Q: After changing many parts for maintenance recommended by my mechanic, car has a bad vibration when accelerating

asked by on March 13, 2018

After changing several parts that were recommended by my mechanic Phil (from here), the car has a bad vibration that I cannot find. Here is how it happened. I have changed the plugs, wires, cv axle, filters and oil as well as new pads and rotors on front. I drove the car and it was fine. Since then (Friday) I replaced the rear pads, rotors & calipers (old ones frozen), springs and shocks and also the front strut assemblies. Since those last parts I mentioned have been changed the vibration started. I have pulled every wheel and re-installed my old rotors as the new ones were way too noisy and my brakes were nowhere near as good. Any ideas on the vibration and how to get my brakes back to normal? I did bleed the system manually.

My car has 145000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi Paul. Thanks for sending the question tonight. To be honest, when wholesale replacement jobs like you’ve described are completed, multiple issues can be missed, incorrectly installed or even have compatibility issues that can lead to a vibration. If you replaced the shocks and struts and did not have the suspension aligned, this could be causing the vibration. Damaged wheel bearings can also cause this to occur (and I didn’t see that on your list of replacement parts). In regards to the brake issues, anytime to ’mix and match’ components (like installing old rotors as you’ve described), it’s virtually impossible to get a good read on what could possibly be the source of the braking failure. I really wish we could help you here, but with so much completed at the same time, there are simply too many variables to consider. I’d start from scratch on your brakes - remove them all and rebuilt by following the Volkswagen Passat service and repair manual (including to lubricate and torque all parts as recommended). Make sure to do the front and rear at the same time (meaning to do them all before driving the vehicle again), then bleed the brakes by following VW’s recommendation. Best of luck.

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