Installing Rear Brake Pads & Rotors on a 2000 Volkswagen Jetta

Installing rear brake pads and rotors on a 2000 Volkswagen Jetta involves placing new pads and rotors onto the vehicle. Outlined are the factory recommendations you should follow when installing new rear brake pads and rotors on a 2000 Volkswagen Jetta.

Things you will need

  • Tire iron
  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • 13, 18 mm wrench
  • 7, 8 mm allen bit
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Wire brush
  • Brake parts cleaner
  • Rotors
  • Brake pads
  • Brake grease
  • C-clamp or vise grip pliers
  • Brake fluid


The 2000 Volkswagen Jetta is equipped with four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. The older Volkswagen models were fitted with disc brakes on the front wheels and drum brakes on the rear brake assembly. The all-wheel disc brake design was implemented to provide greater stopping power and shorten braking distance. The brake pads on the Jetta should be inspected every 5000 miles or whenever there is a noticeable decrease in braking performance. The pads are built with wear indicators that will provide an audible alert when the pads are in need of replacement. You should inspect the rotors as part of regular brake maintenance. Scored or warped rotors should be replaced as soon as the defect is revealed.

Removal and installation procedures

  1. Begin by loosening the lug nuts on the rear wheels of the Volkswagen using the tire iron from the Jetta’s tire maintenance kit (stored in the spare-tire well in the trunk).
  2. Place the lifting jack beneath the frame at the rear of the vehicle and lift the Jetta until the rear tires are at least two inches clear of the road surface.
  3. Support the Jetta on two jack stands and remove the jack.
  4. Remove the lug nuts and pull the rear wheels from the vehicle.
  5. Unscrew the two caliper pins on the back panel of the brake caliper with a 13 mm wrench. Remove the caliper and set it atop the steering arm above the brake assembly.
  6. Pull the two brake pads from the caliper bridge. The pads fit into the slots of the caliper bridge on either side of the rotor.
  7. Take the caliper bridge bolts out using a 15 mm wrench (or 15 mm socket and ratchet). Pull the caliper bridge from the rotor.
  8. Remove the two screws on the outer surface of the Volkswagen’s rotors with a Phillips-head screwdriver.
  9. Grab the rotor on opposite sides of the disc and pull it straight from the wheel bolts.
  10. Inspect the steering knuckle behind the rotor and clean it with brake parts cleaner and a wire brush to remove any leaked brake fluid or rust.
  11. Spray the new rotor with brake parts cleaner and wipe the rotor clean with a cloth towel.
  12. Slide the new rotor onto the wheel bolts and screw in the screws removed from the old rotor.
  13. Replace the caliper bridge onto the rotor and replace the caliper bridge bolts with the 15 mm wrench.
  14. Place the new brake pads into the slots of the caliper bridge on either side of the rotor. Apply copper-based brake grease to that backs of the brake pads.
  15. Squeeze the caliper pistons on the inside of the caliper into the side of the caliper using a C-clamp or vise-grip pliers. The pistons need to be opened to allow room for the new, bulkier brake pads.
  16. Place the caliper over the brake pads on the caliper bridge. Replace the caliper slide bolts and screw them in with the 13 mm wrench.
  17. Return the wheel to the wheel bolts and screw on the lug nuts.
  18. Lift the rear end of the Jetta with the jack and remove the jack stands. Lower the vehicle to the ground and tighten the lugs with the tire iron.
  19. Press the brake pedal repeatedly to reset the caliper piston to the proper position before driving the vehicle.
  20. Check the brake fluid as part of any brake maintenance. Add brake fluid to the master cylinder as needed. The master cylinder is under the Jetta’s hood, on the right side of the engine compartment. Use DOT-3 fluid to replenish the fluid reservoir.

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