How to Replace the Brakes on the VW Passat

Few systems on your VW Passat are as crucial to the safe operation of the vehicle as your brakes. The ability to stop your car where and when you need to means the difference between getting somewhere safely and causing an accident. Like all mechanical parts, brakes wear out over time, and need to be replaced. Replacing the brakes on a VW Passat is a fairly simple job that can be accomplished by your average driveway mechanic in an afternoon.


  1. Put your Passat in park or in reverse if the vehicle is equipped with a manual transmission. Chock the front wheels if working on the rear brakes or the rear wheels if working on the front brakes. Do not engage the parking brake if working on the rear brakes.
  2. Use your lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts one turn before lifting the vehicle. Lift the vehicle using your jack until the wheel is no longer touching the ground. Remove the lug nuts and remove the wheel. Place the jack stand where it can safely support the vehicle and where it will not interfere with your work area. Lower your Passat until it is securely resting on the jack stand.
  3. Unplug the connector for the pad wear indicator if your vehicle is equipped with them. Remove the protective caps covering the guide pin bolts. Remove the guide pin bolts using your wrench. You may need to use a second open-end wrench to prevent the inner guide from turning during the bolt removal process.
  4. Remove the caliper from the rotor assembly and set it to the side. Be careful not to let the weight of the caliper damage the brake line. Remove the old brake pads and the retaining clips. Please note the placement of the individual pads during removal to ensure proper placement of the new pads.
  5. Use your brake piston tool to retract the piston. Rotate the piston clockwise while pressing it into the piston housing. The piston must be fully retracted to accommodate the thickness of the new brake pads.
  6. Remove the protective foil from your new pads if they have an adhesive backing. Install the new pads and retaining clips. Replace the caliper and install the guide pin bolts. Tighten the bolts using 26 foot-pounds of torque. Replace protective caps and reconnect the wear indicator wiring as applicable. Press the brake pedal a few times to ensure proper pad seating.
  7. Lift the vehicle until the jack stand can be removed and the necessary clearance to replace the wheel has been reached. Position the wheel in place and install all lug nuts. Tighten the lug nuts until the wheel is firmly seated. Lower the vehicle and verify the lug nuts are properly tightened.
  8. Repeat the procedure on additional wheels, repositioning the wheel chocks as needed. Remove the wheel chocks once all work is complete.