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Brake Pad and Rotor Job Checklist & Tutorial

volvo brake and rotor

Thinking about performing a DIY brake and rotor job? Our forum members can help.

Volvo rotor & Brake Pads are custom-designed to give you optimal stopping power every time. With all that power, Volvo Brakes & Brake Pads kick factory brakes to the curb. With better performance and high-powered looks, our brakes give you the firm grip you need for precision braking.

The Volvo brake rotor should be measured at every brake pad replacement. If found to be at or below Volvo’s minimum thickness specification, they will require replacement. The brake rotors should be inspected when the pads are replaced, and depending on their condition, they may need resurfacing or replacement. We recommend braking gently for the first 40 to 50 miles of driving on new pads. This will allow them to adjust to the rotors and help prevent squeaking.

MVS Forum Member gtg737m asks:

I have a 1994 850 Turbo wagon and I need to replace the rotors. Does anyone know of a website where I can find pictures and an explanation on how to replace the front and rear rotors? Is this a simple job for someone who has never done this? I appreciate a lot any help that I can get to do this. Thanks.

Long time MVS Forum Member pfeener says:

Yes, this is one of the best DIY jobs. I’m sure there’s pics of it out there someplace, but you don’t see it so much because it’s pretty basic. If you look through this repair section and the repair section on, you’ll get a good idea of how it’s done. I suggest using Brembo rotors from FCPgroton. Good basis rotors for about $50 ea. I also like the genuine Volvo pads. Dusty little devils, but quiet.

Here’s the steps: (I’m assuming you’re going to change the pads as well)

  1. remove tire
  2. remove the spring clip on the caliper
  3. remove the caliper (7MM hex socket required; remove the caps & the 7MM hex bolts that hold the caliper)
  4. wire the caliper up to the strut spring to keep it out of the way
  5. remove the strut mounting bracket
  6. remove the locating pin/bolt holding the rotor
  7. remove the rotor (you may have to spray the center with PB Blaster and give it a few love taps)
  8. clean the new rotor throughly with brake cleaner
  9. install the new rotor
  10. remove the old pads
  11. loosen the brake bleeder and compress the caliper piston (it’s important to use the brake bleeder so you don’t force the old fluid back through the ABS unit)
  12. coat the back of the pads with brake grease (special grease – not regular grease)
  13. reinstall the mounting bracket, pads, caliper and spring clip
  14. flush the old brake fluid with new dot 4+

Brake Pad and Rotor Job Checklist


PhillyFella says:

I’ve just done my first brake pad replacement (’04 XC70). As earlier posts have noted, this is an easy job for the DIY. When I finished, I tried the pedal and it was mush. I returned to this site and then noticed the cautions about the installation of the spring. It is critical for proper brake functioning and can be installed wrong so easily it is scary. I repositioned it and everything is fine.
Heads up for all doing this job for the first time and a big thanks for those who posted notice about the spring.

I too am looking for some assistance on replacing front brakes on a 2007 XC90. I have replaced many brake pads before on a variety of cars. There appears to be 6 Torx (two different sizes)head bolts that need to be removed in order to remove the brake pads-two bolts T45 are protected by a black plastic housing, the other four are T55 that appear to be holding everything to the car. Am I missing something??

I’m trying to figure out how to replace the front brake pads and rotors. Does anybody know of any tutorials or how to replace job aid with pics? Also, any tips on what kind of rotor and pads to go with.

2007 XC90 3.2 AWD with 50K on it.

Gayle Cureton says:

I took my 2001 Cross Country for it’s 60,000 mile maintenace, and they said I need front brake pads. Ok.

I asked about the back, and at the time, they said they were fine.

Now, only 4 months later, I had to take it in for the Alarm System, and a dead head light. They told me that now, I need brake pads in the back! I do not ride my brakes, and am having trouble trusting these people.

I paid $1,700.00 for an Easy Care warranty, but they said it doesn’t cover brake pads, head lamps or alarm modules.

What a rip!

Do you know of a reliable Volvo repair shop in Monterey, CA?
Right now, my Volvo is at Larry Menke’s in Seaside, CA.

It’s going to cost over $1,000.00 for these repairs. Is this right?



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