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Nissan Altima Rear Disc Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the rear disc brake pads on a 5th generation 2013, 2014 or 2015 Nissan Altima with photo illustrated steps.

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2014 Altima Rear Wheel
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Slightly Loosen 5 Lug Nuts
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Raise Rear of Vehicle

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the fifth generation (2013, 2014, 2015 and possibly also the revised 2016 model year) Nissan Altima sedan in changing the rear disc brake pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins.

Owners of other Nissan or Infiniti vehicles such as the Versa, Maxima, Juke, Rogue, Murano, Xterra, Pathfinder, Sentra, Cube, Armada, Leaf, Quest, Frontier, 370Z, Titan, G25, G37, M35 and M37 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, a 14mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench, a "C" clamp and a tube of synthetic brake caliper grease.

Please verify the correct replacement part numbers for your Altima before purchasing new pads.


The correct replacement parts may vary depending on the model year, trim level and/or if the vehicle is a four door sedan or a two door coupe. I recommend verifying the correct part numbers by using the Amazon Part Finder website.

A few sets of compatible replacement new rear brake pads with their part numbers include the following: Akebono ACT905, Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1393, ACDelco 14D905CH, StopTech 309.09050, Raybestos ATD905C, Power Stop 16-905, Bosch BC905, Centric 105.0905, Bendix D905CT, Axxis 45-09050D and Akebono ASP905.

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Spin Off 5 Lug Nuts
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5 Lug Nuts Removed
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Rear Brake Caliper
The first few steps are to park the vehicle on a level surface, make sure that the emergency / parking brake is not engaged and chock both sides of the front wheels to make sure that the car doesn't move.

Slightly loosen the 5 lug nuts on the rear wheel by turning them counterclockwise with the lug nut wrench.

I prefer to work on one side of the car at a time to keep three wheels on the ground for extra safety.

Raise the rear of the car with the floor jack and securely support it with the two jack stands.

Spin off the 5 lug nuts and set them aside in a safe place.

Pull off the rear wheel to reveal the rotor, bracket, caliper and suspension.

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Loosen Upper Caliper Bolt
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Loosen Lower 14mm Bolt
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Spin Out Clockwise
Loosen the upper caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with your 14mm socket and 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.

Then loosen the lower 14mm caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the car).

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Caliper Bolt / Slider Pin
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Remove Lower Bolt / Pin
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Pull Off Rear Brake Caliper
Spin out the two caliper bolts, which also act as the caliper slider pins, and set them aside in a safe place.

Pull the rear brake caliper out of the bracket and rest it on the suspension or suspend it from the spring with a bungee cord.

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Rest Caliper On Suspension
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Remove Old Outer Pad
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Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
Pull the old inner and outer brake pads out of the bracket.

Make a mental note of where the wear indicator bar or "squeal" bar is situated on the old pads.

The wear bar on this 2014 Altima was located at the top of the inner brake pad.

I've always had good experiences with the Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1393 brake pads and they have great reviews on Amazon. I also like how they don't require any shims, backing plates or disc brake quiet gel due to the built in insulator.

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Replace Pad Abutment Clips
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Attach "C" Clamp
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Twist Off Brake Fluid Cap
If your new set of rear brake pads included replacement brake hardware, pull the old metal pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket before installing the new ones in their place.

In order for the brake caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, the caliper piston will need to be compressed back.

Attach the "C" clamp to the caliper and use the back of an old brake pad to evenly distribute the pressure across the piston.

Move to the right rear area of the engine bay and twist off the brake fluid reservoir cap in the counterclockwise direction.

Removing the brake fluid reservoir cap will allow the fluid to more easily travel back through the system when you compress back the piston.



 

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Compress Back Caliper Piston
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Replace Brake Fluid Cap
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Install New Outer Pad

Slowly turn the "C" clamp handle in the clockwise direction to compress the piston back in to the caliper body.

Repeatedly check the level in the brake fluid reservoir while you compress back the piston to make sure that it doesn't over flow.

Clean up any spilled brake fluid immediately since it can easily damage painted surfaces.

Replace the brake fluid cap as soon as possible by twisting it on in the clockwise direction.

Brake fluid is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture from the air) so try to avoid having the cap removed for any longer than needed.

Thoroughly clean off the brake rotor, caliper bracket, brake caliper assembly and the lug nut studs with brake parts cleaner spray. Do not use compressed air or blow with your mouth to clean off the brake parts since breathing in brake dust can be harmful to your health. Brake dust can be carcinogenic (causes cancer) if inhaled.

Apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant to any area where there is metal to metal contact such as the outer lip of the caliper piston. Do not apply caliper grease to the friction surface of the new pads.

If your Altima previously exhibited shuddering, pulsations, or vibrations in the rear end during braking, you may need to have your rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or just replace them with brand new rotors. If this is the first rear brake job on your car and the rotors appear to be in excellent condition, you should be able to just replace the pads with great results.

To remove the existing rotors and install new ones, remove the two bolts on the rear of the caliper bracket that attach it to the steering knuckle. Then loosen the old rotor with a rubber mallet, pull it off, and slide the new one in its place.

Install the new brake pads in to the bracket with the wear bar situated at the bottom of the inner brake pad.

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Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
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Push Pads Against Rotor
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Lower Caliper Over Pads
Push the brake pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

Carefully lower the caliper in to the bracket and over the new pads.

If the caliper won't fit over the new pads, you may need to compress the piston back a bit further.

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Lubricate Slider Pins
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Push In Lower Bolt / Pin
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Spin In Counterclockwise
In order for the caliper to operate properly, the smooth sections of the combination caliper bolt and caliper slider pins need to be well lubricated.

Apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease to the smooth section of each caliper bolt / slider pin.

Re-insert the caliper bolts / pins and rotate them a few turns in the counterclockwise direction by hand to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

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Hand Tighten Upper Bolt
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Torque To 32 lb-ft
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Tighten Lower 14mm Bolt
Continue tightening the two caliper bolts in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and ratcheting wrench to just past hand tight or about 32 lb-ft of torque.

Double check that the two caliper bolts are tight before moving on to the next steps.

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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
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Push On Rear Wheel
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Spin On Lug Nuts Clockwise
If your brake pedal previously felt soft or spongy, the brake fluid may be contaminated with water or the brake lines may contain some air bubbles.

It would be best to bleed the brake lines at this time in order to flush out the old fluid and replace it with fresh DOT3 brake fluid. For more on this topic, check out my Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With An Assistant DIY Guide or alternatively the Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With A Power Bleeder Guide.

The brake fluid bleeder valve is located underneath a rubber cap on the back side of the caliper just below the top caliper bolt.

Replace the rear wheel and spin on the 5 lug nuts in the clockwise direction by hand to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

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Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts
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Lower Car From Jack Stands
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Torque Lug Nuts To 83 lb-ft

Slightly tighten the lug nuts in a "star" or "criss cross" pattern with the tire iron.

Carefully lower the vehicle from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

Continue tightening the lug nuts in the clockwise direction to about 1/4 to 1/3 turn past hand tight.

It would be best to use a torque wrench to make sure that the lug nuts are properly tightened. The Altima owner's manual specifies that the lug nuts should be tightened to about 83 lb-ft of torque.

Sit in the driver's seat of the vehicle and pump the brake pedal a few times to restore the brake line pressure. Check the brake fluid in the reservoir and verify that it is at the proper level. If it is low, add some DOT 3 fluid.

To break in your new rear brake pads, just drive normally for the first few hundred miles while trying to avoid any hard or "panic" stops which may glaze over the new pads and cause them to be noisy and/or not perform as well.

It's also a good idea to regularly check your driveway or garage for drops of brake fluid which may indicate a leak, check the brake fluid level in the reservoir, and also verify that the lug nuts are still tight.

For more, check out my other 2013-2015 Nissan Altima DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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