• A Brake Pad Replacement Guide for the DIY Mechanic

    So you’ve decided to go about a brake pad replacement by yourself. This might sound daunting at first, but as long as you are willing to follow instructions then the steps to replace brake pads should be really easy.

    Tools and Materials Needed:

    • Jack stands
    • Lug wrench
    • Allen wrench
    • C-Clamp
    • Adjustable wrench
    • Hammer
    • Bungee cord

    Step 1. Loosen the Lug Bolts

    Before you lift your car, make sure that you first loosen the lug bolts on the wheels. It is much easier and safer to do so while they are still on the ground. However, do not completely remove them. Just loosen them up.

    Step 2. Jack the Car Up

    Lift your car and make sure that it is securely positioned and supported by your jack stands. Do not attempt to replace your brake pads without first making sure that your car is securely supported by the stands.

    Step 3. Remove the Lug Bolts

    Now that you’ve lifted the car it will be easier to remove the lug bolts and take the wheel off. Start removing the bottom lug bolts and then proceed with the upper ones, so it will be easy to catch the wheel once it comes off.

    Step 4. Remove the Brake Caliper

    The brake caliper should be located just above the lug bolts on top of the brake disc. Find the bolts on either side of the caliper and remove them with a wrench. Hold the brake caliper at the top and pull it upwards to remove it. Use a bungee cord to hang it from the coil spring. Remember that the brake caliper is attached to the brake line and you should take care not to damage that.

    Step 5. Remove the Old Brake Pads

    The brake pads that might have been causing your brake problems should slide out after you remove the caliper, but this is not always so. If you have difficulty getting them out, you can use little taps with your hammer to coax them out. Before you do that, make sure you note the position of the metal clips that hold the brake pads together.

    Step 6. Place the New Brake Pads

    You can now slide your new brake pads into position, making sure that the metal clips are where they’re supposed to be.

    Step 7. Compress the Brake Piston

    You have to adjust the brake piston to your new brake pads. In order to do this, use a c-clamp and screw one end against the piston and the other end at the back of the caliper. Tighten the clamp slowly until you can place the caliper on the new brake pads.

    Step 8. Replace the Caliper

    Slide the caliper back into place and replace the bolts and tighten them.

    Step 9. Put the Wheel Back On

    Place the wheel back on and then place the lug bolts back into position. Then make sure that you properly tighten them.