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VW Beetle Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a 2nd generation 2012 to 2016 "New" Volkswagen Beetle with pictures.

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2015 Beetle Front Wheel
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Small Metal Tool - In Trunk
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Insert Metal Hook

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016 model year) "New" A5 VW Beetle in checking or changing the engine spark plugs in the TSI 1.8 liter inline four cylinder turbocharged motor.

Owners of other Volkswagen Group vehicles such as the Passat, CC, Tiguan, Golf, Touareg, Jetta, GTI, SportWagen, Eos, Rabbit, Bora, Vento, Lavida, Coccinelle, Maggiolino, Fusca, Audi A3, A4, S4, A6, S6, A7, A8, Q5, Q7, A5, S5, and TT may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The items needed to complete this procedure include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, a flathead screwdriver, a 7mm hex head socket or "Allen Key" wrench, a "C" clamp, a packet of synthetic brake parts lubricant grease, and a new set of front brake pads.

Some Beetle models are equipped with an electronic wear indicator sensor attached to the inner brake pad on the driver's side. Please verify whether or not your vehicle is equipped with a sensor before purchasing new pads.


A few compatible aftermarket sets of front brake pads for the 2012 to 2016 VW Beetle with their part numbers are as follows: Hawk Performance HB543F.760, Bosch BP1107, Bosch BP768A, Wagner QuickStop ZD1107B, Centric Parts 104.11070, Callahan EBYP10042B, Bendix D1107, Raybestos PGD1107C, Monroe DX1107A, Dura International BP1107AC, Wearever Platinum Ceramic PNAD1107, Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1107, and Bosch # BP768.

Please double check that the new front brake pads you intend to buy are compatible with your Beetle's model year and trim level by contacting a Volkswagen or Audi dealership's parts counter, visiting the manufacturer's application guide website, using the Amazon Part Finder website or by calling an auto parts store.

The part numbers may vary depending on whether your vehicle has the electronic wear sensor, by the model year, and if it is equipped with either rear drum brakes or rear disc brakes.

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Pull Out Plastic Cap
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Lug Nut Covers Removed
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Slightly Loosen Lug Bolts
The first few steps are to park the vehicle on a level surface, engage the emergency / parking brake and chock both sides of the rear wheels to prevent it from moving.

Look under the cargo mat and locate the small silver metal tool with a loop on one end and a small hook at the other end. It is attached to the Styrofoam organizer along with the floor jack and lug bolt wrench.

Insert the hook in to the middle of the black plastic lug bolt cover and gently pull it out.

Set the five lug bolt covers aside in a safe place.

Slightly loosen the 5 lug bolts on the front wheel by turning them counter clockwise with the tire iron.

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Raise Front of Vehicle
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Spin Off 5 Lug Nuts
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Five Lug Bolts Removed
Raise the front of the vehicle 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 for extra safety.

Spin off the 5 lug bolts in the counter clockwise direction and set them aside in a safe place.

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Rotor, Bracket, Caliper
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Pry Off Metal Spring Clip
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Spring Clip Removed
Pull off the front wheel to reveal the front brake caliper, bracket, rotor and suspension.

If you have safety glasses, I'd recommend wearing them to protect your eyes during the next step.

Carefully pry off the metal spring clip from the outer side of the front brake caliper with a flathead screwdriver.

Be careful since the spring clip may fly off and hit you in the face. It would be best to hold it with one hand while prying it off with the screwdriver in your other hand.

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Caliper Bolt Cover
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Pull Off Black Plastic Cap
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Lower Bolt Plastic Cover
The front brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two combination bolts and slider pins on the back side of the caliper facing in towards the engine bay.

Pry off the round black plastic dust covers at the end of the caliper bolt boots with your fingernails or a flathead screwdriver.

Once the dust caps have been removed, you'll be able to access the 7mm hex head combination caliper bolts and guide pins or "caliper slider pins".

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7mm Allen Key Bolt
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Loosen Clockwise
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Loosen Lower Caliper Bolt
Loosen the upper and lower caliper bolts/pins by turning them clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with a 7mm Allen Key wrench or a 7mm hex head socket.
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Spin Out Caliper Bolts
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Caliper Bolt / Slider Pin
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Remove Top Caliper Bolt
Continue spinning out the upper and lower caliper bolts/pins in the clockwise direction until they can be removed.
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Caps & Bolt / Slider Pins
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Pull Off Brake Caliper
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Rest Caliper On Suspension
Set the two caliper bolts / slider pins aside in a safe place.

Carefully lift the brake caliper out of the bracket and rest it on the suspension or suspend it from the spring with a bungee cord or some twine.

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

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Remove Old Outer Pad
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Pull Out Old Inner Pad
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Attach "C" Clamp
Pull the old outer brake pad out of the bracket.

Pull the old inner brake pad out of the piston in the caliper. It is held in place by three metal prongs on the back side of the pad.

If you are replacing the driver's side pads, you will need to disconnect the wire for the electronic wear indicator sensor (if your car is equipped with that feature).

I recommend buying the Bosch BP1107 "QuietCast" front brake pads since they have excellent reviews on Amazon.

In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new pads, the piston will need to be pushed back in to the caliper body.

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



 

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Disconnect Power Plug
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Remove Brake Fluid Cap
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Compress Caliper Piston
Move to the right rear area of the engine bay and locate the brake fluid reservoir.

Slide out the red locking tab on the electrical connector. Then press the release tab on the plug before pulling it straight out of its socket.

Twist off the round black plastic brake fluid reservoir cap in the counter clockwise direction.

The reservoir is located under the right rear corner of the engine cover and to the left of the 12V automotive battery.

Removing the brake fluid reservoir cap will allow the fluid to more easily travel backwards through the brake fluid lines when you compress the caliper piston.

Slowly turn the "C" clamp handle in the clockwise direction to compress the piston back in to the caliper while repeatedly checking the brake fluid level in the reservoir to prevent it from overflowing.

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

Continue compressing the piston until it is flush with the rubber dust boot surrounding it. Try to avoid pinching or otherwise damaging the rubber dust boot.

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Replace Plastic Cap
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Push On Power Plug
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Slide In Red Lock Tab
Replace the brake fluid reservoir cap as soon as possible once you are done compressing the caliper piston since brake fluid is hygroscopic (readily absorbs moisture from the air). Twist on the cap in the clockwise direction.

Push on the electrical connector and then slide in the red lock tab to secure it in place.

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

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 Beetle previously exhibited shuddering, pulsating, or vibrations in the front end 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 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 Torx T30 set screw on the front of the rotor and 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. Replace the Torx set screw and tighten the two caliper bracket bolts to about 59 ft-lbs with a torque wrench.

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Prongs In Piston
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Push In New Inner Pad
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Install New Outer Pad
Snap the metal tabs on the rear of the new inner brake pad in to the caliper piston.

Install the new outer brake pad in to the caliper bracket.

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Lower Caliper Over Pads
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Spin In Upper Caliper Bolt
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Re-Insert Lower Caliper Bolt
Carefully lower the caliper down over the new brake pads and line up the bolt holes in the caliper with the corresponding holes in the bracket.

In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the smooth part of the two combination caliper bolts and slider pins need to be well lubricated.

Apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease to the smooth sections of each caliper bolt/pin. Do not apply lube to the threads at the ends of the bolts.

Slide the two caliper bolts/pins in to the caliper and spin them in by hand a few turns in the counter clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 7mm Allen Key wrench or 7mm hex head socket to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

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Spin In Counterclockwise
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Tighten Top Caliper Bolt
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Torque To 26 Ft-Lbs
Then tighten the two caliper bolts in the counter clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the car) to just past hand tight or about 26 ft-lbs of torque.

Double check that both 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 Plastic Caps
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 fresh 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 near the upper caliper bolt.

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Push In Caliper Bolt Caps
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Line Up Metal Spring Clip
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Re-Attach Spring Clip
Push the black plastic covers back in to place over the rubber dust boots surrounding the caliper bolts/pins.

Line up the metal spring clip over the outer edge of the caliper and re-attach it.

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Replace Front Wheel
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Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts
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Lower Car From Stands
Replace the front wheel and spin on the five lug bolts in the clockwise direction by hand to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Slightly tighten the lug bolts with the tire iron in a star or criss-cross pattern while the front of the vehicle is still raised.

Carefully lower the vehicle from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

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Torque To 88 ft-lbs
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Push On Lug Bolt Covers
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Front Brake Pads Replaced
Continue progressively tightening the lug bolts in a criss cross or star pattern to 1/4 to 1/3 turn past hand tight or about 88 ft-lbs (120 Nm) of torque. It would be best to use a torque wrench or an impact wrench with a torque stick 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 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 also verify that the lug nuts are still tight.

For more, check out my other 2012-2016 VW Beetle DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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