• A Disc Brake Replacement Guide

    You may need disc brake replacement if your normal driving contains a lot of stop-and-go, or if you are starting to hear squeaking sounds when you apply your brakes. At this point, it is good to check and replace your worn brakes before you develop brake problems. Disk brake replacement is not complicated, and someone who is able to use tools and follow instructions can perform this task at home.

    You will need to know the make, model and year of your car when purchasing your replacement brakes. There are a few other items that you need before you continue with brake replacement.

    Materials List:

    • Replacement brake pads
    • Disk brake pad spreader or channel lock pliers
    • Old turkey baster
    • Old, clean (free of dirt and water) container
    • Lug wrench
    • Jack and jack stand(s)
    • Wire hanger or strong cord/twine

    Find a level place to park, and chuck the wheels. Open the hood and pop the lid off the master cylinder, because some of the brake fluid must be removed. Use the turkey baster to suck off some of the fluid and squirt it into the container. Drain the majority of the fluid, but do not drain it dry. Using the lug wrench, loosen but do not remove the lug nuts. Jack the vehicle up so the tire is off the ground. Finish removing the lug nuts and the tire from the vehicle. Once the tire has been removed, place your jack stand(s) under the vehicle to support its weight.

    The brake caliper is atop the brake disk (rotor). Remove the caliper mounting bolts or pins, and swivel it up and away from the rotor. Do not remove or kink the brake hose. Using the wire hanger, secure the caliper so it will not hang from the brake hose. Once the caliper is secure, remove the brake pad at the U end of the caliper. Mount your spreader and slowly turn the handle until the caliper piston is completely back into its base. If using channel locks, squeeze against the brake pad and caliper, pushing the piston downward until it is completely back into its base. Check the brake fluid level in the master cylinder. Add some of the fluid back to obtain the proper level, and put the lid back on.

    Each set of brake pads has two different pads.  The pad with the hump mounts on the U side of the caliper. The flat one mounts to the piston side of the caliper. Once the new pads are in place, remove the caliper from the wire hanger, put it back onto the rotor and replace the mounting bolts or pins. Seat the pads by pumping the brake pedal four or five times. Remove the jack stand(s), mount the tire, tighten the lug nuts and lower the vehicle. Finish tightening the lugs and repeat the process for the next wheel. Once completed, check the brake fluid for the correct level.