VW Tiguan Manuals

Volkswagen Tiguan Owners Manual: About the brakes

Read and follow the introductory information and safety information firstIntroduction to the subject 

New brake pads do not provide full performance during the first 100 to 200 miles (200 to 300 km) and must first be broken in ⇒ . To some extent, you can make up for the somewhat reduced performance by applying more pressure to the brake pedal. But, during the break-in period, the stopping distance for hard braking and emergency braking will be longer until the brakes are fully broken in. Avoid hard braking and situations that might require hard braking (such as following other vehicles too closely) – especially during the break-in period.

Brake pad wear depends mostly on operating conditions and the way the vehicle is driven. If you do a lot of city and short-distance driving and/or have a sporty driving style, you should have the brake pads checked by an authorized Volkswagen dealer or authorized Volkswagen Service Facility more often than the regular service intervals.

Wet brakes (for example, after driving through water or washing the vehicle or after heavy rainfall) will not brake as well. Stopping distances will be longer when brake discs are wet or, in winter, even icy. Wet or icy brakes must be dried as soon as possible by carefully applying the brakes a couple of times while traveling at a relatively high speed. Make sure nobody is behind you and that you do not endanger yourself or others ⇒ .

Brakes coated with road salt also react slower and need longer stopping distances. If there is salt on the roads and you are not braking regularly, brake carefully and gently from time to time to remove any salt coating from the brake disks and pads ⇒ .

Brake disc corrosion (rust) and dirt buildup on the brake pads are more likely to occur if the vehicle is not driven much or is driven only for short distances with little braking. If the brakes have not been used and there is some rust on the discs, clean the brake discs and pads once in a while by carefully braking a couple of times while driving at relatively high speed to help clean the brake discs and pads. Make sure nobody is behind you and that you do not endanger yourself or others ⇒ .

Brake system malfunction

If you brake and find that vehicle doesn't brake nearly as well as it used to (sudden increase in stopping distance), a brake circuit may have failed. The brake warning light or will come on and a message may appear in the instrument cluster display. If you believe the vehicle is safe to drive, immediately take it to the nearest authorized Volkswagen dealer or authorized Volkswagen Service Facility for repair. Drive slowly and very carefully, allow for the longer stopping distance, and be ready to push longer and harder on the brake pedal to slow the vehicle down.

Brake booster

The brake booster works only when the engine is running. It increases the force on the brakes above and beyond the pressure put on the brake pedal by the driver.

If the brake booster is not working, or if the vehicle has to be towed, you will have to push the brake pedal harder to make up for the lack of booster assistance and the resulting longer stopping distance ⇒ .

Warning

New brake pads do not provide maximum braking performance.
  • New brake pads do not have the best stopping power for the first 200 miles (320 km) and must be broken in. You can compensate for the slightly reduced braking force by putting more pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Drive with extra care while the new brake pads are being broken in. This reduces the risk of collisions and serious personal injuries due to a loss of control over the vehicle.
  • Never follow other vehicles too closely or put yourself into other situations that might require sudden, hard braking, especially when the brake pads have not been broken in.

Warning

Overheated brakes will reduce the vehicle's stopping power and increase stopping distances considerably.
  • When driving downhill, the brakes have to work especially hard and heat up quickly.
  • Before driving downhill, especially on hills that are long or steep, always reduce speed and shift into lower gear (manual or automatic transmission). This will let the vehicle use engine braking and reduce the load on the brakes. Otherwise, the brake system could overheat and possibly fail. Only use the brakes when you need them to slow the vehicle down more or to stop.
  • A damaged front spoiler or a nonstandard spoiler can reduce airflow to the brakes and make them overheat.

Warning

Wet brakes or brakes coated with ice or road salt react slower and need longer stopping distances.
  • Carefully apply the brakes to test them.
  • Always dry brakes and clean off ice and salt coatings with a few cautious brake applications when visibility, weather, road and traffic conditions permit.

Warning

Driving when the brake booster is not working increases stopping distances and can cause accidents and serious personal injuries.
  • Never let the vehicle coast when the engine is switched off.
  • If the brake booster is not working (such as when the vehicle is being towed), a lot more pedal force is needed to slow down and stop.

Note

  • Never ride the brakes by keeping your foot on the brake pedal when you do not want to brake. Constant pressure on the brake pedal can make the brakes overheat. Riding the brakes will substantially reduce braking performance, increase stopping distance, and can cause complete brake system failure.
  • Before driving downhill, especially on hills that are long or steep, always reduce speed and shift into lower gear (manual or automatic transmission). This will let the vehicle use engine braking and reduce the load on the brakes. Otherwise, the brake system could overheat and possibly fail. Only use the brakes when you need them to slow the vehicle down more or to stop.

When the front brakes are serviced, you should have the rear brake pads inspected at the same time. The wear of all brake pads should be visually checked regularly. The best way to check for brake pad wear is to have your authorized Volkswagen dealer or authorized Volkswagen Service Facility visually inspect the pads through the openings in the wheel rims or from underneath the vehicle. If necessary, the wheels can be taken off for a more thorough inspection.

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