How to Change Brake Pads

There is nothing more important than the car’s ability to stop itself. Car racers will tell the braking capacity of a car takes priority over acceleration.

However braking systems are often a cause of failure usually because of our neglect. Formula One racing cars will not even stop effectively with damaged brake pads. The main reason is the equipment not the driver.

As the braking is concerned, it is important to maintain finest friction pad depth for ensuring the braking system’s maximum performance. It means that the brake pads should be changed. Before starting, it must be remembered that the brakes are the most important system of a car. Take sufficient time to get familiarized with car brakes before starting.

Change Brake Pads

Preparation for brake pad replacement

Brake pads are needed; make sure they come along with anti-squeal device like shim. There is also another option to buy some fluid for adding to the back of the brake pads.

Brake pads are available in many types of flavors. Cheap pads will normally wear out faster leaving an ugly dust on the front wheels. On the other hand, expensive pads will of course leave less amount of dust but if they are harder pads then they will be more vulnerable to squealing.

Changing the brake pads

  1. Pull the parking brake and rear tires should be blocked so the car will not move.
  2. The lug nuts should be now loosened.
  3. Use a jack to raise the car and then use jack stands to place it securely.
  4. Remove the lug nuts and take out the wheel.
  5. The brake calipers holding the brake pads will be easily seen now, they will be in place against the rotor. Every wheel has two brake pads squeezing the rotor. Compress the caliper piston into the caliper housing by using a C-clamp. By doing this, it will be possible to detach the caliper assembly, it also makes a room for the increased pad width of the new brake pads about to be installed.
  6. The caliper mounting bolts have to be unbolted and the caliper has to be pulled back from the rotor. This should be done carefully so that the brake hose does not break or bend. At times, the caliper mounting bolts require using a star bit or torx instead of an ordinary socket set. Make sure that you have the right tools for the task so you won’t have to go back to the store.
  7. Now, the brake pads have to be removed from the caliper. They should be examined for uneven or any unusual wear. If the pads are wearing at an angle or only one pad is wearing down, then these could be signs of problems and they have to be immediately addressed.
  8. Avail this time as a good opportunity to examine the rotors. If their conditi0on is such that they have deep grooves or shuddering was noticed when hitting the brakes, then the rotors would have to be replaced or turned.
  9. Now the new brake pads can be installed in the caliper. The best way is to place the inner pad first and then the outer pad. The piston might need to be fully depressed into the caliper housing for providing enough room for new pads.

10. When the pads have been properly seated in the caliper, the caliper can be now put back on the rotor and should be firmly bolted in place.

11. Once everything is correct, the wheels can be put back on, the lug nuts can be tightened with hand and the car can be lowered to the ground. Then, the lug nuts have to be tightened in a pattern of a star so they will be even.

Now the brakes can be finally tested. Check the brakes and brake fluid carefully before moving into the traffic. There is also a possibility that the air can get into the brake lines which would require bleeding the brakes before moving the car once again.

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