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A Dusty Passat

Q. I own a 2000 VW Passat with 21,000 miles on it. Its nearly 11 months old and is a great driving car. It a 2.8 V6, front drive, 5 speed manual trans, fuel injection, ABS, cruise control, everything but auto climate control.

My questions is: Since the car was delivered I have notice much greater brake dust on the rear wheels than the front. I wash my own car exclusively at least once a week in the summer and this pattern of brake dust deposits has been consistent. I have noticed on a few other Passats (moving slow enough to see) that their dust deposits appear heavier on the front wheels as you would expect on a front driver.

I have mentioned my car's odd pattern to my service manager, but he did not think it a problem. The car handles and brakes fine, but its just odd for a front drive car to create more dust on the rear than on the front wheels. Have you encountered this "problem" before? What can is mean if a front drive car produces more dust in the rear than on the front wheels? Thanks for your insights.


A. This is indeed odd Mike. If we can assume that more dust means more pad wear, then it could indicate a problem. At this point all you can do is monitor the pad wear and see if they are wearing down quicker than normal. The general rule of thumb is two sets of front pads to one set of rear pads. If it is considerably less, then it might indicate a problem with the master cylinder or proportioning valve.

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