New Call-to-action

We all know that a car’s brakes are among the most critical components to keep in good condition and that holds true with the Volvo C30. Worn out brakes are a danger to you and everyone around you. The brakes will always be larger at the front because they do most of the braking; this is because the rear of the car would become unstable if it had a better stopping ability than the front. A side effect of the size difference is that the rear brakes tend to last longer than the fronts. The size difference doesn’t make them any less critical, however, and they remain a vital part of the brake system.

Thankfully, modern disc brakes are cheap to maintain and easy to work on, making maintenance a DIY friendly job. With a few hand tools and a little bit of time, you can keep your brakes in proper condition. This DIY will cover the rear brakes, but you can find the Volvo C30 front brake replacement DIY here


Volvo Models and Years applicable:

  • 2004-2011 Volvo S40
  • 2006-2013 Volvo C70
  • 2005-2011 Volvo V50
  • 2008-2013 Volvo C30


Symptoms of worn Volvo C30 rear brakes:

  • A grinding coming from the rear, under braking
  • Juddering or a vibration coming from the back, under braking
  • Deep grooves on the rotor surface
  • Dark-colored deposits on the rotor surface
  • The vehicle’s steering pulling to one side, under braking

The effects of worn brake pads and rotors on the rear won’t be as noticeable as the fronts. With that said, they will still make it apparent when they need to be changed. Because the rear brakes are smaller than the fronts, they will be cheaper to replace as well. 

Don’t drive your Volvo if you can’t change the brakes yourself. The safest action would be to park the car until you can have a qualified technician do the job.


How long will it take to replace Volvo C30 rear brakes?

A safe estimate for completing a pad and rotor change, as well as a fluid flush, would be around two and a half hours. It could take more or less time, depending on the condition of the parts and the tools you have at your disposal. 

You will need a vacuum bleeder or a second person to help if you are going to flush the brakes afterward. 


How much will it cost to replace Volvo C30 rear brakes?

Having this job done by a Volvo certified professional can cost nearly $500. Buying parts from the dealership is always more expensive than buying from a parts retailer like us. On top of the increased cost of parts, you’ll have to pay for the labor.

A set of brake pads and two rear brake rotors will total just over $120, a far cry from what the dealership would charge. The brake fluid we sell is a smidge over $4. Consider buying four bottles if you are going to flush the old fluid out. 


Tools required to change Volvo C30 rear brakes:


Parts required to change Volvo C30 rear brakes:


Steps required to change Volvo C30 Rear Brakes:

Step 1: Jack the car up and remove the wheels

First, take a 19mm socket and loosen the wheel nuts no more than one full turn. Next jack up the car and place the jack stands on the jack points. These will be just in front of the rear wheels, under the side skirts. 

Remove the lug nuts and wheels once the car is secured on the jack stands.


Step 2: Remove the caliper from the carrier bracket

On the face of the caliper is a thin metal clip. Pry the tabs out and remove it with a flat blade screwdriver.

DIY Volvo Rear Brake Job removing rattle clip

Next, locate the caliper guide pins. Located on the left and right side of the caliper, they secure it to the carrier bracket and allow it to slide. A dust cap covers the heads of both of the pins. After removing the dust cap, use a 7mm Allen wrench or socket to loosen and remove the guide pins.

DIY Volvo Rear Brake Job guide pin location

DIY Volvo Rear Brake Job guide pin Allen head

Remove the caliper from the bracket once the pins have been removed. The caliper may fight its removal because of the brake pads making contact with the rotor. To combat this, pull the caliper assembly outwards before its removal; this will compress the piston slightly, freeing the tension from the rotor. 

Hang the caliper out to the way after it is removed. Letting it dangle by its rubber brake line can cause it to tear, and making it hang by the e-brake cable can cause it to fray. Use a zip tie or bungee cord to take the tension off of the line and cable.


Step 3: Remove the caliper bracket and the rotor

The two brake pads will be resting in the caliper bracket if they don’t fall out during the caliper removal. They can be taken out by hand. Notice that the rear pad has a small clip on the back; this is important for reinstallation. 

The caliper bracket needs to be removed to replace the rotor. The bracket mounts the knuckle using two 13mm bolts. Remove them and set the bracket aside. 

DIY Volvo Rear Brake Job loosening bracket bolts

With the bracket out of the way, the rotor can be pulled off. 


Step 4: Resetting the caliper piston

The piston inside the caliper is what pushes the brake pads against the rotor. The new pads will be thicker than the old ones, so the piston will need to be pushed back into the caliper to allow the new pads to fit. 

On the face of the piston are two holes. Using anything you can, although needle nose pliers work well, grip the two holes, and twist the piston to the right. Holding the plier into the piston with one hand, while using an adjustable wrench to grip the plier handles with your other hand has been proven to work. 

DIY Volvo Rear Brake Job piston hole location

DIY Volvo Rear Brake Job turning pliers with the wrench


Step 5: Install the new brake rotor, the brake caliper bracket, and new brake pads

Clean the hub where the rotor mounts against before sliding the new rotor on. Put the new rotor on and then line up the caliper bracket. Carefully thread in each bolt before tightening them down, so as not to cross the threads. 

The pads can be set in the caliper bracket once it is bolted down. The pad with the clip on the back is going to sit on the back of the rotor. Apply the anti-squeal paste to the back of each pad if you have it. 

DIY Volvo Rear Brake Job installing pads and grease

Do not get any grease on the rotor surface or brake pad material. If you do, wipe it off and clean the area with a degreaser.


Step 6: Reinstall the brake caliper

The caliper can now be reinstalled with everything else in place. Slide the caliper over the pads, pushing it down until it stops. Give it a few taps with a mallet if its a little tight. Pull the caliper off and continue to thread the piston in if it’s very tight to get on.  

Next, lightly grease the guide pins before threading them in. Put the grease on the smooth part of the pin and not the threads. Torque the pins to 32Nm, or 23.6 lb-ft of torque. If you aren’t going to bleed the brakes, you can put the wheel back on, tighten it up and go for a drive. 


Optional Steps:

Step 7: Bleed the brakes

Start at the caliper farthest away from the brake master cylinder, working your way up to the closest. On the back of the caliper will be a bleed screw. When loosened, the screw will allow brake fluid to escape. Remove the protective rubber cap from the bleed screw and place the box end of a 10mm wrench around the bleed screw. Next, attach the motive bleed bottle hose. 

Go under the hood and fill the brake master cylinder to the top with fluid. During the brake bleed, no air can be allowed into the system. This means that the brake master cylinder must always be filled with brake fluid; otherwise, it will push air through the lines.

DIY Volvo Rear Brakes bleed screw setup


Now the brakes are read to be bled. Have a partner hold down the brakes and then open up the bleed screw. Have them hold the pedal down while the screw is open and close the screw before taking their foot off the pedal. Next, have them pump the pedal three times and hold it down before you open the bleed screw again. Repeat this process until clean and clear brake fluid comes out, and then repeat that process for each corner of the car. 

Now that your rear brake pads and rotors have been replaced on your Volvo C30, you can get back to safely driving your vehicle on the public roads. If you’re interested in more DIYs for your Volvo, you can visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel.


author image
Written by :
Christian Schaefer

More Related Articles