Audi brake pad replacement information

This post discusses the following information regarding Audi brake pads:

Tips on How To Ensure Correct Audi Brake Pad Replacement

How Do You Know If Your Audi Brake Pads Need To Be Replaced?

Depending on your model, most front Audi brake pads have wear sensors that are either built right into the brake pad material or are separate. These sensors may be on one side of the vehicle or both. If you see the Audi brake warning light illuminated on your dashboard instrument cluster, brake repair service is imminent. You have roughly 1,000 - 3,000 miles left on your front pads and Audi brake rotors. It’s smart not to put brake service off. Once you see the light pop on, we recommend getting to the service shop within a week.

Typically, the front brake pads and rotors will wear out more quickly than the rear and need to be replaced more often. When it comes to rear Audi brake pads, they typically will wear out more often on heavier models such as wagons or SUVs over the standard sedan models. This is because the wagon and SUV models have more rear brake bias adjustment due to the extra weight. Most models manufactured before 2010, didn't include wear sensors on the rear Audi brake pads, thus won't cause the brake pad warning light to come on. However, depending on your model, there may be a wear sensor on at least one side and/or both of the rear brake pads.

Whether it’s the front or the rear, the main indication of worn Audi brakes is a grinding metal-on-metal sound coming from the wheel well area every time you depress the brake pedal. When the Audi brake pad material has been fully exhausted, contact with the brake rotor causes a grinding sound. You should seek an Audi brake repair service immediately when you hear this grinding noise. Depending on drive style and other factors, these symptoms typically occur when there are 40,000 to 80,000 miles on your brake pads and rotors.

Proper Audi Brake System Inspection

Are you experiencing pulsing through the brake pedal when applying the brakes? Or a shuttering vibration through the car when braking? Brake replacement is often conveyed as a simple service. Some chain "we-fix-everything-for-less" repair shops focus on turn around – rather than the quality of a brake job. Just slap on a new pair of rotors and pads? Not necessarily. Assuming that your brake issues are as simple as warped rotors could end up costing you more money in the long run. Why?

Road conditions, age, and resulting rust and pitting affect a lot more than just the rotors and pads. Brake rotors and pads are just two parts of a comprehensive braking system. The braking system's main components include brake rotors, brake pads, brake hoses, calipers, caliper carrier brackets, caliper guide pins and boots, brake pad retaining clips, hoses, wheel hubs, brake fluid, brake master cylinder, etc. Spending the extra time and money to properly inspect and diagnose the root cause of brake problems before diving into repair is imperative. Some owners just throw a new pair of rotors and pads on, only to have their symptoms return shortly thereafter because there was another underlying issue. Make sure you choose a reputable ASE-certified mechanic that is familiar with your particular Audi or VW model.

Before investing in brake repair be sure to properly inspect all brake components, in particular, the following:

  1. Caliper piston, which is located under the caliper piston boot. Look for any pitting or rust. If you note any pitting or rust behind the boot, the caliper should be rebuilt or replaced.
  2. Check the brake hoses for any signs of age or splitting.
  3. Confirm the integrity of your brake fluid, its color, and its age.
  4. Confirm brake master cylinder functions. Example: Use an infrared heat gauge to look at the temperature of each rotor after a test drive. A temperature difference often points to an underlying issue on a particular side that may require a more detailed inspection.


Common premature brake issues following brake pad or rotor replacement are usually caused because one of the following areas was not properly cleaned. Be sure that they are free of all debris, rust, grooves, pitting, sharp edges, and are just like new:

  1. Wheel hub [IMAGE 1]. If the rusting and pitting is horrible the hub should be replaced. If it isn't replaced, the new brake rotors won't ride 100% true. Use a brake hub and rotor True Gauge Tool to confirm correct brake rotor alignment.
  2. Brake pad to caliper mating surfaces, the caliper piston, and outside of caliper [IMAGE 2, IMAGE 3]. This allows the new pad to ride true to the caliper piston.
  3. Brake caliper pins [IMAGE 4].
  4. Brake pad to carrier bracket mounting points/contact points, where the pad slides on carrier bracket [IMAGE 5, IMAGE 6]. Usually, a medium grit scotch brite pad is sufficient to achieve smooth surfaces. If pitting is really bad, a minor file might be needed.

PICTURED EXAMPLE: 1 previous owner 1997 Audi A4 with approximately 100,000 miles on it. Service records indicated this was the 2nd brake service performed since date of sale. Note the debris, rust, grooves, pitting, sharp edges. It's important to take the time to properly clean all contact areas and make them just like new.


How to change Audi brakes Step 1

Audi wheel hub [Above IMAGE 1]. If the rusting and pitting is horrible the hub should be replaced. If it isn't replaced, the new Audi brake rotors won't ride 100% true. Use a brake hub and rotor True Gauge Tool to confirm the correct Audi brake rotor alignment.

IMAGE 2 & 3

How to change Audi brakes Step 2 How to change Audi brakes Step 3

Audi brake pad to caliper mating surfaces, the caliper piston, and outside of caliper [Above IMAGE 2 and IMAGE 3]. This allows the new pad to ride true to the Audi caliper piston.


How to change Audi brakes Step 4

Audi brake caliper pins [Above IMAGE 4].

IMAGE 5 & 6

How to change Audi brakes Step 5 How to change Audi brakes Step 6

Audi brake pad to carrier bracket mounting points/contact points, where the pad slides on carrier bracket [Above IMAGE 5, IMAGE 6]. Usually, a medium grit scotch brite pad is sufficient to achieve smooth surfaces. If pitting is really bad a minor file might be needed.


How to change Audi brakes Step 8

Apply light grease to the Audi brake carrier contact areas to slow down rusting. Lightly apply anti-seize to the clean hub to slow down rusting. Lightly grease the Audi caliper carrier pins [Above IMAGE 7].

How To Prevent Audi Brake Pad Squealing

In addition to following the tips outlined above, new Audi brake pads must be bedded in carefully. When new brakes are installed, you need to go easy for the first 150-200 miles. Some customers were perplexed after installing a new set of Audi brake pads and rotors because they were experiencing squealing. They have commented that their brake pedal "just doesn't feel quite right." What's causing this?

Typically, most replacement brake rotors after being manufactured are stored and shipped with oil or cosmoline applied to the brake rotor face. This is done to prevent rust during storage and transport. Often, when it comes time to install the brake rotor, the rushed mechanic doesn't take the time to remove this residue believing it will "burn off" right after you apply the brake pedal a few times. It is important to understand that if the oily residue is left on the brake rotor face you will potentially ruin your new Audi brake pads and rotors. Why? Because the oil residue will embed itself on the new Audi brake pads and become "glazed." This causes them to "slip" instead of "bite" into the new brake rotor face. The glazed brake rotor or brake pads generate more heat when slipping and do not allow for the proper brake rotor and brake pad break-in conditions to take place. This condition will, as well, cause the brakes to feel weak when you push on the pedal.

New Audi brake pads shouldn't be used with old brake rotors (visa versa). Why? The surface area of a new Audi brake pad must come in contact with a flat/smooth rotor, free from imperfections. The face of an old brake rotor is imperfect and has a glazed and scored surface instead of a flat/smooth surface. Using old brake rotors with imperfections will not allow the new Audi brake pads to be bedded in properly. This will result in weak braking performance and Audi brake pad squealing. Therefore, always install new brake rotors when installing new Audi brake pads. That is why Blauparts offers Audi brake pads with rotors in one convenient kit to ensure successful brake repair.

During braking, kinetic energy is converted into heat. If you brake too hard during the 'running-in-period', the front Audi brake pads heat up too much. The uncured bonding agents emerge at the surface where they cause considerable hardening to the front Audi brake pads. A single panic stop creates friction resulting in scorching temperatures approaching 1,000°. Be sure to choose high-quality brake pads.

Audi Brake Pads - Audi Brake Pads Rotor Face

About BLAU® Brake Pads

Blau SS Audi Brake PadsBlauparts' service facility has successfully performed Audi brake pad repairs since 1989 and we can't afford to cut corners when replacing front Audi brake pads. You don't want your front Audi brake pads to cause you problems because of poor quality. We've critically evaluated numerous brands of front Audi brake pads, varying in price and quality, with many disappointing results. You don't have to experiment to find the best setup. We feel that we have the best value for the demanding Audi owner. We carry Audi brake pads for nearly every Audi model. Take advantage of our cost-effective Audi brake pads and brake kits. In some cases, you'll save up to 60% over retail prices by replacing your Audi brake pads from Blauparts.

Audi Brake Pad Features:

  • Improved Stopping Power
  • Low Dust
  • No Squealing or Braking Noise
  • Track Tested and Great for the Street
  • Patented Hybrix® Compound Friction Material
  • Premium Quality Made In Italy - ECE-R-90 approved
  • High Temp Powder Coating - This makes the view through your alloy wheels pleasant for a long time.
  • Metal Shim Backing Plate - Reduces vibration and noise, prevents squealing and warping during high-temperature operation (Dependent on Genuine Design).
  • Chamfering - Eliminates vibration and improves the proper bedding of the brake pad into the brake rotor face (Dependent on Genuine Design).
  • Proprietary Under Layer Material - Absorbs heat, and transfers it away from the friction material resulting in less brake fade during aggressive driving conditions.
  • Quick Bedding-In - With our patented Hybrix® compound friction material minimal bed-in is needed. Just install them and perform 3-4 everyday street stops and you are good to go.