How To Replace Brake Pads At Home? A Complete Guide For Beginners

Learning how to replace brake pads is essential knowledge that every driver should know. Day after day, your brake pads get worn steadily, so to ensure your car stops right after you press the pedal, you need to know when and how to replace your old ones by a new set of brake pads precisely. Having your pads replaced by an auto mechanic could be expensive. If you have a technically savvy mind, you may perform the brake pad replacement on your own. Below we discuss the steps involving brake pad replacement.

How To Replace Brake Pads At Home? A Complete Guide For Beginners

1. Materials and Tools

  • A flashlight
  • A container of brake fluid
  • A sturdy car jack
  • Some latex or nitrile gloves (optional)
  • A few clean rags
  • Some old newspaper
  • A sturdy piece of wire (like a coat hanger)
  • Your new brake pads
  • A large “C” clamp
  • A good set of tools
  • A stand to support the car

2. Get Ready

Set the brake upon parking your vehicle on a level surface. Now take the chunks of wood and place them before and after one of the rear tires. Do the same for a front tire if you are going to replace the rear pads. This ensures that the vehicle doesn’t move while replacing the pads.

Don’t touch the pads right after you have driven your car; let them cool down to avoid accidents.

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3. Jack Up The Car And Loosen The Lugs

Loosen the lugs of your vehicle until they spin freely, and use the jack to raise the wheel, and make sure the tire doesn’t come in touch with the ground. Be careful while using one of the frame contact points identified your owner’s manual, and lower down the car onto the stand.

Using any other places to lift the vehicle may substantially damage that section. Once you set the car on the stand, it should be supported in a stable manner. Also, there should remain enough space between the ground and the tire.

4. Remove The Wheel

Removing the wheel is the next step in “How to replace brake pads” procedure. Spin off the lugs carefully and pull it off of the car. It dismounts easily, set it aside. Put the vehicle in gear or re-check the parking brake if you find the wheels seem to be spinning when loosening the nuts.

5. Remove The Caliper

The first thing you notice when removing the wheel is the rotor or the disc. The shiny and circular’s location is right behind the wheel. Instead of directly touching the caliper and the rotor, try feeling the back of the caliper first. There are two bolts, one for each end.

Use an appropriate wrench to loosen the bolts on the caliper. Remove the caliper from the disc. Once you have removed the caliper, use the wire to support it and make sure there is no pressure on the line.

When replacing pads on the rear wheels, check to make sure the parking brake is not set. If there is a bit of pressure on the parking brake, then it will not be possible to remove the caliper.

6. Remove And Replace The Pads

Check and find out the way the pads are mounted, and remove them. The piston looks like a cup lying on the inboard side of the caliper. Take the “C” clamp and use it to compress the piston back into the caliper. Following the manual, replace the pads.

7. Reassemble The Components

Putting everything back together is easier than what you think. Carefully tighten the caliper bolts. Do the same for each wheel.

This whole process comes handy in changing brake pads. Never try to change car brake pads when you find out that there is something wrong with the brake rotors; since it’s a symptom of a more severe brake issue. Also inspect the disc carefully to trace signs of excessive grooves.

Check out the video below to learn about how to replace brake pads at home in detail:

Frequently Asked Questions Related To Replacing Brake Pads

1. How Does A Brake System Work?

The braking system of a car plays an important role in your driving experience. It works to keep you safe from everything on the street. For example, your brake system will help you stop when you are going to hit a school bus or anything else. The principle of brake system is easy to understand. It is a simple hydraulic system which enables the force applied at the pedal to be transformed to clamping force at the wheel. What the video below to know how the brake system works in detail:

2. How Much Does It Cost To Change My Brakes?

If you are driving a typical vehicle regularly, the fee to change your brakes is from $50 to $80 (for 4 sets of pads); and from $150 to $200 for a set of rotors and pads, both front and rear. The time a mechanic needs to replace the brake system is from 1 to 2 hours. Hence, by replacing the brake system yourself, you will save around $170.

3. How Do I Know If I Need To Change My Brakes?

A worn down brake pad shows some main symptoms such as: making weird or squeaking noise when applied. Modern cars have brake pad wear sensors so they will alert the driver on the dash when the pads need to be replaced. Additionally, a worn brake pad requires a longer stroke to clamp down on the rotor than normal brake pad. So if you detect any symptoms about in your car, it will be time to change your brake system and take an overall maintenance for your car if necessary.