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Nissan Sentra Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a 7th generation 2013, 2014 and 2015 Nissan Sentra with the part numbers.

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2014 Sentra Front Wheel
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Slightly Loosen 5 Lug Nuts
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Raise Front of Vehicle

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the seventh generation (2013, 2014, 2015 and maybe also the refreshed 2016 and 2017 model years) Nissan Sentra sedan in changing the front disc brake pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins.

Owners of other Nissan or Infiniti vehicles such as the Versa, Maxima, Juke, Rogue, Altima, Xterra, Pathfinder, Murano, Cube, Armada, Leaf, Quest, Frontier, Teana, 370Z, GT-R, Titan, G25, G37, M35, QX56, QX60 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, a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench, a "C" clamp and a tube of brake caliper grease.

A few compatible replacement sets of new brake pads with their part numbers include the following: Akebono ACT815, Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1650, KFE KFE815-104, Centric Parts 102.08151, Bosch BC815A, Power Stop 16-815A, Monroe CX815A and ACDelco 17D1650CH.

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Spin Off Lug Nuts
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5 Lug Nuts Removed
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Rotor, Bracket & Caliper
The first few steps are to park the vehicle on a level surface, turn off the engine and engage the emergency / parking brake.

Chock both sides of the rear wheels to prevent the car from moving while you are replacing the front brake pads.

Slightly loosen the five lug nuts by turning them counterclockwise with the tire iron.

Raise the front of the car with the floor jack and securely support it with at least two jack stands.

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

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

Remove the front wheel to reveal the rotor, bracket, caliper and suspension.

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Front Brake Caliper
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Loosen Top Caliper Bolt
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Loosen Bottom Caliper Bolt
Loosen the top caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with a 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.

Then loosen the lower 14mm caliper bolt in the clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the car).

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Spin Out Upper Bolt
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Spin Out Lower Bolt
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Two 14mm Caliper Bolts
Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.
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Pull Off Brake Caliper
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Rest Caliper On Suspension
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Old Brake Pads Exposed
Lift the brake caliper out of the bracket and off the old pads.

Rest the caliper on the suspension or suspend it from the spring with a bungee cord.

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Remove Old Brake Pads
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Wear Bars - Top Both Pads
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Replace Pad Abutment Clips
Pull the two brake pads out of the bracket.

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

On this 2014 Sentra, the wear bars were situated at the top of both the inner and outer brake pads.

If your new set of front brake pads included replacement hardware, pull the old pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket.

Apply some brake caliper grease to the new pad abutment clips where they will come in contact with the new brake pads or the bracket.

Do not apply caliper grease to the friction surface of the new pads or the rotors.

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Lubricate Caliper Slider Pins
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Attach "C" Clamp To Caliper
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Twist Off Brake Fluid Cap
In order for the brake caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins or "guide bolts" need to be well lubricated.

Pull the two caliper slider pins out of their rubber dust boots.

Apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease to the smooth parts of the pins before pushing them back in to their rubber dust boots.

The caliper piston needs to be compressed back so that it will fit over the thicker new brake pads.

Attach the "C" clamp to the caliper 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 cap will allow the fluid to more easily travel back through the lines when you compress the piston.



 

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Compress Caliper Piston
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Install New Outer Pad
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Install New Inner Pad
Slowly turn the "C" clamp handle in the clockwise direction to compress back the caliper piston.

Repeatedly check the level in the brake fluid reservoir to make sure that it doesn't over flow.

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

Continue compressing back the caliper piston until it is flush with the rubber dust boot surrounding it.

Try to avoid pinching or otherwise damaging the rubber dust boot.

Replace the brake fluid reservoir cap as soon as possible by twisting it on in the clockwise direction. Brake fluid is hygroscopic so it easily absorbs moisture from the air.

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.

If your Sentra exhibits shuddering, pulsating, or vibrations during braking, you may need to have your rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or just replace them with new rotors. If this is the car's first front brake job and the rotors seem 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, just 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 two new brake pads in to the bracket with the wear bars situated at the top of both pads.

I recommend buying the Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1650 brake pads. I've had great experiences with them and they are easy to install since they don't require backing plates, shims or brake quiet gel.

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Push Pads Against Rotor
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Lower Caliper Over Pads
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Spin In Top Bolt
Push the two new pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

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

Line up the bolt holes in the caliper with the bolts holes in the slider pins within the bracket.

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Spin In Bottom Bolt
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Tighten 14mm Bolt
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Tighten Bottom Bolt
Spin in the two caliper bolts in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the car) a few turns by hand to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the two caliper bolts in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from outside of the vehicle) to just past hand tight or about 25 ft-lbs of torque.

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

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Rubber Valve Cap
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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
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Replace Brake Fluid Cap
If the brake pedal previously felt soft, mushy or spongy, the brake fluid could 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 DOT 3 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 on the back of the caliper just below the upper bolt.

If you haven't already done so, replace the brake fluid reservoir cap by twisting it on in the clockwise direction.

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Replace Front Wheel
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Spin On 5 Lug Nuts
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Slightly Tighten Clockwise
Push on the front wheel and spin on the 5 lug nuts in the clockwise direction by hand to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

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

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Lower Car From Stands
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Torque To 83 ft-lbs
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Front Brake Pads Replaced
Carefully lower the car from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

Progressively tighten the lug nuts in a "criss cross" or "star" pattern to about 1/4 to 1/3 turn past hand tight. It would be best to use a torque wrench or an air gun with a torque stick to tighten the lug nuts to about 83 ft-lbs of torque.

Sit in the driver's seat of the vehicle and firmly pump the brake pedal several 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 new DOT 3 fluid.

To break in your new front 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, parking spot or garage for fresh drops of brake fluid which might indicate a leak, check the brake fluid level in the reservoir, and also check that the lug nuts are still tight.

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

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