Q Please can you explain the procedure to replace the rear brake pads on my Fiat Coupé 20v Plus? I have taken out the old pads but cannot get enough clearance to fit the new ones. I Spencer
A Before starting the job, you must first check that the handbrake lever on the caliper is fully released and sitting back against the stop on the caliper. For some reason, the cables on the Coupé are prone to water ingress and the resulting corrosion. If the cables are sticky and not releasing properly, they should be replaced before changing the brake pads to prevent premature wear.
Providing the cables are free and the levers are sitting back on the stops, the caliper can be unbolted from the sliding fixings using a 13mm and 15mm spanner. Once the caliper has been removed, the slides should be checked to ensure that they move in and out freely. Also ensure that the caliper is never allowed to hang on the flexible brake hose.
If the slides are free, the piston in the caliper then needs to be wound in. This is best done using the correct tool, but it is possible to use a pair of long-nose pliers to rotate the piston while pushing it back. If the piston does not wind back, you may have a seized caliper. Once the piston has been wound back into the caliper, you should ensure the pads fit smoothly into the carrier and do not stick – a small dab of brake lubricant should be applied to the contact areas before the caliper is refitted. Once the caliper is bolted back in place, the brake pedal should be pumped to position the piston before touching the handbrake.