How to Replace Your VW's Brake Pads

In a perfect world, brake pads would last forever. Unfortunately, the friction material on brake pads wears down over time, usually after 30,000 miles or so. Since your brake pads need to be replaced once in a while, you can save a bunch of money on labor by learning how to replace the pads yourself.

Replacing your brake pads may seem like a drag. But it’s actually a straightforward job you can execute pretty much anywhere as long as you have the right tools and a way to lift your car by the chassis. A floor jack and jack stands would do just fine.

Important Tip

You can either replace all four sets of brake pads on your car (if your VW has disc brakes at all 4 wheels) or replace two sets of brake pads on the same axle. It’s always important to replace all of the brake pads on the same axle. This ensures even braking performance, which is essential to your safety.

Ordering OEM Replacement VW Brake Pads

Looking for a set of OEM replacement brake pads before starting the job? You can either pay inflated prices at a Volkswagen dealership or order genuine OEM brake pads from us at deeply discounted prices.

Steps to Replace VW Brake Pads

Image Credit: golf Wagen

This tutorial will walk you through the process of changing the brake pads on your Volkswagen. Keep in mind that the steps listed below are based on the 2013 Passat, but you should be able to loosely apply them to another Volkswagen model.

  1. Loosen the lug nuts on all of the wheels on which you’re going to be working. Turning the lug nuts loose by only a quarter of a turn will do the trick.
  2. Lift your Volkswagen by the chassis.
  3. Remove one of the wheels.
  4. Locate the caliper and then gently pry out the tension spring. Usually a flat head screwdriver will get the job done.
  5. With a flathead screwdriver, pry the inside brake pad back against the caliper. This will loosen up the caliper and move the piston into the caliper.
  6. Locate the two caliper bolts. They’ll probably be covered in plastic caps. If they are, then you can pry the plastic caps loose.
  7. With a 7 mm Allen wrench or socket, unscrew the caliper bolts and then remove them from the caliper.
  8. Pull the caliper off the rotor and then set it aside. Do NOT hang it by the brake line. Doing so will put some tension on the brake line and may cause it to crack or break. A broken brake line will cause the brakes to fail and get you into an accident. It’s best to hang the caliper from the upper control arm with a wire, or place it on a box that’s high enough to take all the weight off the brake line.
  9. Remove the brake pads from the caliper.
  10. Put the new pads into the caliper. Be sure to put the correct pad into the correct side. Read the instructions that came with the brake pads for clarification.
  11. Clean the caliper bolts and then apply brake grease to them. This helps the caliper move better.
  12. Put the caliper back into position and then bolt it in place. Put the plastic caps back on over the bolts if there are any.
  13. Reinstall the tension spring.
  14. Put the wheel back on.
  15. Repeat with the other wheel(s).

We’re always here to help you if you have any questions about this process.