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Kia Soul Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a first generation 2009 to 2013 Kia Soul with photo illustrated steps.

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2013 Soul Front Wheel
Loosen 5 Lug Nuts
Raise Front of Vehicle
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 1st generation (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013) Kia Soul in changing the front disc brake pads.

Owners of other Kia and Hyundai vehicles with similar front brake hardware such as the Forte, Cadenza, Rio, Optima, Sedona, Sorento, Sportage, Sonata, Accent, Elantra, Veloster, Azera, Tucson, Santa Fe, Genesis and the new second generation 2014 Kia Soul may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a floor jack with two jack stands, a lug nut wrench, a 14mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench, a "C" or "F" clamp, brake parts cleaner spray and a tube of high temperature brake parts lubricant grease.


A few compatible sets of new front brake pads with their part numbers are as follows: Wagner ThermoQuiet QC924A, ACDelco 17D924C, Monroe DX924, Akebono ACT924, Raybestos PGD924C, Centric 105.0924, Dura International BP924 C, TRW TPC0924, Power Stop # 16-924, ACDelco 17D924C, Wearever Ceramic PNAD924 and Wagner ZD924A.
Spin Off 5 Lug Nuts
Lug Nuts Removed
Rotor, Bracket, Caliper
The first few steps are to park the vehicle on a level surface, engage the emergency / parking brake and chock the rear wheels to prevent it from moving.

Then slightly loosen the 5 lug nuts on the front wheel by turning them counter clockwise with the tire iron.

Raise the front 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 vehicle at a time and keep three wheels on the ground for extra safety.

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

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

Front Brake Caliper
Loosen Upper Caliper Bolt
Loosen Lower 14mm Bolt
The brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts on the back side of the caliper facing towards the engine.

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

Then loosen the lower 14mm caliper bolt in the clockwise direction.

Spin Out Lower Bolt
Remove Lower 14mm Bolt
Pull Off Front Caliper
Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.

Pull the caliper out of the bracket and off the old brake pads.

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

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

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

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

On this 2013 Kia Soul, the wear indicator bar was situated at the top of the inner brake pad.

I recommend buying the Wagner ThermoQuiet QC924A brake pads since they have excellent reviews on Amazon.

Replace Anti-Rattle Clips
Pull Out Caliper Slider Pin
Lube & Replace Both Pins
If your set of new front brake pads included replacement hardware, pull the old metal pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket and install the new ones in their place.

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

Pull the 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 to place.


Attach "C" Clamp
Remove Brake Fluid Cap
Compress Caliper Piston
In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, the caliper piston will need 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 force across the 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.

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

Slowly turn the "F" clamp handle to push the piston back in to the caliper while repeatedly checking the level in the brake fluid reservoir to prevent it from overflowing.

Clean up any spilled brake fluid immediately and flush the area with water since brake fluid can easily damage painted surfaces.

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

Replace Brake Fluid Cap
Install New Outer Pad
Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
Replace the brake fluid cap as soon as possible by twisting it on in the clockwise direction since brake fluid is hygroscopic (readily absorbs moisture from the air).

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 Soul previously exhibited shuddering, pulsating, or vibrations in the front end during braking, you may need to have your rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or it may make more sense to 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 two 17mm 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.

Apply a thin layer of brake caliper grease to any area where there is metal to metal contact such as the outer lip of the caliper piston and the back 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 brake pads in to the caliper bracket with the wear bar situated at the top of the inner pad.

Push Pads Against Rotor
Lower Caliper Over Pads
Spin In upper Caliper Bolt
Push the two pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

Lower the brake 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 piston back a bit further.

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

Replace Lower Caliper Bolt
Tighten Upper Caliper Bolt
Tighten Counter Clockwise
Spin in the two caliper bolts a few turns by hand in the counter clockwise direction to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the caliper bolts in the counter clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and ratcheting wrench to just past hand tight or about 25 ft-lbs of torque.

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

Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
Replace Front Wheel
Spin On 5 Lug Nuts

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 3 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 upper caliper bolt.

Replace the front wheel and spin on the 5 lug nuts in the clockwise direction.

Slightly Tighten Clockwise
Lower Vehicle
Torque To 80 ft-lbs
Slightly tighten the 5 lug nuts in a criss cross or "star" pattern with the tire iron.

Lower the vehicle from the jack stands using the floor jack.

Continue progressively tightening the lug nuts in a criss cross or star pattern to 1/4 turn past hand tight or about 80 ft-lbs of torque. It would be best to use a torque wrench or a torque stick with an impact wrench 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 3 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 verify that the lug nuts are still tight after a short test drive.

For more, check out my other Kia Soul DIY Maintenance Guides.

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