1A Auto Video Library
Our how-to videos have helped repair over 100 million vehicles

How to Replace Front Brake Calipers 03-11 Honda Element

Share on:
  1. step : Removing the Wheel (0:32)
    • Loosen the 19mm lug nuts with the vehicle on the ground
    • Raise the vehicle with a floor jack
    • Secure the vehicle on jack stands
    • Remove the lug nuts
    • Pull off the wheel
  2. step : Removing the Caliper (1:07)
    • Pinch off the brake hose with the hose pinch off tool
    • Open the 10 mm brake bleeder screw to ensure it is not seized, then close the bleeder screw
    • Remove the two 12 mm caliper slider bolts
    • Remove the brake caliper and hang it to keep tension off the brake line hose
    • Remove the two 17 mm brake caliper bracket bolts
    • Remove the brake caliper bracket
    • Open the brake caliper bleeder screw
    • Compress the brake caliper piston
    • Remove the 14 mm brake hose banjo bolt
    • Remove and properly dispose of the brake caliper
  3. step : Removing the Brake Rotor (5:23)
    • Remove the two Phillips rotor screws with an impact screwdriver
    • Hammer around the hub section of the rotor to break it free of rust
    • If the rotor is very stuck, and being replaced, it can be hammered on the rear braking surface to help remove it
    • Remove the rotor
  4. step : Installing the Brake Rotor (8:03)
    • Seat the rotor backwards on the wheel studs to more easily clean the rear surface
    • Spray the rear braking surface with brake parts cleaner
    • Remove the rotor and apply anti-seize grease to the wheel hub
    • Mount the rotor on the wheel hub
    • Reinstall the rotor screws
    • Clean the front surface of the rotor with brake parts cleaner
  5. step : Installing the Brake Caliper (9:28)
    • Apply brake grease to the brake pad retainer grooves in the brake caliper bracket
    • Insert the brake pad retainers into the caliper bracket
    • Remove the caliper slider pins and add additional brake grease as necessary
    • Mount the caliper bracket and secure it with the two 17 mm bolts
    • Torque the 17 mm caliper bracket bolts to 80 ft-lb
    • Install the brake pads and pad return springs into the caliper bracket
    • Install the brake caliper and secure it with the two 12 mm caliper slider bolts
    • Torque the caliper slider bolts to 25 ft-lb
    • Inspect the brake hose fitting to ensure an old copper washer is not stuck to it
    • Orient the brake hose so that there are no kinks or twists in it
    • Add one copper washer to the brake hose 12 mm banjo bolt
    • Insert the banjo bolt into the brake hose fitting
    • Add the second copper washer onto the banjo bolt
    • Thread the banjo bolt into the brake caliper
    • Tighten the 12 mm banjo bolt until the copper washers are crushed slightly
    • Remove the brake hose pinch-off tool
    • Open the 10 mm brake bleeder screw
    • Allow fluid to flow until there is a solid stream with no bubbles
    • Close the bleeder screw
    • Pump the brakes in the vehicle to seat the brake pads
    • Inspect the brake fluid level, and add DOT3 fluid as necessary
    • Gravity bleed the brake caliper again
  6. step : Installing the Wheel (18:21)
    • Slide the wheel onto the wheel studs
    • Replace the wheel cover
    • Install and tighten the lug nuts by hand
    • Lower the vehicle with minimal weight on the wheel
    • Torque the lug nuts in a star pattern to 80 ft-lb
    • Lower the vehicle completely

Hi, I'm Mike from 1A Auto. We've been selling auto parts for over 30 years.

Hi everyone. Sue here from 1A Auto and today we're going to do a front caliper on a '06 Honda Element. If you need any parts for your car, click on the link below and head on over to

To remove the tire you need a 19-millimeter socket. I have, the vehicle has weight on it so that I can loosen up each lug nut as I go around. I'm using a two post lift. At home you can use jack and jack stands.

Now I have it up in the air. I'm just going to remove all the lug nuts. Now we can discard the hubcap.

I'm going to install our tool that we sell here on 1A Auto and it is a hose crimper. So if you do a brake job and you don't want your bleeder screw, once you open it, you don't want to leak brake fluid, you just collapse this with the wingnut. That's going to stop the fluid from coming through. So the first thing I do on any brake job is obviously break open the bleeder screw to make sure it comes, it'll free up for when we open it up to push our brakes back. I've got a catch bucket underneath.

So I know the bleeder screw opens up, so I'm just going to snug it down. So we'll be ready to open up easily. 12-millimeter socket on the caliper slider bolts. Break that free. Going to take both of them out. We're going to take a pry bar and pry caliper off the bracket.

There's our bracket. I'm going to use my caliper hanger, which I did get at 1A Auto, and that way I can hang it up here and out of the way. Now I have exposed the caliper bracket. I've got two mounting bolts here. I'm going to use a 17-millimeter socket. I'm going to break the caliper bracket free.

Break the top one free.

Now, we have the caliper bracket with the pads in it. So now I'm going to grab the caliper, and I'm going to check it to see if it's any good. I got to push the piston back just like you do with every brake job. I'm going to push the piston back after I open up the bleeder screw. So I'm going to put my little C-clamps in there that I have. Now I'm going to break open this bleeder screw before I push the piston back in. Okay, I'll leave the bleeder screw open.

I'm going to hopefully aim that correctly at the bucket. This thing's going back really hard. As you can see, it won't go all the way in. It is frozen right there. I am squeezing that and we know it's not because the flex hose is collapsed. I have the bleeder screw open. So with that bleeder screw open, that piston should go seed itself all the way back flush in the piston because it has no way but to come out this way. So it's not going to retract back in there. So I know that my caliper piston is seized. So I do need new calipers now. So now I have to order a caliper and I do it as a pair always. So I'll be doing a caliper on the other side.

So I'm going to take the front flex hose off. Now that I know that I have to replace the caliper, let's see if I can break it free without it attached to the bracket.

Okay, got to get my catch pan underneath.

I'm going to keep my banjo bolt for the hose aside because that is going to have to get reused. Most of the time the calipers do not come with new bolts. They'll come with new washers. So now I'm going to get the rotor off and you can see that this factory rotor is held on with two flat ... they've get a cone shape to them, seat little bolts. So we use a pneumatic screwdriver, which is a hammer type. So you put the pressure on it and it spins and unlocks it. We'll get this bottom one.

Perfect. You do not have to replace these. Some people will. They break or they strip off and you have to drill them out. It's just a luxury to have the rotor sit flush while you're working on the brakes. So I'm going to hit the hub with a hammer and try to break it free. We're not going to use the rotor so feel free to hit the surface. There you have it. Wow. Look at those hard spots. They, I'm sure they had a brake pulsation.

I'm going to clean up the hub surface. First I'm going to spray it with a little brake parts cleaner. I'm going to use my wire brush. Get any surface rust off. I just like to make sure I get inside, closest to the hub, the center where the rust really forms, and as you can see how it held the rotor on pretty good.

Here we have our new rotors for our '06 Honda Element from 1A Auto. Get the new pads, and they've got the nice down cut angle on the edges to stop the squealing and the brake dust build up. Also helps cool down the pad. There's a lot of holes from the manufacturer so that you can put the anti-rattle clips in. It also comes with the indicator and already has the shims mounted on the back. The rotor is a nice cross-cut rotor on front and back. It's got the quality amount of cooling fins that come from the factory, same amount that the manufacturer requires. It's got the two seated screw holes for the hub. If you need this part or any other part for your car, click on the link below and head on over to

So now I'm going to install my new rotor and it comes with that shipping oil on it. So I just put it on the hub backwards like this so I can spray it, and now I can flip it around. And before I do that, I'm going to put some, this is anti-seize so that it's, hopefully the next time someone doesn't have to hammer as hard as I just did. Just spread it out. I put it thick all around the hub and then I just go outward with it. Line up those mounting screw. Let's put those on first and then we'll spray it down and clean it. I use the pneumatic screwdriver also to install it. I just bottom it out, give it a nice spin and hit it.

See how that, it was almost at an angle. So I'll double check both sides. Perfect. Now I can clean the surface.

So now I've got a new caliper and I'm going to put some caliper grease on the bottom part of the caliper bracket where the tins are going to sit and hopefully in the future stops it from rusting and corroding the tins. And what happens if you don't put new hardware on or if you don't take care of underneath with a tin set, water gets in there, salt from the New England roads, and the tins, the metal starts to flake in. It puts pressure on the tins and it's slide them up, and that will happen is makes the pads stop being able to slide on a nice smooth surface. It's like, becomes a actual frost heave, in a sense, and the pads don't move smoothly. When that happens you have premature wear on the pads.

Okay. Once those are all seated, I'm just going to take and slide open, pull one of the sliders out, or both of them, just to see if they put an ample amount of silicone paste on there. I'm going to put a little more because when I pulled that out I could actually feel it rubbing against the metal. I like to add mine right to the boot. I'm going to put some more on this pin. Make sure that I get it on the inside of the line that these wrinkle parts, the folds, that way that silicone will always be in there. You can work it. Push it all the way down and let the air come out.

So I'm just going to take a little, this pocket screwdriver and we're going to hold that open. There we go. There, I got the air out. That's what I'm looking to do. I'm just going to do the same thing to this side. Now I'm going to install the new caliper bracket on the knuckle. We got the two [inaudible 00:11:32] bolts. Start them by hand.

So now I'm going to torque the caliper bracket to the knuckle in the 17-millimeter socket and it is 80 foot-pounds.

I'm going to install the pads now. So the one without the indicator is the outside one. So I'll slide that right in the spot, and then I'm going to put the inner one in. Sometimes you have to just take a little screwdriver and push the tin back into place. There we go. So we're going to put the anti-rattle pins in, clips, butterflies, springs, whatever you want to call them. They go in those slots that are provided in the pads and you collapse them, line them up. Now I strongly recommend you hold on to the pad because it will just push them right out.

So now I can install the actual caliper. The piston's already back. It's pushed back from the factory when they rebuilt it. Let's see, it comes with a nice new piston and seal. I'm going to slide that right on so that the pad doesn't pop out again. You got to turn the bracket. The slider pin has got a flat spot on it. Going to put the top bolt in. Now I'm going to put the lower bolt in. And you'll see what I mean by the flat spot. See. There's one right there and one right there. So angle it like that. They have a spot to sit on the caliper. That's a 12-millimeter socket. I'm just going to snug it down because I'm going to torque it to the specs, which is 25 foot-pounds.

Now comes time to install the flexos. This caliper did come with a new banjo bolt. So make sure you get no dirt on the threads and new copper washer that it supplies with. And we're going to look at this hose, make sure that the old copper washer's not stuck on it. Confirm it several times and it is. Right there. So the way I like to do is take the old bolt, sometimes you can put it right through there, pop that washer right off.

Take a rag and just clean the surface. Make sure there's no debris. Take the new bleeder screw, bolt, and your bolt, slide it through. New copper washer on this side. So you've got a new copper washer here, new copper washer there. This gives you a nice guide where the hose is going to sit, and you're just going to turn that bolt in. That is a 12 millimeter also. I want those copper washers to seat, so once it bottoms out, I'm going to tighten this to a good taut feeling. And I know that those copper washers have been seated properly.

There you go.

Now we can undo our tool that collapses the hose, stops it from leaking. Take that off. You can see the rubber bounces right back. Now I'm just going to open this bleeder screw. I've got my catch pan still there, and I'm going to gravity bleed this.

Once the fluid is coming through, and it's coming through on a good, nice stream. There's no air bubbles. I can shut that bleeder screw off.

That was the calipers and pads were installed in the front. I'm going to seat the pads and pump up the brakes. Let's check the brake fluid. So the manufacturer recommends DOT 3, which I'm going to put in, and this is the diaphragm. It goes down by suction when the brake fluid is low. So just push it gently back into place. Make sure there's no chunks of dirt or anything, or just debris. So it's DOT 3 brake fluid. I'm going to fill it up to the full line, which is on the side here. You can see it starting to come up.

I'm going to reinstall the cap. Let's get these offsets, see how they're angled, so they lock them down, and then it just kind of sucks it down. Then they're good. I'm going to gravity bleed one last time. I'm going to open up the passenger front bleeder screw. [inaudible 00:16:54]

We're going to make sure there's no air bubbles. Like I said, I've already gravity bled this when I first assembled it before I pumped it up. Steady drip coming out. No bubbles. So I'm going to tighten this up. Clean it.

Make sure you get with a banjo bolt. Make sure that's nice and clean, because you're going to want it, recheck it after you pump the brakes up one last time. Make sure you don't have any leaks on the gaskets. I'm going to install the bleeder screw cover. Now we're ready to go to the driver's side and do the same.

10 mm wrench. Open that up. Ew, a couple of air bubbles. I've got no more air bubbles. I've got a steady drip coming. So I'm going to close up the bleeder screw. Make sure that's tight. Clean it up. Put my cover back on. Now I'm read to install the wheels.

I'm going to mount the tire again. Grab your hubcap because this particular Honda does not have extra wide cutouts for three lug nuts. Set the rim up on the hub and put your lug nuts on.

So the wheel torque, I got the weight of the vehicle down on the tire and I'm going to torque up the wheels, and the wheel torque in a factory spec is 80 foot-pounds.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Large C-Clamp
  • Hammer
  • Jack Stands
  • Drain Pan
  • Wire Brush
  • Floor Jack

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Brake Parts Cleaner
  • Anti-Seize Grease
  • Brake Grease

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

  • Hose Pinch-Off Pliers

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Torque Wrench
  • Ratchet
  • 1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Pry Bar
  • Impact Screwdriver
  • Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 12mm Socket
  • 17mm Socket
  • 19mm Socket
  • 10mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

  • Brake Caliper Hanger

  • Wrenches - Metric

  • 14mm Wrench
  • 10mm Flare Wrench

How to Replace Headlights 02-05 Dodge Ram 1500

How to Replace Headlights 02-05 Dodge Ram 1500

Watch this video to learn how to replace a cloudy or cracked headlight or change a burnt out bulb. The experts at 1A Auto teach you how to replace the headlights on your 02-06 Dodge Ram.

Search Videos
Go To Top

Same Day Shipping

Orders ship same day when ordered by 2pm ET. Need your part faster? Choose expedited shipping at checkout.

Guaranteed To Fit

Providing you the highest quality, direct fit replacement auto parts enforced to the strictest product standards.

USA Customer Support

Exceeding customers' expectations every day, our team of passionate auto enthusiasts are here to help.

Instructional Video Library

Thousands of how-to auto repair videos specific to year, make and model guide you step-by-step through your repair.