Protecting and Preserving Your Auto Parts: Tips for DIY Mechanics

Why You Should Change Your Brake Pads At Home

If your car is approaching the number of miles required to change brake pads, you might be planning on taking it to a local repair store or auto shop, but you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that you can actually change your brake pads yourself. Few specialized tools are required and with some time on your hands, it can be completely easily and effectively.

While front pads will almost always need to be replaced before the ones on your rear tires, listen for the characteristic metal squeaking or grinding when you break to let you know it's time to replace those pads.

What You Will Need

Besides a pair of gloves to keep you hands clean, you will also need a car jack to keep the weight off of the tires, a lug wrench, turkey baster or syringe to remove brake fluid, piece of string or bungee cord, and a small length of wood. In addition to your tools, don't forget the brake pads themselves (that you can buy from the manufacturer) and a can of new brake fluid.

Step 1: Take Apart the Wheel

First, loosen the lug nuts on the wheel, and jack your car up so that you can remove the main tire. In order to access the brake assembly, you must fully remove both the rubber tire and rims. After this is complete, you will see two slider bolts that hold the caliper in place, and you need to loosen the lower one.

At this point, you can also check the thickness and wear on your brake pads to ensure they actually need changing.

Step 2: Remove the Brake Pads

Assuming your pads have been worn down, they are only loosely connected with clips to the rest of the assembly and can simply be slid out.

Step 3: Replace Old Pads

Just as you removed the old version, slide the thick, new brake pads into the assembly and attach with the provided new clips to ensure they're secure. Also apply a small amount of grease (that should be included in the packaging) to prevent any squeaking.

Step 4: Putting the Wheel Back Together

Before returning the caliper to its original position, you will need to use a wrench or piece of wood to retract the pistons, and then the caliper can easily be lowered into place over the assembly and the bolts tightened. After this, you can simply place the main tire back on top and tighten the bolts.

If necessary, move on to your next wheel, and always consult a professional like Stopmaster Brake Service Pty Ltd if you are having trouble.