Bringing your car to a complete stop safely is one of the most important actions your car must accomplish. Brake pads take a beating and their overall wear must be monitored over time. When it is time to replace your pads, you could spend more at the mechanic, or you can change them yourself! Read through for a guide to replacing your brake pads.
Replacing a brake pad
To begin the process of replacing a brake pad, you must first reference your car’s manual for the specific brake pad and brake fluid. Make sure to follow any manufacturer guidelines to avoid any size or fit issues. Once you have purchased the right pads and fluid, you must get the right tools for the job.
- Socket Wrench kit
- Jack and Jack Stands
- Torque Wrench
- Brake Pad C-Clamp
- Lug Wrench
Getting the car into position
Make sure the car is on a level surface and engage the parking brake. Before lifting the car, make sure to loosen the lug nuts on the wheels with the lug wrench. Following the car’s manual, place the jack in the proper location to lift the vehicle. Lift the vehicle to where the tire/wheel are off the ground at a height that you can easily access the wheel well. Place the jack stands in the appropriate locations and make sure they are set before disengaging the jack. Slowly lower the car onto the jack stands.
- Remove the wheel: For wheel removal instructions, check out our previous blog post!
- Remove the slider bolt: The slider bolt holds the brake caliper in place and removing this will allow it to slide up. Do not remove any connected lines while sliding the caliper.
- Remove the old brake pad: With the caliper moved out of the way, the brake pad is exposed. Slide the pad out and change the clips that came with the new pads. Always replace the old clips. They are designed to snap into position to hold the pads in place.
- Install the new brake pad: Just as the old pad slid out, the new one will slide into place and the new clips will hold it in position. Make sure the piston is pulled back so that it fits the new pad. Use the C-Clamp to get it into position.
- Slide caliper back into position: If the caliper does not slide back into position, you may need to readjust the piston so that the caliper can fit over the pad.
- Reposition Slider Bolt: Put the slider bolt back into position. Tighten it accordingly.
- Put the wheel back on: Tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern to create an even pressure on the wheel for better driving.
- Repeat these steps for other pad: The vehicle should stay on the jacks so you can change the other pad. Repeat the steps in the same order for the other side.
Safely take the car off the jacks and you have successfully replaced the brake pads yourself.