How to Change the Brake Pads on an Audi A6

Updated July 19, 2017

The Audi A6 is a popular German sedan that is prized for its quality, safety and performance. Like any Audi, the A6's brake pads are extremely important components in its braking system. The A6's brake pads should be replaced every 10,000 miles or so. This can be done by a professional shop or the home mechanic with the right tools and approach.

Use a tire iron or a socket and a ratchet to loosen the lug nuts that fasten the wheels to the vehicle. Raise the Audi with a floor jack and lower it onto jack stands. You can either lower all four corners of the car onto jack stands or do the front and then the rear. Finish removing the wheels and set them aside.

Spray brake cleaner on the brake components at the corner of the vehicle where you are working and wipe everything down, including the rotor, the caliper and any nearby components.

Remove the brake pad retaining clips with a pair of pliers. The clip is located on the side of the caliper opposite of the rotor. Pull out the ends of the clip and rotate it to remove it.

Disconnect the wire for the pad wear sensor from the brakes. Make a note of how the wire is held in place and also how it is routed for later reinstallation. To disconnect the wire itself from the brakes pry up the plastic arm on the outer side of the connector and then rotate it 90 degrees to free it, rocking it a little to help remove it.

Disconnect the wire connector itself by using a flathead screwdriver to raise the tab on the connector up and then wiggle the wires on either side apart.

Remove the lid for the master cylinder reservoir, located in the engine bay. Use a syringe or a turkey baster to remove some of the brake fluid, transferring the fluid to a clean container for later reuse.

Place one side of a C-clamp onto the outer brake pad and the other side of the C-clamp on the outer part of the caliper. Tighten the clamp until the pad presses the caliper piston into the caliper. Repeat for the inner brake pad. The caliper should slide back and forth freely once the pistons are compressed. Remove the old brake pads by sliding them up and out of the caliper. Carefully pry the inner pad off the rotor with a flathead screwdriver.

Install the new pads in the opposite order that the old ones were removed. Apply a layer of anti-squeal lubricant to the inner pad. Reinstall the pad wear sensor wire on the new pad and correctly route the wire. Reinstall the brake pad retaining clip in the opposite order of removal.

Repeat the above steps for the remaining corners of the vehicle. Top up the brake fluid reservoir with brake fluid and replace the lid. Pump the brake pedal until the brakes feel firm again.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Socket set and ratchet
  • Brake cleaner
  • Rags
  • C-clamp
  • Anti-squeal compound
  • Brake fluid
  • New brake pads
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About the Author

William Zane has been a freelance writer and photographer for over six years and specializes primarily in automotive-related subject matter among many other topics. He has attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where he studied automotive design, and the University of New Mexico, where he studied journalism.