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Honda CR-V Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a third generation 2007 to 2011 Honda CR-V with photo illustrated steps.

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2011 CR-V 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 3rd generation (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011) Honda CR-V in changing the front disc brake pads.

Owners of other Honda or Acura vehicles with similar front brake hardware such as the Pilot, Insight, CR-Z, Accord, Civic, Fit, Crosstour, Odyssey, Ridgeline, TSX, ILX, TLX, TL, RLX, RDX and MDX may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

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

A few compatible sets of replacement front brake pads with their part numbers include the following: Wagner QC1089, Monroe CX1089, ACDelco 14D1089CH, Power Stop 16-1089, TRW TPC1089, Bendix D1089CT, Akebono ACT1089, Honda # 45022-SHJ-405, Bosch BC1089, Centric 105.1089, Raybestos ATD1089C and Wearever Ceramic # PNAD1089.

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Spin Off Lug Nuts
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5 Lug Nuts Removed
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Caliper, Bracket & Rotor
The first few steps are to park the vehicle on a level surface, engage the emergency / parking brake and chock the rear wheels to prevent it from moving.

Slightly loosen the 5 lug nuts on the front wheel by turning them counterclockwise with the tire iron.

Then raise the front of the SUV with the floor jack and securely support it with the 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.

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

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Front Brake Caliper
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Loosen Upper Caliper Bolt
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Turn Clockwise
The front brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts on the back side facing towards the engine.

Loosen the upper caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and 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 14mm Bolt
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Two Caliper Bolts Removed
Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.
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Pull Caliper Out of Bracket
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Rest Caliper On Suspension
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Remove Old Outer Pad
Pull the 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.

Try to avoid stressing, kinking or bending the rubber brake fluid hose.

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Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
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Replace Pad Abutment Clips
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Pull Out Caliper Slider Pin
Pull the old brake pads out of the bracket and set them aside.

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

On this 2011 CR-V, the wear indicator bar was situated at the top of the inner brake pad.

I recommend buying the Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1089 brake pads since they have excellent reviews on Amazon. I also like how they don't require any backing plates, shims or disc brake quiet gel due to the built in insulators.

If your set of new 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.

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Lubricate & Replace Pin
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Attach "C" Clamp To Caliper
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Twist Off Brake Fluid Cap
In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins need to be well lubricated.

Pull the caliper slide or "guide" pins out of their rubber dust boots inside the bracket and apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease to each one before pushing them back in to place.

In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, the two pistons need to be compressed back in to the caliper body.

Attach the "C" clamp to the caliper using the back of an old brake pad to evenly distribute the pressure across the two pistons.

Move to the right rear area of the engine bay (closest to the driver's seat) and twist off the brake fluid reservoir cap in the counterclockwise direction.

Removing the cap will allow the brake fluid to more easily travel back through the lines when you compress the caliper pistons.



 

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Compress Caliper Pistons
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Replace Brake Fluid Cap
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Install New Outer Pad
Slowly turn the "C" clamp handle to push back the pistons while repeatedly checking the brake fluid level in the reservoir to prevent it from overflowing.

Clean up any spilled brake fluid immediately and flush the area with water since brake fluid can easily damage painted surfaces.

You may need to reposition the "C" clamp in order to fully compress back both of the pistons.

Try to avoid pinching or otherwise damaging the rubber dust boots surrounding the caliper pistons.

Replace the brake fluid reservoir cap as soon as possible since brake fluid is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture).

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 (cancer causing) if inhaled.

If your CR-V previously exhibited shuddering, pulsating, or vibrations in the front end during braking, you may need to have your rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or it may be easier and less expensive to just replace them with new rotors. If this is the car's first front brake job and the rotors appear to be in good condition, you should be able to just change 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.

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

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Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
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Push Pads Flush Against Rotor
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Lower Caliper In To Bracket
Install the new brake pads in to the bracket with the with the wear bar situated at the top of the inner brake pad.

Push the two pads flush against the rotor.

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

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

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Spin In Upper Caliper Bolt
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Replace Lower Caliper Bolt
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Tighten Counterclockwise
Spin in the two caliper bolts by hand in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.
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Tighten Lower 14mm Bolt
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Rubber Valve Cap
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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
Tighten the two caliper bolts by turning them counterclockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and ratcheting wrench to just past hand tight or about 29 ft-lbs of torque.

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

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 new DOT 3 or DOT 4 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 upper caliper bolt.

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Replace Front Wheel
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Spin On 5 Lug Nuts
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Slightly Tighten Clockwise
Replace 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 5 lug nuts in a crisscross or "star" pattern with the tire iron in the clockwise direction.

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Lower Vehicle From Stands
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Torque To 80 ft-lbs
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Front Brake Pads Replaced

Lower the vehicle from the jack stands using the floor jack.

Continue progressively tightening the lug nuts in a crisscross or star pattern to 1/4 turn past hand tight or about 80 ft-lbs of torque. It would be best to use a torque wrench or a torque stick with an impact wrench to properly tighten the lug nuts.

Sit in the driver's seat of the vehicle and firmly press 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, pour in some fresh DOT 3 or DOT 4 fluid.

To break in your new 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 for drops of brake fluid which may indicate a leak, check the brake fluid level in the reservoir, and verify that the lug nuts are still tight after a short test drive.

For more, check out my other Honda CR-V Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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