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D I Y Changing Your Brake Pads

Updated on June 21, 2014

Worn Pad On Left/ New Pad On Right

Signs Of Brake Wear

We all know we need good quality brakes on our vehicles, it is the most important safety feature. Brake pads usually last a fair bit of time on vehicles but they can wear very quickly in some cases but this is caused by other factors. A stuck brake caliper for instance will cause brakes to wear down as the caliper doesn't release fully when the brake pedal in released. This can be caused if there is a tear in the rubber boot around the piston on the brake caliper which will cause in some case the piston to rust. This problem is usually noticed easy enough as the vehicle will seem like its stuck when pulling off also fuel consumption will have increased. When a brake pad or shoe is gone completely you will get a load grinding noise when braking which is followed by a scraping noise once the brake is released. This is the sign of a completely shot pad or shoe and should be done immediately as if not there is a possibility of them sticking together while driving or complete brake failure which is very dangerous.

How To Remove Brake Pads

How to remove brake pads? Its simple.

Step 1. First jack up your vehicle and secure it with jacks stands.

Step 2 Remove your wheels. Once the wheels are removed you will have to look at the brake Caliper. At the back of the Caliper you will notice two bolts with small rubber boots around them. You will see one of these on the top and one on the bottom.

Step 3 Once you find these bolts remove the two of them.

Step Once removed you should be able to gently tap out the Caliper wit a small hammer just to release it away from the brake disc (rotor).

Once this is done you should be able to take off the old pads and see the wear on them. Once you take off the old pads you should check the brake disc for cracks because in some cases of very worn pads it can cause the disc to crack or warp.

Replacing Brake Pads

Replacing the brake pads is a little bit tougher than removing the worn ones. To this you have to get the brake piston back in as it would of been completely out when the pads were worn down. The brake piston is what pushes the pads against the disc and as the pads are wearing down the piston is moving out further as thay wear so this has to be pushed back in so the new pads can be applied. Hers a step by step guide to replacing the brake pads.

Step 1 Remove the cap off the brake fluid bottle under the bonnet. This is located just beside the suspension in the engine bay.

Step 2 Place a lever in between the brake piston and Caliper and apply pressure. You will need a lot of pressure to move the piston. Once a lot of pressure is applied you will see the piston slowly moving back in.

Step 3 Once the piston is reset you can place your new pads in where the old ones came out. Make sure and place them in the clips on the Caliper the right way or they wont be secure.

Step 4 Place the Caliper back on over the pads and disc and re apply the bolts and tighten fully.

Once this is done repeat on the opposite side of the vehicle. Once the other brakes are done you replace the cap back on the brake fluid bottle in the engine bay. Once this is done start your vehicle and pump the brake pedal a few times until the softness is gone out of them. Make sure the brake pedal feels solid before driving the vehicle.

Inside View Of Drums

Brake Drums/Shoes

In some cases in the rear of the vehicle there is brake drums with brake shoes inside. These work in a different way than pads. The shoes work when the pedal is pushed a cylinder inside the drum pushes out the shoes against the inside of the drum causing the car to brake. The brake shoes are in the shape of a half circle and there are two of them inside each brake drum. The handbrake also works off the cylinder when the handbrake is pulled.

If a vehicle is left lying up for a long while with the handbrake on and has drums on the rear it is very likely that the brake drum will seize. If this is the case and the back wheels are seized the only way to free them up is to get under the vehicle and tap the inside of the drum with a hammer and this should free them up.The most likely cause for them to seize is rust and by tapping them with a hammer your freeing up the rust.

© 2014 Patrick


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