How To Change Brake Pads & Rotors on a Porsche Boxster & Cayman (2013-2016)

Maintenance Interval Condition Based
Estimated Dealer Cost $2300
Estimated Independent Mechanic Cost $1800
Estimated DIY Cost $700
Repair Time 4 hours
DIY Difficulty Medium

When it comes to saving money maintaining your car, changing your own brake pads is one of the best ways. Another thing to consider is whether you should change out just your brake pads or both the brake pads and rotors. Most manufacturers recommend changing the brake pads and rotors at the same time. While we generally agree, if your brake rotors are evenly worn and have sufficient thickness remaining, you can just replace the brake pads.

To perform this DIY, check out this helpful tutorial above from YouTuber, Dan Day. Detailed steps can be found below.

Note: This write-up is not for vehicles equipped with Porsche Carbon Composite Brakes (PCCB).

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Torque Specs & Fluid Capacities:

Caliper bolts: 63 ft-lbs
Wheel bolts: 118 ft-lbs​

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare your vehicle and work area

  • Ensure your car is parked on a flat surface and the brakes are cool.
  • Put on eye protection and gloves.
  • Gather tools and parts.

Step 2: Extract a small amount of brake fluid from the brake fluid reservoir

  • Extract a little bit of brake fluid from the reservoir to prevent it from overflowing during this procedure.
  • To do this, open front compartment area, remove the plastic panel covering brake fluid reservoir.
  • Unscrew the brake fluid reservoir cap, remove the mesh filter inside, and extract a little bit of brake fluid using a new turkey baster.
  • Save this brake fluid in a clean container, so you can re-use it later.
  • Reinstall the brake fluid reservoir cap when you are done to prevent debris from getting in.

Step 3: Raise your vehicle off the ground

  • You can raise your car one corner at a time or raise the entire vehicle.
  • To do this, either use a vehicle lift or a jack and jack stands.
  • NEVER rely on a jack to keep your car up; use jack stands to safely support your vehicle.
  • Also be sure to use wheel chocks to prevent your car from rolling.
  • To lift your vehicle on jack stands, check out this helpful video from the YouTube channel CarFanatic.
  • To get a jack stand under the front jack point, lift the vehicle from the rear jack point on the same side.
  • Once the front jack point is high enough, slide the jack stand under the jack point and lower the vehicle.
  • To get a jack stand under the rear jack point, lift the vehicle from the front jack point.
  • Note: Be sure to loosen your wheel bolts before you lift the wheel off the ground.

Step 4: Starting with one of the front corners, gain access to the brakes by removing the wheel

  • Remove the wheel using a 19mm socket and breaker bar.
  • Place two wheel guide bolts to help you remove the wheel.
  • If your brake components have corrosion, apply penetrating oil to the brake caliper bolts.

Step 5: Remove the brake caliper

  • To replace your brake pads and rotor, you will need to remove the brake caliper. 
  • Start by removing the brake line bracket which is held on with one 10mm bolt. 
  • Carefully, pull out the brake pad sensor from the brake pad and disconnect the brake pad sensor completely. Depress the plastic tab on the sensor connectors and pry it off.
  • Take a string or bungee cord and tie the brake caliper onto the suspension to prevent it from hanging by the brake line. 
  • Remove the brake caliper, which is held on by two bolts, using a T55 Torx socket.

Step 6: Remove the brake pads

  • Using a brake pad spreader, spread out the brake pads. This will allow the new brake pads, which are thicker, to fit over the rotor.
  • Carefully, pull out the brake pad sensor from the brake pad; disconnect the brake pad sensor completely.
  • Fully remove the old brake pads out of the caliper.
  • Note: If you are only replacing the brake pads, skip to step 9.

Step 7: Remove the brake rotor

  • Remove the 2 screws holding the brake rotor in place.
  • If you have difficulty getting the brake rotor off, apply some penetrating oil to where it meets the hub and use a hammer to lightly tap around the wheel hub area; let the penetrating oil get to work for a few minutes, then use a rubber mallet to loosen the rotor.
  • Note: For the rear brakes, make sure your parking brake is not engaged or you won’t be able to get the rotors off.

Step 8: Install the new brake rotor

  • IMPORTANT: Be sure to install the correct side rotor on each corner.
  • Apply anti-seize to where the rotor meets the wheel hub and to the brake rotor set screws to prevent them from seizing in the future.
  • Install the new brake rotor and hand tighten the set screws.

Step 9: Install the new brake pads

  • Apply brake lubricant around the edges of the brake pad to prevent squealing.
  • Insert the brake pad sensor through the top of the brake caliper and connect the sensor to the brake pads.
  • Insert the new brake pads into the brake caliper.

Step 10: Re-install everything

  • Re-install everything in reverse.
  • For the brake caliper bolts, apply thread locker and torque them to 63 ft-lbs.
  • Hand tighten the 10mm bolt that holds the brake line in place.
  • Torque the wheel bolts to 118 ft-lbs and be sure tighten the wheel bolts in a star pattern.

Step 11: Repeat the procedure on the other front corner

Step 12: Move onto the rear corners

  • To replace the rear brake pads and rotors, you can follow the prior steps, but the are a few differences.
  • If you are going to remove your rear rotors, ensure the parking brake is disengaged.
  • To remove the brake pads in the rear, you’ll need to remove the brake pad spring clip as shown in the video.
  • Pull out the cotter pin in between the caliper and brake pad, then carefully punch the pin out while keeping some pressure on the spring clip.
  • With the spring clip removed, spread out the brake pads, then pull the pads out and disconnect the brake pad sensors.
  • Now you can follow the prior steps to install the new brake pads and rotor.

Step 13: Lower the vehicle to the ground

Step 14: Top off the brake fluid reservoir as necessary

  • Get inside the car and give your brakes a few pumps until the pedal is firm.
  • Top off your brake fluid reservoir to just under the max line; do not overfill.
  • Re-install the brake fluid reservoir mesh filter, cap, and plastic cover.
  • Clean up and put all of your tools away.
  • Congrats. You’re all done and just saved a bunch of money!

2 comments on “How To Change Brake Pads & Rotors on a Porsche Boxster & Cayman (2013-2016)

  1. Very helpful video. Lots of good tips here. I suggest not removing the plug for the ABS as it really isn’t necessary. You may have to destroy the brake pad sensor as they are hard to get off. It is easy to install new ones which i did.

    If you are replacing rotors, be sure to have a stuck screw removal kt. 4 of the 8 holding the rotors to the hubs on my 981 were frozen and my car has been a southern car since new. An impact driver might work, but I doubt it.

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