VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
1992 Volkswagen Cabriolet Carat / Digifant 2 / Automatic / Triple White
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's hard to explain, but lately my car smells like a greasy diner or an oven that had grease spilled and burned off. It's not coming from the engine bay. I believe it's coming from either the rear wheel area or the rear of the car in general.

Today i pulled the rear drum to repack the bearings. There was a lot more brake dust in the driver's rear compared to when I did the passenger rear.

Do worn or rubbing brakes smell like that? Is there something in that vicinity that produces that smell?

When I spin the wheel, there is a whisper of a rubbing sound. Like, barely. Emergency brake rubbing perhaps?

Any ideas about my 92 Greasy Spoon?

Automotive parking light Wheel Cloud Tire Vehicle
 

·
Registered
2016 Golf R, 2001 Cabrio VR6
Joined
·
1,120 Posts
Beautiful car.

Why do you think the smell is coming from the rear? Does it smell all the time, or only after driving? Do you smell it while driving?

It's hard for me to imagine the smell, because I find your descriptors appetizing. Burnt brakes and bearings I distinctly do not find appetizing.
 

·
Registered
1992 Volkswagen Cabriolet Carat / Digifant 2 / Automatic / Triple White
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you.

It only smells after a drive, never when the car is idling in the garage for a warm up amd i dont smell it while driving. i never smell it when i sniff around engine bay when I pull back in, buti do when im near the rear of the car. The smell is just like a dirty, greasy oven when it's on the CLEAN setting. I guess I've never smelled burning brakes or bearings. Is that a distinct smell?

I'm new to the car and there are no maintenance records to know if and when brakes were attended to.
 

·
Premium Member
1993 Cabriolet, 2019 GSW 4Mo DSG
Joined
·
478 Posts
Jack the rear up and see if the wheels spin without the parking brake on. If they’re difficult to move, your brakes are dragging. Also jiggle the wheels while you have it jacked up. There should be no play. If there’s play, your bearings are bad or the something’s not tightened properly. Replace the Drums, brakes, wheel cylinders, and bearings. I’d do that anyway on a used car new to me.
 

·
Registered
1992 Volkswagen Cabriolet Carat / Digifant 2 / Automatic / Triple White
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I may have found the source of the Waffle House fire smell coming from my car...

Brake parts came in so I removed the drums to take pictures of the springs and start the removal. I noticed on the passenger side, the adjustment wedge spring was broken, and the pads were COVERED in oil. I'd call it grease, but it was thin like brake fluid. Would that cause the burning smell when it gets hot?

Also, both sides have the adjustment wedge with the "nub" facing forward. One of Brian's older posts say the nub should face away from the pad. Can someone please confirm? Are the pictures below wrong?

Passenger, facing front

(Passenger side, facing forward, nub forward, missing spring)
Hand tool Bicycle part Wood Tool Metalworking hand tool

(Passenger side, facing forward, nub forward, missing spring)

Automotive tire Bumper Auto part Wood Fish

(Passenger side, back, no nub)

And, does hot brake fluid smell like Mel's Diner?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,003 Posts
I would replace the following out of hand and be done with the rears for a couple of years.
Brake shoes,
Wheel cylinders,
Oil seal.
Bearings both inner and outer,
Brake Drum.

For grins I would replace the e-brake cables as well.
 

·
Registered
1992 Volkswagen Cabriolet Carat / Digifant 2 / Automatic / Triple White
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yessir. This is in progress. I've already done the drivers side. I was taking pictures to put it back the same way, but if PO put the wedge in the wrong way, then I'll be doing the same.

Can you confirm that the correct position of the adjustment wedge is nub facing away from pads?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,003 Posts
Your adjuster is 180 degrees out.
Yours
Tool Saw Wood Bumper Auto part


Correct way

Tool Bicycle part Electric blue Strap Nickel


The detent stop point is away from the Shoe, yours is pointing to the shoe. Your way it won't slide down to adjust fully.
 

·
Registered
1992 Volkswagen Cabriolet Carat / Digifant 2 / Automatic / Triple White
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sweet. Thank you.

I guess this goes back to the advice I got about not trusting what a PO does. They were both in that way. I even took pictures to make sure I put it back the same way. haha.

Whew! I'm glad I asked. Very helpful, Brian.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top