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Thread: Brakes & handling - passat B7

  1. #1
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    Dec 2017
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    Brakes & handling - passat B7


    I have a 2012 Passat SE estate (2.0tdi Bluemotion) which although is a lovely comfortable car, I have a couple of niggles with handling/brakes and would like some helpful opinions.

    1. Handling. I may have been spoiled because I've previously had Ford focus's and a Mondeo, the passat I gather is more of a motorway cruising car. Its handling is soft (to be polite) and on main roads with a few corners and twisty roads in general it feels generally a bit rubbish and does not have what I'd call 'confident' handling. Its on 90,000 miles and I have upgraded its shock absorbers with Bilstein B6's which helped a lot (the old ones were completely knackered!).

    I would like to improve it, without spending a fortune and without lowering it. Firstly is it highly likely the springs on it are a bit tired due to its mileage and also the fact that with the previous shocks it would have bouncing around for some time? If so and I bought a new set of decent aftermarket springs would it help? I'm thinking of just doing the back ones initially. Or would it be better to buy some 'sports' springs from Bilstein or wherever and could someone recommend some that would help/aren't lowered?

    I've seen references that on earlier Passats, it was possible to buy different grade springs from VW which had special codes - 1be, 1bb etc. Is this still the case?

    2. Brakes. When I bought the car, one of the rear discs had an obvious rusty ridge on it on the outside face, this appears to be a Passat issue as I've seen it on at least 2 other Passats, no idea how it would have happened. As the brakes were truly dire when I bought it, I have had the brake fluid replaced and also replaced the front pads (with some Brembo ones) and the rear ones (replaced with Pagin pads after the ridge was ground off, not perfectly). Its done some thousands of miles since then and the braking still seems fairly variable and not as sharp as I'd expect. Driving in rain yesterday the pedal felt solid but it also felt like it just wasn't stopping very well. In other conditions sometimes if feels reasonable and other times not so good.

    I'm thinking that part of the issue may be the rear disc which isn't perfectly flat and may have a similar rough area on the inside. Is it possible the pads aren't the quality/bite I was expecting or is there some other likely cause, perhaps to do with the fact it has the horrible electronic handbrake which means I can't replace parts myself?



  2. #2
    Administrator Crasher's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
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    You can carefully select the factory sports suspension parts but you need a parts person who knows their Pr codes to do this, it includes anti roll bars.
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