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Nissan Cube Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to replace the front brake pads on a 2009 to 2012 Nissan Cube MPV with picture illustrated instructions.

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Floor Panel Behind Driver
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Jack & Lug Nut Wrench
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Remove Wheel Cover

This automotive "how-to" guide was specifically written to assist owners of the 3rd generation 2009 to 2012 Nissan Cube in replacing the front brake pads.

Owners of earlier 2002-2008 Nissan Cube vehicles or other Nissan models such as the Versa, Sentra, Altima, Maxima, Juke, Rogue and Murano may also find this guide to be helpful.

To complete this front brake job on a Nissan Cube, you'll need the following items: a floor jack, jack stands, a tire iron, a small flathead screwdriver, a 14mm socket or wrench, twine or rope, a "C" clamp, and a set of new front brake pads.

New front brake pads for the 09-12 Nissan Cube can range in price from $15 for "economy" pads to $80 for "performance" pads. I've had good luck with the moderately priced Wearever brand of ceramic pads from Advance Auto Parts for $48.

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Four Lug Nuts
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Tire Iron Loosen Nut
s
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Raise Front of Vehicle
The first step is to use the lug nut wrench or "tire iron" to slightly loosen the four lug nuts on the front wheel. (The tire iron is located under a carpeted panel just behind the driver seat and in front of the rear passenger seat.)

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

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4 Lug Nuts Removed
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Brake Rotor & Caliper
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Front Brake Caliper
After you pull off the front wheel, you'll be able to see the front brake rotor and brake caliper. The brake caliper is held in place to the caliper bracket by two 14mm caliper bolts.
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Lower Caliper Bolt
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Loosen Lower Bolt
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Remove 14mm Bolt
Use a 14mm socket with a ratcheting wrench to remove the lower caliper bolt by turning it counter-clockwise. Carefully pull the bottom part of the caliper away from the rotor and swing it upwards.

Secure the caliper in the up position to the suspension spring with some rope or twine. This will prevent it from crashing down on your fingers or the brake rotor while you are replacing the pads.

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Rotate Caliper Up
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Tie Caliper To Shock
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Remove Old Brake Pads
Once the brake caliper is safely out of the way, you can remove the old brake pads by wiggling them off the rotor. Make a mental note of how the wear or "squeal" bars are located. On this 2011 Nissan Cube, the wear bars were situated at the top of both the outer and inner pad.
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Wear (Squeal) Bar
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Remove Inner Pad
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Old Pads Removed
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 which may be less costly. 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 Parts Cleaner
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CRC Disc Brake Quiet Gel
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Lower Caliper Pin
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.



 

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Check Caliper Pin Grease
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Re-Install Caliper Pin(s)
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Attach "C" Clamp
Check the lubrication on the lower caliper pin by pulling it out of the rubber boot. Either apply more caliper pin grease to it or re-install the pin back into the rubber boot if it is well lubricated. If the lower pin wasn't well lubricated, you should remove the upper caliper bolt and apply some high pressure moly grease to the upper caliper pin as well.
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Brake Fluid Reservoir
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Remove Reservoir Cap
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Slowly Compress Piston
In order for the caliper to fit over the new thicker 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.

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.

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Install New Brake Pads
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Cut Twine
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Lower Caliper
Install the new front brake pads into the caliper bracket with the wear bars in the correct position and push them together until they rest flush against the rotor.
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Line Up Pin & Bolt Hole
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Insert Lower Caliper Bolt
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Cut the rope or twine holding the caliper to the shock tower and carefully lower the caliper down. If the caliper won't fit over the new pads, you may need to compress the piston a bit more.

Line up the lower caliper bolt hole in the caliper with the caliper pin protruding from the bracket. Insert the caliper pin bolt and tighten it to 1/2 to 2/3 turn past hand tight. If you have a torque wrench, torque the bolt to 20-22 lb fts.

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Tighten Caliper Bolt(s)
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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
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Remove Rubber Cap
If your brake pedal previously felt mushy or spongy, the brake fluid may be contaminated 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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New Pads Installed
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Spin On Lug Nuts
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Lower Floor Jack
Replace the front wheel and spin on the four lug nuts by hand to prevent cross threading them. Progressively tighten the four lug nuts a bit 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. Double check that the lug nuts are tight before replacing the wheel cover and completely lowering the floor jack.

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 remove some if it is above the "COLD" line or add a bit of new DOT3 brake fluid if the level is below the "COLD" level line. Once the brake fluid level is correct, replace the brake fluid reservoir cap.

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Tighten Lug Nuts
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Replace Wheel Cover
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Replace 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, please visit my Nissan Cube Maintenance & Repair Guides page.
 

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