THE FRONT BRAKE PADS on our 2016 Diesel Cayenne were getting down towards the sensor and rather than have the light come on, and all the drama around that, I wanted to replace the pads ahead of time. This also saves me having to buy new sensors! I usually do brake jobs myself, even though it can be a bit tricky.
I bought both the front and rear pads from autopartsway.ca although only the fronts really needed doing. That tells you something about a front-engine 4,000+ lb. truck and where all the weight goes under braking. Make sure not to buy the pads for the ceramic brake option. I checked the rotors and there was not much of a lip – They would pass UCR DE track inspection, so I figured they were OK until next time, which would be about 60,000 km which is pretty good.
I searched YouTube and found a few videos, but they were mostly different versions of the Cayenne or didn’t go into enough detail, however I figured I had enough to go on.
I picked a day when the vehicle was not required so I had all day to work on it. It still took me until mid-afternoon before I got started.
Step 1: Get the wheel nuts slackened off, and then get the wheel(s) into the air with a jack or hoist. It is way easier if you get both wheels up in the air because it really helps to be able to turn the brake assemblies one way then the other to get at things.
Step 2: Get the wheel(s) off. (See picture 1)
Step 3: (See picture 2) Take the screw out of “A” in the pic and prise the rubber grommet out of location “B”. This gives some slack to the rigid brake line to the caliper. For the screw at “A” you will need one of the special tools shown (See pictures 3 & 4 on the next page and note the letter “C” in each shot) . To prise the rubber grommet out, you will just need ja flat blade screwdriver.
Step 4: Now the really tricky part – releasing the brake sensor connector. At first, it’s a bit tricky but it’s fast and easy once you know how it works. You push the connector up and pull the little plastic clip down, (or the other way ‘round). Either way it can be a bit fiddly but good when it works. It’s shown at “D” in picture 1. Release the wires from the bleed nipple clip and the slot in the caliper.
Step 5: Prise the pads away from the rotor, fully back to make room for the new pads. Be careful not to break off the sensor that’s still in the pad. These are 6 piston Brembos and I wedged the first pad in the back position while I then levered the second pad back.
Step 6: Undo the caliper bolts – you’ll need lots of leverage. There is a magic tool (which I don’t know what it’s called) that works well for this purpose and it is $20 at Canadian Tire and $5 at NAPA. It seems like a very loose fit to me but 14 was the right size. The tool is shown at “E” in pics 5 & 6.
Step 7: Get some kind of support ready to put the caliper on, roughly at the same height and close to the hub, because there will not be much slack on the brake line. Take the caliper away from the rotor and place it onto the support.
Step 8: Remove the old pad and pull the sensor wire and connector through the caliper. The old pads are shown in Picture 7.
Step 9: Remove the sensor and install it on the new pad. It’s a fiddly process but it sits tight when done.
Step 10: Re-installing everything is the reverse of the removal process:
- Feed the sensor connector through the back of the caliper and install the new pads, (this can be awkward!) I used a screwdriver to take the pressure on those back clips so I could get the pads to sit right.
- Put the caliper back over the rotor and get the brake line back where it was originally.
- Put the caliper bolts back (or install a new seat of bolts). The torque on these bolts is important so I leave it for the Porsche literature to specify.
- Put the rubber grommet back (this is pretty easy) then put the screw back at “A” (again, pretty easy), and reconnect the brake sensor connector – super easy, just plug it back in.
- Put the wheels back on (!!) and lower the vehicle.
- Remember to pump the brakes immediately on moving the vehicle, those pads are ‘way off’ the rotors.
- Do a test drive. In my case the Cayenne felt really good, the brakes were nice and smooth and grippy.
Story and photos by Roger Stopford, UCR Director and Tech Session Chair