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Brake Change Advice Prior to Starting


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Hi Everyone:

I'm ready to tackle my first brake job (in my life) on my 2000 C4. I've read the DIY and it looks pretty straightforward. I'm confident that I won't go crashing off the highway once I'm done. I'll be going with OEM pads and shouldn't need to replace the rotors, no real lip there yet. The brakes squeal a little when stopping but no light has ever come on inside.

My question is sort off stupid but should I just jack up each corner at a time or should invest in a pair of stands and get one half of the car in the air for the job. If so, where do I place my jack as to get, say the front or rear wheels, off the ground.

Thanks for the clarification!

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Hi Everyone:

I'm ready to tackle my first brake job (in my life) on my 2000 C4. I've read the DIY and it looks pretty straightforward. I'm confident that I won't go crashing off the highway once I'm done. I'll be going with OEM pads and shouldn't need to replace the rotors, no real lip there yet. The brakes squeal a little when stopping but no light has ever come on inside.

My question is sort off stupid but should I just jack up each corner at a time or should invest in a pair of stands and get one half of the car in the air for the job. If so, where do I place my jack as to get, say the front or rear wheels, off the ground.

Thanks for the clarification!

Jimmy:

Congratulations to you for diving right in. I'm sure your experience in changing brake pads will encourage you to try more projects in the future.

When jacking up the car, you should NEVER rely on the hydraulic jack as the sole means of supporting the car and ALWAYS have the car resting on one or more jackstands. Another safe practice after you have one jackstand in place and then have removed a wheel, is to place that wheel on its side under the car in the area near the jack stand (being careful not to scratch the rim in the process).

To do your first brake job, you could do one wheel at a time in the following order and by the following method:

1. Jack up the car by the right rear jacking point, until you are able to place a jackstand under the right front jacking point.

2. Lower the hydraulic jack slowly until the right rear tire is on the ground, leaving the hydraulic jack in place under the right rear jacking point.

3. Remove the right front wheel and place it under the car, just to the rear of the jackstand that is now supporting that side of the car by means of the right front jacking point.

4. Place a wheel chock behind the left rear tire.

5. Test that the car is securely supported by pressing on the right front of the car. (The A-Pillar is a good place to press).

6. Once you are satisfied that the car is securely supported, work on the right front brake pads.

7. Next do the left front brake pads by repeating the same process on the left side.

8. Then, jack up the car by using the hydraulic jack on the right front jacking point and placing the jackstand under the right rear jacking point, etc..., ending by placing the wheel chock behind the right front tire.

9. Repeat the same process on the left side.

10. When reinstalling the wheels, after the car is on the ground, be sure to use a torque wrench set to 96 ft. lbs. on the lug bolts.

Regards, Maurice.

Edited by 1schoir
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Thank you Maurice for the very detailed instructions. VERY helpful.

I must say that I am a little surprised/skeptical/doubtful that THE WHOLE SIDE (BOTH WHEELS) of the car will lift off the ground enough to place a jackstand at the front simply by jacking at the rear jack point. Is the car that stiff?

I hope my jack can do this.

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Thank you Maurice for the very detailed instructions. VERY helpful.

I must say that I am a little surprised/skeptical/doubtful that THE WHOLE SIDE (BOTH WHEELS) of the car will lift off the ground enough to place a jackstand at the front simply by jacking at the rear jack point. Is the car that stiff?

I hope my jack can do this.

Jacking at the rear point will lift the whole side of the car, enough to lift thr front wheel off the ground.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I change brake pads and fluid frequently. For just a little more effort, you can get the car on 4 jack stands and that makes the brake job faster. Jack up the right or left side from the rear jack point - put stand under front point. Do the same thing on the other side. Then go to the rear of the car and jack up from the engine lug (will raise both rear wheels) - and you can place a jack stand under the two rear jack points. This is particularly convenient when you are changing the brake fluid due to the bleed sequence (RR, LR, RF, LF).

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Great advice....could you be specific about where the "engine lug" is. I've read the posts about jacking on the crankcase and possibly putting too much strain on the motor mounts so I am a little weary about doing that. I don't want to create new problems. If you have a picture/diagram, that would be very helpful! Thanks!

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  • 1 month later...

Hi again everyone...

So I finished my front brakes (2000 C4) and I must say, easy as cake. The DIY is fantastic and the whole procedure is very straightforward. Just a few basic tools and some parts from Pelican. The whole job took less than a couple of hours.

BUT.....now I have a small problem. :huh:

I did the front driver's side brakes on one day. Drove it afterwards and no problems. On day 2, I did the passenger brakes. Pulling out of the garage, I turned on my lights and I noticed both the "PSM Off" and "ABS" lights came on. Car runs fine otherwise.

Today I verified that once I start the car and get moving, no dash lights. Only after I turn on the parking/head lights do the 2 lights come on. I did this a number of times and the 2 dash lights ONLY come on once I turn my headlight switch on.

I was careful to put the wear sensor's in correctly and connect them properly. Can't think of anything else. Any ideas????

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help...

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FWIW, on the last brake job I did I started getting the ABS light after the brake pad change. It didn’t come on immediately but after a few minutes of driving it would pop. Although the wear pad sensor looked fine and had no damage it was bad. I replaced it and have no problems for the last 10 months. Not sure why it appears with the light switch but to my knowledge and looking at the lighting schematics I can see no tie in with the ABS or PASM system

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... Not sure why it appears with the light switch but to my knowledge and looking at the lighting schematics I can see no tie in with the ABS or PASM system...

If I remember right the speed sensor and pad wear wires use the same harness, or similar/close connection point. It's possible when you replaced the wear wire, the connection for the speed sensor was "fixed".

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The pad wear sensor does plug into a socket with another sensor (assuming its the speed sensor) but the socket has a clip to prevent the sensor plugs from getting loose. I checked both front wheels and the connection is good.

Could I have plugged in the sensor in reverse?

NEW INFO - my cruise control does not work either. Discovered that on my way to work this morning. Seems to me its all the same problem.

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Sounds like logray may been on to somthing. The speed sensor is right next to the brake wear sensor and damaging it or causing a bad connection by disturbing it would definitely cause an ABS light and would likely affect the cruise control as well. I would pull of the last side that you did and closely inspect the connectors. If you have a multimeter you can wring out the wires to ensure you have good continuity. If I remember correctly the two plugs look identical but have different mating tangs. You can also ohm out your brake sensors which should indicate a complete circuit. If open then you have a bad brake wear sensor but agin, it will not interfere with the ABS. Hope this helps and post back if you make any progress.

R/Tom

Edited by goldenwarrior1
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Turns out that the PSM and ABS lights coming on when i turned on the headlights was because i also installed LED bulbs for the brake lights in the rear. I did the swap after changing the front brakes. Back to using regular bulbs for the time being. I still have an LED for the reverse lights installed.

So now, no lights on the dash BUT my cruise control still does not work and while i dont it often, it used to work. Reading some past posts, seems like it could be the indicator bulb on the dash. I dont have a tester so is there any other way of troubleshooting it? Also, there is no dedicated fuse right? I'm going to try and exchange the LED reverse bulbs but i dont think they are related.

Glad to find out i didnt muck up the speed sensor when changing the brakes. Thanks for all the advice though.

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