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Do it Yourself Brake Job

Updated on January 28, 2016

Do it Yourself Brake Job

Do it Yourself Brake Job
Do it Yourself Brake Job

Do it Yourself Brake Job

A Do it yourself brake job can save you a ton of money. It is not unheard of for a brake job to cost upwards of $150.00 per axle. Doing the same job yourself could cost as little as $15 per axle. The rest of that cost is labor! If you have any doubt about your mechanical abilities, I recommend leaving brakes to a professional. Improper brake repair can lead to a life or death situation! Repairing the brakes on a Dodge Neon is just like any other model of car with four wheel disk brakes. There are eight brake pads, one inner pad and one outer pad for each wheel. Other than the eight brake pads, a car with four wheel disk brakes also consists of a number of other intricate parts that make the brakes function correctly.

If the car that you are repairing only has disk brakes on the front follow steps for front brakes only

Do it Yourself Brake Job

The first thing to do when beginning your do it yourself brake job replacing the front is, with the car still on the ground, loosen all of the lug nuts on the front wheels (DO NOT REMOVE THEM COMPLETELY). Place the floor jack under the rocker panel (panel below the door) on one side of the car. Be sure to locate the jack directly below the notch on the rocker panel, where the OEM jack would normally go and lift the car. Place a jack stand beneath the lower control arm. Repeat the last step on the other side of the car. Never repair vehicle without using jack stands. Once the car is roughly six inches off of the ground, spin the lug nuts off the rest of the way and remove the wheels. I recommend replacing one side at a time. That way, if you forget how to put anything back together, you can use the other side as a guide. Now remove the two mounting bolts from the brake caliper, one on the top and one on the bottom. Once the two mounting bolts are removed lift the caliper off one end at a time. Pulling out the top first, then the bottom. Don't let the caliper fall or the rubber line may break. With a flat head screwdriver gently pry the outer pad from the caliper, leaving the rear pad in place. Using a c-clamp place one end,of the clamp on the rotor contacting side of the remaining pad and the other on the back side of the caliper. Then, completely compress the piston and remove the remaining pad. Now, after applying a liberal amount of the anti-squeak gel (usually included with the pads), replace the pads with new ones and place the caliper back onto the spindle bottom end first. Occasionally getting the caliper back into place may pose somewhat of a hassle, but with a little bit of persistence, it will fall into place. Before replacing the bolts, they must be coated with anti-seize(if yellow anti-squeak gel isn't included). This is the gray paste included with the pads, also lightly coat the back of the pads to prevent squeaking. Replace both bolts and tighten securely. Repeat all of the previous steps on the opposite side of the car. Once the vehicle is completely reassembled, lower it to the ground. With the vehicle in park, start it and pump the brake pedal repeatedly until it no longer depresses all the way to the floor.

Rear brakes on a car, seldom need to be replaced, that's where a lot of unscrupulous mechanics will take advantage of their customers. If by chance they do need replacing, it's the same as doing the front brakes with one exception. After removing the caliper mounting bolts, the parking brake cable must be removed. When reassembling the caliper, the parking brake must be recalibrated by screwing in the piston until it's flush with caliper body. When the brake pedal is pumped, per the last step in the previous paragraph, this will reset the parking brake to the proper position. As always test the brakes at low speed before driving the car normally.

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Do it Yourself Brakes; Comments

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    • aidensdada profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi Adele, thanks for your comment. Without seeing your car or at least knowing what it is its hard to say. Generally pulling is caused by a front caliper sticking. Pulsating pedal is most likely a warped rotor and the leak, you need help to find. Being a rear wheel, its either a wheel cylinder, brake line or caliper (again, depending on the vehicle). If you lay under the car and have someone else press the brake, you should be able to see where it is coming from. Watch for a follow up article. I'll try to put something together soon to help diagnose these issues.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      kind oil on driver near right tireYour Comment... Had. from This service placees done Now find out bad reports place. Car pulls to left found petal pulsesates ism upset cost 350 and is worse

    • profile image

      adele hametz 

      5 years ago

      Helpful I had pads whole work and brakes r worse pulls to left and pulsates can't drive it horror


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