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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Brake Pad Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$40

Talent:

***

Tools:

13mm, 15mm wrench, brake piston retraction tool, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench, lug wrench

Applicable Models:

VW Jetta GL (1999-05)
VW Jetta GLS (1999-05)
VW Jetta Wolfsburg (1999)

Parts Required:

Rear brake pads

Hot Tip:

Use a narrow profile 15mm wrench to fit on the locking pins

Performance Gain:

Better braking

Complementary Modification:

Replace brake rotors

Replacing your brake pads is one of the easier jobs to perform on your Mk4 Jetta. In general, you should inspect your brake pads about every 10,000 miles and replace them if the brake lining of the pad has worn down enough to risk damaging the rotors.

If you ignore the problem after inspection and keep driving, the brake lining of the pad will wear away completely and the metal backing plate will start to grind into the metal face of the rotor. Using the brakes during this condition will not only give you inadequate braking, but will also begin to cut grooves in your brake discs. Once the discs are grooved, they are damaged, and there is often no way to repair them. Resurfacing will sometimes work, but often the groove cut will be deeper than is allowed by VW specifications. The smart thing to do is to replace your pads right away.

The procedure for replacing pads on all the wheels is basically the same. There are slight configuration differences between front and rear brakes, but in general the procedure for replacement is similar. In this article, we will focus on the rear brakes.

This procedure requires jacking up the rear of the car and removing the rear wheels. Please see our article on Jacking up your Mk4 Jetta for more information.

When you are finished, press on the brake pedal repeatedly to make sure that the pads and the pistons seat properly. Also check the master cylinder brake fluid reservoir and top off the fluid if necessary. Brake pads typically take between 100 and 200 miles to completely break in. It's typical for braking performance to suffer slightly as the pads begin their wear-in period. Make sure that you avoid any heavy braking during this period.

Shown here is the complete rear brake assembly for the Mk4 Jetta.
Figure 1

Shown here is the complete rear brake assembly for the Mk4 Jetta. In order to replace the brake pads (green arrow), the caliper must first be removed.

Left and Right Sides - The caliper is secured to the caliper mount by two lock nut connections (green arrows) at the top and bottom.
Figure 2

Left and Right Sides - The caliper is secured to the caliper mount by two lock nut connections (green arrows) at the top and bottom. Both of these will need to be removed to remove the caliper. Check that the emergency brake is disengaged. If the brake is on, you won't be able to remove the caliper.

Left and Right Sides - Use a 15mm wrench to hold the locking pin (green arrow) while removing the 13mm locking bolt (blue arrow).
Figure 3

Left and Right Sides - Use a 15mm wrench to hold the locking pin (green arrow) while removing the 13mm locking bolt (blue arrow). Do this for both the top and bottom connections. Once the bolts are removed, carefully pull the caliper off the mount and pads. Keep in mind that you may need to use a narrow profiled 15mm wrench to fit.

Left and Right Sides - Now slide the brake pads (green arrows) off the caliper-mounting frame.
Figure 4

Left and Right Sides - Now slide the brake pads (green arrows) off the caliper-mounting frame.

Left and Right Sides - Take note of the metal clips on the top and bottom of the caliper frame (green arrow).
Figure 5

Left and Right Sides - Take note of the metal clips on the top and bottom of the caliper frame (green arrow). You should receive a set of new clips with the pads. Pull the old clips off the caliper frame and replace them with new ones.

Left and Right Sides - As the brake pad wears, the piston will extend further out of its bore.
Figure 6

Left and Right Sides - As the brake pad wears, the piston will extend further out of its bore. Installing new pads requires pushing the piston back inside the bore. The rear calipers have the parking brake assembly integrated into the caliper. Hence, you also need to turn the piston as you press. You need a brake piston tool as shown here to do the job. Installing the new pads is the reverse order of removal.

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:53:30 AM