How To Replace Volkswagen Brake Rotors

Replacing your brake rotors will keep your Volkswagen’s braking performance like new. If you’re looking to replace your rotors, chances are you’re already dealing with the telltale signs of a bad rotor, which are:

  • Vibration or pulsation in the brake pedal, steering wheel, and/or entire car
  • A screeching, squealing, or clattering noise when the brakes are applied
  • Longer stopping distances
  • Excessive wear on the rotors (here's a great diagnostic guide)

Brake rotors are built to last about 30K-70K miles. But sometimes they’ll get damaged from being paired with the wrong type of brake pads or metal-to-metal contact with worn brake pads.

Luckily, replacing your rotors before they seriously compromise your car’s braking performance requires only basic tools, replacement rotors, and this tutorial.

What You’ll Need

Replacing vw rotor

Here's a list of the tools you'll need:

  • Jack and jack stands (or a car lift that lifts by the chassis)
  • Ratchet
  • Socket set (the size of the sockets you need depends on your Volkswagen model)
  • Flat blade screwdriver
  • Pick
  • Torx bits (the sizes depend on your VW model)
  • Hammer
  • Wire brush
  • Large C-clamp
  • Brake grease
  • Torque wrench

You’ll also need a set of replacement rotors. Even if only one rotor is bad, it’s still wise to replace the other rotor on the same axle to ensure even braking performance. You can save a lot of money on replacement rotors by ordering genuine OEM brake rotors from us at wholesale pricing.

Once you have all the tools on hand and a brand new set of rotors ready to be installed, it's time to replace the rotors.

Replacing Your Rotors in 21 Easy Steps

Rotor drawing
  1. Using the pick, remove the lug nut caps from the wheels you're going to be working on. (If you need to use a key, the key can be found in the trunk with the spare tire).
  2. Loosen the lug nuts by about a quarter of a turn.
  3. Lift your Volkswagen.
  4. Remove the lug nuts from the wheels and then take the wheels off of the car.
  5. At one wheel, remove the caps from the caliper and then remove both of the Torx bits on the back of the caliper.
  6. Pry out the wire clip from the caliper.
  7. Gently wiggle the brake caliper loose and then pull it off the rotor.
  8. Remove the bolts holding the caliper bracket in place, and then remove the bracket.
  9. Remove the Torx bolts on the front of the rotor.
  10. Spray some penetrating oil around the holes and then gently hammer the back of the rotor until it comes off.
  11. Take the new rotor and then push it into place.
  12. Fasten in the Torx screws on the front of the rotor to hold it in place.
  13. Using the wire brush, clean the caliper bracket in the areas where the brake pads come in contact with it.
  14. Put the caliper bracket back in place and then bolt it in. Be sure to torque the bolts to specification.
  15. With the large C-clamp, push the piston on the caliper back in.
  16. Apply some brake grease to the back of the brake pads. Do not get any of the grease on the friction material.
  17. Place the brake pads into the caliper and then slide the caliper into place.
  18. Fasten in the screws holding the caliper in place.
  19. Push the wire clip and the caps back into place.
  20. Reinstall the wheel and torque the lug nuts to spec.
  21. Repeat with the rest of the wheels you're working on.

If you have any questions, please contact us. We'll help you out as much as we can!