I own a 2002 VW Passat 1.8T with 28,000 miles and noticed some grinding noise and a slight pulsing of the brakes. I took it in for servicing and was told that the rear pads needed replacing and the front rotors needed to be turned. When I picked up the car I was told that there was a problem turning the left front brake rotor so it was replaced " at no charge to me". After the service the brakes were in worse condition. The brake pedal was very spongy and there was a severe pulsing which resulted in inconsistant brake pedal travel. I felt they were unsafe. I returned the car the next mornig and was told the right front rotor would also need to be replaced at additional charge to me. The service manager told me that it was within their guideline to replace only one rotor. I always understood that both rotors must be replaced at the same time. My question is do rotors need to be replaced in pairs and was I ripped off by the " free" rotor replacement?
You must live in a large community or ride the brakes a lot. The brakes should last longer that 28000 miles and the rotors should be good for from 70 to 100k or more. No rotors do not have to be replaced in pairs, but they generally were out uniformly and thus are often replaced in pairs because of that. Many of the smaller cars can have the rotors turned and still be within tolerance, but unless they are treated with a brake lube application or they are not riden too hard they will warp quicker and thus I would skip the turning and replace with new. Now whether VW will replace the other front one is not my say, but in my book they should.