How To Change Brake Pads

Changing brake pads is an important part of car maintenance and can help improve the performance and safety of your vehicle. It is a relatively simple job that most car owners can do themselves if they have the right tools and instructions. 

In this blog post, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to change your brake pads quickly and safely. So, if you’re ready to get started, read on to find out how to replace your brake pads.

Park the car on a level surface and engage the parking brake

Before you begin changing the brake pads, it’s important to make sure that the car is parked on a level surface. This will help to keep the car secure while you are working on it. Additionally, it is important to engage the parking brake to ensure the car does not roll away during the process. 

To engage the parking brake, push the lever down with your foot until you feel the brake engage. Make sure to push it down as far as it will go for optimal safety. When finished, check that the brake is engaged by trying to move the car forward and backward. If it does not move, you have engaged the brake successfully and can now proceed with the next step.

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Jack up the car and remove the wheels

Before you begin the process of replacing your brake pads, it’s important to make sure that the car is parked on a level surface. Engage the parking brake before you jack up the car to ensure it will not move while you are working. 

Once you have done this, locate the jack points near the wheels and position your jack safely. Raise the car so that there is enough room to fit in the jack stands and adjust their height so they hold up the car securely.

Now that the car is safely jacked up, remove the lug nuts that hold the wheel on the steering knuckle and then pull off the wheel itself. It may be necessary to use a hammer to break the seal between the wheel and the hub if it’s stuck on tight. Make sure to save the lug nuts in a safe place when you’re ready to reinstall them.

Unbolt the caliper assembly from the steering knuckle

Before you can access the brake pads, you’ll need to remove the caliper assembly from the steering knuckle. To do this, first use a wrench to loosen the two caliper mounting bolts, located on the back side of the assembly.

Once the bolts have been loosened, carefully pull the caliper assembly away from the steering knuckle. Be careful to not let the caliper hang by its brake hose, as this may cause damage. If necessary, use a bungee cord or rope to suspend the caliper in an upright position.

Also, disconnect the brake pad wear sensor from the caliper assembly and set it aside. You’re now ready to remove and replace the brake pads.

Remove the old brake pads

The first step in changing brake pads is to remove the old ones. To do this, you will need to locate the caliper assembly. This is a large metal piece that sits near the wheel. The caliper holds the brake pads in place. Once you’ve located the caliper, you’ll need to unbolt it from the steering knuckle. 

Once it’s free, you can gently pry it off and remove the old brake pads. Make sure to keep track of the orientation of the caliper and brake pads so that when you reinstall them, they are facing the right direction. Once you’ve removed the old brake pads, you can discard them and move on to the next step.

Install the new brake pads

Before installing the new brake pads, make sure that they are of the same size and type as the old ones. Start by pushing the piston back into the caliper. Make sure to not over-compress it. If necessary, use a C-clamp or an old brake pad to press the piston back in. 

Once the piston has been compressed, slide the new brake pads into the caliper. Make sure to check that the anti-rattle clips are in place. Secure them with a few drops of thread lock adhesive if necessary. Finally, reinstall the caliper assembly onto the steering knuckle.

Reattach The Caliper Assembly

Once the new brake pads have been installed, the caliper assembly can be reattached. Start by positioning the caliper over the brake rotor. Make sure that the anti-rattle clips are also in place. Secure the caliper assembly to the steering knuckle using the bolts you removed earlier. If any of the bolts are worn or damaged, replace them with new ones. 

After all the bolts have been tightened, use a torque wrench to ensure that they are torqued to the correct specification. Finally, check to make sure that the caliper assembly is properly seated and that all of the components are in place before moving on to the next step.

Lower the car and test the brakes

Once you have finished installing the new brake pads, it is time to lower the car back down. Place the jack stands at the same level as the car and slowly lower the car back down. Once the car is fully lowered, give it a quick visual inspection to make sure all components are securely fastened and that there are no loose pieces.

Now it’s time to test the brakes. Make sure that you are in a safe area with no obstructions. You can start by lightly pressing the brake pedal a few times to make sure that everything feels normal. After that, press the brake pedal harder, but don’t slam it to the floor. 

Listen for any squeaking or grinding noises coming from the brakes and feel for any vibrations or shudders coming through the pedal. If everything seems good, then you can drive your car around a bit to test the brakes further.

Once you are satisfied with the brakes, you can take your car out for a long drive to test them at higher speeds. Keep an eye out for any signs of brake problems such as excessive braking noise, fading of the brakes, pulling of the vehicle when braking, or any other unusual behavior. If everything is working properly, then you have successfully installed new brake pads!

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