How to Change Your Brakes

How to Change Your Brakes

Your car’s braking system is incredibly important to your wellbeing, provided you plan on stopping, anyway. Unfortunately there’s no guaranteed mileage that signify you’ll need to new brakes. Instead, most brake pad manufacturers insert a piece of metal that, when it scrapes against the rotor, creates a high pitched squeal. That’s when you know it’s time to change your brakes!

Tools required:

  • 3/8”, 1/2”ratchets
  • 1/2” breaker bar
  • 3/8” sorted extensions
  • 3/8”, 1/2” sockets
  • Pry bar
  • Wire brush
  • Gloves
  • WD-40
  • C-Clamp
  • Hydraulic jack
  • Reverse Torx sockets
  • Torx Sockets
  • Hex sockets
  • Open-ended wrenches
  • New brake pads
  • Rotors

Remove the Wheels

Start by loosening, not removing, the lug nuts after securing the car with the emergency brake. Once the lug nuts are loose on all four tires, use the hydraulic jack to raise the car. Check your owner’s manual to see where to place the jack on your specific make and model.

Once the car is off the ground, it’s safe to remove the wheels.

Remove the Old

Remove the bolts on the caliper in order to loosen it. If properly done, the caliper should slide easily. If there’s enough wear, you may need to use a pry bar to remove it. Rest the caliper on the suspension to ensure it isn’t hanging or straining the brake line.

Next, remove the two bolts that keep the caliper carrier on. You’ll likely need to use the breaker bar to get these bad boys off.

Finally, remove the rotor by pounding it with a hammer. There might be a screw that holds it in place. Locate and remove it as well.

Clean the hub using the wire brush and use WD-40 for lubrication.

Install the New

Have the new rotor sit flush and secure it with a lug nut. Tighten down the rest of the components. Replace the carrier caliper bolts and tighten them with the breaker bar.

Use the C-Clamp and an old brake pad to compress the caliper piston until it’s in place. Install the new brake pads in the carrier. Replace the caliper bolts, tighten them, and give it a once over to ensure everything is good to go.

Replace the wheels by tightening the lug nuts by hand then lower the car. Use a wrench to finish tightening the lug nuts once the car is on the ground.

Pump the brakes until you feel pressure.

Drive normally.


If you would like to schedule a maintenance appointment, visit Aransas Autoplex.



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