Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Replacing your car brake pad yourself. Step-by-Step info (Part One)

This post will explain extensively a step-by-step guide on how you can replace your car brake pad once it is due for replacement(DIY). If the procedure listed below is carefully followed you should be able to fix your car brake pad yourself.

Before you read further I will advice you to please not to try this without the supervision of an expert if you don't know anything about car brake pad...

Get the exact(correct) brake pads - (Brake pads are available at any auto spare-parts store or your local car dealers). Tell them the make, model and year of your car. They will definitely offer you a choice of different quality pads with a wide range in price.
In general, the more expensive they are, the longer they last (but be very careful not to buy below standard product as original product). Be aware that some very expensive pads with a higher than desirable metal content may be aimed at the 'Rally' market for use with performance Rotors. You will probably not want those because they are likely to cause premature wear of standard Rotors. Preferably try to obtain brake pads that have a visibly similar metal content to the existing pads. Also, some people find that less expensive pads are noisier than "brand name" pads.

Be sure that the vehicle has cooled down - In cases where you just finish driving the car, you may be working with very hot pads, calipers and rotors. Make sure the parts are safe and won't hurt when you touch it before moving on to the next procedure.

Using a lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts, loose each of the nuts that hold the wheels to the car about half way then Jack the car up.
(NOTE)- You should locate a safe place to position the car jack under the car. Check user's manual or check for markings that indicate where to place the jack. Put some chocks both behind and front of the wheels that are on the ground to stop the car from rolling backward or forward respectively. Jack the car up gradually until the wheel can be easily removed.
(Take Note it is very important) To place blocks or jack stand more preferably under the frame of your car. NEVER trust the jack alone. Repeat same procedure for the other side of the car so that both sides are securely supported.

Finish loosening and removing the lug nuts then pull the wheel straight outward to remove the wheels.

If the wheel rims are Alloy and are either seized or partially seized on the studs, try hitting the tyre at the base with your foot a few times and hopefully it will be easy to remove. whenever you encounter such, you should clean the studs, stud holes, Rotor mounting surface, and the rear mounting surface of the alloy wheel - with a wire brush and apply anti seize compound before refitting the wheel.

You should now see the rotor-(a large, flat metal disc) and also the caliper (a large clamp-like device wrapped around the top of the rotor).

Read further more to learn the principles in details.

Remove the caliper bolts - There are different approach to removing different calipers as there are  many different ways that the caliper is secured and different Caliper designs to the rotor. The mounting position also depends on the Caliper design and whether it is an all one piece, a two piece, or a more complex design Caliper. All One piece Calipers are generally secured with between 2 to four bolts inside of the stub axle housing. Spray these bolts with WD-40 or PB Penetrating Catalyst to aid in removing them. Using a correct size Socket or Ring spanner, loosen and remove the bolts MAKING SURE THAT THERE ARE NO SHIMS FITTED BETWEEN THE CALIPER MOUNTING BOLTS AND MOUNTING SURFACE. In cases where there are, they must be refitted back as they were or the Caliper will not sit correctly. If any do fall out unexpectedly, you will need to refit the Caliper without the brake pads and using a combination of feeler gauges, to measure the difference(s) between the pad mounting surface to the Caliper at the top and bottom. Then, work out the difference(s) and allocate the shims accordingly.

Alternatively, many Japanese vehicles use a 2 piece sliding Caliper that only requires the removal of 2x forward facing, upper and lower, slider bolts, and NOT the removal of the entire caliper. These bolts are often 12 or 14mm heads.

Additionally, if these caliper are completely removed, it is much more difficult to fit the brake pads into them. Check the caliper pressure; the caliper should now move a slight amount if you shake it. If not the caliper is under pressure and it may fly off when you remove the bolts. Take extra precaution to not be in its path, whether it is loose or not.

Next, have a piece of light tie wire handy, about a foot long, before you proceed. As the caliper will still be connected to the brake line, hang it up carefully by the wire, in the wheel well, so that it doesn't drop and have any weight on the flexible brake hose.

This is where I will be stop for today. SO WATCH OUT FOR THE SECOND PART OF THE POST COMING SOON.


  1. Replacing your car brake pad is easy task if you should have good knowledge. you can also look auto expert for replacing your car brake pads, auto expert can help you lot in replacing your brake pads.
    automotive brake pads manufacturers

  2. Nice post, you should please try and publish the second part as the knowledge to be gained from this will come in handy when there is no mechanic available. Well done.

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