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Front Brake Pad Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Brake Pad Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$40 to $75

Talent:

****

Tools:

7mm hex socket, pliers, Brake piston tool/C-clamp, screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

Volvo C30 T5 (2008-13)
Volvo C30 T5 R-Design (2008-13)

Parts Required:

Front brake pads

Hot Tip:

Use a brake piston tool or C-clamp to retract the piston

Performance Gain:

Better braking

Complementary Modification:

Replace brake discs

Replacing your brake pads is one of the easier jobs to perform on your C30. 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 so that it appears thinner than the backing plate that the linings are attached to.

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 Volvo 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.

This procedure requires jacking up the front of the car and removing the front wheels. Please see our article on Jacking up your C30 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.

Left and Right Sides - Remove the five 19mm lug nuts holding the tire to the car and remove the wheel.
Figure 1

Left and Right Sides - Remove the five 19mm lug nuts holding the tire to the car and remove the wheel. If you do not have an impact wrench, you'll need to slightly loosen each lug nut with the wheel on the ground. This will make it much easier to remove the lug nuts once the tire is off the ground.

Left and Right Sides - Here is the complete front brake assembly on your Volvo C30.
Figure 2

Left and Right Sides - Here is the complete front brake assembly on your Volvo C30.

Left and Right Sides - Remove the retaining spring (green arrow) on the front of the brake caliper.
Figure 3

Left and Right Sides - Remove the retaining spring (green arrow) on the front of the brake caliper. These can be a little tricky to remove. I usually start at one of the ends (yellow arrows) and slowly work it off.

Left and Right Sides - Pry the two plastic plugs (green arrows) out of the guide tubes.
Figure 4

Left and Right Sides - Pry the two plastic plugs (green arrows) out of the guide tubes. You'll need to access the caliper retaining pins below.

Left and Right Sides - Use a 7mm hex driver to loosen both caliper retaining pins inside the guide tubes.
Figure 5

Left and Right Sides - Use a 7mm hex driver to loosen both caliper retaining pins inside the guide tubes. Once they have been removed, carefully lift the caliper up and off the lower frame.

Left and Right Sides - One of the brake pads is attached to the caliper piston with an expanding spring.
Figure 6

Left and Right Sides - One of the brake pads is attached to the caliper piston with an expanding spring. Pull the brake pad out of the caliper. It may take a bit more force than you think.

Left and Right Sides - Here is the brake bad removed from the caliper piston.
Figure 7

Left and Right Sides - Here is the brake bad removed from the caliper piston. The new pad will simply pop in with a bit of effort.

Left and Right Sides - Remove the other brake pad from the caliper frame if it hasn't already fallen out.
Figure 8

Left and Right Sides - Remove the other brake pad from the caliper frame if it hasn't already fallen out. Take note of the how the pad sits in the caliper frame. When fitting the new pad, make sure the brake lining side faces the rotor.

Left and Right Sides - Clean and inspect the piston (green arrow) for rust or corrosion inside.
Figure 9

Left and Right Sides - Clean and inspect the piston (green arrow) for rust or corrosion inside. Also inspect the rubber dust seal (yellow arrow) for any cracking or tears. If it is cracked, you may want to consider installing a new seal or rebuild the caliper.

Left and Right Sides: As the brake pad wears, the piston will extend further out of its bore.
Figure 10

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. This can be done with a brake piston tool as shown here, or you can use a large C-clamp. Keep pushing the piston until it bottoms out. At this point, you are ready to install the new pads, put the caliper in place and tighten the retaining pins.

Left and Right Sides - Do not leave the caliper hanging by the brake line.
Figure 11

Left and Right Sides - Do not leave the caliper hanging by the brake line. This can damage the line. Instead, use a bungee cord to secure the caliper as shown here.

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