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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took our S60 in for it's 40,000 mile service/warranty "Multi-Point Inspection" form and it passed w/ flying colors, even all the brake/pads the fronts measuring 11 millimeters each; the rears 6 millimeters each. The factory rep was on hand and even remarked at how well the pads were holding up (a testament to my wife's driving style!). So when I heard the familiar pad on rotor grinding noise just 1,400 miles later I was surprised to see that the inner, right rear pad (the one that gets the e-brake) was completely worn down. This confirmed one of two things: A. either the techs simply race through these Inspection Forms quickly checking boxes (I'm told that factory reimbursements is low for these warranty check ups) and never fully checked the pads; B. it's a known problem and Volvo should have a service bulletin out to it's network warning them to be sure to always check this inner rear pad. Being a car-guy, I caught it but how about "Ms. Betty" getting a pre-trip health check only to break down wherever? When I confronted the dealer [service manager] with this he was dismissive as usual "normal wear, that particular piston tends to hang up, known problem." Volvo NA was equally dismissive "40,000 miles on a set of pads is normal wear and tear" totally ignoring the point, that at 40,000 everything was excellent but only 1,400 miles later, not so, at least w/ the inner rear pad. All of the other pads remain in perfect condition... certainly for 40,000 miles and easily since the "multi-point" inspection.

This follows another on-going experience w/ this same car wherein the right front wheel has been expelling grease since new. Here again, totally dismissive, insisting it's just brake dust, all except the Service Writers, that is. As one might run a finger on a dusty window sill, do it to the other 3 wheels and it's brake dust; the right front however was always sticky, something mixed in w/ the brake dust. This coupled w/ a light rumbling noise from the right front, I had the car in on multiple occasions to document the problem. At the 40,000 mile point Volvo NA sent a field rep to check this out. The service manager insisting the noise was tire noise (even at .01 mph???) and the rest sticking to "brake dust." then they took the wheels off and the rep noted "why there's grease in this wheel!" Duh! And he also noted that the rotor was somewhat darker than the left front, which by the way, displayed no grease. For many of you this is old news but to prevent dis-similar metals from adhering to one-another, in this case the alloy wheel to the steel hub, it's common practice to put a very light coat of either never-cease or grease between the hub and wheel. The Volvo rep had never heard of this. Net, in the "exit meeting" the shop foreman suggested an animal was urinating on the right front; the service manager stuck to tire noise; and the rep didn't know what to say... sticking largely to brake dust, in spite of having (all of them) seen the grease. But here's what's actually been going on for these 40,000 miles. The brake caliper/pads have been lightly dragging on the right front rotor [making the noise] which heats up the rotor enough to melt the light coating of protective grease between the alloy wheel and steel hub thereby expelling the grease throughout to the exterior of the wheel... since new! Hence the discolored right front rotor vs. the as new left front rotor. But no "it's an animal urinating causing the discoloration; tires causing the noise; brake dust and ... " And forget "Customer Service" at Volvo NA. They're paid to be nice and console the customer but I doubt they know a spark plug from a tire. This is our 3rd Volvo... the first a 122s; the second a 262 GLS and now this one... and of all the cars we've owned, this the first with the unusual cycle of events. Pity, seems it's a great car and we keep it looking as new but we'll stick to our other fleet for any long trips... this one's simply too noisy, something the rep said "Volvo's aren't known for being quiet." OMG!
 

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Whole lotta stuff going on in that missive, but if it were me, about the only thing I'd be concerned about is the grease in the wheel. Are you sure it's not a leaky seal or boot? Did they clean it up to see if it comes back? Does is take a couple of days or several months to becomes noticeable? I've never seen greased-up wheel mounting faces.

40k-mile tires are definately going to be noisier than new ones, and to my ear, a noisy tire sounds just like a bad wheel bearing. Run your hand around the circumference of the tire and I bet you'll feel some uneveness in the tread blocks, which causes noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dyno - Google never cease or grease on hubs for alloy wheels. If you don't do it (apply a light film) the alloy wheel will stick to the hub. It's "sticking" because the dissimilar metals are bonding together. If you're on the side of the road, good luck. If your car's in a garage, on a lift, no worries. One uses different weights of grease for different brakes eg the brakes on a performance car may get hotter so better to use a heavier weight of grease because when it gets hot, it will melt. When it melts, it spreads. There are no leaking seals etc., all are tight. Per my lengthy missive, the caliper is hanging on the rotor, heating things up, the grease melts, the grease spreads.

The noise didn't start at 40,000 miles. The noise has been there since new. Only the service manager has maintained (and suddenly at 30,000 miles) that there was tire noise. NOT. When you're going .015 mph on the dealer lot and you hear a rumble in the right front, and only the right front, that is not tire noise. Never mind I sprung for new tires and it still did it then and does it now. I thought I was clear about all of that in my lengthy missive (two topics really, 1 rear brake pad; 2 noisy right front wheel expelling grease) but here I've presented it again. While on their lot I did see my exact model year w/ the same right front wheel (grease); the left front was perfect. It's an overheated rotor.
 

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Take the car for a drive on the highway for about 20 minutes, if the brakes are dragging the affected wheel will be hotter to the touch then the other wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Take the car for a drive on the highway for about 20 minutes, if the brakes are dragging the affected wheel will be hotter to the touch then the other wheels.
Chris... thank you and "exactly!" And the right front IS warmer than any of the other wheels. That bounced off the service managers forehead... he's married to "tire noise" (but just coming from the right front? C'mon, man!); the Shop Foreman gently suggested parking the car differently so as to eliminate the possibility of an animal urinating on [just?] the right front wheel (C'mon man!); meanwhile 3 different service writers have been in my camp.

Repeat, for those who may have missed it: the right front wheel has been a problem since new... that means new tires, new everything. This did not start at the 30k mile point.

And I'm still interested in feedback re the inner right rear brake pad suddenly wearing down in just 1,400 miles? Or was it already worn out by 40k? I can handle the latter, but the tech said that all brake pads were perfect at the 40k "multi-point safety inspection." Then 1,400 miles later, steel on steel, and just the one pad. Never seen that before and "this ain't my first rodeo."
 

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And I'm still interested in feedback re the inner right rear brake pad suddenly wearing down in just 1,400 miles? Or was it already worn out by 40k? I can handle the latter, but the tech said that all brake pads were perfect at the 40k "multi-point safety inspection." Then 1,400 miles later, steel on steel, and just the one pad. Never seen that before and "this ain't my first rodeo."
You had a lazy, inexperienced tech who obviously didn't check the inner pads - nothing more or less to be said about that. This is a very common issue.
 

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Is it easy to see and measure inner rear pad depth without removing the pads?

The reason I ask is that I've had some cars where it is difficult or impossible to do without removing pads and I intend to do an oil change and 40k vehicle inspection in a couple of weeks.
 

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You can see the pad with a small inspection mirror.

I'd bet he had an inexperienced tech and not a lazy tech. We make money for the work we do. So checking brakes is in our best interest.
 

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You had a lazy, inexperienced tech who obviously didn't check the inner pads - nothing more or less to be said about that. This is a very common issue.
We had our LR inner pad start scraping at 38,7xx miles. Fortunately, we have the extended 4 yr / 50k warranty which includes wear items like brakes and wipers. The bottom line on the work order to Volvo was just over $400.
 

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if your right front caliper is dragging, the car should pull to the right, especially if you remove your hands from the steering wheel. I didn't see that mentioned. That would be the definitive symptom to throw at your balking volvo tech. The right front pad should show more wear also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
if your right front caliper is dragging, the car should pull to the right, especially if you remove your hands from the steering wheel. I didn't see that mentioned. That would be the definitive symptom to throw at your balking volvo tech. The right front pad should show more wear also.
Correct, I didn't mention it because it's not pulling to the right. The drag is light enough to make a low rumble which, w/ studies showing hearing capacities declining after the age of 37 some in their 50's on will not hear it. It, or lets say "whatever is hanging up" isn't doing so to the extent that it causes the car to track anywhere but straight, but enough to cause a low rumble and heat the right front wheel.... heat... as in warmer than the left but not too hot to the touch, simply a notable difference and one which melted the finer grease used between the hub and alloy wheel. Of course they "solved" the problem by simply removing the grease but doing nothing about the caliper. So the rumble continues as does the heating.

I appreciate and thank you for your points... unfortunately this dealership simply doesn't want to hear it.... nor does Volvo NA.

Ironically, just this past Friday our exact model parked next to me, he had 50k on his, I walked the car and lo n behold... grease out the right front wheel! He'd never noticed, this fellow content w/ others washing/servicing his car... for him simply an appliance. And that's where/why this goes under-reported.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Halfast... we have that same warranty... didn't know it covered wipers... they charged me some $75 for those around the 30k mark. I did just the rear pads for about $150. If your tech caught that, it's as it should be. Ours did not yet signed off as all being perfect. I have a problem w/ that. Thanks for sharing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wayne, thanks for the note but A. if it's a "common issue" the tech if not the dealership should be all over it... isn't this something the shop foreman oversees? B. I for one find it peculiar that it is "acceptable" for one pad out of 8, to wear exponentially faster than all of the others. I crewed on a Formula 2 racing team and this simply wouldn't have made any sense, nor would it on any of the vehicles (cars & cycles) I currently have in my garages.
 

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Halfast... we have that same warranty... didn't know it covered wipers... they charged me some $75 for those around the 30k mark. I did just the rear pads for about $150. If your tech caught that, it's as it should be. Ours did not yet signed off as all being perfect. I have a problem w/ that. Thanks for sharing!
Our extended warranty was included as part of the VW TDI conquest benefit. It does include brakes - we've had 2 sets of rear rotors, one set of rear pads and front pads and rotors all replaced at no cost to us. Additionally, wipers are replaced on request at service.

The only time we've been denied wiper replacement was at a dealer in the Midwest where we had our 10k service performed. They also were unable to detect the significant vibration when braking at highway speeds from the first set of warped rear rotors. We were able to enjoy that sensation for the remaining 3500 miles of our trip. :0/
 
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