Maintaining and changing brakes on your own VW vehicle is not as hard as you may think. but, keep in mind that when you change your own brake pads, there are some other aspects that should be checked also to ensure that your brake pads are safe and dependable. If the brake pads or brake shoes are worn and need to be replaced, chances are other VW brake parts in the brake system may require attention too. The most obvious ones would be the brake rotors or drums and brake calipers or wheel cylinders. Both the front and rear brakes should be inspected.
A quality brake job should cover everything from the brake master cylinder where you add the brake fluid, to the calipers and wheel cylinders.
Changing the brakes include inspecting all the mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical components in both the front and rear brakes. If necessary, replace the front and rear brake pads. Then, inspect or replace brake rotors or disks.
Brake rotors require a clean, smooth, flat surface on the rotors. Otherwise your brake performance will suffer. A rough surface will accelerate pad wear. it will also increase the risk of noise. an uneven surface or variations in rotor thickness can cause vibrations, noise and annoying brake pedal pulsations. Brake drums that have grooves or any kind of damage should be replaced immediately. sometimes, you cannot do all auto work by yourself. Your local auto parts store can help you turn the rotors for these discs to have extra life so you do not have to buy new.
The next thing to do is to check the level and condition of your brake fluid. Changing the fluid is recommended to get rid of moisture contamination. Always follow vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.
Changing the brake pads is the next step. Remember that there are books at your local auto parts store, on eBay, and at any bookstore that you can also buy. These will give you step by step instructions along with picture illustrations as to how to change and maintain brake pads.
First off you need to purchase break pads, which are available from any local auto parts store. You can also purchase the pads from a dealer but they run a lot more than the local auto parts store. There are many different brands of brake pads but what you have to put on my vehicle are the ones that are considered lifetime. These run a little more, but the cost covers itself in the long run. The next time you do a break job you take the lifetime ones back in and they exchange them free of charge.
Do not hurry up. take your time in familiarizing yourself with the brakes on your car before you begin work. it is also a good idea to work on one side at a time in case you have trouble. in that way, you have one side to use as a reference. Remember that your front brakes provide most of the stopping power for your vehicle.
Changing the front brake pads require setting of your parking brake, and block the rear tires so your vehicle will not move. Loosen the lug nuts. using a jack, raise your vehicle and place it securely on jack stands. Then, remove the lug nuts and remove the wheel.
Now you can see the brake calipers holding the brake pads against the rotors. There are 2 pads in each wheel that squeeze the rotor. Unbolt the caliper mounting bolts and pull the caliper back from the rotor. Be careful not to bend or break the brake hose. sometimes the caliper mounting bolts require you to use a Torx or Star bit instead of a normal socket set. These can also be purchased at your local auto parts store and an employee will help you to purchase the size that is just right for your VW vehicle. Plan ahead and make sure you have the right tools for the job to save you a trip back to the auto parts store.
After you remove the caliper, remove the front brake pad and leave the rear pad in place. using a C-clamp, compress the caliper piston into the caliper housing. make sure you remove the cap off the brake reservoir before you do this. this needs to be done so that when you put the new pads in the caliper, it will create a space to put the caliper back on.
Examine the break pads for unusual or uneven wear. These could be signs of a problem that need to be taken care of immediately.
While doing this, it is also a good time to examine the condition of the rotors. You will need to get the rotors turned or replaced if they have deep groves or if you have noticed that the car shudders when you hit the brakes.
Install the new pads in the caliper. Usually it is best to place the inner pad first, then the outer pad second. Before you install the pads back on to the caliper, make sure the piston is fully depressed. Once the pads are properly seated in the caliper, put the caliper back on the rotor and bolt it firmly in place.
If everything is correct, then you can put the wheel back on, hand tighten the lug nuts, and lower the car to the ground. finish tightening the lug nuts in a start pattern so that they are even.
The last thing to do in doing a brake job is to test the brakes. Carefully check your brakes and brake fluid levels before entering traffic. sometimes some air can get into the brake lines when you change the brake pads. If this happens, you will need to bleed the brakes before you try to move the car again.