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VW Beetle Rear Disc Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the rear disc brake pads on a 2nd generation 2012 to 2016 "New" Volkswagen Beetle with photos.

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2015 Beetle Rear Wheel
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Metal Cap Removal Tool
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Pull Off Lug Bolt Cover

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 changing the rear disc brake pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins.

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 floor jack, two jack stands, a lug nut wrench, a 13mm wrench or socket with a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench, a 15mm wrench or pliers, a caliper piston tool (Lisle part # 28600), a tube of high temperature synthetic brake parts lubricant grease and a set of new rear brake pads.


Please verify the correct replacement part numbers for your Beetle before purchasing new brake pads by calling your VW or Audi dealership's parts counter, by visiting the manufacturer's application guide, or by using the Amazon Parts Finder website. The part numbers may vary depending on your vehicle's trim level and/or model year.

A few compatible sets of aftermarket rear disc brake pads for the 2012 and 2013 VW Beetle with their part numbers include the following: Akebono EUR340A, Bosch BP1456, Bendix D1456, ACDelco 17D1456C, Dura International BP1108 C (ceramic) or BP1108 MS (semi-metallic), Wagner  ThermoQuiet QC1456 or ZD1456, Monroe CX1456, and Wearever PNAD1456.

Some compatible new rear brake pads for the 2014, 2015 and most likely also the 2016 VW Beetle model years include the following: Wagner ThermoQuiet PD1017, Monroe CX1017A or DX1017A, TRW TPC1456 and Dura International BP1456 C.

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Plastic Lug Bolt Covers
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Slightly Loosen Lug Bolts
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Raise Rear of Vehicle
The first few steps are to park the vehicle on a level surface, make sure that the emergency / parking brake is not engaged and chock both sides of the front wheels to prevent the car 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 rear wheel by turning them counter clockwise with the tire iron.

Raise the rear 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 to keep three wheels on the ground for extra safety.

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Spin Off Lug Bolts
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5 Lug Bolts Removed
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Rotor, Caliper, Bracket
Spin off the 5 lug bolts in the counter clockwise direction and set them aside in a safe place.

To make it easier to remove the lug bolts, you can use a 17mm socket attached to an extension bar.

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

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Rear Brake Caliper
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Loosen Upper Caliper Bolt
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Spin Out Clockwise
The rear brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts on the back side of the caliper facing in towards the center of the vehicle.

Loosen the two caliper bolts by turning them clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 13mm wrench.

If the caliper slider pins turns as you are trying to loosen the caliper bolt, hold it in place with a 15mm wrench.

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Loosen Lower Caliper Bolt
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Remove 13mm Bolt
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Two Caliper Bolts
Continue spinning out the two caliper bolts in the clockwise direction and set them aside in a safe place.
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Pull Off Brake Caliper
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Old Pads In Bracket
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Carefully pull the brake 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 or some twine.

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



 

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Screw In Caliper Piston
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Caliper Piston Tool
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Turn Back Clockwise
This 2015 Beetle is equipped with "screw in" type rear caliper pistons that need to be turned to retract them back.

(Earlier model years may have traditional caliper pistons that need to be pushed back in by using a "C" clamp.)

Find the side of the caliper piston tool (Lisle # 28600) that best fits that piston.

Attach the piston tool to an extension bar and a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.

An optional step is to remove the brake fluid reservoir cap by twisting it off in the counterclockwise direction. Removing the brake fluid cap will allow the fluid to more easily travel backwards through the system when you turn back the piston.

Slowly turn the caliper piston back in the clockwise direction until it is flush with the rubber dust boot surrounding it.

Check the brake fluid in the reservoir while you are compressing back the piston to make sure that it doesn't overflow.

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Remove Old Outer Pad
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Pull Out Old Inner Pad
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Pull Out Caliper Slide Pin
Remove the old pads from the bracket.

If either of the pads is equipped with a wear indicator bar or "squeal" bar, make a mental note of where it is situated so you can install the new pads with the wear bar in the same position.

In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins need to be well lubricated.

Pull the two caliper slider pins or "guide pins" out of their dust boots.

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Lubricate & Replace Pins
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Install New Inner Brake Pad
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Install New Outer Brake Pad
Apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease to the smooth parts of each caliper slider pin.

Push the pins back in to 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 grease 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 rear 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 rear 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.

Install the new brake pads in to the bracket.

Push the pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

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Spin In Two Caliper Bolts
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Tighten Counterclockwise
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Tighten Upper Caliper Bolt
Lower the caliper over the new pads and in to the bracket.

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

Spin in the two caliper bolts in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle).

Tighten the two caliper bolts in the counterclockwise direction with the 13mm wrench to just past hand tight or about 26 ft-lbs of torque.

If the caliper slider pins moves as you are trying to tighten the caliper bolt, hold it in place with a 15mm wrench.

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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
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Replace Rear Wheel
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Slightly Tighten Lug Bolts
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.

Replace the rear 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.

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Lower Car From Stands
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Torque To 88 ft-lbs
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Push On Lug Bolt Caps
Carefully lower the vehicle from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

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 rear 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.

Be sure to record the brake pad change in your vehicle's service records.

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

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