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How To Change Brake Pads With An Electric Parking Brake

How To Change Brake Pads With An Electric Parking Brake

How To Change Brake Pads With An Electric Parking Brake



Did you take the rear brake pads apart because you were “only” going to change the brake pads and now you can’t push in the piston?

Don’t worry.

This is a very common question I get and the customers are often getting very scared when they hear how to do it.


Because the piston inside the caliper got a threaded rod inside, you have to twist it back and that you have to do with a diagnostic tool.

You probably also heard that you can push it back with one power and one ground cable. That’s true, but nothing I can recommend because you can easily damage things and yourself. You also probably will get a warning light on the dashboard after you replaced it.

Go through this steps and the replacement of the brake pads will get a lot easier.

You need some tools to do this properly. If you don’t want to buy them you could always lend it from a workshop or a friend if you are asking nicely 😉



1. Connect a car battery charger.

You should always connect a battery charger when you are doing this job. Without it, you can get low battery voltage and destroy electrical parts of the electric parking brake.
If you don’t have one at home I can recommend this one or lend from a friend:

NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5A UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger

NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5A UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger Charges lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries up to 120 amp-hours. A 6V and 12V battery charger and maintainer.
Cutting-edge technology delivers superior performance. Charge 2x faster, repair damaged batteries and use with micro-hybrid start-stop vehicles and CANBUS electrical systems.
Streamlined design that’s ultra-compact, portable and incredibly lightweight. It features external mounting holes and a rubberized base that avoids surface slipping and scratches, all while remaining impact, UV and water-resistant (IP65).
Stay safely connected 24/7. Monitors battery activity for safe and efficient charging, automatically minimizes energy consumption and includes spark-proof technology, as well as reverse polarity and overcharge protection.
Intuitive LED indicators provide visual state-of-charge feedback and diagnostic information, even when in maintenance mode.

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2. Connect a diagnostic tool.

Before you start taking anything apart I recommend that you start with the electric parking brake tool.
If you already started the job, the best thing to do is that you put everything together again.

If you don’t have a suitable OBD tool for this job, I can recommend this tool. Always read the item description so you know that it works with your vehicle.

Launch Automotive Scanner CReader 8011 OBD2 Scanner

Launch Automotive Scanner CReader 8011 OBD2 Scanner SPECIAL RESET FUNCTIONS - Oil Reset, Electrical Parking Brake (EPB) Reset, Battery Management System (BMS) Reset for over 40 brands vehicles.
ABS & SRS DIAGNOSES - Provides the diagnoses of ABS and SRS for 46 car makes and models after 2006, to turn off the warning lights.
FULL OBD2 FUNCTIONS - Read & clear DTC, read live data stream, read freeze frame, O2 sensor test, read I/M readiness status and more. Offers accurate diagnoses to turn off check engine light.
USER-FRIENDLY DESIGN - 4.0-inch TFT color display for a clear sight & 4 hot keys for an efficient work & Durable material for a long use.
LANGUAGES & WARRANTY - English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese & 12-months warranty for any quality problems.

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You will hear when the tool screws back the piston rods. The warning lights will start flashing.
At this point, you can now shut off the ignition to make sure you don’t damage anything while you are doing the job.


3. Replace Brake Pads and push back pistons.

Now when you released the piston rods inside the caliper you can change the brake pads and push back the caliper with a suitable tool. (Big plier etc)

When you put everything back you can go to the next step.


4. Press the foot brake pedal.

Now you can push the foot brake pedal many times until you feel that the piston reached the bottom, till it gets stiff.

Make sure to not press the brake pedal to the bottom because you can damage the seals inside the brake master cylinder


5. Connect the diagnostic tool again

Now you can connect the diagnostic tool again and use the function “After brake pad replacement”.

You will hear when the brake calipers reached the pads.


6. Do a Basic Setting

After you did all work you have to do a basic setting with the diagnostic tool. It will push the piston rods forward and backwards a couple of times to learn the default values.


7. Test the electric parking brake function

You can now test the electric parking brake function a couple of times to see that it’s working properly.
Take the car out for a long drive to see that everything is okay.
Check that the rear brakes don’t get very hot, no strange sounds and of course the brakes should work properly!


You are done!

You see, It wasn’t that hard at all if you have the right tools (like every job). 😉

I hope you liked this guide and if you have any questions or something you want us to add or change in this guide you can contact us here:
Ask A Mechanic


If you are not sure how to do it from this article, I recommend you to see this video:


How To Change Brake Pads With An Electric Parking Brake
Article Name
How To Change Brake Pads With An Electric Parking Brake
Did you take the rear brake pads apart because you were "only" going to change the brake pads and now you can't push in the piston? Newer cars with an electric parking brake are not simple as the old ones. But if you follow this guide, I will teach you how to do it at home!
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Ask A Master Mechanic
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About Ask A Mechanic AdminDiagnostic Technician

Hello. I live in sweden and work as an Automotive Diagnostic Technician. Worked with the most brands in the most advanced fault diagnostics. Im here to answer all your automotive questions. If you have any private questions you could send me a PM and I'll answer them as soon as possible!

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