Two days ago, Yow-Yow and I were running some errands, and we noticed an awful grinding sound coming from the front passenger side whenever I would use the brakes. Thankfully, since it is a manual, I didn’t need to use the brakes a whole lot. Once we got a chance to look at it, we noticed that the front pad was completely gone! The only thing I can think of is that the pad shattered during the night or something, because it was there one day and gone the next (and it was completely gone).
Since I’m on vacation, I ran by pepboys and homedepot to get new brake pads (ceramic to keep the dust down), and a bunch of metric sockets. I can’t believe that I work so much on my car, but don’t have any metric sockets. Needless to say, that issue was fixed.
Anyways, if you find yourself in a similar situation of replacing the front axle break pads on a 2004 VW Jetta TDI (or any with the FS III caliper), the guide pins (bolts on the caliper) are 7mm hex. Of course, this resulted in another run to homedepot. I had an Alan wrench with 6mm and 8mm (and an ASE one too), but of course no 7mm.
Amazing how well it works with the correct tools. Oh, and the stupid Bentley doesn’t tell you the right size or type either. The picture alludes to a hex, but no where does it say.
Still, only took an hour to do both sets of front pads once I had the right tools. Hopefully this helps someone else (or me when I have to do it again).
As an aside, I love how the wear indicator is only on 1 pad out of the 4 on the front axle. Needless to say, the indicator didn’t go on for me, since it was on the wrong side of the rotor and the wrong side of the car. Go, go german engineering!