How to Replace the Brake Pads on an Audi A4

Written by william zane
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How to Replace the Brake Pads on an Audi A4
(NA/ Images)

The Audi A4 is a popular sedan that competes against the equally popular BMW 3 Series, as well as other mid-size luxury sedans. The Audi A4 uses disc brakes at all four corners that must be inspected regularly and properly maintained so that they function properly and safely. Replacement of the A4's brake pads is recommended every 10,000 miles or so. The job requires a special caliper tool for the rear, which is available from companies that sell parts for Audis.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Floor Jack
  • 4 jack stands
  • Socket set and ratchet
  • Hex bits
  • Pliers
  • C-clamp
  • Syringe
  • Brake cleaner
  • Rags
  • Brake pads
  • Brake fluid

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  1. 1

    Use a lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts that hold on the wheels. Lift the Audi with a floor jack and lower it onto jack stands at all four corners. Finish removing the wheels and set them aside.

  2. 2

    Spray brake cleaner onto the brake caliper and rotor. Wipe everything down with a shop towel, ensuring that there is no excess dirt and oil on the brakes. Cleanliness is important when it comes to installing new brakes.

  3. 3

    Locate the large anti-rattle spring clip located vertically on the caliper. Remove the spring by pulling the top and bottom of it off of the caliper with a pair of pliers. Set the clip aside.

  4. 4

    Remove the plastic covers from the hex bolts located on the top and bottom of the caliper facing the wheel well. Remove the two bolts with a 7-mm hex socket. Slide the caliper off of the rotor. If the caliper is difficult to remove from the rotor, angle it against the rotor to slightly compress the piston in the caliper and create some clearance.

  5. 5

    Support the caliper with a piece of wire tied to the caliper and a nearby suspension piece or support the caliper on a platform of some sort so that it does not drag on the soft brake line and potentially damage it.

  6. 6

    Remove the inner brake pad from the caliper. On the A4, the outer pad will likely be stuck to the rotor. Pry it off with a flathead screwdriver. On front A4 brakes, compress the piston with a C-clamp to allow enough clearance between the new thicker brake pads and the rotor. Open the lid to the brake fluid reservoir in the engine bay. Remove a small amount of the brake fluid with a syringe so that it doesn’t spill out when compressing the caliper piston. Tighten the C-clamp against the piston on one side and the outer part of the caliper on the other side to compress the piston.

  7. 7

    Spray the rotor and caliper with brake cleaner. Install the brake pads in the same orientation of the old ones. Slide the caliper over the rotor. Install the hex screws and tighten them. Reinstall the plastic covers. Use the pliers to reinstall the large anti-rattle clip.

  8. 8

    Repeat the above procedure for the remaining three corners. Retract the caliper pistons on the rear of the Audi A4 using a special tool (see Resources) that simultaneously turns and presses the piston into the caliper. Place the metal knobs that stick out of the tool into the holes in the piston, and turn the tool to retract the piston.

  9. 9

    Replace the wheels. Lower the A4 to the ground. Check the level in the brake fluid reservoir and top it up if necessary. Pump the brakes until the pedal feels firm again.

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