How Do I Replace Disc Brake Pads?
When you notice your front wheels squeaking, it’s time for a change of brake pads. Disc brake
pads wear out gradually over time with the front brakes being affected quickly. Do not wait long
before replacing your brake pads and worn out pads can reduce your car’s ability to stop. Disc
brakes usually include a part called a wear indicator which also indicated when the pads require a
change. Getting your pads replaced at Rx Automotive is a quick and inexpensive maintenance
repair and also provides a great opportunity to get a free brake & tire inspection. However, if you
are the hands on type and have a few hours to kill we have detailed below the proper steps to
change your brake pads yourself.
- Disposable mechanic’s gloves for your hands
- Jack and jack stands
- Brake pad replacement kit
- Lug wrench
- Impact wrench
- Wrench (choose a socket, open end or adjustable wrench)
- Plastic tie, bungee cord or piece of string
- High-temperature lubricant
- Wire brush
A Step-By-Step Guide of Replacing Your Disk Brake Pads
1. Jack Up The Car
Before you jack up the car, loosen the lug nets in the wheel. This is so much easier when the
wheel is on ground. Jack up the front or rear of the vehicle, using a floor jack, depending on
which brakes you are changing and place the jack stand under the car’s frame. Lower the jack so
that the car rests on the jack stand securely. Never work on a car which is supported by a jack
only! Give a shake to the jack stands to see whether they are holding the car steadily.
2. Remove The Wheel
Finish unscrewing the lug nuts and then remove the tire from the car using a car wrench or an
impact wrench. For safety reasons, you can place the tire under the vehicle’s body to keep the
vehicle off ground in case it falls down. The brake assembly is now exposed. Remove the cap off
the car’s brake fluid reservoir so that you can apply pressure to the piston in the brake caliper
3. Remove The Brake Calipers
Take a wrench and remove the caliper mounting bolts or guide pins. Note which screws are
removed from the caliper and organize them in such a way that you know which one belongs to
the top and which one at the bottom. Lift the caliper off the rotor but since it is still held by the
brake line, use a bungee cord to secure the caliper to a nearby suspension component. In this way
the caliper is safe from any damage which can lead to brakes failure.
4. Remove The Old Brake Pads
Before removing the old pads, push back the piston being careful not to damage bores or the dust
boots. If you notice any metal clips on the brake pads, remove them and then slide the brake
pads right out. Clean the entire caliper and the mount thoroughly with a wire brush and then use
a damp rag to remove any dust or debris.
5. Installing New Brake Pads
You will have to adjust the position of the piston inside the caliper. Place the screw end of the Cclamp
against the piston. When you turn the screw, the clap increases pressure on the piston.
Keep doing so till you install the new pads in the caliper. Re-cap the brake fluid reservoir once
the brake caliper piston has been fully retracted. Place the caliper in position and reinstall any
bolts and guide pins. Put some high temperature lubricant on all sliding metal surfaces.
6. Put Everything Back On
Put the wheel back on, tighten the lug nuts, remove the jack stands and finally lower the car to
the ground using your jack. Make sure you fully tighten the lug nuts with a torque wrench once
the vehicle is placed back on the ground.
7. Put Your Car To A Road Test
Turn the ignition to the normal driving position so that the brake pedal is depressed. Try
releasing and pressing the brake pedal several times so that the piston comes in contact with the
newly replaced brake pads. Take a short drive around the block at low speeds of not more than
25 miles per hour. Brake to see whether the new brake pads have been properly replaced.
St Charles, IL 60174
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