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SQ5 disc and pad upgrade


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Hi, new to the forum and looking for some advice after a recent dealership visit!

SQ5, 2016 reg., 326ps version, 34,000 miles, and told new front discs and pads are needed at over £1k. I have put most of the miles on and the pad wear is described as being 20%, this car has obviously not been driven hard. Am I just unlucky or is anyone else experiencing this sort of premature brake disc wear? I will definitely not be replacing with OEM after this experience. If anyone has any recommendations for upgrade it would be very helpful as in the past I have normally been happy to stick with OEM.

Thanks

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My advice would be to see what a local independent garage would charge fitting genuine Audi discs and pads. 

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Hello Robert,

Thanks for being in touch with the forum. 
I wonder if we can have some clarification:- 

You say the brake pad wear has been described as 20%. Do you/the dealer mean just that - that they have been worn by 20% of their original thickness, or if they are now only 20% ( approx 2mm remaining) of their thickness? If the former, they don’t need changing now. 
You then talk about brake disc wear, but you don’t quote what the current thickness is in comparison with the manufacturer’s recommended minimum thickness. The dealer should have been able to provide these figures. 
 

‘Premature brake wear .....and obviously been driven hard....... won’t be replacing with OEM after this experience’

Unfortunately Robert, since the banning of the use of asbestos in brake pads, two things have happened :- pads can wear at a fast rate, and the current pad make up is known to increase brake disc wear. Gone are the days where you were almost guaranteed to get 2 x brake pad renewals before you changed the discs. 


Not fitting genuine VAG pads again? I think this would be a serious retrograde step, since in my experience the original brake set up and efficiency is very good, and using aftermarket pads has shown a marked decrease in braking efficiency. Personally, I wouldn’t go there. 

Appreciating VAG charge uncompetitively high prices for their discs, you might like to consider using Brembo discs to go with the new VAG pads. 
If you are going to go with Steve’s advice of getting a (cheaper?) quote from an independent, then I would be checking what brand of parts they will be using, before committing .

Kind regards,

Gareth. 
 

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Hi this wasn't spotted on the good old inspection was it?, nine times out of ten its an effort to drum up more work at your expense, with that sort of milage brake pad wear would be minimal, most all Audis either have TRW, ATE,Lucas braking systems fitted, these are also sold aftermarket under their respective branding the discs are high carbon and pads are the same as supplied to VAG, I can't understand the obsession with genuine parts for brakes as they are made by other well known manufacturers who supply the car producers with a box with their name on it they sell it to the customer at four times the price, its basically legalised robbery, for example I recently bought new high carbon discs and pads for my A6 as a kit from eBay under the trade name of DON who like Mintex,Brembo and many others are all part of the TMG friction group, these guys don't make rubbish, when I unpacked it all the discs had VAG stamped on them and the pads are genuine DON, all that for £150.00.

I use my Audi as a cab so if there was anything untoward with what I bought in the last 4k I have done in six weeks I think I would of known about it as it is the brakes are still mint and stop on a sixpence, back in the late eighties the government changed the peramiters for the sale of braking parts sold in this country and Europe every part has to meet the latest ISO requirements so its almost impossible to buy substandard brake parts unless they come from China or through the back door case in point when back in the early noughties a load of cloned VAG pads with their pretty boxes had got through from guess where and even when bedded in were taking up to sixty yards longer to stop from 50mph than the real pads, trading standards soon had them all back and the people selling them by the Danglies, big fines and custodial sentences in some cases.

I just wish people would actually look at what they are buying as most if not all friction linings come from the TMG group, off the subject my cam belt kit came from TPS, VAG approved in VAG boxes, unpacked the belt itself had VAG printed on it along with Conti Tech who are the supplier the bearings and pump were all Ina, the extra you are paying is for the name on the box, and yes I would as Steve suggests get a second opinion as I would fully expect them to tell you to jog on for another 40k and worse case scenario they do need changing it will probably be about a third of the price quoted for equally as good.

Steve.

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Thanks for the responses to date, a lot of good advice and information. 

A good guess Steve, this was spotted at "the good old inspection", along with a recommendation for the rear discs to be inspected again in 6 months time. Both front and rear discs were described as being heavily lipped. The pad wear in both cases is stated on the dealer Health Check Report as 20% of original thickness so the discs have only lasted for one fifth of a set of pads! The car has not been driven hard, I have put 21k of the 34k miles on myself. Although the pads have plenty of meat left on them I am expecting to have to put new pads in when the discs are replaced as this seems to be standard practise. I have been quoted half the dealership quote of £1052 by my local garage for the front discs and pads. It is booked in for this Thursday, 10th June, to establish if the work is necessary and I will check with the garage what brand they have quoted for. I will also then find out what the remaining thickness of the discs are.  The brakes have been excellent apart from what I consider to be rapid wear of the discs. 

I am hoping someone has has a good experience of an upgrade they can share. My gripe is the discs only lasting 34k miles and/or a 1/5th of a set of pads. This is of course subject to my local garage confirming the discs do need replacing. I am not looking for a cheap replacement If there is a good alternative out there I am happy to spend the money, I just don't want to put the same back on knowing they will not last long.

This is the first disappointment I have had with my last 7 cars all being Audi.

 

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Hello Robert,

Many thanks for the additional information, but unfortunately, I remain confused regarding the pad wear since I gues you are quoting from the dealer’s ‘report’, rather than questioning it and genuinely understanding it. No personal criticism meant - except of the dealer, if this is their wording:- ‘.......pad wear ......stated as 20% of their original thickness....’  Are we right in believing this statement as written (in caps) and the pads are only worn a couple of mm., or are they worn down to 20% of their original thickness? 
 

Re. large part manufacturing groups who supply to the motor manufactures, producing the same quality/specification parts under all their brands as they do to the manufacturer of the vehicle when new, is unfortunately not the case - the important word being ‘ specification’ - which differs from new and aftermarket. I could elaborate, but I won’t bore, but quote a practical case where your top brand battery that comes with your new car, lasts longer than the same make replacement! Again, am I the only one to believe you get more mileage out of the set of say Michelin tyres that came with the car when new, than you do out of the replacements ?  Same brands, same specification -?? 
Kind regards,

Gareth. 

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Hi Gareth, thanks for having another look at my rant.

The Audi Health Check states on the right hand red column, under the heading Immediate attention, "20%PD Front Brake Pads + Discs heavily lipped, price £1052.78. The service desk returned the key and gave me the paperwork at which point I asked if meant 20% worn or 20% left and was told it was 20% worn, 80% remaining. I will know much more after Thursdays' visit to my local garage. I would be reluctant to move away from OEM, particularly as the brakes have performed well, but don't like the idea of having to replace the discs and pads again within 2-3 years of average mileage. What I am hoping to achieve is similar braking performance but with longer lasting discs/rotors, if such a thing exists.

Thanks

Rob

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Many thanks Robert, and it’s clear that you obviously asked the sensible questions relating to the main dealer’s ambiguous report. 
If this were mine, I would simply be placing my trust in the local garage’s inspection, and be following their guidance regarding the need to do anything in a hurry. 
Discs ‘lip’, and the lip often appears worse due to the inevitable increased corrosion on the extreme outer rim. The all important bit is to have the overall thickness measured against the minimum allowable thickness limit. Again, discs score, so the garage will be able to assess the severity against normal.

Perhaps you could let us know how you get on Robert, but I sense a ‘no panic’ outcome at this stage. 
Kind regards,

Gareth. 

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On 6/6/2021 at 7:46 AM, Magnet said:

Hello Robert,

Many thanks for the additional information, but unfortunately, I remain confused regarding the pad wear since I gues you are quoting from the dealer’s ‘report’, rather than questioning it and genuinely understanding it. No personal criticism meant - except of the dealer, if this is their wording:- ‘.......pad wear ......stated as 20% of their original thickness....’  Are we right in believing this statement as written (in caps) and the pads are only worn a couple of mm., or are they worn down to 20% of their original thickness? 
 

Re. large part manufacturing groups who supply to the motor manufactures, producing the same quality/specification parts under all their brands as they do to the manufacturer of the vehicle when new, is unfortunately not the case - the important word being ‘ specification’ - which differs from new and aftermarket. I could elaborate, but I won’t bore, but quote a practical case where your top brand battery that comes with your new car, lasts longer than the same make replacement! Again, am I the only one to believe you get more mileage out of the set of say Michelin tyres that came with the car when new, than you do out of the replacements ?  Same brands, same specification -?? 
Kind regards,

Gareth. 

I would seriously question the logic of the last couple of statements, why would a disc manufacturer run a separate production line for manufacturers it won't make any fiscal sense especially when they make more profit from selling aftermarket than from the prices they are bolted down to by the manufacturer are better just because something is cheaper if its made by the same disc manufacturer why would that make it substandard, same goes for the batteries, the original Silver Calcium battery fitted to my last Ford lasted about four years before I replaced it with a Yuasa equivalent which was still on the car when I sold it four years later,

Believe me over 800,000 miles between three cabs I have just about tried every combination of discs and pads going and as long as you use Bosch,Brembo,TRW, all OE supplied units I never got less than sixty thousand miles out of each brand which from a cab drivers  perspective is awesome considering we live [Or Die] on our brakes, most branded aftermarket discs are coated to prevent the rotting of the outer edge and the mounting boss coating stops the grooving on the disc caused by the corrosion on the boss, if you consider that with use most discs become magnetic the surface of the discs will attract the particles of rusty steel as it flies of of the boss, no rust no grooves, the easiest way to help upgrade your brakes nine times out of ten is to change the fluid every 30k most people forget that brake fluid is Hydroscopic and as the filler cap is vented it will absorb water.

Now we come to the old cookie of your first set of tyres lasting longer, they do, but I was told by a Michelin rep that is common practise as it ensures people buy the same tyre in the future which won't wear nearly as well [guaranteed repeat custom] the original tyres are a better more expensive compound to impress the new owner witless.

Steve.

Steve.

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I certainly don’t question your experience Steve, but your final paragraph disproves your theory that manufactures don’t supply to individual specifications. 
Apologies for labouring the point made in your first paragraph - so it would appear that a manufacturing supplier supplying let’s say Tesco, would supply the same specification for Tesco Finest as they would for Tesco Value then - since it wouldn’t make fiscal sense to do otherwise?? 
Kind regards,

Gareth. 

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6 hours ago, Magnet said:

I certainly don’t question your experience Steve, but your final paragraph disproves your theory that manufactures don’t supply to individual specifications. 
Apologies for labouring the point made in your first paragraph - so it would appear that a manufacturing supplier supplying let’s say Tesco, would supply the same specification for Tesco Finest as they would for Tesco Value then - since it wouldn’t make fiscal sense to do otherwise?? 
Kind regards,

Gareth. 

The tyre manufacturers tender their tyres for approval for testing on new models to be launched, the vehicle producer specifies nothing involved in the business of making the tyre, its all off the peg if it fits and performs well they buy it and use it in production the only thing they specify is the profile and width therefore does that mean Fords 225x55x17 won't fit the same size rim on a vauxhall because Ford specified it solely for their cars.

As for comparing a food retailers product to discs and pad manufacturers that could not be a more inane analogy, its patently clear in the world of cars some folks have a phobia about original parts, some don't, but the aspect I find unpalatable is miss information on the choice of products available based entirely on personal preference and no practical experience of using these alternative products, its not fair and unbiased advice.

Steve.

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Many thanks Steve,

I think it’s time to agree to disagree on motor manufacturers not placing specifications on major component and material suppliers, and it maybe irrelevant to know that my working role was associated with the control of such material supplies and specifications. Still...


As I said, I definitely cannot, and certainly don’t want to, challenge your extensive user experience, and I’m sure that that experience is, and will be, of benefit to folks wishing to consider what brands they may wish to fit to their vehicles. 
I think my many difference of opinion rests with your claim that ‘a brake pad is a brake pad, is simply a brake pad’. 
 I’ll ignore the bit about ‘no practical experience........not fair and unbiased advice’. And the ‘inane analogy’ which, if it actual is, maybe considered so, since it just doesn’t fit into the argument logic! 
Anyway...
Many thanks again Steve,

Kind regards,

Gareth. 

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Gareth try and disagree with the above, both are high profile manufacturers of braking consumables to both aftermarket and motor manufacturers, I really don't think they would publish either of these statements if there was even a hint of culpability if the information is wrong, I would draw your attention to the first paragraph of the EBC blog and then to the first paragraph on the ATE blog, they state that both OE and aftermarket are manufactured to a comparable standard to achieve certification.

Steve.

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The result from my local garage after inspection, (an MOT testing station), is the front discs do have quite a lip but this is made to look much worse due to a build up of rust, as suggested by Magnet. The discs have a few thousand miles left and would sail through an MOT test at present, so not quite as urgent as I feared giving me a little time to decide on whether to stick with OEM or try and find a longer lasting alternative. Despite an extensive search I have had difficulty finding good quality alternatives, Brembo don't make a front disc for the SQ5, also I would only want to risk changing if someone on this forum has had a good experience and recommends a brand. The only straight swop I could find that comes with very good reviews are DBA competition discs at almost £900 a pair.

Maybe I should be a glass half full person and be grateful for having such long lasting pads rather than moaning about how quickly the discs have worn, just a shame to have to throw the pads away with 80% remaining!

Thanks everyone for your comments, I will keep them in mind while I decide whether to diverge from OEM or not, whilst still hoping someone comes along with a top quality tried and tested alternative front disc.

Rob

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Try Malcolm at Aberdeen Audi, Robert - they are usually quite accommodating on discounts - appreciating Audi discs are not cheap, but at least you will have a discount marker price if you do find an aftermarket supplier. 
Kind regards, 

Gareth. 

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