Brake pad replacement is a necessary procedure that every driver should know. Your pads should get worn more than the usual limit, to make sure your car stops right after you press the pedal. 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.
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
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.
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.
Remove the Wheel
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.
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.
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.
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.