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Hyundai Sonata Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to replace the front brake pads on a 2011, 2012 and 2013 Hyundai Sonata with picture illustrated instructions.

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Sonata Front Wheel
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Loosen 5 Lug Nuts
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Floor Jack - Raise Vehicle

This automotive "how-to" guide was specifically written to assist owners of the sixth generation (2011, 2012 & 2013) Hyundai Sonata in replacing the front brake pads.

Owners of other Hyundai or Kia vehicles such as the Elantra, Accent, Veloster, Tucson, Santa Fe, Veracruz, Genesis, Forte, Optima, Rio, Soul, Sedona, Sorento and Sportage may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to complete this front brake job include the following: a floor jack, jack stands, a lug nut wrench, a 14mm socket with ratcheting wrench and a "C" clamp.

A few of the aftermarket brake pads compatible with the Sonata include the following with their respective part numbers: Wagner # QC1444, Wearever Ceramic # CNAD 1444, Hyundai OEM # 58101-3QA10 and the Silencer Friction OR1444.

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Spin Off Lug Nuts
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Lug Nuts Removed
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Brake Caliper & Rotor
The first two steps are to engage the parking brake and chock the rear wheels to prevent the vehicle from moving.

Then slightly loosen the five lug nuts on the front wheel with the tire iron before raising the vehicle with the floor jack and securely supporting it with the jack stands.

Spin off the five lug nuts the rest of the way and put them aside in a safe place. Pull off the wheel to expose the front brake caliper, bracket, and rotor.

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Front Brake Caliper
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Remove Lower Caliper Bolt
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Lower Caliper Bolt
Locate the two 14mm caliper bolts on the back side of the brake caliper. Remove them with the 14mm socket and ratcheting wrench by turning them clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle).
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Remove Upper Caliper Bolt
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Pull Off Brake Caliper
Once the two caliper bolts are removed, you can carefully pull the brake caliper out of the caliper bracket and off the old pads.

Carefully rest the brake caliper on the suspension arm without placing any stress on the rubber brake lines.

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Rest Caliper On Suspension
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Pull Out Old Brake Pads
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Wear Bar - Bottom Inner
Pull out the old brake pads from the caliper bracket and make a mental note of how the wear or "squeal" bar is positioned.

On this 2011 Sonata, the wear bar was situated at the bottom of the inner brake pad.

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Replace Anti-Rattle Clips
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Brake Parts Cleaner Spray
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CRC Disc Brake Quiet Gel
If your new set of front brake pads came with metal anti-rattle clips, pull the old ones out of the caliper bracket and install the new ones in their place.

Clean off the rotor, caliper body, caliper piston 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. (Do not apply anything to the friction surface of the new pads.)

If your vehicle exhibits shuddering, pulsating, or vibrations during braking, you may need to have your rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or just replace them with brand new rotors. If this is the car's first front brake job and the rotors appear to be 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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Compress Caliper Piston
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.

But first, remove the cap on the brake fluid reservoir in the engine bay by turning it counter-clockwise. Removing the reservoir cap will allow the brake fluid to more easily travel backwards through the lines when the piston is compressed.

Attach the "C" clamp to the caliper using the back of an old brake pad to help evenly distribute the force across the piston.

Very slowly compress the brake caliper piston until it rests flush with the rubber dust boot. Check the brake fluid level in the reservoir repeatedly while compressing the piston to ensure that it does not overflow. Brake fluid is harmful to any painted surface.

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Remove Caliper Pin
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Inspect Slider Pin
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Lubricate & Replace Pin
Carefully pull out the caliper slider pins from their rubber dust boots and inspect them. If they seem well lubricated, re-insert them into the caliper bracket until the rubber dust boot snaps back into place.

If the caliper pins seem dry, lubricate them generously with some high pressure / temperature moly grease or a silicone based "caliper pin grease".

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Install New Brake Pads
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Push Pads Flush On Rotor
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Lower Caliper Over Pads
Insert the new brake pads into the caliper bracket with the wear bar situated at the bottom of the inner pad.

Push the two new brake pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

Carefully lower the brake caliper over the new brake pads and line up the bolt holes with the slider pins. If the caliper won't fit over the new brake pads, you may need to compress the piston back a bit more.

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Insert Caliper Bolts
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Insert Lower Caliper Bolt
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Tighten Caliper Bolts
Insert the caliper bolts and turn them a few times counter clockwise by hand to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the two 14mm caliper bolts to just past hand tight or about 20-25 ft lbs of torque. Double check that both caliper bolts are snug before continuing on to the final steps.

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Bleeder Valve Cover
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Brake Line Fluid Bleeder
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 in order 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 DIY Guide.

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Replace Wheel & Lug Nuts
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Tighten 5 Lug Nuts
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Lower Vehicle
Replace the front wheel, spin on the five lug nuts and tighten them a bit with the tire iron.

Lower the vehicle from the jack stands and floor jack until the front tire holds some of the vehicle's weight.

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Torque To 100 ft lbs
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Check Reservoir Fluid Level
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Replace Brake Fluid Cap
Progressively tighten the five lug nuts in a "star" or "criss cross" pattern to just past hand tight. It would be best to use a torque wrench or an air gun with torque stick to tighten the lug nuts to about 75-100 ft lbs.

Sit in the driver's seat of the vehicle and press the brake pedal a few times to restore the brake line pressure. Then check the brake fluid level in the reservoir and verify that it is at the "MAX" (maximum) line. Once the brake fluid level is correct, replace the brake fluid reservoir cap by twisting it on clockwise.

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 brake pads and cause them to be noisy and/or not perform well.

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

For more, check out my other Hyundai Sonata Repair & Maintenance Guides page.
 

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