How to Replace a Caliper in a VW Passat

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Volkswagen cars are slightly different from other models. Removing and replacing a brake caliper from a Passat or other VW model takes a different approach as far as the caliper's connection to the brake line. There is also an extra precaution you must take if your Passat has anti-lock brakes.

Things You'll Need

  • Multiple various wrenches
  • Tire iron
  • Jack
  • Volkswagen Passat caliper
  • Bleeder bottle

Remove the Old Caliper

  • Make sure the ignition is off on the car if it is equipped with anti-lock brakes Pump the brake pedal between 25 and 35 times to relieve the system of any pressure before anything else.

  • Lift the car securely onto a jack stand and remove the wheel.

  • Disconnect the parking brake cable if you are replacing a rear caliper. Loosen the hydraulic line at the caliper without disconnecting it.

  • Remove the bolts from the caliper. If they are guide pin bolts (which they will be on the rear), hold the guide pins in place with another wrench. Lift the caliper up off the carrier and remove it from the hydraulic line.

Install the Replacement Caliper

  • Connect the caliper to the hydraulic line and tighten it by hand. Put the caliper into place on the carrier and tighten the bolts.

  • Make sure the hydraulic line is secure, especially if replacing a front caliper.

  • Bleed the brake system to remove air. Connect a bleeder bottle to the brake bleeder valve with the bottle hose, open the valve and hold down on the pedal.

  • Replace the wheel and lower the car. Pump the brake pedal several times until firm, then test the brakes on the road.

Tips & Warnings

  • For the front calipers, torque guide pin bolts to about 25 foot pounds and bolts with sleeves and bushings to 18 foot pounds. For rear calipers, torque the bolts to about 271 inch pounds.
  • Asbestos fibers can collect in the dust on brake parts. Never dry clean them, instead using a mist of water and a wet rag that must be securely disposed of.

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