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This "how to" will explain how to properly change the rotors and brake pads of your vehicle's disc type brakes.
Any step marked with an asterisk(*) following its number has a special note listed in the warning section that MUST be observed for safety or because of its irreversible nature.
Make sure you have all necessary parts and tools available and ready.
Make sure you have completely read and understood all the information presented in this wiki.
Make sure vehicle is on solid, relatively level ground.
Engage your vehicles parking brake/ E- brake and make sure the vehicle is in gear or in park and place wheel chocks under the set of wheels you are not working on.
Remove wheel cover / hub cap to gain access to the lug nuts.
Slightly loosen all the lug nuts on the wheel prior to raising or "jacking" (if using an impact wrench or other air / electric powered tool, it is not necessary to loosen the lug nuts). With a tire iron or other hand tool, turn each of the the lug nuts counter-clockwise 1/2 to 1 full turn only.
Place jack under factory designated lifting point or on other sturdy lift point.
Carefully raise vehicle until the tire is 1-3 inches off the ground.
Place jack stand under the vehicles frame or under a factory designated lifting point.
Raise the stand's head up until it touches the car and is unable to extend any further. (it should be locked in at this height)
Slowly lower the car down until its full weight rests securely on the stand, the tire should not be touching the ground at this point.
Remove jack and repeat steps 5-11 for the other side.
Now that the vehicle is safely in the air and the jack stands are securely placed, you can remove the lug nuts completely using either a lug wrench or an impact wrench with the appropriately sized socket.
Take the lug nuts and place them somewhere safe, if you have alloy wheels check the tips section for how to handle them, if you have non-aesthetic steel wheels, carefully slide them under the vehicle next to the jack stands but out of the way.
Placing your hands at the left and right most points on the tire (9 o'clock and 3 o'clock position), rock the tire left and right while pulling it away from the vehicle; until it falls from the threaded studs to the ground. Roll the tire out of the way.
Now that the rotors are exposed the first step is to depress the calipers
Using a large C-Clamp on the outside pad and the back of the caliper piston housing, compress the piston back into the caliper by tightening. If you don't have a c clamp, take the big flat screw driver and place it between the caliper and rotor and pry them apart*
Now locate the 2 slide pins on the back of the caliper and using the allen wrench remove them.
Most auto part houses (such as AutoZone or NAPA) will be able to assist you with choosing which brake pads and rotors will best suit your needs and vehicle.
When removing the lug nuts is handy to have a small bucket or other container to put the lug nuts in so they don't get lost.
If you have alloy wheels, be careful not to scratch or damage them when taking them off and place them safely off to the side
This might be a good time to rotate your tires. Consult your owners manual for rotation procedures. Consider do this before reinstalling wheels.
Inspect the area where the vehicle will be worked upon. In the hot summer months, asphalt is significantly softer than colder months, and may result in an unstable surface for jacks and jack stands. Consider placing thick, wide hardwood or plywood under the jack / jack stands to redistribute the weight before lifting or supporting the vehicle.
Never work under a vehicle that solely supported by a jack. Use jack stands that are rated equal to or greater than the weight of the vehicle.
Make sure you fully understand the process of changing your brakes before attempting to do so at home.
If you have any questions or doubts, consult a professional, these are the only thing stopping your cars after all.
When compressing the pistons into the caliper, watch your master cylinder fluid level. It will raise significantly.
Things You'll Need
Big Flat screwdriver
Large Allen wrench
Brake parts cleaner
Lug nut wrench or impact gun with proper socket
New rotor for your vehicle
New Brake pads for your vehicle
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