2005 Nissan Altima Replace the Brake Pads

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The 2005 Nissan Altima comes equipped with four-wheel disc brakes. Using disc-type brakes in the rear as well as the front increases the Altima's stopping power. Servicing the brake pads is a simple matter of removing the wheels. There is no need to tear apart any of the brake components to just replace the pads, and you should be able to complete this task in under an hour. The procedure for replacing the front and rear pads differs slightly.

[edit] Tools Used

Tools
Jack
Jack stand
Lug wrench
Brake cleaner
Drain pan
Socket set
Torque wrench

[edit] Replace the Brake Pads

Front

  • Loosen the lug nuts on both front wheels with a lug nut wrench. Raise the front of the vehicle with a jack and support the front wheels with jack stands. Completely remove the lug nuts then the front wheels.
  • Spray the entire brake assembly and surrounding parts with liberal amounts of brake cleaner. Place a pan below the area to catch the cleaner.
  • Open the cap on the master cylinder. This is the container in the engine compartment where you add brake fluid. Opening the cap allows pressure to be released when you depress the caliper cylinders.
  • Remove the lower pin bolt. You will access this from the interior side of the brake caliper; turn it counterclockwise to remove it. This is what holds the caliper in place on the rotor.
  • Rotate the caliper up and off the rotor, then secure it in place with a piece of wire or string.
  • Remove the inner and outer pads, shims and shim covers. Pay attention to their placement for reinstallation later.
  • Apply anti-squeak grease to the back of the new pads, the shim and the shim cover, then attach the shim and the shim cover. The grease should come with the new pads. If not, ask for it at the auto parts store.
  • Place the pads into the caliper, ensuring they are fully secured with the spring clips. Make sure you insert the top pad retainers into the wire loop on the wear indicator.
  • Rotate the caliper back down onto the rotor and replace the lower pin bolt. Tighten it to 16 foot-pounds of torque. Repeat the procedure on the opposite side.
  • Check the fluid level in the master cylinder. If any was lost during the procedure, replace it with new fluid. Remount the wheel with its lug nuts then lower the car. Tighten the lug nuts completely with the lug nut wrench. Drive the car both forward and in reverse, frequently applying the brakes. This will adjust the brakes to the proper distance from the rotors.

Rear

  • Loosen the lug nuts on both rear wheels with the lug nut wrench. Raise the rear of the vehicle and support the rear wheels with jack stands. Completely remove the lug nuts and rear wheels.
  • Spray the entire brake assembly and surrounding parts with liberal amounts of brake cleaner. Place a pan below the assembly to catch the cleaner.
  • Open the cap on the master cylinder. This allows pressure to be released when you depress the caliper cylinders.
  • Remove the bottom sliding pin bolt. Access the bolt from the interior side of the caliper and use a socket to turn it counterclockwise.
  • Rotate the caliper up and off the rotor. Secure it in place with a piece of wire or string.
  • Remove the inner and outer brake pads, retainers and shims. Apply anti-squeak grease to the back of the new pads, the shim and the shim cover, then attach the shim and the shim cover. Place the new pads into the caliper, ensuring that the clips are fully seated and the pads are flush against the caliper.
  • Rotate the caliper back into place and replace the bottom sliding pin bolt. Tighten it to 25 foot-pounds of torque. Repeat the procedure on the opposite side.
  • Remount the wheels with the lug nuts. Lower the vehicle and tighten the lug nuts with the lug nut wrench. Check the fluid level in the master cylinder and add fluid if it is low. Drive the car forward and in reverse, frequently pressing the brakes to ensure they are properly adjusted.

Tips & Warnings

  • Work on a single brake assembly at a time. This way, if you become confused, you can reference the intact assembly.
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