Your brake system is one of the most important safety features in your car. When even one of its components is not in good shape, you are putting yourself at risk while driving. With that said, having properly functioning brake pads is essential in ensuring that you can effectively stop your car when you need to. It goes without saying that teaching you how to replace your brake pads is probably one of the best car maintenance tips we can share with you.
Signs that show you need to replace your brake pads
1. You hear unusual sounds whenever you brake.
2. When you look through the spaces between the wheel spokes, you notice that the brake pads are thinner than ¼ inch.
3. If you do not see brake dust on the wheels, then you need to replace the brake pads.
4. Whenever you step on the brakes, the steering wheel vibrates.
5. The brake pedal responds slower than usual and it feels quite spongy.
Steps in changing your brake pads
Of course, the easiest way to replace your brake pads is to have it handled by professionals. However, it is worth noting that with the right tools, you can do this on your own. If you have the time, it would be worth giving this a try. Make sure you have a spider spanner, car jack, socket set, and an anti-seize lubricant. With that said, follow the instructions below:
First Step: Prepping your vehicle
The first thing you have to do is to use the spider spanner to loosen the nuts on the wheels where you plan on changing the pads. Make sure that you’ve sufficiently loosened the wheel nuts before you jack up the vehicle.
Second Step: Removing the wheels
The next step is using the spider spanner to completely unbolt the wheel. Make sure you keep the wheel nuts in a safe place. After that, gently remove the wheel from its seating. You should be able to see the brakes on the car, including the pads and the callipers.
Third Step: Removing the calipers
There should be two or four bolts holding the calliper in place. Look for these bolts and liberally spray lubricant around it to loosen up any rust and old muck that has accumulated over time. Once you’ve removed the bolts, you will see that the calliper is still attached to the brake fluid system. You’d have to hang it in place around the wheel arch using a piece of wire.
Fourth Step: Removing the old brake pads
Inspect how the pad is attached. Typically, small metal clips hold this part in place. Most of the time, the clips are tricky and fiddly. As such, you have to exert a certain amount of force to remove them from their seating. Once you’ve removed the clips, you can now remove the pad. You can also use this opportunity to inspect the condition of the brake rotor.
Fifth Step: Attaching new brake pads
Spread a good amount of anti-seize lubricant on the back of the brake pads and on the metal contacts. After that, mount the new pads to the wheel. Follow the previous steps in reverse to hold the new pad in place.
Sixth Step: Finishing off
Once you’ve firmly placed the brake pads, you can reattach the callipers to the wheel. Reattach the wheel and nuts then let your car off the jacks. Once the wheels are on the ground, tighten the nuts in place.
Do you think you can easily follow the steps we shared?
Let us know in the comments below!