2011 A6 C6 Avant Brake Change.


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Mar 12, 2017
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Hi guys,

I've bought a full set of discs and pads front and rear for my A6 avant, I'm just wondering if it's an easy job? I've had a look on Youtube and it couldn't be easier, but all the cars that the youtubers are working on seem to be around the 2008 model, are they different for the facelift? If so, what?

I've got everything on hand ready to go this weekend but I just thought I would double check before I go ahead and get stuck in (and I can't find much on here regarding this). I understand that I'll need an electronic handbrake tool for the rears and I believe Carista has this function built in which is fine as I have this also.

New bolts will be used as per Audi's recommendation for changing discs and pads and I have things like wire brushes, copper grease etc to get things nice, clean and lubed up.

You should be good to go without any problems.

Carista do have the electronic handbrake release option so it will allow you to remove the caliper.

Good luck and let us see the result

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Quick reply! :icon thumright:

Thanks for the reassurance mate, So is there any difference between the PFL and FL brakes/calipers?

I'll update this when they're done, the calipers are red at the minute from the 1 previous owner so they may have to go back to black while the wheels are off and refresh everything, I'll see how I feel and of course, the weather! :thumbs up:

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Not sure if calipers are any different or not.
Best would be to check for the part numbers to compare.
Pads and discs definetely are sold as different for pfl and fl model but if they are I don't know.
Sorry can't be more helpful on that.

While you're there, think of painting disc hubs. They will rust over time.

I just refreshen mines.
Had them in plain silver but got them done in silver hammered effect with Hammerite paint.
Calipers also repainted, wheels cleaned in&out with seal and tyre dressing.

Now thinking of wheel refurb and colour change so the colour scheme on calipers and disc hubs will need to change, as I like to keep contrast there.
Still deciding

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Looks a lot better mate and makes the whole thing look as new as when it rolled out the showroom :icon thumright: I will be spraying the hubs of the discs front and back before they go on, I had to do this on my 2018 RS3 which is one of the reasons why I chose not to buy Audi discs this time round. I've gone for C Hook discs front and back just to be different, they're probably overkill for an A6 but what the hell :thumbs up:.


Started the job today and got as far as taking the caliper off :whistle2:. Reason being is that the 2 bolts holding the brake carrier on are well and truly stuck! Way above the torque they should be so i'm assuming they've never been removed or loosened during its life and partly seized, I tried using WD40 and shear brute force but nothing was budging so I've gone and bought an air impact ratchet which i'll pick up tomorrow and rig up to my compressor to loosen them off. I think the gun is rated to a maximum torque of 680nm so if that doesn't shift them then nothing will.

So all in all not the most productive day, I was hoping to get at least one side done and finished up today but i'm not back at work until Tuesday so it gives me a few more days to get things sorted and back together. To top it off it started raining half way through, Hopefully tomorrow is a better day and I'll finish one side, the calipers and carriers will be going black instead of the current red so this may slow things down a bit but I can still get the discs on and grease everything up ready.

I'll update this as and when progress happens!
I have read or seen in a video that the bolts can be tight as hell. Location and heat probably plays a part.
The big calliper mount bolts need 180NM when refixing. Nearly made me pass out when torquing those up when I did it recently!
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Well the fronts are on! I didn't realise 4 bolts could take so much time up, I was hoping to get the rears done as well but with me needing the car tomorrow for work and not knowing how hard they'd be, I just thought I wouldn't have enough time if they took as long as the fronts so they'll be getting done on Thursday/Friday on my days off.
The bottom caliper carrier bolt on both sides might as well have been welded in, heat nor an air ratchet gun that I had to buy from screwfix wouldn't shift it and I had a few brief thoughts of putting everything back together and taking it to Audi to do but persistence paid off in the end and they came free with a 5 foot long bar for some leverage, once they was free everything else was a complete breeze :icon thumright:.

A few photos before, during and after:




The 2 culprits holding up the job! I had to buy an air ratchet from screwfix to try and loosen them off and it worked for two, just not the bottom two!



The pads themselves didn't look too bad and had a few miles left in them but on closer inspection I could see the actual friction part of the pad that touches the disk was separating from the back of the pad itself so i'm assuming they were very old pads for this to happen.


I think its fair to say the discs were in a pretty poor state and had seen better days :wtf:



Once the caliper and disc were removed it was time to inspect and attack the general hub area and behind with a wire brush to bring it back to life and to a reasonable standard without spending hours of prep and then spraying etc.



Hub and suspension arm cleaned up as best as it would. Hub disc surface greased.




Dust shroud also was removed, primed and given a few quick coats before going back on. Simple but effective job and makes a big difference if you get your head down to look at the wheel area for whatever reason :icon thumright:. I don't like spraying bolts/nuts etc so I don't mind them being rusty, they aren't on show anyway but if I had thought on then I probably would have replaced them.



Next it was time for the discs to be cleaned with brake cleaner to remove any manufacturing dirt/grease before fitting to the hub. I also replaced the small disc bolt while I was there, for the sake of 33p each from Audi it seems silly not too!



Carrier reinstalled and test fit for clearance on the new disc and pads.



Before the caliper was put back on, the pins were given a good clean with wire wool, wiped and then greased.


The caliper was then reinstalled and disc checked for free movement and to make sure that the disc was central within the caliper, carrier and pads and not to one side. It was at this point I double & triple checked all pin bolts for the caliper and also torqued up the carrier bolts.

Next and final step was to mask everything up that I didn't want to be black, and to spray the calipers whilst on the car. This isn't the most ideal way to spray the calipers but if you mask things up and even some parts of the wing then you should be ok, granted that the wind is down to a minimum to avoid any over spray.




I'm happy with the end result overall, looking back now I maybe should have cleaned up and sprayed the center hub bolt which is still rusty, however you don't see this and can and will be rectified at a later date, its just a case of taking the wheel off, wire brush and spray. :footy:

For anyone doing this yourself, the job is EASY, so easy in that its only 4 bolts holding everything together and then it all comes away but bare in mind that the hardest bolts are the big carrier bolts and if they have never been removed from the car previously then be prepared for a good battle, bare knuckles and lots of time wasted!

I decided to leave the disc hubs as they are and not spray them, if they start to rust like the usual genuine Audi discs do then they'll be getting sprayed on the car as and when.

It'll be the rears this Thursday and then that's the brakes overhauled and onto the next job :thumbs up:

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Great writeup and result.
My brakes are still good so next time I need to change them, I follow your guidance here.
Top work

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Nice looking result you achieved and I’m glad you shifted those bolts in the end. Make sure you gave them plenty of torque when refitting (180NM) as they are critical to safety.

When you do the rears, if it’s the same as my car then you will find a the caliper bolts have 13mm heads which are surprisingly shallow and easy to round off if your spanner slips on them. Try instead tapping the 15mm spanner which loosens the nut and omen that shifts, the 13mm bolt head should be easier.
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Its dead easy as long as you can get those 2 big bolts off, everything else is a walk in the park, but yeah the bolts were tightened up to 180nm and abit more. It didn't seem overly tight as it was fairly easy to achieve this torque I thought. I can't imagine how tight they were before I removed them.

Cheers Sverige, I believe you are right and they are 13 and 15mm bolts for the rears, I always give them a good wire brush before I try to undo bolts just to ensure they get the best contact, but I'll be extra vigilant with these :icon thumright:

I should be doing them tomorrow, I'm just hoping the weather holds out but it is forecast to rain surprise surprise so fingers crossed!
Just a note to anyone reading this and has the 3.0TDI you don't need to remove the caliper mounts to remove the disk.