Question about 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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Do i need special tool to change the front break pad?

I want to change the break for my 2003 jetta TDi 1.9 diesel. how can i do my self. how much time do you have to change it after your light become on?

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I'm going to assume you are talking about the front brakes since the brake pad warning light is wired to the front drivers side brake pad. Is this is the case you shouldn't put off changing the brake pads and rotors too long after the warning light comes on because you don't want to damage the caliper and cost yourself more money. Do them atleast within the next 500 miles if not earlier. The front brakes on the Jetta are standard single piston disc brakes. Buy decent new brake pads and you might as well buy new rotors instead of getting the old ones turned down (resurfaced, makes them thinner). You should also buy new brake fluid (good stuff) and flush the lines since VW recommends changing it every two years and it keeps the brake system clean and free of corrosion (saves money in the long term). Then you just jack up the vehicle, pop off the tire, loosen the caliper bolts, pull off the caliper making sure to still support it so the brake line doesn't get damaged (rig something up to hang it off the spring on the strut, i.e. bent metal clothes hanger), remove the one screw that holds on the rotor, pull off the old rotor, and remove old pads. There will be a pad sensor wire on the left front that you need to take off too. At this point you might need to push in the caliper piston in order to get the new pads seated correctly. There is no trick on the front calipers like the rear ones (the rear ones need you to turn the piston while pushing it in and is easiest to do with a special tool). You can use and old c-clamp or borrow a caliper tool fron a local auto parts store for the front. You should mount the new rotor first, then you might want to open the brake fluid reservoir (in the engine bay at the back, i.e. closest to cabin, in front of the driver), push the caliper piston back in, mount the new pads by usually sliding them on (use some brake quiet on the back if they don't have anything on them already), and put the caliper back on. The new pads might have the attachment for the sensor. You need to find out all the tightening values for all the bolts you remove and the best way for this is to buy the Bentley factory repair manual for your car (about $80). This will have the procedure I just outlined. It will also tell you how to change the brake fluid. The website forums.tdiclub.com will also have lots of answers for you and probably has pictures on how to do the work. I also recommend worldimpex.com or germanautoparts.com to buy whatever parts you need.

One thing I should mention, the rear brakes in these cars wear out long before the front brakes. If you have never had those serviced you should really look at them too. They may be down to metal on metal if the fronts are worn out.

Posted on Sep 09, 2008

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