8 Steps To Replace The Brake Pads In Your Car

By Shana Fanelli
Updated April 14, 2015
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8 Steps To Replace The Brake Pads In Your CarLearning how to replace brake pads on your car can save you money on car repairs.  Whenever you use your brakes, it wears the pads a bit, and eventually the pads will wear out.  You could take it to a shop, or replace brake pads in your car yourself, by following these steps.

1.) Gather Your Tools.

Before you begin, make sure you have all of the necessary materials to replace brake pads in car.  You'll need:  car jack and jack stands, C-clamp or brake caliper tool (required for some cars), Allen or Torx wrench for caliper bolts, lug wrench, new brake pads, dust mask, and safety glasses. Check your manuals to determine the specific tools needed to replace brake pads in your car, as all cars will vary.

2.) Loosen The Lug Nuts.

When you learn how to replace brake pads, start as if you were going to change a tire. Loosen the lug nuts on your wheel, but do not remove them entirely.

3.) Jack The Car Up, Securely.

Use your jack to lift the car, then use jack stands to hold it up securely.  Do not leave it raised on the jack alone. You will be under the car, so making sure this is stable and secure is critical.

4.) Take The Wheel Off.

Finish taking off the lug nuts, and remove the wheel and tire.  This will show you the brake pads, along with your brake rotor and caliper.

5.) Remove Old Brake Pads.

Before you can replace brake pads in car, you need to take the old pads off. Use your wrench to loosen or remove the bolts that hold the caliper in place. Move the caliper off of the brake rotor. It will be connected to the brake line, so don't let it dangle by the brake line. This could severely damage the line.

When you turn the caliper over, you will see the brake pad.  This is usually held on with pins or bolts. Remove that hardware so you can slide the brake pad out.

6.) Retract The Caliper Piston.

Inside the caliper, there is a piston that comes out to push on the brake pad. This will be positioned for your old worn out brake pads, so you need to move it to fit your new pads. Take the cap off your brake fluid reservoir to ease the pressure. Now use your C-clamp or caliper tool to retract the caliper so you have room for the new pads.

7.) Install New Brake Pads.

Slide the new brake pads into slots where the old ones were, then replace the bolts or pins that were holding the pad in place. Move the caliper back into its normal position, and make sure that everything fits snugly. Tighten the bolts by holding the caliper.

8.) Replace Wheel And Finish Up.

Replace the cap on your brake fluid reservoir. Put the wheel back on the car, and replace the lug nuts. Remove the jack stands, and lower the car to the ground. Finish tightening the lug nuts securely. Lastly, test brakes to ensure that they work correctly.





* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.