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How to change brake pads and rotors

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A terrific method to save money on brake replacement is to change the pads and rotors on your own. In addition to being an excellent method of cutting costs, this is also an easy enough task that a reasonably competent do-it-yourselfer should be able to complete it in a couple of hours. To change the brake pads and rotors, follow this article as a general reference.

By looking for visible wear on the brake pads, you can determine if new brakes are necessary. Do this right away if you experience any problems with your brakes. The pedal may pulsate, the steering wheel may shimmy (or shake), and there may be grinding, squeaking, or squealing sounds. Keeping track of when you changed them is a good idea so you can remember to change your brakes (or at least inspect them) when the time comes.

Watch the video or scroll down for broad instructions on how to change the brake pads and rotors on the majority of cars.


Be sure to use wheel chocks and park the car on a dry, level surface. Wear protective gear, including goggles and gloves, at all times. Exercise caution when raising the vehicle. Be sure the jack and jack stands are fastened to sturdy holes.

2. Verify the level of brake fluid.

Locate the reservoir for the brake fluid by opening the hood. Once it’s full, it’s time to drain some liquids. As a result, the brake calliper piston won’t overflow and spill.

3.Take the wheel off the vehicle after raising it.

Using a breaker bar and socket, loosen the wheel nuts while the wheel is flat on the ground and not moving. From a safe location, raise the vehicle using a hydraulic jack. Lower the car safely onto a jack stand (or stands) placed under the correct locations. Turn the wheel and loosen the lug nuts.

4. Take the clamp and bolts off.

The calliper bolts shouldn’t be too difficult for you to access. To gain access more easily, just turn the wheel to the left or right. Hang it on a bungee cord after you take the calliper off. Depending on your car, you may need to follow different methods to remove the calliper.

5. Take off the previous pads and motor.

Check the worn-out pads for any irregularities. If the pads aren’t wearing evenly, it could be because the calliper piston is stuck, there isn’t enough oil, or the hardware is worn. When checking for uneven wear, you can refer to the guide that comes with the brake pad package.

Take the rotor out after you’ve removed the pads. To remove the rotor from many automobiles, you have to unscrew the bracket that holds the calliper. The spindle assembly is fastened to the brake calliper through bolting it to the brake calliper mounting bracket. After removing the brake calliper and its mount, you can proceed to remove the brake rotor. By doing so, the rotor can be accessed.

Make sure there is no corrosion or uneven wear before removing the rotor.

6. Sweep Off the Mounting Surface for the Rotor

A wire brush is required for cleaning the hub surface of debris and corrosion. Because of this, you won’t have to worry about pedal pulsation because the new rotor will sit flush on the hub. Even a paper-thin layer of rust can cause the pedals to pulsate.

7. Rinse Down the New Motor

Get a bottle of brake cleaner. You can skip this step if you have rotors that already have a protective coating that fights rust.

8. Set Up The Replacement Motor

Keep up the good work.

9. Set Up Brake Parts

Swap out the old hardware on the brakes with new. Brake noise at low stopping speeds is caused by vibrations created by worn out brake components. With every brake job, you should replace these clips. Before you install the hardware, lubricate the slider contact points with brake fluid.

10.Bring the brake pads to the installation site.

When installing the pads, be sure to keep the wear-sensor position orientation in mind. Wear sensors are positioned differently on each pad. There are pad sets that have wear sensors on all four pads, those that include them on just the inner pads, and sets that do not.

11. Put on the new brake pads

This is looking great!

12.After checking the piston and brake calliper, then compress

If you see any leaking brake fluid, you should check the calliper and piston. Following a thorough cleaning of the calliper and piston, secure the calliper piston using the front/rear disc brake pad spreader set.  The disc brake pad spreader set must be properly positioned on certain rear disc brakes in order for the calliper pistons to screw in.

13. Set Up The Calibrator

Remove the measuring device from the bungee cord and reattach it. WARNING: The calliper bolts should not be overtightened. Worse things can happen as a result of this. First, use a socket to tighten the bolts, and then, for the necessary torque, use a torque wrench. A torque wrench can be useful.

14.Verify the brake fluid reservoir.

If necessary, top off to the maximum fill line. Install the cap on the reservoir for the brake fluid before proceeding. Spots won’t get everywhere if you do this.

15.Press down on the brakes.

Verifying the system’s functionality and the correct flow of braking fluid is what this is all about. Gently press down on the brake pedal until it feels solid while seated in the car. Be careful not to depress the brake pedal completely. The brake master cylinder could get damaged from the inside out if this happens.

16 Make sure to double-check the brake fluid reservoir.

If needed, top off once more. To prevent any leakage, always replace the cap after topping off.

17. Set the wheel in place and bring the vehicle down.

Lift the car up to install the wheel and secure the lug nuts. Loosen the lug nuts with a torque wrench after raising the car with a jack and removing the jack stands. Lower the vehicle until the wheels are touching. To find out what amount of torque is appropriate for your car, look in the handbook.

18: Carry on with the remaining wheels.

Always drive with the brake pedal firmly depressed.

19. Take it easy on the road

To get the feel of the new brakes, take it for a short, leisurely drive. Speed up to around 50 mph on a well-maintained road. Bring the car’s speed down to 30 mph by gently putting on the brakes. Keep going at this speed for another two or three minutes to give the brakes a chance to cool down. To get the new brakes suitable for everyday use, repeat the operation four or five times. Bedding brakes is the name given to this procedure.

Important note: these are the basic procedures for changing the front disc brake rotors and pads on the majority of cars. Steps could change depending on the year, brand, and model.


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