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How to Replace Front Brakes 02-03 Nissan Maxima

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How to Replace Front Brakes 02-03 Nissan Maxima

Created on: 2021-01-16

Got squeaky or faded front brakes? This video will show the steps for replacing the brake pads, rotor, brake caliper bracket and brake caliper yourself

  1. step 1 :Removing the Wheel
    • Loosen the 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 2 :Inspecting the Brakes
    • Turn the rotor by hand or turn the steering wheel to turn the rotor
    • Check the thickness of the brake pads
    • Check the brake pad wear indicator
    • Check for gouges or rust on both sides of the rotor
  3. step 3 :Removing the Brake Pads and Caliper
    • Remove the two 14mm bolts from the brake caliper
    • Pry the brake pads with a flat blade screwdriver to push back the piston
    • Pull the caliper aside
    • Pry the brake pads off with a flat blade screwdriver
    • Check that the caliper slides move fluidly
    • If necessary, remove the brake caliper slides
    • Clean the slides with a wire brush
    • Apply grease to the slides
    • Push the slides into the caliper bracket
  4. step 4 :Removing the Brake Rotor and Caliper Bracket
    • Remove the two 19mm bolts from the brake caliper bracket
    • Pull off the brake caliper bracket
    • Pull the rotor off
    • If the rotor will not come off, apply penetrating oil to the studs
    • Thread one lug nut by hand
    • Strike the rear of the rotor with a hammer
  5. step 5 :Installing the New Brake Rotor and Caliper Bracket
    • Clean the hub and studs with a wire brush
    • Clean the rotor with mineral spirits or brake parts cleaner
    • Slide the rotor on
    • Thread one lug nut by hand to hold the rotor in place
    • Clean the brake pad slides with a wire brush
    • Put the bracket back into place
    • Start the two 19mm bolts by hand
    • Tighten the bolts to 98 foot-pounds of torque
  6. step 6 :Installing the New Brake Pads and Caliper
    • Apply white grease to the outside and edges of the new brake pads
    • Install the new outside brake pads into the bracket with the wear tab on the lower side
    • Use a large C-clamp or channel lock pliers to push the pistons back
    • Put the caliper on, pushing the caliper slides in
    • Thread the two 14mm bolts by hand
    • Tighten bolts to 25 foot-pounds
  7. step 7 :Reattaching the Wheel
    • Slide the wheel into place
    • Start the lug nuts by hand
    • Tighten the lug nuts preliminarily
    • Lower the vehicle to the ground
    • Tighten the lug nuts to 100 foot-pounds in a crossing or star pattern
  8. step 8 :Testing the Brakes
    • Pump your brakes repeatedly until they feel firm
    • Test your brakes at 5 miles per hour and then 10 miles per hour
    • Road test the vehicle

Tools needed for replacement

  • General Tools

    Large C-Clamp


  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

    Rust Penetrant

    Brake Parts Cleaner

    White Grease

    Mineral Spirits

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

    Channel-Lock Pliers

    Lug Wrench

  • Ratchets & Related

    A Piece of Pipe (for leverage)

    Torque Wrench


    1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

    14mm Socket

    19mm Socket

Installation Video
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Brought to you by, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet.

Hi, I'm Don from 1A Auto. I hope this how-to video helps you out, and next time you need parts for your vehicle, think of Thanks.

In this video we will be showing you how to replace, or do a front brake job on this 2003 Nissan Maxima, pretty much the same for a lot of different years Nissan Maxima, but it will be very similar for any 2000 to 2003 Maxima, as well as the same years of the Infinity I30. You are going to need a new pad and rotor set from, jack, and jack stands 14, 19, and 21mm sockets.

You'll need a ratchet, and you'll probably also need a breaker bar or a pipe for some extra leverage for some of those bolts, a wire brush. You may need some penetrating oil and the hammer if your rotors don't come off easily. You'll need some brake grease or white grease for reassembly, a torque wrench, and a large C-clamp, or large Channel lock pliers to reset the pistons in the caliper.

Let's start off by removing the wheel. You're going to want a 21mm socket and ratchet or breaker bar, or your tire iron, and you'll probably want to start with the wheel on the ground. Loosen the lug nuts, then raise and secure the vehicle with jack stands, and then remove the wheel and the tire. Okay, turn the wheels by hand or by using the steering wheel, to access the back of caliper.

We're going to just do a general inspection of the brakes. We're going to check the pad life. We're going to check the rotors. You can use a flashlight and look through the inspection in the caliper, to look for your pad. These have a little bit of pad left on them, a little bit of serviceability, but we're going to go ahead and replace them just to show you how to do it. In terms of the rotor, you're going to want to look for excessive rust, excessive wear, and lips, as you run your finger across the rotor itself. This one is in pretty good shape, but we're going to go ahead and replace it with a 1A Auto part, just for your reference.

The next step is going to be removing the two 14mm bolts that hold the caliper to the caliper bracket. Let's speed up as Don removes those two 14mm bolts. These bolts should come off without too much resistance. We're going to pry the brake pad away from the rotor, thus pushing the caliper piston in, creating more room for us to get this off. As you can see, I went right through the inspection port into the rotor and pulled towards me. At this point, we've gained enough access and enough clearance that it will allow us to take the caliper right off. Take the caliper; put it in a position where it's not hanging from the brake line. At this point now, you can remove the outer pad, inner pad if necessary, and you can always use a screwdriver to pry it out. Now, we're going to do just another inspection; take a look at the caliper guide slides. These are both fluid and go in and out, as they should. In the event that you find one that isn't, they can lead to premature brake wear. What you would do is pull it out. You can see this is greased correctly, but if it wasn't, you would take a wire brush to it, clean it up nicely, grease it, put it back in, and re-secure the boot.

Next, we are going to take off the caliper guide with the two 19mm bolts. These are the tools that we're going to use to remove the 19mm bolts: either a conventional half-inch ratchet with a 19mm socket, or if you experience heavy resistance, a breaker bar, and if even further force is needed, you can use a pipe as leverage through the breaker bar. Apply the pipe over and apply even pressure down, adding more force as necessary, so safely, it breaks the bolt free. I will speed up here as Don breaks lose that second bolt. Again, when using the pipe method, you can use it with just a regular ratchet as well, and just apply nice even pressure. Increase the pressure gradually until the bolt breaks lose. At this point now, the 19mm bolt, the second of the two is about to come out, and you want to be careful when you pull it out because your rotor could loosen up, which is still supported by the lugs, which your caliper guide is coming off.

Now, it's time for removal of the brake rotor. In this case, we have an ideal situation because the brake rotor is free. In some cases, you'll find that the brake rotor will be rusted and solid against the hub, in which case you can use some penetrating oil, spraying it around. Let it soak in for a little bit, and then give a tap from the back, breaking the rotor free. You've got to use a wire brush to clean off the hub, to get a nice surface for the rotor to lean against.

I've got the brake rotor. Something that you can do is take some mineral spirits, or brake part cleaner and clean the surface of the rotor, and make sure there's no residual oil left over. Once that's done, slide the rotor on the hub. Install a lug nut hand-tight to hold the rotor in place. Now use your wire brush and clean the stainless steel slides. They're on the brake caliper bracket.

That caliper guide cleaned up. We then install the 19mm bolts. Speed up here; Don first pressed those in by hand, and then uses a socket ratchet to preliminarily tighten them. I set the torque wrench to 98 foot-pounds. I'll go ahead and torque the 19mm bolts. At this point, we're going to recommend using brake grease on the surfaces of the pad that come in contact with the caliper and the caliper slide. You can see I've got a little bit of it sprayed here on the back of the pad, working that in. Then also at the edges that are going to fit into the caliper slide itself. We're going to be careful not to get it on the pad itself. When we took the pads out before, notice that the inboard pad had the clip on the end, so that's going to go in first on the inside, snapping into the caliper bracket; same goes for the outboard pad, snapping right in and leaning up against the rotor.

In order to fit the caliper back over the pads, we're going to compress the piston back into the caliper, using a C-clamp. I'm just going to fast forward as Don works that C-clamp in. You can see, as the C-clamp compresses the piston, it goes back into the caliper. You can also use a large pair of water pump or Chanel lock pliers to do this. You open the pliers up as far as they will go and squeeze the caliper and piston. What we're going to do when we're doing that, is use our fingers to keep the slides in, so that the caliper itself fits right back in. If you find that you're getting any resistance, make sure that these are pushed in, and slot it right up. Re-install my 14mm caliper bolts. Speed up here again, as those bolts are tightened up preliminarily. Now, we are going to set our torque wrench to 25 foot-pounds, and that's it.

Fast forward here, as we take that lug nut back off, put the wheel and tire on, and just put the lugs on by hand first, and then preliminarily tighten them. Set your torque wrench to 100 foot-pounds and tighten the lug nuts. Use a star pattern; draw a star pattern as you tighten them, and then just re-check them.

Every time we do brake work, we just make sure that we get in, pump the brakes a number of times, make sure you have you have a good solid pedal, and then do test stops from 5 and 10 MPH before road testing the vehicle.

We hope this helps you out. Brought to you by, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet. Please feel free to call us toll-free, 888-844-3393. We're the company that's here for you on the Internet and in person.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Large C-Clamp
  • Hammer

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Rust Penetrant
  • Brake Parts Cleaner
  • White Grease
  • Mineral Spirits

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

  • Channel-Lock Pliers
  • Lug Wrench

  • Ratchets & Related

  • A Piece of Pipe (for leverage)
  • Torque Wrench
  • Ratchet
  • 1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 14mm Socket
  • 19mm Socket

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2001 - 2001  Infiniti  I30
2000 - 2000  Nissan  Maxima
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2007 - 2012  Nissan  Altima
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2000 - 2003  Nissan  Maxima
2014 - 2017  Nissan  Juke
2013 - 2019  Nissan  Sentra
2009 - 2019  Nissan  Sentra
2007 - 2019  Nissan  Sentra
2007 - 2012  Nissan  Sentra
2013 - 2014  Nissan  Sentra
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