Replacing the caliper carrier pins on my Audi A3
This was a fairly quick and simple procedure to do that I wanted to do on my car. My old Caliper carrier pins had seized up because one of them had a lot of rust inside of it due to a sticking brake caliper. I previously replaced all of the calipers on the car for my MOT, but noticed the caliper pins were sticking on the car so planned on replacement of these at some point
I recommend getting your hands dirty with your car every now and then, it gives you a bit of practice when working on your car and confidence to do future repairs. This is quite an easy task too
Tools to replace carrier pins on the Audi A3
This is a basic job you need the following tools
- Car Jack (and axle stand, or car wheel under sills)
- Breaker bar or impact gun
- Locking wheel nut socket
- 21mm Wheel socket
- Caliper wind back tool
- 13mm Spanner
- 15mm Spanner
- 10mm Spanner
- Caliper pin replacement kit – I use this one from Bigg Red, this is for the 38mm “Lucas Ribbed” style caliper
Changing the caliper pins on my Audi A3
Jack up the car, and remove the wheel. I took the handbrake cable off once the car was jacked up. You shouldn’t need to do this, but it will remove pressure on the piston when winding back the caliper. Always look after your safety when working under the car or have body parts under it. Normally I’d use an axle stand, but it’s one of those jobs I knew would be quick to do. So I simply left the vehicle jack under the car, and put the wheel I removed under the sill near the rear beam where the handbrake attaches to. That way if the car falls it’s going to land on the wheel and not my feet.
Remove the bolt holding the brake caliper to the carrier retaining pin. The brake caliper is a 13mm bolt, and the retaining pin has a 15mm head. You need the second spanner to lock it off, otherwise it will keep rotating. I’m aware the spanner in this picture is a different size. I worked it out in the end it was because my spanners have thicker profiles so kept jamming up against the caliper. Alternatively wedge a screwdriver on the caliper between the nut and this. Then loosen it using the 13mm Spanner.
Realistically you can probably get away with just using a 13mm, as once you loosen the caliper bolt it should loosen by fingers anyway. Remember, lefty-loosey, righty-tighty. To loosen the bolt you turn left from the head of the screw, NOT the way you’re looking at it. So your spanner will be loose going up and have tension to loosen going down towards the floor.
After you have removed the caliper retaining bolts, use a screwdriver and pry the caliper away from the brakes.
The old crusty crap, pull out the retaining pin from their housing in the carrier, including the boot.
Open your kit and remove the new slider pins, grease and bolts with retaining boot
Lube up your new pins with the supplied silicone grease and insert. No grease is used on the bolts holding the caliper just as FYI. They have red loctite on them
In with the new caliper pins. Fit them to the caliper housing then give a firm push to seat them over the carrier. You will see them seated, it’s easier to bottom them out and when you release they should be seated
After you replace the caliper pins, you will need to wind back the piston on the brake caliper. It’s then simply a case of refitting the carrier back onto the car with the new 13mm bolts supplied in the kit
I had to readjust the handbrake afterwards, but the compensator is a lot more balanced now. Prior to this my handbrake was pulling more on the left hand side and the compensator was a lot more unbalanced. Now it’s a lot better. This was attributed to the caliper pin not moving properly and sticking so it wasn’t releasing. For info this is a 10mm spanner. If you don’t know how to adjust the handbrake tensionser, you can read the info in my Handbrake cable replacement guide here. In order to readjust it, just follow the basic adjustment guide as if you did it from the beginning, then the brakes will self adjust.
This has no purpose, just for me to record the mileage the work was done at