DIY Brake Pad Alternative – Tips on how to Change Pads and Keep away from Widespread Errors

Doing your individual brake work, if accomplished correctly, can save some huge cash. But when a braking job is not accomplished correctly, it may very effectively price greater than if knowledgeable had been paid to do the job to start with. I’ve accomplished a whole bunch of brake jobs during the last 25 years as a Grasp Auto Technician and on this article I will define a number of the fundamentals. I additionally level out some widespread errors novices and even professionals could make when braking.


If the automotive vibrates when the brakes are utilized, it means the brake discs are warped. Extreme sway backward and forward causes the automotive to vibrate, particularly when stopping shortly from freeway speeds. The rotors could be machined or resurfaced to make them actual once more, so long as they’re thick sufficient. If there is no such thing as a pulsation or brake vibration, pads could be changed with out machining. Nonetheless, in my expertise, if the machining or alternative of the rotors just isn’t accomplished whereas braking, there’ll often be extreme squealing noises after a really brief time. I like to recommend caring for the rotors by having them machined or changed when braking.

Raise the automotive safely

Sounds a bit too primary, would not it? I’ve seen many individuals below automobiles with no jack for security. Hydraulic jacks are nice, however what if one slips or in some way fails whereas somebody is working below the automotive? I can’t stress sufficient the significance of elevating the automotive safely with a jack in place, simply in case the automotive falls for any motive. An below automotive jack stand is essential when work must be accomplished below the automotive resembling an oil change, starter alternative or every other job the place somebody might be crushed if the jack fails. I as soon as labored with a mechanic who was altering his starter motor at house. His hydraulic jack slowly leaked and earlier than he realized the automotive was progressively sinking on prime of him, he was caught below the automotive and unable to get out. The compression of his chest allowed him to breathe very shallowly, limiting his capacity to name for assist! Fortunately, a good friend got here by, noticed what was occurring, and raised the automotive for him. With out luck this might have had a totally completely different final result, his mistake may have price him his life.

Take away wheels, calipers and rotors

After eradicating the wheels, find the caliper bolts and verify the top kind of the bolts to find out what instruments are required. Generally used fasteners have plain bolt heads, hex key or torx. Often there are two bolts holding the caliper and two bolts holding the caliper bracket. Often solely the caliper could be eliminated if solely the brake pads are changed. Droop the caliper with an elastic twine or the like to stop the load of the caliper from presumably damaging the brake hose. If the rotor is eliminated for machining or alternative, the caliper bracket often must be eliminated as effectively. Rotors simply slide off or are held by the wheel bearings on older setups. Most automobiles as we speak have rotors that slide off. The wheel bearings on this design are non-repairable, which means they’re lubricated for all times and might solely get replaced in the event that they fail, so they do not get re-lubricated throughout a brake job like previously.

Push the plunger

Pushing again the caliper piston is required to put in the brand new brake pads. The piston slowly extends because the brake pads put on. Due to this fact, no brake adjustment is required for the disc brake system, it’s principally regulate your self. Giant channel locking pliers can be utilized to drive the piston again into the caliper. There are additionally brake instruments that can be utilized to push the piston again in. A big C-clamp was my most popular technique of getting the piston again into the caliper. When engaged on rear disc brakes, a piston rollback software just like the KD 41540 (certainly one of DenLor’s bestsellers) is often wanted to push the pistons again in and rotate them. It is strongly recommended to open the brake bleeder screw when pushing the piston makes it simpler to return and prevents doable harm to the grasp cylinder and/or ABS (Anti Lock Brakes) pump or valves forcing previous fluid again into the system. Closing the bleed valve instantly after the caliper piston has been pushed again ensures that bleeding the brakes just isn’t obligatory. If mud boots within the caliper are damaged, the caliper must be changed. Damaged boots enable moisture and grime to enter the world across the piston and trigger it to stay or seize. There are slides on some caliper brackets that may freeze or seize, which might additionally trigger uneven pad put on. The slides ought to be taken aside and lubricated with silicone gel or disc brake grease. The slides should transfer freely for the brakes to work correctly.

Set up the brake pads and calipers

Notice any variations between left and proper brake pads. There are additionally typically variations in inboard and outboard brake pads. Naturally, the friction a part of the brake pad goes in the direction of the rotor. My uncle braked his Cadillac lengthy earlier than I ever began engaged on automobiles. I keep in mind listening to that he put the brake pads on backwards! He ruined his brake discs. It looks like an unattainable mistake, however in the event you’re not conversant in what you are doing, something is feasible. With aftermarket brake pads, they often include their very own sound isolators that match onto the again of the pads. Some have an adhesive backing that requires the plastic to be eliminated earlier than putting in, others could have tabs constructed into them. Please notice that if provided, the OE (Authentic Tools) cushion insulators is not going to be reused. After the brake pads are in place, watch out to not TWIST the caliper hoses when reinstalling the calipers. It’s a widespread mistake to twist them and the hoses can kink on bends.

Pump the brake pedal!

After all the pieces is again collectively, it is time for a check drive. However first press the brake pedal earlier than you place the automotive in gear! The pedal will go to the ground and you could possibly be on the highway to a crash in the event you do not. When the pedal is pumped, the pistons are pushed out and the pedal turns into agency. There was an auto mechanic I labored with who forgot to use the brakes after a brake job. He reversed out of his service station, when he hit the brakes, the automotive continued to maneuver and crashed into the automotive half method up on the rack behind him. It broke the rear window of the automotive he was using in, fortunately there was no different harm.

There are lots of forms of brake techniques, however most disc brakes are principally the identical. Following the steps I’ve listed right here ought to allow you to change your brake pads. However in the event you’re not fairly certain, it is all the time a good suggestion to ask a good friend who has some hands-on expertise that will help you along with your first brake job.

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