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How to Replace the Front Brake Pads on a KIA Sephia

by Jody L. Campbell

The Kia Sephia--known as the Mentor in other international markets--was available in North America from 1994 through 2001. It experienced two generational designs and used a 1.8-liter engine also found in the Mazda Protege and Miata. The import featured front disc brakes and either rear disc or rear drum brakes. Since front brakes on vehicles supply up to 80 percent of the braking power, replacing the front brake pads is more common than replacing rear brakes.

Park the Sephia on level, paved ground. Place one brick in front of one front tire, then place another brick behind one of the rear tires.

Crack the four lug nuts loose on the left front tire using the tire iron. Place the floor jack saddle under the front left frame rail, then lift the Sephia high enough to place a jack stand under the frame rail next to the floor jack. Leave enough room to allow the floor jack to lower so the weight of the Sephia will be placed on the jack stand. Finish removing the lug nuts, then remove the tire.

Carefully pry off the outboard pad retaining spring from the outside of the caliper using a straightedge screwdriver. Be careful not to bend or alter the spring so you can reuse it.

Remove the two caliper guide pin bolts using a suitable metric wrench. Use the screwdriver to pry the caliper off the rotor, then remove the pads from the caliper brace. Rest the caliper on top of the backing plate so it does not dangle from the rubber brake hose.

Clean the surface of the caliper brace where the tabs of the pads sit--upper and lower--using a small wire bristled brush. Apply a light coat of brake lubricant to the same surfaces just cleaned with the wire brush. Use a mechanics acid brush to spread the lubricant, being careful not to contact the surface of the rotor.

Install the shims onto the backing plates of the pads (unless they're staked on with rivets) and then install them onto the caliper brace.

Compress the piston of the caliper using a large set of channel locks. Compress it slowly and thoroughly until the piston is fully receded into the piston bore. Place the caliper over the pads and rotor. Apply a light coat of lubricant to the guide pin bolts and align them into place. Tighten the guide pin bolts, then replace the outboard pad retaining spring.

Replace the wheel and lug nuts and tighten them to 80 foot pounds using a torque wrench and a suitable socket. Tighten the lug nuts snugly first and then lower the left side of the Sephia to use the torque wrench properly.

Repeat steps 2 to 8 for the right front wheel of the Sephia.

Warning

  • Be sure to pump the foot brake pedal several times when the brake job is completed and before driving the vehicle. Compressed caliper pistons take a while to re-seat the pads to contact the rotors, and failing to pump the pedal and seat the pads will result in no front braking response from the vehicle.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.

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