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OEM Ceramic Brakes

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Old 05-28-2014, 12:03 AM   #1
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Default OEM Ceramic Brakes

Greetings to all,

I'm new here, collecting informations for few weeks, because I'm about to buy a 2008/2009 S8.

What I have not find much about are Ceramic brakes.
I'm hunting for that ideal car, but every available car that matches my requirements (mileage, age, color, options...) is also equipped with ceramic brakes. I don't know if I shoud be afrait of that, since I know how expensive these rotors are (OEM from Audi dealer).
There is no doubt about braking performance, but what about lifespan?
I heard, that they can in theory last as long as the car itself (depending on driving style ofcourse).
I will be using the car mostly for long distance travel, that means cruising steady speed at a highway. Just occasionally some sharper joyride through the town :-) So no often heavy braking.
Also they are quite fragile and can be easily damaged ( e.g. during wheel change, or by stones from the road)

So I'd like to ask for some concrete experiences from You guys.
Did You already have to change the Audi OEM ceramic rotors? After how many miles? Or did You manage to somehow damage it?

Thanks and sorry for my English ;-)
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:34 AM   #2
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Default Audi UK website sez:

Incredible braking performance

Compared with conventional steel discs, ceramic brakes not only last four times longer, but also offer high braking performance, even when driving at the limit, as well as high resistance to fading. Braking performance is not diminished even after repeated braking, when driving down a mountain pass, for example. The unsprung rotating masses at the wheels are reduced by a total of around 20 kilograms or 50 percent compared with conventional brake discs, resulting in noticeably improved handling and agility.

Compared with an identical brake disc made of steel, this material lasts four times longer: the high abrasion resistance of ceramic discs means that they will last for up to 190,000 miles. The extreme surface hardness of the composite ceramic also means that the brake discs are unsusceptible to solid and liquid road salts as well as to corrosion and rust. There’s virtually no brake dust either – so alloy wheels don’t get blackened and dirty.
Ceramic brakes are optional on the Audi S8.

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Old 05-28-2014, 08:59 AM   #3
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On a street car, the biggest thing you have to worry about is damage to a rotor when changing wheels. Wear wise, with no track use, is "almost forever."

It's helpful anyway, but on a car with ceramic rotors, ensure that you or anyone else who works on your car uses one of the guides that thread in place of a wheel lug when changing wheels.
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:22 PM   #4
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Incredible braking performance

Compared with conventional steel discs, ceramic brakes not only last...
Thanks, I'm familiar with those characteristics. I was just wondering, if is it exactly so in reality as well.
Any owner who would like to share his experience?
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Old 05-28-2014, 02:30 PM   #5
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Default You will probably find little first person information here

D3 era A8's and S8's were not shipped to North America with any ceramic brake option, so it would only be the relative handful of owners from Europe who might have experience, perhaps if they have a D3 W12 or S8 most likely.

For first person experience in greater numbers, I bet you would have to try/find the German (language) boards, even if this one may be among the larger and more active ones for D3's in general.
Current #1: '06 D3 A8L W12 brilliant black w/ amaretto; 4 seats, CPO; 275/35 on OEM polished + forged 20's; S8 sway bars (see: rear bar and gen'l D3 bar info and front bar); tweaked 385mm front factory brake mod and matching rear brake mod; matching C6 A6 back headrests (better rear view: headrest tweak); owner installed AMI retrofit with part number details here. [pics now only in picture poster] Upper control arm reference (+ more info in replies) here. Lower cost D3 OES sway bar links here.
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Old 05-29-2014, 02:03 PM   #6
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I have them on my car, The cars done 57k and the discs look like new, there's no wear lip like you get on steel discs and they say they are meant to be good for 100K

The stopping performance is impressive to say the least, easily will have your passengers complaining at the deceleration. although I have not driven an S8 with the steel discs for comparison.

Yes they squeak first thing when cold, but on my car its only when I back out of the driveway 20 feet later and the squeak is gone.

One thing I don't like about them is the feeling when they are wet, few occasions where I have been driving in heavy rain and went to use the brakes, it feels like they are doing very little but it only takes a slight squeeze harder on the pedal and the waters burnt off and they are back to normal.

As for accidental damage removing wheels, well you would need to be a complete klutz to manage that as there is a shroud all the way round the disc, and if you use the locating bolts x2 like your meant too then the discs wont come to any harm.

As for replacement costs yes indeed they are stupidly expensive, but here's hoping that I won't need to replace anytime soon and if they don't come down in price to a sensible level by the time I need too then I would look into alternatives like replacing the discs with steel ones on ally hubs.
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by MP4.2+6.0 View Post
D3 era A8's and S8's were not shipped to North America with any ceramic brake option...
Oh, I didn't know that.

Originally Posted by haggisuk View Post
I have them on my car...
Are You talking about miles or kms?
So it is possible to replace them with regular brakes without any bigger trouble? What else must be exchanged (except rotors and pads) when downgrading to regular brakes?
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Old 06-02-2014, 05:55 AM   #8
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Miles, I don't see any issues changing discs to steel, if you wanted to keep the same calipers then discs would need to be made specific so they were a direct replacement. or you could just buy a complete set of calipers and steel discs that the normal S8's have leaving you to sell the monster calipers to someone wanting to do a big brake setup on other cars.
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:41 AM   #9
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I have just had my W12 for a couple months and 3000km. First thing i noticed that they have no power at all, if they are wet, but as said, the power comes back almost instantly, when pushing the pedal a bit. And the stopping power is enormous, a lot better than the W12 and S8 standard steel discs, i'd say 40-50% better.

Mine have 191.000km on the clock, i THINK, I'm not sure, as i know little about the history of the cars, or the maintenance on it. The discs look like new, i suspect they could be swapped out, they're defineatly older than a year, but as said, i'm not sure.

The discs have absolutely no wear, not even the slightest, compared to my W12 with steel discs, same mileage, and it had like 3-5mm wear on the steel discs.

Does anyone know, are the brake pads, both front and rear available as replacement parts, like OEM quality, but not 700-800$ per axle? They are **** expensive!

I already thought the W12 pads were somewhat expensive, but this is just madness.

BTW. the brake discs are ridiculously expensive, 5200€ each = 6800$ new, so they actually cost a lot more than i paid for the fully working car!!!
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:14 AM   #10
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I have had other cars with ceramic brakes as well as my wife's SUV. I can say that I like the ceramics much better: no brake dust, very minimal signs of wear on both the pads and the discs, I do notice that the ceramic brakes tend to stop better. I plan to swap out my brakes on my 07 A8 to ceramic very soon with some cross-drilled rotors. Every 2 days my wheels are covered in black ugly brake dust. I don't know this car did not come with slotted/drilled rotors like the low level Mercedes do.
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