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Hyundai Santa Fe Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to replace the front brake pads on a 2007 to 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV with picture illustrated instructions.

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Santa Fe Front Wheel
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Loosen Lug Nuts
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Jack Up Vehicle

This automotive "how-to" guide was specifically written to assist owners of the 2nd generation 2007 to 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV in replacing the front brake pads.

Owners of other Hyundai or Kia vehicles such as the Tucson, Veracruz, Accent, Elantra, Veloster, Sonata, Azera, Genesis, Equus, Forte, Optima, Sorento, Rio, Soul, Sportage and Sedona may also find this guide to be helpful.

To complete this front brake job, you'll need the following items: a floor jack, jack stands, a lug nut wrench, a 14mm socket or wrench, a "C" clamp, and a set of new front brake pads.

New front brake pads for the 2007-2012 Hyundai Santa Fe range in price from about $30 for "economy" pads to over $50 for higher quality ceramic pads. I've had good luck with the "Wearever" house brand from Advance Auto Parts.

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Spin Off 5 Lug Nuts
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Floor Jack & Jack Stands
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Front Brake Caliper & Rotor
The first step is to use the lug nut wrench or "tire iron" to slightly loosen the five lug nuts on the front wheel. (The tire iron is located under a carpeted panel in the rear of the cargo area.)

Then raise the front of the vehicle with the floor jack and support it with the jack stands. Spin off the five lug nuts the rest of the way and put them aside in a safe place.

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Loosen Lower Caliper Bolt
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Remove Lower Caliper Bolt
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Swing Up Brake Caliper
Locate the lower caliper bolt on the back side of the caliper and remove it with a 14mm socket and ratcheting wrench. Then lift the caliper off the old pads and rotor.

Secure the caliper to the shock tower using some twine or rope. This will keep the caliper from crashing down on your fingers or the rotor while you are replacing the brake pads.

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Tie Caliper To Shock
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Wiggle Off Old Pads
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Wear Bar - Inner Bottom
Pull the old brake pads off the rotor and set them aside. Make a mental note of where the wear indicator or "squeal" bar is located. On this Hyundai Santa Fe, the wear bar was situated on the bottom of the inner brake pad.

Clean off the rotors, caliper and caliper bracket with some brake parts cleaner spray.

To help prevent braking noise, apply some CRC Disc Brake Quiet gel or a similar product to the rear of the brake pads where they come in contact with the caliper.

If your vehicle exhibits shuddering, pulsating, or vibrations while braking, you may need to have your rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or better yet just replace them altogether with brand new rotors. If this is the car's first brake job and the rotors are in excellent condition, you should be able to just replace the pads with great results.



 

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Brake Fluid Reservoir
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Remove Reservoir Cap
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Brake Parts Cleaner Spray
In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, the caliper piston will need to be compressed backwards with a "C" clamp. First remove the cap from the brake fluid reservoir in the engine bay to allow the brake fluid to more easily travel through the brake lines when you compress the caliper piston.
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Disc Brake Quiet Gel
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Compress Caliper Piston
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Install New Pads

Use an old brake pad over the brake caliper piston to evenly compress the piston at a gradual pace to prevent damage. Be sure to occasionally check the brake fluid level in the reservoir while compressing the piston and avoid letting it overflow.

Only compress the brake caliper piston as far back until it is flush with the rubber dust boot.

Install the new brake pads into the caliper bracket with the wear indicator or "squeal" bar orientated at the bottom of the inner brake pad.

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Pull Out Caliper Pins
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Inspect & Lubricate
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Cut Twine
Remove the lower caliper pin by holding on to the rubber dust boot while pulling the pin towards the vehicle. If the lower caliper pin is adequately lubricated, re-insert it and also check that the upper pin moves freely by oscillating the caliper a few times. If the lower caliper pin lacked lubrication, apply some high pressure moly grease or "caliper pin" grease to both caliper pins.
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Lower Caliper Down
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Insert Caliper Bolt
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Tighten With 14mm Socket
Cut the twine and carefully lower the brake caliper over the new brake pads and on to the rotor. If the caliper won't fit over the new pads, use the "C" clamp and an old brake pad to further compress the caliper piston.

Insert the lower caliper bolt into the caliper and tighten it with the 14mm socket and ratcheting wrench to just past hand tight. If you have a torque wrench, tighten both caliper bolts to about 25-30 ft lbs.

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Bleeder Valve Cover
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Brake Line Fluid Bleeder
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Front Brake Job Complete
If your brake pedal previously felt mushy or spongy, the brake fluid may be contaminated with water or the brake lines may contain air bubbles. It would be best to bleed the brake lines at this time to flush out the old fluid and replace it with new DOT3 brake fluid. For more on this topic, check out my Brake Line Fluid Bleeding Guide.
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Replace Wheel & Nuts
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Tighten Lug Nuts
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Replace Reservoir Cap
Replace the front wheel and spin on the five lug nuts by hand to prevent cross threading them. Progressively tighten the lug nuts with the tire iron in a "criss cross" or "star" pattern.

Next lower the vehicle until the tire holds some weight and complete tightening the lugs nuts. It would be best to use a torque wrench or air gun with a torque stick to tighten the lug  nuts to 100 ft lbs.

Get into the driver's seat and pump the brake pedal a few times to restore brake line pressure. Then check the brake fluid level in the reservoir and verify that it is above the "MIN" (minimum) line. Once the brake fluid level is correct, replace the brake fluid reservoir cap.

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.

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

For more, visit my Hyundai Santa Fe SUV Repair & Maintenance Guides page.
 

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