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Audi A4 Front Brake Caliper Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Audi A4 Front Brake Caliper Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$55 to $110

Talent:

**

Tools:

7mm Allen, 11mm flared nut wrench, 10mm wrench, flathead screw driver, floor jack, lug wrench, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

Audi A4 (2002-05)
Audi A4 Cabriolet (2003-06)

Parts Required:

New calipers

Hot Tip:

Pre-soak rusted bolts in penetrant oil

Performance Gain:

Car stops better

Complementary Modification:

Replace rotor or disc

If the your calipers are sticking, leaking or you are wearing down one side of your brake pads disproportional to the other, then there is a good chance you need to change your calipers. If you have got to the point where you are changing them, it is a good idea to do a complete brake job and change out the rotors, pads and give the system a good flush and bleed while you are there. Please see our articles on changing your pads, rotors and how to bleed your brakes. This article will cover how to replace your calipers.

First thing you need to do is safely lift and support the vehicle. Please refer to our article on jacking up your car for more information.

After replacing your calipers you must fully and properly bleed your brakes. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE THE VEHICLE WITHOUT FIRST BLEEDING THE BRAKES. Please see our article on bleeding your brakes.

This photo illustrates the front brakes on the Audi A4.
Figure 1

This photo illustrates the front brakes on the Audi A4. You can see the rotor (red arrow), caliper (yellow arrow) and the brake pads (green arrow, one shown).

Begin by disconnecting the brake pad wear sensor from the harness (red arrow).
Figure 2

Begin by disconnecting the brake pad wear sensor from the harness (red arrow).

With the sensor disconnected release the locating plastic pin on the sensor from the mount (yellow arrow) by gently prying it out and then turn the sensor connection sideways (red arrow) and remove it from the metal mount on the caliper.
Figure 3

With the sensor disconnected release the locating plastic pin on the sensor from the mount (yellow arrow) by gently prying it out and then turn the sensor connection sideways (red arrow) and remove it from the metal mount on the caliper. Also remove the ABS wheel speed sensor from the mount (green arrow).

There are two 7mm Allen bolts holding the caliper to the mounting bracket.
Figure 4

There are two 7mm Allen bolts holding the caliper to the mounting bracket. They should be covered with plastic caps; if your calipers still have them, remove the covers by gently prying them out with a flathead screwdriver (red arrow).

Use a 7mm Allen and remove the two bolts (red arrows).
Figure 5

Use a 7mm Allen and remove the two bolts (red arrows).

If you are reusing your guide bolts, check them for wear and tear (red arrow).
Figure 6

If you are reusing your guide bolts, check them for wear and tear (red arrow). It is a good idea to clean them up with a Scotch-Brite pad and put a little white lithium grease on the smooth guide part of the bolt.

Place a large flathead screwdriver between the caliper and retaining clip (red arrow).
Figure 7

Place a large flathead screwdriver between the caliper and retaining clip (red arrow). Pry the clip from the caliper and set it aside. Use caution when removing the clip, as it is under pressure.

Pull the caliper back off the rotor (red arrow).
Figure 8

Pull the caliper back off the rotor (red arrow). Sometimes, the brake pad will stay in the mounting bracket on the exterior pad (yellow arrow) and sometimes it comes off with the caliper. If the caliper is really stuck, you can push it in on the piston side, compressing the piston and giving you more room to wiggle it off.

With the caliper off, you can remove the inner pad if you are reusing the pads.
Figure 9

With the caliper off, you can remove the inner pad if you are reusing the pads. The inner pad has a clip (yellow arrow) that inserts into the caliper piston. Remove the brake pad wear sensor from around the hard lines on the caliper (red arrow) noting direction for installing on the new caliper.

If you are reusing the brake pads (red arrow) you can leave it in the mount (yellow arrow).
Figure 10

If you are reusing the brake pads (red arrow) you can leave it in the mount (yellow arrow). This would be a good time to clean the contact surface of the mounts, as any dust in there can lead to squealing.

Use a 10mm wrench and remove the single bolt (red arrow) that holds the accessory bracket to the caliper.
Figure 11

Use a 10mm wrench and remove the single bolt (red arrow) that holds the accessory bracket to the caliper.

Remove the brake hard line from the caliper using an 11mm flared nut wrench (red arrow).
Figure 12

Remove the brake hard line from the caliper using an 11mm flared nut wrench (red arrow). While brake lines do not need a lot or torque to seal with the caliper, they can get corroded and need a fair amount of force to break them free. A flared nut wrench will grasp the hard line nut on five sides and prevent it from slipping or stripping the nut on the line. The end of the brake line is flared, so if you damage the nut you will need to replace the entire line. Also, brake fluid is really slippery, so be smart and use the right tool. Installation is the reverse of removal. After replacing your calipers, you must fully and properly bleed your brakes. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE THE VEHICLE WITHOUT FIRST BLEEDING THE BRAKES. Please see our article on bleeding your brakes.




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