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Kia Forte Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a 1st generation 2010 to 2013 Kia Forte with photo illustrated steps.

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2013 Forte Front Wheel
Slightly Loosen 5 Lug Nuts
Raise Front of Car
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the first generation (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013) Kia Forte in changing the front disc brake pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins.

Owners of other Kia or Hyundai vehicles such as the Optima, Cadenza, K900, Sorento, Sportage, Sedona, Soul, Elantra, Veloster, Sonata, Azera, Tucson, Santa Fe, Genesis, Cerato, Spectra, Accent, Sephia, i20, i30, ix35, i40 and Equus 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 14mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench, a 17mm wrench, a "C" or "F" clamp and a tube of synthetic brake parts lubricant grease.

A few compatible sets of new front brake pads with their part numbers are as follows: Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1397, Bosch BP1397, Raybestos PGD1397C, ACDelco 17D1397CH, Bendix D1397, Dura International BP1397MS, KFE Ceramic KFE1397-104, Power Stop 16-1397 and Monroe CX1397.

Spin Off 5 Lug Nuts
Five Lug Nuts Removed
Remove Plastic Wheel Cover
The first two steps are to park the vehicle on a level surface and then engage the emergency / parking brake.

Chock both sides of the rear wheels to prevent the car from moving while you are changing the front brake pads.

Slightly loosen the 5 lug nuts on the front wheel by turning them counterclockwise with the tire iron.

Raise the front of the car 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.

Spin off the 5 lug nuts and set them aside in a safe place.

Pull the plastic wheel cover or "hub cap" off the front wheel.

Pull Off Front Wheel
Caliper, Bracket & Rotor
Front Brake Caliper
Carefully remove the front wheel and set it aside in a safe place.

The front brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts on the back side with the bolt heads facing in towards the engine bay.

Loosen Lower Caliper Bolt
Loosen Upper 14mm Bolt
Spin Out Top Caliper Bolt
Loosen the lower caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.

Then loosen the upper 14mm caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the car).

Remove Bottom 14mm Bolt
Two Caliper Bolts Removed
Pull Off Front Caliper
Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.

Carefully pull the front brake caliper out of the bracket and off the old pads.

Rest Caliper On Suspension
Wear Bar - Bottom Inner Pad
Remove Old Outer Pad
Rest the caliper on the suspension or suspend it from the spring with a bungee cord.

Remove the old brake pads from the bracket.

Make a mental note of where the wear indicator bar or "squeal" bar is situated on the old pads.

On this 2013 Forte EX sedan, the wear indicator bar was located at the bottom of the inner brake pad.

I recommend buying the Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1397 brake pads since they have great reviews on Amazon. I also like how they have built in insulators so they don't need any backing plates, shims or disc brake quiet gel.

Replace Pad Abutment Clips
Pull Out Caliper Slider Pins
Lubricate & Replace Pins
If your new set of pads included replacement brake hardware, pull the old metal pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket before installing the new ones in their place.

Apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease to the pad abutment clips where they will come in contact with the new pads.

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

Pull the caliper slider pins out of their rubber dust boots attached to the bracket.

Apply a thin layer of brake caliper grease to each of the slider pins before pushing them back in to their dust boots.

Attach "F" Clamp To Caliper
Brake Fluid Reservoir
Twist Off Brake Fluid Cap
In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, you'll need to compress back the piston.

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

Move to the right rear area of the engine bay (close to the driver's seat) and twist off the black plastic brake fluid reservoir cap in the counterclockwise direction.

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


Slowly Compress Piston
Replace Brake Fluid Cap
Install New Outer Pad
Slowly turn the "F" clamp handle in the clockwise direction to push back the piston.

Repeatedly check the level in the brake fluid reservoir while you are compressing the piston to prevent from having it over flow.

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

Continue compressing the piston until it is flush with the rubber dust boot surrounding it.

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.

Be sure to replace the brake fluid cap as soon as possible by twisting it on the clockwise direction.

Brake fluid is hygroscopic (readily absorbs moisture from the air).

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

Wear Bar - Bottom Inner Pad
Push Pads Against Rotor
Lower Caliper In To Bracket

If your Forte previously exhibited shuddering, pulsations, or vibrations in the front end during braking, you may need to have your rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or just replace them with brand new rotors. If this is the first front brake job on your car and the rotors appear to be in excellent condition, you should be able to just replace the pads with great results.

To remove the existing rotors and install new ones, remove the two Phillips head set screws and remove 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.

Install the new inner and outer brake pads in to the bracket.

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

Carefully lower the caliper over the new pads and in to the bracket.

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

Spin In Top Caliper Bolt
Replace Lower Caliper Bolt
Tighten Caliper Bolts
Line up the bolt holes in the caliper with their corresponding holes in the slider pins within the bracket.

Spin in the two caliper bolts by hand a few turns in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the car) to prevent from having them become cross threaded.

Tighten the caliper bolts by turning them counterclockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench to just past hand tight or about 25 ft-lbs of torque.

If the caliper slider pin turns as you are trying to tighten the bolt, hold it in place with a 17mm wrench.

Double check that both of the caliper bolts are tight before moving on to the next steps.

Hold Pin - 17mm Wrench
Rubber Valve Cap
Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
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 DOT3 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 just below the top caliper bolt.

Replace Front Wheel
Push On Hub Cap
Spin On 5 Lug Nuts
Replace the front wheel and push on the plastic wheel cover with the cut out section for the tire valve in the correct position.

Spin on the 5 lug nuts a few turns in the clockwise direction by hand to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

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

Lower Car From Stands
Torque 65 To 80 lb-ft
Front Brake Pads Replaced
Carefully lower the car from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

Continue tightening the lug nuts in the clockwise direction to about 1/4 to 1/3 turn past hand tight.

It would be best to use a torque wrench to make sure that the lug nuts are properly tightened. The Forte owner's manual specifies that the lug nuts should be tightened to about 65 to 80 lb-ft of torque.

Sit in the driver's seat of the vehicle and pump 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, add some DOT 3 or DOT 4 fluid.

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

It's also a good idea to regularly check your driveway or garage 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 2010-2013 Kia Forte DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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