Keeping your brakes in mint condition is serious business and it should always be top on your priority list. If you have the time to drive it then you definitely can make time to maintain its proper function.
In an emergency, stopping quickly can mean life or death. You need high functioning brakes so you are able to ensure the safety of you and your passengers who are in the car. If your brakes are making a squealing sound, that may be a sign that you need new brake pads.
Brake pads are easy to change and they can be done in the comforts of your driveway or garage.
Brake Pads can easily be replaced in just 7 easy steps. First…
The Supplies You’ll Need
- Lug Wrench
- Open End Or Adjustable Wrench (Depending On Your Car)
- Allen Wrenches (Depending On Your Car)
- Small Bungee Cord
How to Replace Your Brake Pads
- One side at a time. Do your brake pad replacement one side at a time.
- Remove the lug nuts on the wheel. Once you removed the lug nuts, then lift one side with the jack, place the jack stand for safety.
- Remove the wheel. You can’t replace brake pads with the wheel on so remove the tire and wheel to expose the disc (rotor) and brake caliper.
- Check out all the brake parts. Check the caliper, brake lines, and pads for wear, leakage, and other problems. If the pads need replacing, then remove the caliper. Most calipers are held in place with two or three bolts that go through the top of the caliper. Be sure you are not loosening brake lines or other essentials when loosening the caliper. Some will require the bolts to be completely removed while others will only require loosening.
- Pull the caliper gently away from the rotor. The pads will be loosely ensconced inside and are easily removed by hand. Using a large C-clamp, slowly compress the pressure plate (it usually looks like a pipe coming out of the center of the caliper on the brake-line side). Make sure you’re compressing it slowly and at center so you do not cause damage to the interior rubber. When fully compressed, remove the clamp.
- Replace the pads and the clips. Before putting the caliper back on, inspect the rotor for wear, warps, or cracks. If there are any present, you may need to have the rotor turned or replaced. It will slide off when the tire is removed, so you can remove it now and take it to a professional for repair.
- Replace the caliper and spin the rotor. Using your hand or a helper, have them push the pedal (without getting into the car, for safety reasons) and watch as the caliper compresses. Look for leaks. If none are present, replace the wheel and tire, lower the vehicle, and tighten the nuts. With the keyswitch “on” (but the engine not running), compress the brake pedal a few times to test for softness. The first pump or two will be soft as the piston finds its new starting point on the back of the pad. Put your wheel back on, being sure to tighten all of the lug bolts. Double-check your lug bolts just to be sure they’re all on tightly and YOU’RE DONE!
Tips to Keep in Mind:
- Jack stands are critical safety items for those who need to work underneath vehicles. Putting up a vehicle on jack stands correctly can be the difference between a successful maintenance/repair and a tragic accident.
- Before you pull out the old brake pads, take a second to observe how everything is in installed. If there are little metal clips around the brake pads, note how they are in there so you can get it right when you put things back together. Better yet, take a digital picture of the whole assembly.
Always remember, any service having to do with maintaining proper brake function is important. Ignoring small repairs can quickly lead to more serious and more expensive problems, so always stay on top of things.