Question about 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible

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Need to replace rotors and brake pads for a 1999 VW Bettle tdi. I have the parts and tools needed. Could you please give me a refresher on how to go about this.

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  • stephenbi594 May 04, 2010

    I think it will work for me, thanks for the help.

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  • Volkswagen Master
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I am not sure about your rotors, but they usually come right off, maybe bolted, maybe just a clip. But the calipers, you have 4 bolts in the back, the two on the outside are the slide bolts for the pads to slide on, and the 2 on the inside hold the caliper itself on there. Pull the slide off first, then the caliper, hang the caliper by a wire so it doesn't pull on the brake line. pull out the brake pad holder,and dump the pads out, they have shims and squealers in there, make note of their position. Pull off the rotor, replace it, Like I said, not sure how yours goes, but,, put back on the caliper with the pads in there, put the slide bolts in and the caliper bolts, Tighten that baby up, you should be all set, some pistons on the calipers are self adj, as the break pads wear the turn out to take up the slack, so if the pads won't go over the rotor, try turning in the pistons, and if that doesn't work, get a big C- clamp and push the piston back in very slowly, it will blow brake fluid out of the reservoir if you go too fast. Now you should be all set. Hope this helps.

Posted on May 04, 2010

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How do I retract the caliper piston?


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Instead of paying $50 for the VW or similar custom tool, you can use a generic $5 import "cube" tool available at most national-chain part stores.
# One side of the cube has 4 prongs. Grind or file off 2 diagonally opposite aka kitty-corner prongs to allow the cube to fit the vw rear brake piston.
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Here is a step by step DIY guide (with photos) from tdiclub.com.
These guys know your stuff. If you own a TDI you need to check out this site.

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=77522&highlight=brake+diy

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Once you undo the caliper you should also find an apex clip on top op the pads.

Once you have done that , slide the caliper out and remove the pads.

To refit you may need to compress the caliper. You can use a clamp, but on VW I compress the caliper using a robust wooden stick as a lever inside the U shaped part.

Before putting the new brakes I use an hand file tool to mill the corners of the pad, this will increase aderence to the rotor disk.

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Replacing the rotors on a 300 what are the steps that should be taken I hear a griding noise like something is lose please advise


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Rate well ;o)

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im sorry bro i find that you needing special tools a load of bs. i may be wrong but i really really doubt it. brakes are easy. first locate the caliper and there should be 2 bolts holding that tight. loosen the top bolt and then take out the lower bolt from the caliper. the old pads should just fall out. remove the master cylinder cap. (the jug with brake fluid in it.) compress the piston replace the old pads and push the claiper back down on the rotor. tighten bolts back up pump the brakes till hard with the car off and then repeat for the other side.

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1 Answer

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


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.

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