VW Golf manuals

Volkswagen Golf Owners Manual: Information on the brakes

First read and observe the introductory information and safety warnings

New brake pads cannot generate the full braking effect during the first 200 to 300 km and must first be run in  . However, you can compensate for the slightly reduced braking force by applying more pressure to the brake pedal. During the run-in period, the braking distance is longer when the brakes are depressed fully or during emergency braking than with brakes that have been fully run in. In the run-in period, the brakes should not be depressed fully and situations that create a heavy load on the brakes should be avoided. For example, when driving too close to the vehicle ahead.

The rate of wear of the brake pads depends to a great extent on the conditions under which the vehicle is operated and the way in which the vehicle is driven. If the vehicle is used for regular urban trips, short journeys, and is driven with a sporty driving style, the brake pads must be checked by a qualified workshop more regularly.

When driving with wet brakes, for example after driving through water, after heavy rainfall or after washing the vehicle, the braking effect may be delayed as the brake discs will be wet, or possibly iced up (in winter). The brakes must be dried as quickly as possible by careful braking at higher speed. Please ensure that no following vehicle and no other road user is put at risk as a result of this action  .

Any salt layer accumulating on the discs and pads will delay the braking effect and increase the braking distance. If the brakes on the vehicle have not been applied for a long time on roads that have been gritted with salt, the layer of salt must be reduced through careful braking  .

Corrosion on the brake discs and dirt in the brake pads are facilitated through long periods of inactivity, low mileage and low load levels. If the brake pads have been hardly used, or if they are at all corroded, Volkswagen recommends that the brake discs and brake pads be cleaned by braking strongly several times from high speed. Please ensure that no following vehicle and no other road user is put at risk as a result of this action  .

Fault in the brake system

A brake circuit may have failed if you have to reduce speed and the vehicle does not brake as normal (sudden increase in braking distance). This will be indicated by the warning lamp and in some cases a text message. Go to the nearest qualified workshop immediately to have the fault corrected. Drive at low speed when doing this and anticipate much longer braking distances and an increase in the pressure required on the pedal.

Brake servo

The brake servo will only function when the engine is running and reinforces the pressure applied by the driver on the brake pedal.

If the brake servo is not functioning or the vehicle is being towed, the brake pedal will have to be depressed more forcefully as the braking distance will be increased due to the lack of assistance for the brake system  .


New brake pads will not have the optimal braking effect when first fitted.


Overheated brakes reduce the braking effect and considerably increase the braking distance.


Wet brakes or brakes coated with ice or road salt react more slowly and require longer braking distances.


Driving without the brake servo can considerably increase the braking distance and thus cause accidents and serious injuries.


If the front brake pads are tested, the rear brake pads should be tested at the same time. Regularly check the thickness of the brake pads through the openings in the rims or from the underside of the vehicle. If necessary, remove the wheels to carry out a comprehensive check. Volkswagen recommends using a Volkswagen dealership for this purpose.

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