Brake Repair – Pad Replacement

Pad ReplacementThese are the necessary steps for changing your brake pads on your vehicle. These steps should be implemented after you have disassembled your brakes.

1. Remove your old brake pads. Make sure to note the way the brake pads are attached. They will usually snap in or clip in, and they are attached using metal clips. Remove each of the old brake pads. It may take a bit of effort to pop them out. Work carefully so you can avoid damaging the caliper or brake line as you are removing the pads.

Check your brake rotors for heat damage, cracks, or warps. Make sure to repair or replace them when it is necessary. It is recommended that you replace or resurface your rotors during the process of replacing your brake pads.

2. Put the new brake pads on. Once you reach this step, you can add anti-seize lubricant onto the contact edges and on the back of each brake pad. This lubricant will reduce squeaking. It is necessary to make sure that no lubricant reaches the insides of each brake pad. If lubricant comes into contact with that material, the brake cannot provide sufficient friction. This will make it useless. Once this is done, attach your new pads in the exact manner the old brake pads were attached.

3. Check your brake fluid. If your vehicle has a low level of brake fluid, this is the ideal time to add some. Just make sure you put the brake fluid reservoir cap back on when you are done.

4. Replace the caliper. Begin by slowly sliding the caliber back over the brake rotor. Do this with ease and caution to avoid causing any damage. Replace or tighten bolts that keep the caliper in it;s place.

5. Slide the wheel back on. You can put it into place, then hand tighten each individual lug nut prior to lowering your car.

6. Continue tightening the lug nuts. Once you put your car back onto the ground, use a “star” pattern to further tighten the lug nuts. Begin by tightening one lug not, then move to the one across from it. Repeat this process until each of them is completely tightened to meet torque specifications.

Review your owner’s manual to locate your vehicle’s unique torque specifications. This ensures that each lug nut is tightened properly, which will prevent over-tightening or stop the wheel from coming off.

7. Start your vehicle. Ensure that your vehicle is in ‘park’ or ‘neutral’ position. Pump your brakes about 15 to 20 times to ensure that your brake pads are effectively seated. Replace any brake fluid if needed or inspect the bleeding of brakes section to properly remove old fluid. Replace the old fluid with new fluid.

8. Test out the new brake pads. Drive 5 MPH or less on a noiseless residential street, and then brake as you normally would. If your vehicle comes to a stop normally, continue the test while going about 10 MPH. Continue repeating this test multiple times, but gradually increase your speed to 35-40 MPH (56 KM/H or 64 KM/H). Also perform this test in the reverse position. Performing these tests will ensure that you eliminate any issues with the installation of your brake pads. This helps you confidently drive down main streets and effectively “seats” the brake pads into their proper position.

Keep your ears open to detect any possible problems. Your new brake pads might squeak to some extent. However, if you hear a grinding sound that sounds like metal scraping against metal, you may have your brake pads on incorrectly. If your brake pads are improperly facing out, you should correct them immediately.