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Recurring Brake Judder on 68 Plate GTC VXR

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  • Recurring Brake Judder on 68 Plate GTC VXR

    Hi all,

    I'm seeking some advice on a brake judder issue on my car, I first got this car brand new in December 2018 and started getting brake judder a few months later, in July 2019 I took it back to the dealership I bought it from, where they diagnosed warped front brake discs and replaced them (under warranty) and the brake pads at a cost of almost 300 quid. All was well after this again until a few months later when the judder returned. The original set of discs were replaced at 843 miles and the problem was happening again at around 1500 miles. I've since been back to the dealer again, October 2019, where they performed checks on the brakes and did road tests with harsh braking (seen on my dash cam) and all I get told is that I don't drive it enough. I've been driving it more regularly, including doing 200 miles in a day and if anything, the problem seems to be getting worse, the judder kicks in at between 38 and 50 mph, and I feel vibration through the brake pedal and get severe vibrations through the steering wheel.

    I don't drive the car particularly aggressively and only use it when I need to, as with any other car I've owned and don't really know what else to do to get things sorted. As you can imagine it's rather frustrating just being told to drive the car more when something seems to be wrong. Should I continue to go back to the original dealer or try a different Vauxhall dealer for an opinion?

    Apologies for the rather rambling story, but I can't find any advice online and thought this would be a good place to come for advice. I don't want to have to give up my VXR if I don't have to.

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Check the bolts that hold the rotors to the bells are all tight, as this would cause continuous friction to part of the brake rotor and thus uneven wear. As a result you would get brake judder due to wear or warping of the rotor.


    • #3
      I'd assume the hub itself is either contaminated or damaged. Especially if it's done this now on two sets of discs.
      Suggest removing the discs and ensuring the mating surfaces are all free of contaminants.


      • #4
        Thanks for the responses so far, certainly been more helpful than the dealership where I bought the car! I'm not mechanically skilled or equipped enough to check this myself, but will have it checked.

        I'm assuming it's unlikely to be linked to the low mileage I do, is that just the dealer trying to fob me off by saying that or could there be some truth to it?


        • #5
          No truth in that at all. At the end of the day it is a friction material. The only possible problems are incorrect fitting/contamination of mating surfaces, bent mountings, incorrectly machined discs (quality control would have picked that up), loose bolts, or you brake like a rally driver to create extreme heat (but at low mileage you would have to take the car to its max speed every time you went out, then try to beat your record stopping time) which I doubt would cause it anyway for the mileage you have done between having new discs. As a last possibility the calliper may be at fault if the pistons are not moving properly or the caliper is not secured/mounted correctly.


          • #6
            Hi all,

            Thought I'd post an update on the brake saga. After having my car for just over a week and running some tests on it, Vauxhall decided to replace my front discs and pads for a second time under warranty. Finally got the car back on Friday, with the advice of being gentle with my brakes for the first 250 miles to bed them in, fingers crossed that the 3rd time is the charm! I certainly hope it is!

            Thanks to those who had input on this topic, much appreciated!


            • #7
              if they are fitting Brembo's again its likely to be the source of the problem , one of the members on another forum Im on ( Mercedes ) has the same issue , he's been fitting Brembo's , they are crap for the money , the disc's are steel instead of iron and just aren't upto the job , over heat far too easily


              • #8
                A bit like the Star Wars films, the brake saga continues, I guess I'd have to call it Episode 3: Revenge of the Judder. Having followed the instructions from Vauxhall by being gentle with my brakes for 250 miles, extended to 400 after chatting with a local car specialist, no hard braking and trying to rack up regular miles, I'm finally let of the leash to brake a bit harder and a bit later (not like a lunatic) and braking from between 40 and 50, the wheel judders again, I'm annoyed beyond belief. I know I'll have to get back in contact with Vauxhall again, although probably will be a while given the current situation. If it's the fact that the Brembo brakes just aren't up to the job, whilst the car is still under warranty, I can't see them using anything else but Brembos and I don't have the skills or tools to do it myself.

                Does anyone have any suggestions for any options I might have left to try? I've had the tracking done, new tyres balanced and fitted, car is now on it's 3rd set of front discs and pads. I've had a visual look at the discs and I can't see any visual issues, although I doubt I'd be able to spot anything unless it was really obvious.

                It is rather disheartening to keep experiencing this issue and while I don't want to give up my VXR, as it is my dream hot hatch, I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about it.


                • #9
                  You could try taking it back to Vauxhall and asking if they would fit Mtec discs as these ate iron (as suggested earlier by Brembo449). It would be cheaper for them anyway as they are about half the cost if they use your existing mounting bells. This would prove one way or the other as to whether or not the discs are warping. The final option could be that the ABS system is not working correctly as when it operates that causes a juddering like feeling through the brake pedal. One again Vauxhall should be able to check that out for you (before they swap discs).
                  Good luck, as they are, as you know, phenomenal cars when working correctly.


                  • #10
                    Sorry a bit of topic just wondering if any yous have had problems removing headlight bulb on Astra j vxr. A want to fit a god kit but having some bother getting the old bulbs out. Cheers


                    • #11
                      Thing is i had a 13 plate J vxr and only did 2800 miles in nearly 3 years and brakes were never a problem! If the holes are blocked up it causes a judder


                      • #12
                        just a thought , where did you have the tracking done ,i have heard some nightmare stories of legit garages classing these cars as VX GTC 1.4- 2 bi turbo with the associative wheels and camber,as they cant be bothered to update their autodata or whatever they use.Went into one years back for a tyre , ahh yes you have a gtc 19" blahh de blah , walked straight out, idiots.

                        I look after a few garages , and always double check on their systems before i hand over the car to VX, and to be honest they are pretty good on working hours for parts fitted. These days with armchair mechanics they can seem to be ripping people off doesn't mean they get a few thing wrong.

                        Good Luck!


                        • #13
                          Hi all,

                          Thanks for the responses, always nice to know there's a community for us VXR lovers to turn to.

                          In answer to a previous question, the tracking was done at a place called Elite Tyres, fortunately they recognised the car as a VXR instead of a standard GTC, they also sold me the tyres, Davanti tyres. They've been really good so far.

                          I was driving my VXR earlier today, on a lockdown shopping trip, and I thought I'd share an observation I made, I still had a few times where I had the judder, but it always seems to feel like it's coming from the front right wheel more than the left front. Is it possible that the problem could be on one side rather than the other? It's something i remember happening with the previous two times the brakes have been an issue.


                          • #14
                            Too your og post that is what i am worried about , not using the car as much , it's a daily driver. Just had new pads fitted 2 months ago from courtnenay. Discs were ok on MOT an servicable @35K ish. Any bit of moisture turn by disc orange which winds me up. Buy a little drive the RUST is gone.

                            The only time i have issues with breaks is when someone decided to clean their drive and the the whole left side was covered in mud , drive to work was not nice. Spread the calipers with a slow flow of a jet wash, not to harsh.

                            In experience with all cars they do say it can take 500+ miles for disc breaking systems to bed in.

                            I am not a mechanic clearly lol.


                            • #15
                              Ive had the same problem exactly. on my third set of Brembo discs. Getting about 800 miles out of them then the judder returns at the same speeds as you around 40mph. Had everything checked over and over and the only thing I can think of now is a bad batch of brembos out there?
                              ARDEN BLUE ASTRA H VXR
                              19's - PIPER TURBO BACK NON RES
                              CARBON FLASH BLACK ASTRA J VXR