Just like all the other parts of your vehicle, the brake pads also wear out over time. Most people often find it easier to just take their car to the repair shop and let an expert deal with the problem. Something they probably don’t know is that changing your car’s brake pads isn’t as difficult as it sounds. You only need the right set of tools and you’ll be good to go. These tools include the service manual, floor jack, jack stands, new brake pads, torque wrenches, gloves, replacement rotors(if necessary), tire iron, socket wrench and grease.
Here’s an easy to follow step-by-step guide on how to change your car’s brake pads.
- Jack Up the Vehicle
Begin by making sure that the engine is off and cool. This process is quite similar to when changing your flat tire. Use your tire iron to loosen up the lug nuts. This is done before using the car jack as it prevents the wheels from spinning when suspended above the ground. Some cars have specific jack points hence why it’s important to check the manual.
Lift your car up with the jack and place the jack stands underneath. Then, lower it gently until it rests well on the jack stands before removing the floor jack. You can now continue loosening up the lug nuts and remove the tire.
- Remove the Caliper and Old Brake Pads
The Caliper slows down your wheels whenever you need to stop. To remove the bolts at the back use a socket wrench. You can set the caliper on the rotor and make sure it doesn’t fall.
Remove the brake pads and discard them as you’ll no longer need them. If your new pads came with new clips, be sure to use them to hold the pads firmly in place.
- Replace the Pads
Before installing the new brake pads, apply brake grease. This grease is used to prevent an annoying squeaking noise whenever you press your brakes. It is important to make sure that the grease doesn’t get between the rotor and the pads as the friction that occurs here is important when braking. Now go ahead and place the new brake pads in the same spot you removed the old ones. Check your car’s brake fluid level and add if necessary.
- Replace the Caliper Assembly
Now that you’ve installed your new brake pads, it’s time to replace the caliper assembly. Due to the wearing down of the brake pads, you’ll notice that the assembly doesn’t fit.
Use a socket wrench to tighten the assembly bolts.
- Refit the Wheel
You can use your hands to screw in the nuts before you pick up the torque wrench. These torque wrenches are normally used to apply a specific amount of force to the nuts to prevent over tightening.
Lower your car to the ground and proceed to gently remove the jack.
By following this guide you’ll notice that changing your car’s brake pads is definitely something you can do at home. You just need to carefully follow the steps and all will be well. To make sure that the new ones work perfectly, try testing them out around your neighborhood while keeping a low speed. If you notice any strange noises be sure to let an expert help you out.