How to Replace a Caliper in a Nissan Altima

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In a Nissan Altima, or any vehicle, replacing a brake caliper is a risky task. Such maintenance is often best recommended for a trained mechanic. Should you look to replace a caliper yourself, take it up with such an expert beforehand.

Things You'll Need

  • Allen/socket wrench
  • Tire iron
  • Jack
  • Oil/fluid pan
  • Fresh brake fluid
  • Caliper for Altima
  • Replacement washers
  • Small rubber piece
  • Transparent hose

Removing the Old

  • Take off the wheel for the caliper you must replace. Make sure the car is securely on the jack stand before you do this.

  • Disconnect the parking brake cable and lock spring if you're replacing a rear caliper. Disconnect and plug the brake hose, tossing out the washers that were attached with the flare nut.

  • Unscrew and remove the caliper pin bolts so you can remove the caliper. It should pivot up away from the rotor or bracket and slide inboard off the pin sleeve.

  • Remove the brake pads, shims and pad springs.

Installing the New

  • Make sure the new caliper's piston is completely in the caliper body. Turn the piston clockwise back into the caliper if it isn't. Avoid damaging the piston boot.

  • Coat the mounting support with a silicone based grease where the pad makes contact. Install new pads with the shims and pad springs.

  • Install the caliper into position. The pin bolts should be torqued between 16 foot pounds and 23 foot pounds.

  • Connect the brake fluid hose. Use new copper washers with the flare nut. The nut should be tightened to 12 foot pounds to 14 foot pounds.

  • Reattach the lock spring and parking brake cable to the rear caliper.

  • Bleed the brake system to remove air from it. Attach a transparent hose to the open bleeder valve and have another person depress the brake pedal. Close the valve, let the brake retract and repeat until all air is gone.

  • Replace the wheel and lower the vehicle. Pump the pedal several times to seat the brake pads, then test the brakes on the road.

Tips & Warnings

  • You should disconnect the cable from the negative battery terminal before beginning. This is necessary before bleeding the brake system if the Altima has anti-lock brakes.
  • You may also need to drain brake fluid from the master cylinder reservoir to avoid overflow. Replace it with fresh fluid after the replacement is complete.
  • Don't let any brake fluid get onto the paint. Wipe it off immediately if any does.
  • Avoid dry cleaning any brake parts. They can contain asbestos. Run a mist of water over them and use a damp cloth that you must securely discard.

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