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Kia Rio Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a 3rd generation 2012 to 2016 Kia Rio sedan with photo illustrated steps.

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2014 Kia Rio Front Wheel
Slightly Loosen Lug Nuts
Raise Front of Vehicle
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and also the face lifted 2016 model year) Kia Rio in changing the front disc brake pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins.

Owners of other Kia and Hyundai vehicles such as the Optima, Forte, Cadenza, K900, Sorento, Sportage, Sedona, Soul, Elantra, Veloster, Sonata, Azera, Tucson, Santa Fe, Genesis, ix20, i20, ix35 and Equus may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to complete this front brake job procedure include a lug nut wrench (or an electric impact wrench with a 21mm socket), a floor jack, two jack stands, a 14mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench, a "C" or "F" clamp and a tube of synthetic brake parts lubricant grease.

A few compatible replacement sets of new front brake pads with their part numbers include the following: Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1593, Bendix D1593, Monroe CX1593, Power Stop 16-1593, TRW Automotive TPC1593, Centric 301.15930, Raybestos PGD1593C and ACDelco 14D1593CH.

Spin Off Lug Nuts
4 Lug Nuts Removed
Remove Hub Cap & Wheel
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 the car from moving.

Many of the third generation Kia Rio models are not equipped with a floor jack, lug nut wrench or a spare tire.

Instead they have an electric air compressor with a bottle of tire sealant to temporarily repair a flat tire.

If you have a tire iron, slightly loosen the four lug nuts on the front wheel by turning them in the counterclockwise direction.

Instead of using a tire iron or a lug nut wrench, you may also use an electric impact wrench with a 21mm socket to loosen the lug nuts.

After you have slightly loosened the lug nuts, raise the front of the car with the floor jack and securely support it with the two jack stands.

I prefer to work on one side of the vehicle at a time to keep three wheels on the ground for extra safety.

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

Remove the plastic wheel cover or "hub cap" before pulling off the front wheel.

Rotor, Bracket, Caliper
Front Brake Caliper
Loosen Upper Caliper Bolt
Once the front wheel has been removed, you'll be able to see the brake caliper, bracket, rotor and suspension.

The caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts on the back side of the caliper facing in towards the engine bay.

Loosen the upper caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and ratcheting wrench.

Loosen Lower 14mm Bolt
Spin Out Top Bolt
Remove Bottom 14mm Bolt
Loosen the bottom 14mm caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle).

Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.

Two 14mm Caliper Bolts
Pull Off Front Caliper
Rest Caliper On Suspension

Carefully pull the brake caliper out of the bracket and rest it on the suspension.

You may also choose to suspend it from the spring with a bungee cord or some twine.

Remove Old Outer Brake Pad
Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
Replace Pad Abutment Clips
Remove the old brake pads from the bracket and make a note of where the wear indicator bar or "squeal" bar was located.

On this 2014 Kia Rio sedan, the wear indicator bar was situated at the top of the inner brake pad.

I almost always buy the Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1593 brake pads since they are quiet, don't make a lot of brake dust and I like how they have built in insulators. So they don't have shims, backing plates or require any disc brake quiet gel.

If your new set of front brake pads included replacement hardware, pull the old metal pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips from the top and bottom of the bracket before installing the new ones in their place.

Pull Out Caliper Slider Pins
Lubricate & Replace Pins
Attach "F" Clamp
In order for the brake caliper to work smoothly, the two caliper slider or "guide" pins in the bracket need to be well lubricated.

Pull the upper and lower caliper slider pins out of their rubber dust boots and apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease to each before pushing them back in.

In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, the caliper piston needs to be compressed backwards.

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.

Brake Fluid Reservoir
Twist Off Brake Fluid Cap
Compress Caliper Piston
Move to the right rear area of the engine bay and twist off the brake fluid reservoir cap located just behind the 12 volt automotive battery.

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

Slowly turn the "C" or "F" clamp handle in the clockwise direction to compress back the piston until it is flush with its rubber dust boot.

Check the level in the reservoir while you are compressing the piston to make sure it doesn't over flow. Clean up any spilled brake fluid immediately since brake fluid can easily damaged painted surfaces.

Try to avoid pinching or otherwise damaging the rubber dust boot surrounding the piston.

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


Replace Brake Fluid Cap
Install New Outer Pad
Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
Install the new brake pads in to the bracket with the wear indicator bar situated at the top of the inner brake pad.

Push the two pads together until they are flush against 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 (causes cancer) if inhaled.

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 brake caliper grease to the friction surface of the new pads.

If your Kia Rio 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 bolts on the rear of the caliper bracket that attach it to the steering knuckle. Remove the two Phillips head set screws on the front of the rotor. Then loosen the old rotor with a rubber mallet, pull it off, and slide the new one in its place.

Push Pads Against Rotor
Lower Caliper Over Pads
Spin In Upper Caliper Bolt
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 the caliper piston back a bit more.

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

Spin in the upper and lower caliper bolts a few turns by hand in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Replace Lower 14mm Bolt
Tighten Upper Caliper Bolt
Torque To 20-25 lb-ft
Tighten the two caliper bolts in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and ratcheting wrench to just past hand tight or about 20 to 25 ft-lbs of torque.

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

Tighten Lower 14mm Bolt
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 Wheel Cover
Spin On 4 Lug Nuts
Replace the front wheel and the plastic hub cap with the cut out section for the tire valve situated in the correct position.

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

Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts
Lower Car From Stands
Torque To 65-80 lb-ft
Slightly tighten the lug nuts in the clockwise direction with the tire iron.

Then carefully lower the car from the jack stands using the floor jack.

Tighten 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. Kia states that the lug nuts should be tightened to between 65 to 79 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 2012-2016 Kia Rio DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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