B7 A4 (2005.5-2008)
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A few thoughts on front brake pad replacement on the B7 A4...
Posted by: kmhpaladin (124) on 2017-03-17 17:57:43

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I used this tech article from AW swapping to Carbotech Bobcats and found it was pretty comprehensive, although I had a couple of minor issues that I'm making note of here. The second side probably took 40 minutes at a leisurely pace and I could do it again in maybe 30 without having to defeat the brake wear sensor.

The main issue I ran into was finding a way to retract the piston. The article mentions using a caliper retraction tool, but I could find no way to get my Harbor Freight retractor into the front caliper. I ended up using the piston disc from the kit and a big C-clamp around to the 14mm bolt holding the wear sensor bracket on the back of the caliper. You don't have to retract all that far to get enough room for new pads.

The article is a bit confusing in its description to remove the brake wear sensor plug. I was really careful with this the first time around because I did not want to snap any parts off (having learned this lesson with the Audi plugs in the past). I ended up using two flathead screwdrivers, one at the top rear of the plug toward the car (red arrow), and one to pry the plug out at the seam twisting sideways (blue arrow). The brake sensor can be removed by grabbing with a wrench and twisting around the axis (green arrow).

To defeat the brake wear sensors, I cut off a small piece of wire from the old pads and stripped the ends, then pushed it into the plug to complete the circuit and sealed the end with a finger cut off a vinyl glove and tape. Ok, maybe that's overkill... ;) Then I zip tied the plug back along the wire to keep it out of the way.

I'd always recommend buying a couple packets of anti-squeal brake grease from Autozone and lubing the backs of the pads and the slide pins before bolting the caliper back on. And with the typically dusty Audi pads, I saved a lot of hand scrubbing and cleanup by wearing vinyl gloves. Highly recommended for work like this.

Hope that makes the job go a little bit smoother for people.
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