Every now and then, you will have to replace your power stop pads and rotors. This is a task that you can do by yourself if you have a good knowledge of cars and a good guide to help you such as this one. Otherwise, you may need to bring your car to an auto repair shop or look for a brake services technician.
We have shared a step-by-step guide that will help you learn how to replace car brake pads independently.
Let’s get started!
Tools You’ll Need
- Allen wrenches, depending on your car
- Jack stands
- Lug wrench
- Open-end or adjustable wrench, depending on your car
- Small bungee cord
Once you’ve prepared the tools that you’ll need, it’s time to prepare your car’s brake pads. Remember that while doing this task, it’s important to keep safety in mind. After all, you don’t want to break your car, and you don’t want to put yourself in danger too.
Step by step Brake Pad Replacement Process
- You will need to take off your wheels to replace your brake pads, so make sure that you’ve safely jacked up your car and rest it securely on jack stands. Do not work on your car if it’s just supported only by a jack. You’ll need jack stands for it to rest securely. At the same time, it’s best to check your brake discs because they might need replacement as well, depending on the wear they have. But before you do, make sure to break the lugs before jacking it up. It will be easier for you to remove the lugs while the wheels are on the ground. At the same time, it will also be safer.
- Now it’s time to remove the wheel. Breaking the lugs will be easy while your car is still on the ground. It will also be easier to remove the lug nuts from the bottom up. It will keep your wheels in one place before you remove the rest of the lug nuts. It would be easier to catch the wheel after you remove the last nut. Next is unbolting the caliper.
- In some cars, you can separate the pads without removing the calipers. However, most of the cars will need to have the calipers removed before you can access the brake pads. To do so, first, locate it in the 12 o’clock position. There is a bold on either side at the caliper’s rear end. Remove the two bolts either with a hex or Allen wrench, depending on your car. Put the bolts aside. While holding the top part of the caliper, pull it upward and if it doesn’t loosen up, try wiggling it around. Don’t press it too hard so as not to pressure your brake line. Use your bungee cord to hang the caliper onto something. This will keep your calipers set aside safely. Do not let it hang by the brake line because it could cause you major damage.
- Make sure to observe everything and how they are installed in there. The existing pads of the brake are ready to be removed now. Make sure you remember them so when you put things back together, you’ll know how to do it. In fact, it would be better to take a picture of how it is all put together so you have something to go back to if needed. You can now easily slide out the old brake pads. If your car is old and it wouldn’t slide easily, you can use your hammer to tap it just a little bit to loosen it up. If little metal tabs are holding onto the brake pads, put them aside as you’ll need to install them back later on.
- Now it’s time to put on the new brake pads. Put back in the metal clips if your car has them. While doing so, it would be best to inspect your brake discs as well. Now, put back any little remaining clips you’ve removed early on. Be sure to refer to your digital photo to make sure you’ve installed everything correctly.
- Now, you’ll need to compress your brake piston. Your caliper adjusts itself to make sure you have strong brakes. So, they are probably adjusted to match your worn-out pads. You’ll probably see a piston coming out. What you need to do is to push the piston back to its starting point. Be careful not to destroy your new pads.
- Now, slide in the caliper arrangement on top of your new pads. Put back the bolts and tighten them snugly. You can try pressing your brake pedal to make sure you get a solid brake pressure. The first to two pumps will be soft as the piston adjusts. Try again, and it should be strong enough.
- Now, fit the wheel back and tighten all of the lug bolts. Double-check everything, and you’re done!
Changing your car’s brake pads doesn’t have to cost you hundreds of dollars. All you need is the right set of tools and knowledge to get you through.
Take cues from this article and change your car’s brake pads the right way! And if you’ve got no time to do this, you can always consider getting your vehicle to an auto body shop for necessary repairs and other services.