How to Replace Brake Pads: A Beginner’s Guide
Driving is something that many people consider to be a right. They feel that they have every right to be on the road and to use this method to get from point A to point B. However, even though driving is a right in some ways, it is also a responsibility. It is every driver’s responsibility to make sure that they follow the rules of the road and pay attention at all times to ensure their safety as well as the safety of everyone else on the road.
You must know how to handle any critical situation as a driver including replacing the brake pads. It is one of the most important skills you should learn. That is because faulty brake pads can be a serious danger to all parties involved in traffic.
Required tools to replace brake pads
Before you are going to replace your brake pads, you require some tools. You may have some this at your house, but most of the tools are auto parts. So that, it will be better to buy these tools from any auto store. If you have this tools, you don’t need to pay extra fees to the garage. Let’s introduce few tools that are required to change the brake pads.
Car’s manual: Without having the car’s manual, it’s highly recommended not to try repairing the car. If you don’t have your car’s manual, you can find it online. A car’s manual is very useful to repair any parts of your car. You can search with your model number and get the manual as a PDF file. Save it to reuse it again.
Jack and Jack Stands: Floor jack is the ideal tool that you’ll require to jack up your car. If you are going to replace your brake pads, then you must have jack stands to hold the car. It’s highly recommended that you should use the jack stands with at least ¾ of your car’s weight. So that, there’ll be no chance to have an injury.
To change brake pads on a vehicle, you will also require several tools, such as brake system cleaner, brake anti-squeal compound, high-temperature brake grease, and new pads, of course. You will also need some tools which include lug nut wrench, large C-Clamp, length of wire or bungee cords, wrench, socket, and Allen wrench or Torx wrench. The latter tools are depended on the caliper design. As the dust from the brake system and brake fluid are harmful to your health, protect yourself with filtering mask, safety goggles, and possibly gloves.
Steps to replace brake pads
After all, the brake parts and tools are prepared, now you are ready to replace your pads. As mentioned earlier, arm yourself with a service manual for your car type since it is significant for a safe and correct replacement.
Step1: Cool Down The Car
The car has to be completely cooled down before anything is done. Heat expands the metal alloys that the pads are made of which means the size has increased slightly. You also need to wait until the car is completely cooled down so that your hands don’t burn whilst replacing the brake pads.
Step 2: Remove The Wheel
Then, you need to remove the wheel. The lugs should be easy to take out, it is best to do so from the bottom up. Before ready to remove the wheel, elevate the car and set the stands under a structural point and get ready for the next step.
Step 3: Remove The Brake Caliper
Next, in order to remove the brake pads, you must first remove the brake caliper. The brake caliper can be located just above the lug bolts, sitting on top of the brake disc. There is a bolt that keeps the caliper in place. You can remove it easily using the suitable wrench.
There are different types of bolts that could be keeping it in place, so it is a good idea to have different wrenches handy. Now you can pull the caliper off by pulling directly up. You may need to wiggle it a bit in order to loosen it. Now you can set the caliper someplace convenient, or use your bungee cord to tie it up.
Step 4: Remove the Brake Pads
Now comes the time to remove the brake pads. They should actually slide right out without giving you any trouble. Remember how they are attached though because you will need to know this when you are installing the fresh ones.
If you are driving an older vehicle, you may need to tap them with your hammer a bit to get them unstuck. There may be some small metal tabs keeping the pads in place as well. If so, make sure you hang onto them; you will need them when you put the new pads in.
Step 5: Replace New Brake Pads
Now you can easily slide your new brake pads in, using the metal tabs to keep them in place if applicable. Now with your new pads affixed, you should adjust the brake piston. This piece of equipment adjusts as your pads wear out in order to keep your brakes working efficiently.
To readjust it, you need your c-clamp. Put the end of the clamp with the screw against the piston. The other end should rest behind the caliper assembly. Now, you need to insert the pads after the clamp is tight until the piston has moved to a point.
Step 6: Put Everything Back Together
The next thing you need to do is slide the caliper assembly over your new pads. Replace the bolts. At this point, it is a good idea to push down the brake pedal a few times so that you may be assured of your brake pressure. Now you can replace the wheel and the lug nuts.
It is a good idea to make sure that the lug nuts are truly secure. At this point, you have successfully changed the brake pads on your car.
If you are done replacing the old brake pads with the new one, make sure you replaced the brake pads that will be long-lasting. Try to follow the car’s manual always to avoid unavoidable situations. Happy Driving!