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
- 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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