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Ampera aka IGOR
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Discussion Starter #1
....it failed due to "Brakes imbalanced across an axle rear (Axle 2)"
I was told at the last service that the rear discs were pitted but thought they might last until the next service (7.5k until 80k). Total cost for MOT, discs and pads was £406.60, this was with the Vauxhall Driver's Club discount of 20% off the repairs and 50% off the MOT. So every mile has cost me just over half a pence in rear brake discs and pads.
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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£406 sounds like too far towards robbery to me. Same rear discs as Astra J and that convertible job they sell, afaik, and pattern parts would set you back £50.

IMHO, the best thing to do is to swap the brake pads every two years or so for new. Yes, the ones on there will be barely 10% used, but that's the danger, they will glaze over, develop complementary grooves where there are rust patches on the discs, and next thing you know the discs have to be swapped too.

My discs were commented on this MoT too. I guess it is about time I followed my own advice, as I have not yet done this myself. The electric brakes are making a 'clonk' sound too, so maybe a good time to take a look.

I used to knock it into neutral every so often on a motorway off ramp and get those mechanical brakes into action. Problem is, you can't simply actuate the rear brakes easily - the 'parking brake' actually actuates the whole braking system, down to around 20mph.

I think these are the ones;-
BRAKE DISCS + PADS REAR SOLID Ø292 OPEL VAUXHALL AMPERA ASTRA MK 6 J ZAFIRA 3 C
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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I suspect not. Is it not a regular calliper, just that the handbrake cable is actuated by a motor at the end of the cable, instead of a manual lever?

UPDATE
... just checked the service manual, and it desribes a bog-standard pad removal and refit.

For reference, piston rotation for re-seating is clockwise (sometimes it's the other way) and calliper bolt torque setting is given as 28Nm.
 

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....it failed due to "Brakes imbalanced across an axle rear (Axle 2)"
I was told at the last service that the rear discs were pitted but thought they might last until the next service (7.5k until 80k). Total cost for MOT, discs and pads was £406.60, this was with the Vauxhall Driver's Club discount of 20% off the repairs and 50% off the MOT. So every mile has cost me just over half a pence in rear brake discs and pads.
Doesn't sound too drastic to me. The downside of not using the brakes much, is that they degrade rather than wear out. :)
 

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@h8ten
This was the state of the rear discs on my 2010 VW Jetta after 50K < 3yrs , VW didn't approve replacements , saying "they were functioning normally and within permitted tolerances".& they would only replace if they were 'seriously weakened'. and besides the front discs do 90% of the work stopping the vehicle..

I'd be interested to see the state of the discs !
"Brakes imbalanced across rear axle "?


Official MOT reason for failure
"the out-of-balance of the brakes on the steered road wheels is greater than 25%"
would that apply to the rear axle ?

 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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3,237 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I only looked at the outer face and although they did not look as bad as yours there was definitely ridges had developed, not bad scores but enough that if new pads alone had been put on then they would have taken quite some time to bed in to the face of the disc. I did think about just getting the discs skimmed and new pads but with the car still being under the Lifetime Warranty I did not want Vauxhall to haven't reason for declining any future claim should one arise.

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....it failed due to "Brakes imbalanced across an axle rear (Axle 2)"
I was told at the last service that the rear discs were pitted but thought they might last until the next service (7.5k until 80k). Total cost for MOT, discs and pads was £406.60, this was with the Vauxhall Driver's Club discount of 20% off the repairs and 50% off the MOT. So every mile has cost me just over half a pence in rear brake discs and pads.
Ceramic disks?;):whistle:

This is one reason I would never have an MOT done at a main dealer. My local MOT centre will offer to repair cars that fail but unlike dealers, are not looking for work and at £35 per MOT with free re-test are damn good and very cost effective with a while you wait service.
 

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I did think about just getting the discs skimmed and new pads but with the car still being under the Lifetime Warranty I did not want Vauxhall to haven't reason for declining any future claim should one arise.
Do Vauxhall need to service the brakes to continue the warranty? Would they know anyway?
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Russ my VX220 goes to a garage 50 miles away for its MOT, the Elgrand goes to one more local. Once the warranty is up then the Ampera will be going to one of these two. It was a lesson for this MOT, but the servicing will still be carried out by the main dealer, not much in the way of choice up here for this type of car.

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Just been through a similar exercise.
The 2016 2 year service of our 2014 Ampera noted 'rear brake discs corroded' and this was also reported on the 2017 service. Before the MOT we got a quote from our local independent trusted garage and they did the job for £169 including discs, pads, labour and VAT.
Thurlow Nunn in Norwich, our local Vauxhall Ampera service people quoted £575 total.
FIVE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY FIVE POUNDS !!!!
Shop around folks!
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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FWIW - I followed my own advice above and bought from that ebay listing.

They sat in the garage waiting for until I got around to swapping them, but when @Garry TheBiz put in an offer to me, it was time to get on and swap them over for him.

However, when I came to the job I was suspicious that the calliper bracket bolts were stretch type bolts (being relatively small M12, by the look of them). I checked and they are indeed 'use once' stretch bolts.

So if you want to swap them over yourself (it is just a regular standard rear calliper setup like any other car, albeit with the handbrake cable operated by a motor and with a lower fixing damper, but it's really just a bog standard setup) then make sure you also have a set of the stretch bolts, or if you get an independent to do it that they know they are use-once bolts.

Don't re-use the calliper stretch bolts. (You probably shouldn't reuse the slider fixing bolts either, but it is not as safety-critical as the fixing bolts.)

The stretch bolts were £32 alone (for x4). It didn't surprise me greatly, these are specialist things.

The dealer offered to fit my own discs and pads for an hour's labour, so between Garry and myself we just got them to do the job instead, leaving nice new shiny ones for Garry's new acquisition, which I was very happy about because the old ones were really in a bad way and always scraped after pulling off from being parked for more than a night, I didn't want him to have that as his first experience of the car.

Yes, the dealer wanted something silly for the disc and parts considering they are pretty standard Astra types used in many models. Dealer seemed quite happy to fit the discs for me (they offered to do it, actually, when I said I already had them). Seemed a good combination if you're not inclined yourself, ebay parts price plus main dealer fit, about £180 all in.
 

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Don't re-use the calliper stretch bolts. (You probably shouldn't reuse the slider fixing bolts either, but it is not as safety-critical as the fixing bolts.)
Thanks @donald , Really helpful as usual, and I will check with the indy that they did this.

One of the reasons we went for an Ampera was because of your enthusiasm for them, and your knowledge and willing assistance you have given on this forum. We were not disappointed. I hope you have the time to carry on the good work for us mere mortal Ampera owners!!
 

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Just as an update to this, had my rear disks and pads swapped yesterday at Hutchings Pontypridd.

Originally quoted £315 for disks and pads fitted (of which 90 quid was labour), then they went off and got a quote from a local motor factors. Final cost all fitted was £210.

Reading the post above I can see no mention of stretch bolts on by bill but you'd like to think main dealer did it properly....
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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The stretch bolts are £8 each. They'd not have forgotten that on a bill, surely?
 

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Often a motor factors provides a complete kit of the parts to the job rather then charging seperatly for bolts etc.
 
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