DIY Car Repair: How to Change Brake Pads

October 1st, 2013 by

Even with all the cutting-edge safety equipment that new cars come with these days, there’s no component quite so essential to safety on the road than your car’s brakes. Brake SystemWhen brake pads get worn down, they lose their effectiveness, making it absolutely necessary to replace them periodically.

Should You DIY, or Just Take it to the Shop?

If you’re interested in saving money on car repairs, replacing brake pads yourself can save you quite a bit of cash. But unless you’re 100% sure you know what you’re doing, it’s best to bring your car to your local Highland service center. Beyond that however, changing brake pads is an incredibly simple operation, requiring just a few simple steps. Take it just one wheel at a time.

  1. Get your equipment together. You’ll need basic car maintenance gear like a jack, lug wrench, and socket wrench, plus a can of brake fluid (and a set of new brake pads, of course).
  2. After loosening the lug nuts, jack the car, put the jack stand in place, and remove the wheel.
  3. You’ll see two slider bolts holding the brake caliper in place. Remove only the lower one, and flip the caliper up. You should be able to just slide the old brake pads out. Remove the old retaining clips as well – your new pads should come with a fresh set.
  4. Snap the new retaining clips into their proper place, apply some graphite-based grease, and then fit the new pads into place.
  5. Now you’ll need to push the brake pistons (located on the caliper) back into their housing so that the new brake pads fit. Use a c-clamp or a piece of wood to accomplish this – and be patient, this can take a little while. As you do this, keep an eye on the brake fluid reservoir (located under the hood) to make sure it doesn’t overflow.
  6. Now just slip the caliper back over the pads, put the lower bolt pack in place, and put the wheel back on.

Repeat these steps for the other wheels, and you’re done! Just be sure to test your new brake pads before hitting the road. And if taking the DIY route seems overwhelming, you can always just bring your car to Bosak Honda in Highland!