2011-2019 Volkswagen Jetta Front Brake Pads and Rotor Replacement
Neglecting to change the brakes can result in the failure of other brake parts. Always check the condition of your brakes when there is noise, or the brakes feel like they are not operating normally. This guide provides instructions on replacing the front brake pads and rotors on a 2019 A6 Volkswagen Jetta. Brakes need to be replaced when pads are low.
This brake job applies to Volkswagen Jetta years: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and other similar VW models. Sixth generation (A6, Type 5C6; introduced in 2011)
What you will need
- Breaker bar
- Impact gun
- Flathead screwdriver
- Channel-lock pliers
- Ratchet and 17mm, 21mm socket
- Torx 30 bit
- Hex 7mm bit
- Brake piston compressor
- Brake caliper hanger
- Brake Pads
- Brake Rotors
- Brake caliper grease
- Brake parts cleaner
- Shop towels
- Loosen the lug studs of the wheels with a 17mm socket and breaker bar or impact gun. Some models have a wheel lock key, locate the key and use it to loosen the lug studs.
- Jack up the front of the vehicle and use the pinch welds at the very front of the vehicle. Secure the vehicle with jack stands. Put a wheel chock on the rear wheels and use the emergency brake to stop the vehicle from moving.
- Use a flathead screwdriver for popping the spring clip out of the caliper. To avoid getting hit by the clip, keep your face away from it. Alternatively, to safely remove the spring, use a pair of channel-lock pliers to compress the spring and pull it out.
- Remove the Torx screw in the middle face of the rotor. Be careful not to strip this screw by using a Torx 30-bit and a ratchet. Hold the rotor to keep it from spinning while loosening the Torx screw. If you are having trouble with this screw, an impact driver might be necessary to remove it. If the screw is stripped, it must be drilled out to get the rotor off.
- Use a C-clamp around the caliper and on the brake pad face to compress the caliper enough to pull the caliper off of the rotor. Alternatively, stick a big flathead screwdriver or pry bar through the top of the caliper and pry against the pad to compress the piston in the caliper.
- Remove the plastic dust caps from the back of the caliper guide pins with a screwdriver. Use a 7mm hex bit and ratchet to loosen the two guide pins through the back of the caliper. Loosen both completely until the brake caliper slides off of the rotor.
- Use a C-clamp or brake piston compressor to compress the brake caliper piston. It is important to do this with the old pad so no damage occurs to the face of the new one. Hang the caliper securely with a hanger or wire; the strut is a good place to attach the hanger.
- Remove the old brake pads; one is in the caliper bracket, and the other inserts into the brake caliper piston using clips. Pull it out of the caliper. Loosen the two 21mm bracket bolts and remove the bracket from around the rotor.
- Remove the brake rotor from the wheel hub. If it is stuck on, use a hammer and gently tap around the rotor’s face where it meets the wheel hub.
- Replace the rotor with the new one. Make sure to use brake parts cleaner and clean the entire surface where the pads will touch. Rotors are stored with an oil film to prevent rust, which is an important step. Do not forget to do this!
- Insert the Torx 30 screw back into the rotor and tighten the new rotor to the wheel hub. This wheel keeps everything lined up during the reassembling process and prevents it from moving.
- Reinstall the caliper bracket on the steering knuckle over the rotor. Torque the two bolts to specification—usually around 80 ft-lbs. Install new brake hardware onto the caliper brackets. Grease lightly; be sure not to get grease on the friction surfaces where the rotors or pads touch!
- Remove the guide pins from the caliper and clean them with brake parts cleaner; use fresh brake caliper grease to grease the pins and reinsert them.
- Install the new brake pads. One sits on the front of the caliper bracket, and the other, with the clip on the pad’s back face, inserts into the brake caliper’s piston.
- Reinstall the brake caliper and torque to specification. Put the wheel back on the hub and tighten the wheel studs.
- Change the brakes on the other side of the vehicle by repeating this process.
- Jack the vehicle up and remove the jack stands. Lower the vehicle until the wheels touch the ground and torque the wheel studs to specification. Lower the vehicle to the ground after torquing and remove the rear wheel chock.
- Make sure to pump the brakes before starting the vehicle! Start the vehicle and test your new brake job on a test drive. You are done!
- Brake caliper guide pins: 40 ft-lbs
- Brake caliper bracket: 80 ft-lbs
Is it time to replace the brakes on my Volkswagen Jetta?
If there is an audible squeal coming from the brakes while driving, this is an indicator the pads are low. The pads and usually the rotors will need to be changed as soon as possible.
A visual check of how much thickness is left on the brake pads. Other brake noises can be caused by dust buildup or warped rotors and may not indicate a low pad. Check for grooves on rotors; if grooves are significant enough, they can be felt when running your finger across it is a good idea to do a brake job.
Can I reuse the brake rotors on my Volkswagen Jetta?
Often, manufacturers do not make rotors where that can be reused anymore. The rotors manufactured today are made so that they wear out during the same interval as the brake pads. Finding a place that resurfaces brake rotors is difficult, even when there is enough “meat” to be reused. It is a dying art; most likely, the rotors will have to be replaced with new ones.
We hope you find the 2011-2019 Volkswagen Jetta Front Brake Pads and Rotor Replacement. guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your Volkswagen.