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Changing Rear Brake Pads Conti GT

Old 03-08-2019, 09:20 AM
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Changing Rear Brake Pads Conti GT

I didn’t need rear brake pads, but because changing them seemed to be controversial, both boredom and curiosity got the best of me. The cost of the pads were next to nothing, so I changed mine at about half life. I’ll explain half life in more detail in “Calibration”.The real reason I found myself venturing into the brakes was because I wanted to do a fluid flush.

That found me with the rear on jacks and the wheels removed so I thought – “What the heck”.Most of what’s online is more a “what to do”. I don’t want to regurgitate the same info. Instead, I thought I’d cover more of the “why you’re doing it”.

Also, in lieu of the gory details of “what to do” which is pretty well covered, I’ll offer to help anyone in the form of answering questions.My MY is 2005 (GT). I can vouch for this model and year, but DO NOT know where crossovers might be in systems upgrades or revisions.

So, for the rote part of what to do, the best information I could find was here – both the written steps along with the video at the end.

Materials and Equipment:

I have both the VCDS and the VAG-202. I used the VCDS. If the 202 is capable, I don’t know that because it never came out of its case.

I purchased a set of Stoptech pads. They are metallic, same compound as OEM. Purchased them from Rockauto ($45 or $46…something like that). And, I purchased the hardware kit which gave me the spring shims AND the rubber boots on the slider pins. The pads also came with a set of springs so I now have an extra set.

A word on pads. I’ve seen pads from $12 all the way up to over $200. Spend what you can live with. I would not put a $12 set of pads on, but once you hit the $50 range, you’re starting to deal with brand name costs and not necessarily better materials.

I’m not covering brake flushing here, but I also purchased one quart of DOT 4 to flush the two longer rear brake lines. I use the slower (turtle pace) gravity bleed which took (on and off) a day and a half to get the quart through split between the two lines.

Misc, e.g.: brake caliper grease, brake cleaner, degreaser, various shop tools, etc, etc.


Part of what makes this job a little scary is all the misinformation and hypothecation out there. Here is some of what I’ve read researching that didn’t come out to be true.

There are no physical electronic wear sensors on the rears. Brake pad wear is controlled in the parking brake module via a pad thickness calibration.

The pistons DO NOT wind in (after the parking brake has been retracted), They simply push back with a C-Clamp the old fashioned way. NOTE HERE: I do not push brake fluid back through the system. Instead, I fit a rubber hose to the bleeder, crack it open, then push the piston back. This expels the fluid out the bleeder.


The biggie here is hooking up a battery charger. The charger needs to be hooked up to the main battery as it could possibly be impacted by the VCDS interventions. The parking brake module is susceptible to damage (meaning bricking it) if voltage drops during VCDS sessions. Anyone who has run a complete diagnostic of all the modules knows that you’ll always see an error code left on the battery module. That is because the 10 or so minutes it takes to run the diag. takes a little bit out of the battery and that module records it as a fault.

On the battery charger, I just used my C-TEK 7002 tender. I charged the main up to the float level and the C-Tek held that level throughout. My battery is in excellent shape, pretty new, and only takes about 10 mins. to get to float.

On following the steps exactly (as mentioned on the Ross-Tech writeup and video), some of the first steps didn’t work on my 05 like they were supposed to. This sent me “off the reservation” and I found myself REALLY not following all of the steps exactly. Still, everything worked out in the end.

The other warning biggie is waiting at least 30 seconds after executing a VCDS function and before exiting the program page. I did heed all of those warnings (as seen in the video).

Mechanical Interventions:

Not much to say here. If you’re experienced at changing pads on other cars, then you’ll find nothing new here. Please exercise your own experience/expertise/practices in the physical R&R of the pads.

Computer Interventions:

There are 5 VCDS service interventions to complete the rear pad replacement.

2 are mechanical to change the pads

2 are calibrations after the pad change.

1 is a park brake test after the pad change and thickness calibration

Start by using the 2 mechanical steps.

Retract the park brake - VCDS #53 parking brake – #04 Basic settings – code 007 (follow the video).

Then make the mechanical pad changes both sides, pump the brake pedal to close the new pads.

Next close the park brake – VCDS #53; #04; code 006. (video)

Next is calibration and test, HOWEVER you don’t want to do the inclination calibrations with the rear of the car on jacks. I put the wheels on and set the car back on its suspension and a level surface to do these last 3 steps. You could do everything EXCEPT the inclination sensor before, your choice.

First set the pad thickness calibration – this is how the system knows and keeps track of the pad wear. Essentially, you’re programming the new pad thickness into the module. It tracks wear by how far the brake motor winds in over time and with wear. When the motor winds down over time to a preset position, (subtracted from the number you’ve entered), the brake pad warning light is illuminated on the dash.

Pad calibration is – VCDS #53 PBM; #10 Adaptation; code 06.

Enter the thickness of your new pads in MM. NOTE: This must obviously be done BEFORE you install the new pads. If you accidentally forgot to measure the thickness of the pad material before you installed, most new pads are going to be about 11mm or 12mm. The Stoptechs I installed were 11mm. If you forgot to measure, you’ll be safe entering 11mm as the new pad thickness. If they were actually more than that, you’ll just get the dash warning 1mm sooner (safer) someday when the pads need changing again.

Earlier I said I didn’t need brakes. Since it is pretty obvious from this calibration that new pads are about 11/12mm, and the min in the module is set at 3mm, and my old pads measured 6mm, so I was about at half life. But for $50….not an issue.

Now do the function test –

VCDS #53; #04; code 010.

This just exercises the brake module through retract and service positions several times so the PBM accepts the new brake pad thicknesses.

The last intervention and 2nd calibration is the “Inclination” calibration. This is the part that needs the car on a level surface. The inclination sensor tells the park brake whether you’re using it on a flat park surface, or parking on an incline. It determines how much force the park brake exerts on the pads in the park position.

VCDS - #53 PBM; #04 basic settings; Code 020.

This sets the inclination sensor at the level surface.

Now you’re DONE AND GO.

Last edited by BWings; 03-08-2019 at 01:13 PM.
Old 03-09-2019, 11:31 PM
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Damn son, you are my new BCGT hero!

Thanks much!

Not a jab, srsly well done.
Old 03-15-2019, 04:38 PM
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Thanks for posting BWings!

I've ordered a set of rotors, pads, sensors for rear (front pads have them) and clips for rear, so everything you need to do a brakejob online and have an old usb ross-tech cable from way back in my a6 4.2 days. Total cost for the brake parts was $411 shipped, so praying it fits. Looks to be good quality and these rotors are massive, especially the fronts.

Will post the parts info after the job to make sure everything actually fits and works before steering anyone potentially in the wrong direction.

Your writeup will be a big help!

Last edited by sam08861; 03-15-2019 at 04:41 PM.
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