Hello All. I'm new to the forum and love this website. It is a valuable resource for all things B6 Passat related. I've recently completed replacing the rear brakes on my 2007 VW Passat 2.0T Wolfsburg Edition using the VAGCOM cable and I thought I would post a How-To on the P.W. site.
I took a look at dhambrick's writeup on vwvortex.com and pretty much followed those steps. My write up covers that plus how to properly change out the rotors as well. Although I'm new to the Passat community, I'm no stranger to turning wrenches and learning how to use new tools along the way. With that in mind - this is how I did my brakes - each person is different in their skill sets when it comes to working on these cars. And as always - when in doubt - ask the forum! Enjoy.
Step By Step - DIY - Rear Brakes (Pads + Rotors) w/ Electronic Parking Brake - VAGCOM.
Here are the tools needed for the job:
- Jack w/ stands
- 3/8 Ratchet w/ 13mm Socket + extensions
- T30 Torx Socket
- Needle Nose Vice Grip
- 1/2" Breaker Bar w/ 17mm Socket
- Triple Square MT14 Socket
(I purchased a set on ebay for $26 - Titan 16138 9 Piece 3/8" Drive Stubby Triple Square Hex Bit Socket Set)
- Large C-Clamp
- 90 Degree Pick
- Cordless Drill
- BFH (just in case)
- (2) 3M Scotch-Brite ROLOC Brake Rotor Surfacing Discs
- Caliper Grease
- (2) Cans of Brake Cleaner Spray
- Battery Charger
- VAGCOM Cable from Ross-Tech. I ordered the VCDS Micro-CAN cable. It works on all 2005.5+ Passats. Trust me - it's WELL worth the $249 investment.
- Download latest VCDS Software + Manual from the Ross-Tech website
- Brake Pads - Wagner Thermo-Quiet Ceramic - #PD1108 - (O'Reilly's)
- Brake Rotors - Brake Best - #980684RGS - (O'Reilly's)
1. Connect the battery charger.
Pretty simple. This MUST be connected to prevent your battery from draining while you perform the brake job. (Ask me how I know) Yes - you need to leave the car ignition in the "ON" position (not running of course) to maintain comms between the VAGCOM and the car. Without a charger in place - the battery will die and trip just about every light and code possible (See "Uh-Oh" section)
2. Connect the VAGCOM cable to the OBDII outlet under the dash on the drivers side.
The Ross-Tech Manual will be your best friend throughout this whole procedure - Make sure you page through it as it can answer almost all of your questions, so be sure to keep it available.
Green is good. Run a quick comms check. (OPTIONS --> TEST)
This is what it should read. K1 & K2 options are not available for this cable - so don't worry about it.
3. Now it's time to open the rear parking brake - yes, YOU NEED A VAGCOM TO OPEN THIS!! (Unless you want to chance screwing up your parking brake motors.)
Pull up your SELECT option.
Basic Settings - 04.
In Group, key in "007"
Hit "GO!" (Click on the Pic to play the video)
I learn as I go. This was the first time I used the VAGCOM and opened the brakes & it went smoothly. Now you're ready to proceed with the brake job. Leave the car "ON" and double check to make sure your battery is charging before proceeding.
4. Remove the lug caps using the 90 degree pick. Take the 1/2" Breaker bar and 17mm socket and break the lugs loose.
Jack up the car under the rear control arm.
Place your jack stand on the pinch weld where your factory jack would normally be used and remove the tire. When you remove the jack, the control arm will travel down allowing you more room to work on the brakes.
5. Remove the caliper using a 13mm socket and a pair of needle nose Vice-Grips.
I didn't have a wrench thin enough to fit between the caliper and the bracket - so a vice grip was used in its place.
Secure the caliper out of the way. Do not let it hang from the flexible brake hose. We will come back to this shortly.
6. Remove the caliper bracket using the MT14 triple square socket.
The 2 caliper bracket bolts are fairly easy to spot on the backside.
If you can get some extensions & fit an impact wrench in there - I would highly recommend it as these are a pain to wrench out by hand. Once the bolts have been removed, remove the caliper bracket.
7. Remove the old rotor. Use a T30 socket to remove the retaining screw. Should it not decide to let go of the hub (as was the case with mine), a few taps with a BFH will loosen it right up.
8. Prepare the new rotor for installation. New rotors usually come covered in packing oil to prevent corrosion while sitting on the shelf. Remove this oily film with Brake Cleaner and a rag.
Next, put a non-directional swirl finish on the new rotors using the 3M Scotch-Brite ROLOC surfacing discs and a cordless drill.
This non directional swirl finish helps to eliminate noises and aids in breaking-in the new pads.
9. Prepare the mounting surfaces. Sand off any surface rust on the hub. Be sure to spray off and clean the ABS sensor behind the hub with brake-cleaner as this has accumulated a lot of brake dust buildup. Put a thin coat of caliper grease on the hub surface - this will prevent corrosion buildup.
Install the new rotor. Secure it with the retaining screw.
10. Remove the old pads from the caliper bracket. DO NOT DAMAGE THE OLD SHIMS!! Unless your new set of pads comes with new shims, you will need to reuse these.
Lubricate the pad-contact points on the shims and reinstall.
Remove the caliper pins. They should pull out fairly easily.
Lubricate these pins with caliper grease and reinstall - make sure to snap the dust boot back in place. Lubricating the caliper pins is critical in maximizing the life of your brakes as it allows the caliper to move freely along the slides ensuring even wear on both sides.
Reinstall the caliper bracket.
Snap in the new pads. I went with Wagner Thermo-Quiet Ceramic brake pads as they're quieter and produce less brake dust than semi-metallic pads.
11. Take the caliper and remove the electronic parking brake motor (leave the electronic parking brake motor plugged in). This has to be done in order to fit the C-Clamp straight on the caliper to collapse the piston. (NOTE: if you have a piston compressor tool, then you do not need to remove the EPB motor. This was only done to prevent damaging the EPB motor with the C-Clamp) The electronic parking brake motor is held on by two T30 torx bolts. Remove the bolts and pull the electronic parking brake motor from the caliper. Do be gentle with this. It should pull right apart.
Secure the electronic parking brake motor out of the way. DO NOT TRY TO MANIPULATE THE ELECTRONIC PARKING BRAKE SHAFT OR OUTLET IN ANY WAY. LEAVE IT ALONE. IT MUST GO BACK TOGETHER THE SAME WAY IT CAME APART!
Go under the hood and remove the brake fluid cap off the reservoir and place a wadded up rag over the filler hole - this will prevent any backsplash of fluid from collapsing the piston.
Position the C-Clamp on the caliper. I put the screw end of the C-Clamp on the piston just so that there was no chance of inadvertently turning the now exposed parking brake gear. Using the C-Clamp, SLOWLY compress the piston all the way down. Do not twist the piston.
While compressing - you will likely hear the car dinging at you and the brake light will come on and / or start to flash. Don't worry, this will all go away after you close and cycle the parking brake. NOTE: You DO NOT NEED to open the bleeders at any time while changing out the rear brakes. Should you choose to bleed the brakes, do so after you've returned the electronic parking brake to normal operating status. (i.e. NOT WHILE OPENED!)
The electronic parking brake motor is sealed to the caliper with a black rubber o-ring to prevent moisture and dirt from getting inside the electronic motor. It's important to maintain this seal. Lubricate this o-ring with caliper grease.
Same with the mating surface of the parking brake motor. This will ease the installation process and promote a good seal.
Put the electronic parking brake motor back on the caliper. It should go back together without any issues.
12. Lubricate all contact points on the caliper, piston head, and brake pad backings.
Reinstall the caliper. Ensure all bolts are tightened. Check the caliper slides. (see video - click the pic below)
13. Put the wheel back on. Repeat for the other side. REMEMBER TO PUT THE CAP BACK ON YOUR BRAKE FLUID RESERVOIR AFTER COMPLETING THE INSTALLATION!! Lower the car from the jack stands, and torque your wheel lugs down.
14. Pull up your VAGCOM control window. It should still be on the electronic parking brake controller. Key in "006" in Group and hit GO! (Sorry no pic) You will hear the parking brake close. The car should chime once it's closed indicating that the system is restored. Wait a good minute or two after the brake closes before closing out and disconnecting the VAGCOM just to be safe. After you've restored your electronic parking brake, pump the brakes a few times to ensure brake fluid is back in the calipers.
The parking brake is now fully functional. Go ahead and cycle it a couple times from the dash button. If everything checks out - you should be good to go. Start it up and go for a test drive.
Now pat yourself on the back for saving a few hundred dollars on an otherwise $550 dealership job.
Now, If you had an Uh-Oh…
If you inadvertently tripped a few lights & codes because you forgot to double check that the charger was actually charging before you started the brake job (like what happened to me), give yourself a face-palm and don't panic. The car is probably dead.
Here's what I did: (Use at your own risk)
Close out and disconnect the VAGCOM.
Disconnect the battery from the car.
Put the charger on the battery for a few hours and let it charge up completely.
Reconnect the battery to the car - reconnect the battery charger - keep it on a medium steady charge.
Put the key to the "ON" position. (Notice that almost every dash light that can come on - stays on - again don't panic)
Reconnect the VAGCOM.
Run an Auto-Scan from the main menu for your Passat.
After the VAGCOM runs the scan, scroll to the top of the list to get the diagnostic summary.
- Laugh at yourself when almost EVERY SYSTEM pulls up a fault code from the low voltage.
A fault in any system in the diagnostic summary will appear in red text. Simply double click on the red text and clear the codes.
NOTE: The (G85) Steering Angle Sensor Fault (Orange Steering Wheel light on the dash) will reset itself as soon as you drive a few feet - It cannot be reset with the VAGCOM.
With the codes clear, proceed with the step to close the parking brake (Where you left off before it died)
It took me a little while to figure it all out with the battery going dead on me, but if a VAGCOM rookie like me can do it with nothing more than a Ross-Tech manual, you should have no problems doing it yourself - even if you manage to screw it up a bit. I was able to get everything back to normal after seriously screwing this procedure up. Lesson Learned: Double check your work every step of the way.