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VW Jetta Rear Disc Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the rear disc brake pads on a 6th generation MK6 2011 to 2016 Volkswagen Jetta with photo illustrated steps.

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2012 Jetta Rear Wheel
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Pull Off Plastic Wheel Cover
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Hub Cap Removed

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 6th generation MK6 (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016) Volkswagen Jetta in changing the rear disc brake pads.

Owners of other VW Group vehicles with similar rear disc brake hardware such as the Passat, CC, Tiguan, Golf, Touareg, Beetle, GTI, SportWagen, Eos, Rabbit, Bora, Vento, Lavida, Audi A3, A4, S4, A6, S6, A7, A8, Q5, Q7, A5, S5, TT and the previous 5th generation MK5 (2005-2010) Jetta 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 socket with a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench, a 15mm wrench or pliers, a disc brake piston tool to retract the screw-in type rear caliper piston (Lisle # 28600), a packet of brake parts lubricant grease and a set of new rear brake pads.


Please verify the correct replacement part numbers for your vehicle before purchasing new pads by visiting the manufacturer's application guide, using the Amazon Part Finder website, calling a dealership or an auto parts store. The part numbers may vary depending on your vehicle's trim level, caliper type (TRW or Bosch) and/or model year.

A few compatible sets of aftermarket rear disc brake pads for the 2012 Jetta 2.5 SE with their part numbers include the following: Bosch BP340, Dura International BP1108 C (ceramic) or BP1108 MS (semi-metallic), Wagner PD1017, Wagner QC1456 or ZD1456, Monroe CX1456, and ACDelco 17D1456C.
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Loosen Lug Nuts
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Raise Rear of Vehicle
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Spin Off 5 Lug Bolts
The first few steps are to park the vehicle on a level surface, make sure that the parking / emergency brake is not engaged, and chock both sides of the front wheels to prevent it from moving.

Then gently pull off the plastic wheel cover or "hub cap" and set it aside in a safe place.

Slightly loosen the 5 lug bolts in the counter clockwise direction with the tire iron.

Raise the rear of the vehicle with the floor jack and securely support it with the two jack stands.

I prefer to work on one side of the car at a time for extra safety.

You may also choose to place the spare tire below the car near where you are working as an emergency back up support device just in case the jack stands fail.

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

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Rotor, Caliper, Bracket
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Loosen Upper Caliper Bolt
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Loosen 13mm Bolt - 15mm Pin
Pull off the wheel to reveal the brake rotor, caliper, bracket and rear suspension.

The brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts on the rear edge facing towards the center of the vehicle.

Loosen the upper caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 13mm socket and ratcheting wrench while holding the slider or "guide" pin in place with a 15mm wrench or a pair of pliers.

Then loosen the lower caliper bolt in the clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) using the same procedure.

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Spin Out Upper Bolt
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Remove Lower Caliper Bolt
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Two Caliper Bolts Removed
Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.
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Pull Off Brake Caliper
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Screw In Rear Caliper Piston
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Remove Old Outer Pad
Carefully pull the brake caliper out of the bracket and either rest it on the suspension or suspend it from the spring with a bungee cord.

Try to avoid stressing, bending or kinking the rubber brake fluid line attached to the caliper.

Pull the old inner and outer brake pads out of the bracket.

I recommend buying the Bosch BP340 rear brake pads since they have excellent reviews on Amazon.

(Please verify the correct parts for your Jetta before buying new pads.)

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Pull Out Old Inner Pad
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Lisle # 28600 Piston Tool
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Test Fit Piston Tool
In order to turn back the "screw-in" type rear caliper pistons, it would be best to use a special tool such as the Lisle # 28600 "cube" which attaches to an extension bar and 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.

Other compatible tools include the Metalnerd Brake Reset Tool # 3272 and the Schwaben 11 Piece Kit # PBK-11PCS.

You could also borrow or rent a disc brake piston tool at an auto parts store such as Auto Zone, Pep Boys, Napa, and Advance Auto Parts.

If necessary, you can get the job down with a pair of needle nose pliers, although this method requires extra effort and finesse.

(Please note, some VW / Audi vehicles such as the Passat B6 require the use of VAG-COM or "VAGCOM" diagnostic software to retract the rear screw-in type caliper pistons. This is due to their electric rear brake actuator motors for the electronic parking brake feature.)

Test fit the various sides of the cube (or the various round plates in a tool kit) to find the side that has the best grip on the rear caliper piston.

It should be the side with the two small nubs or "pegs".



 

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Side With 2 Nubs/Pegs
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Twist Off Brake Fluid Cap
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Turn Back Caliper Piston
Move to the right rear area of the engine bay closest to the driver's seat and twist off the brake fluid reservoir cap in the counter clockwise direction.

The brake fluid reservoir is located underneath the right rear corner of the plastic engine cover and just 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 lines when you turn back (and compress) the piston back in to the caliper body.

Attach an extension bar to the piston tool and a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench. Double check that the emergency/parking brake is disengaged.

Very slowly turn back the caliper piston in the clockwise direction while applying slight pressure. The piston should begin to spin and retract back in to the caliper body.

Repeatedly check the level in the brake fluid reservoir while turning back the piston to prevent it from overflowing. Clean up any spilled brake fluid and rinse the area with water immediately since it can easily damage painted surfaces.

Try to avoid stressing, tearing or otherwise damaging the rubber dust boot surrounding the caliper piston.

If the piston does not spin, you may need to apply more force while rotating clockwise. You may also try turning the piston a tiny bit in the counter clockwise direction before re-attempting to turn it back in the clockwise direction.

If you still can't get the piston to rotate, it may be off center or the piston is "sticking", "frozen" or "binding" to the caliper. In which case, it will need to be re-built or replaced. As a last resort, you can try pulling back the rubber dust boot and spraying some penetrating oil lubricant to break free the rusted parts.

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Pull Out Caliper Slider Pin
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Lubricate & Replace Pins
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Install New Outer Pad
Once the caliper has been retracted until it is flush with the rubber dust boot, replace the brake fluid reservoir cap by twisting it on in the clockwise direction.

Replace the brake fluid reservoir cap as soon as possible since brake fluid is hygroscopic (readily absorbs moisture from the air).

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

Gently pull the upper and lower slider pins out of their rubber dust boots at the top and bottom of the bracket. Apply a thin layer of synthetic brake parts lubricant grease to the smooth parts of each pin before pushing them back in to place.

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 Jetta 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 "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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Install New Inner Pad
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Push Pads Against Rotor
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Spin In Upper Caliper Bolt
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 and the backs of the new pads. Do not apply brake parts lubricant to the friction surface of the new pads or to the face of the rotor.

Install the new inner and outer brake pads in to the caliper bracket and push them flush against the rotor.

Lower the caliper down over the new pads. If the caliper won't fit over the pads, you may need to turn back the piston a bit further.

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

VW recommends that the rear caliper bolts be considered "one time use only" parts that should be replaced every time they are removed. Contact your Volkswagen / Audi dealership for more information or purchase new caliper bolts on Amazon.

At your own risk, you may choose to re-use the old caliper bolts. It would be a good idea to apply a small amount of Loctite "Threadlocker Blue 242" (which is used for parts that require routine disassembly with hand tools) to the threads of the old bolts to ensure that they stay in place.

Spin in the two caliper bolts a few turns by hand in the counter clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

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Spin In Lower 13mm Bolt
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Tighten Upper Caliper Bolt
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Torque To 26 ft-lbs
Tighten the two caliper bolts by turning them counter clockwise (as seen from the outside of the car) to just past hand tight or about 26 ft-lbs of torque.

Double check that both the upper and lower 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 Reservoir Cap

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.

Check the level in the brake fluid reservoir and if necessary, add some new DOT 4 fluid to bring it up to the correct level.

Replace the brake fluid reservoir cap by twisting it on in the clockwise direction.

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Replace Rear Wheel
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Spin On Lug Nuts Clockwise
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Lower Vehicle From Stands
Replace the rear wheel and spin on the five lug nuts a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Slightly tighten the lug nuts in a "criss cross" or "star" pattern with the lug nut wrench.

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Torque To 88 ft-lbs
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Line Up Hub Cap
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Tap On Wheel Cover
Lower the car from the jack stands using the floor jack until the rear tire holds enough weight to keep it from spinning.

Continue progressively tightening the 5 lug nuts 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 electric impact wrench with a torque stick to properly tighten the lug nuts.

Line up the plastic wheel cover with the cut out section for the tire air valve situated in the correct position.

Firmly tap the hub cap in to place. Double check that the cover is securely attached to the wheel.

Sit in the driver's seat of the vehicle and firmly press the brake pedal a few times to restore the brake line pressure. Engage and release the parking brake a few times to ensure that the self adjusting mechanism is working properly. 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 or "bed-in" your new 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 VW Jetta DIY Repair Guides.
 

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