Wednesday 27 September 2023
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How to Change Your Own Brake Pads

How to Change Your Own Brake Pads

Cars are complicated machines, typically requiring lots of specialized knowledge to properly maintain them.  But there are several things you can learn to do if you want to operate your auto repair on your own, at home.

Brake pads, for example, are actually quite easy to replace at home if you have the right tools.  Most of the time you will want to replace your brake pads about every 20,000 miles; but, of course, several variables can affect this timeline.  Frequent “stop-and-go” driving, for example, can shorten the time between brake pad changes.

While most people just have Cross Drilled Rotors inspection and brake pad changes done as part of a normal auto maintenance schedule, you can do it at home.

Change Your Own Brake Pads

What You Need For The Job

The parts can cost between $40 and $100 and the whole job could take no more than an hour (maybe even 30 minutes once you get the hang of it).  You will also need the following tools:

  • lug wrench
  • jack stands
  • C-clamp
  • open-end/adjustable wrench
  • hammer

Step By Step

  • First, you will need to jack up your car on jack stands so you can safely—and quickly—remove the wheels from the axle.
  • Loosen the lugs on the wheels and remove the wheel (or wheels)
  • Remove the brake caliper(s) so you can slide the brake pads out through the top. When you remove the pad, the caliper should be at the “12-o-clock” position, just above the lug bolts. You can find the bolts on the side, then, and remove them; hold the caliper from the top and pull up. You may need to tap it loose, but also make sure you do not disturb the brake line (which is a black hose). Also make sure that you do not let the caliper hang from the brake line.
  • Now you can replace the old pads with new pads and secure them with the same retainers as the old pads.
  • Using the C-clamp, compress the brake piston.
  • Tighten the clamp further so you can slide the caliper back into place.
  • Restore the brake caliper

Practice Makes Perfect

While you will not need to regularly change your brake pads, the more you do this, the easier it will be.  This is the case with most auto maintenance that you can do at home.