah I still have the vibration in the front passenger side
 

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Got my 2018 Atlas SEL Premium in March 2018. It has roughly 46,000 miles on it.

Short story: Why would the passenger side brake pads wear way faster (front passenger pad with 1/32 remaining, rear passenger pad 3/32 remaining) versus the driver side brake pads wearing appropriately with my mileage (front driver pad with 8/32 remaining, rear driver pad 6/32 remaining)

Long story: Took it in this week for a “grinding” noise that I was hearing from the front passenger brake pad and rotor. Originally I thought that something was stuck in between the pad and the rotor because back in September of 2018 there was an acorn of all things stuck in between the pad/rotor. The dealer called me within an hour or so and explained that they were surprised with the uneven wear from and that the pads should not have worn so much. They said they were going to do some test with the ABS system and check a few other things. They sent information to Volkswagen technical (whatever or whoever that is) and they said it was “normal” and to replace the pad/rotor. The dealer then asked for “assistance” from VW and they decline helping at all financially. Background... I had an unexplained vibration in the front passenger side that I had taken to another VW dealer two times. Each time they said they diagnosed the issue and just did an alignment each time to “fix” the problem.

So I called VW customer care and talked to a very nice lady that basically didn’t help at all. She apologized a bunch and basically told me she could not give me an explanation of WHY this is happening and to talk to the service manager. But I am not going to replace the pads/rotors without someone explaining WHY this is happening so that it doesn’t happen AGAIN!

HOW can this happen? Has anyone experienced this?
Who can I talk to at VW technical or something to get an answer?
27K on mine and I am having the same issue. Passenger side front worn WAY more than any of the other pads. I know that brake pad last 30k-70k miles on average and I am close to that mark, but why is the front Passenger side wearing so much faster than the others. That is not normal.
 

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UPDATE: I brought it into the dealership this morning and at 27k miles I need to have my pads and roters replaced in the front. I had my car in for service only 5k miles ago and the front brakes were at a 6.5 and the rear were an 8....now I am metal to metal in the front. When I said there must be an issue and asked how that could possibly happen that I went from a 6.5 in the front to metal to metal in 5k miles they said there was nothing wrong and that they must have messed up when they did the safety inspection last time and that "those things happen". What??? No, "those things" should not happen! I am furious. 1st off that I already need new brakes and roters at 27k, I have never in to probubly 15 cars I have owned needed brakes that quickly...and 2nd for the dealer to just say "oopsie, we must have read them wrong, oh well" is absolutely unacceptable. Any ideas for recourse?
 
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