How to Change Car Brake Pads

One of the most important parts of a car is its set of front brakes. Your brakes allow you to stop gradually when approaching traffic or a stop light, and they also allow you to stop quickly in the event that something is in the road that could cause an accident. Brake pads are a wear and tear item, meaning that they need to be replaced regularly in order to keep you safe while you're driving. While there are front and back brakes, most brake pad changes are for the front brakes, so learning how to change brake pads in the front will help you solve a lot of your braking problems. How to change brake pads can be learned in a short time and can prevent you from getting into a costly or even deadly accident.

Pad Replacement

You can usually tell when your brake pads need replacing by paying attention to the signals from your car. If you are having difficulty braking or find that braking takes a lot more effort than it used to, your brake pads can probably use a change. Your car will also make noise when the brake pads are really worn down. If the brakes are squeaking, you should learn how to change brake pads very soon. If the brakes are making a grinding noise, the pads are very worn down and the rotors are being damaged every time you use your brakes. Make time to learn how to change brake pads immediately. Learning how to change brake pads early on can save you a lot of money on repairing rotors and other problems caused by having worn brake pads.


You don't have to do much in the way of preparing to learn how to change brake pads. You should have a flat surface to park your car on, such as a garage floor or a section of pavement. Try to work in the shade, as this will help keep you cool while you work and make the process of changing your brake pads a little less frustrating. Once your car is parked on an even surface, put blocks under the back wheels and make sure the parking brake is engaged. This will help prevent the car from rolling while you are working on it and can prevent serious injuries. Next, you'll jack up the car using jack stands. Never rely on a hydraulic jack alone to keep your car elevated. You may be seriously injured if the jack fails and the car falls while you are working.


In order to access the brakes, you will need to remove the front wheels. Remove one wheel at a time so you can refer to the other side while you work. Next, you need to remove the caliper by removing the bolt that holds it in place. Once it's removed, you can look inside the caliper to find the brake pads. The pads will be held inside the caliper with either clips or bolts; remove them and set them aside for a minute. Now you can look at the rotors and see if they are damaged. If you look at the rotor, you should be able to see your reflection. If you can't, you may need to have the rotor cut or even replaced. Once this inspection has been completed, you need to remove the piston to continue with this project.

If you need a new rotor, install the rotor first. Then you need to lubricate the brake pads using brake pad grease. Don't lubricate the front of the pad that makes contact with the rotor. Instead, lubricate the back of the brake pad that has contact with the clip that helps attach the pad to the caliper. Once the pad is lubricated, you can attach it to the plate and then put everything back together. Test out your new brake pads by taking your car for a drive. You may experience some noise from new pads, but it should lessen once the pads have been in use for a few days.

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