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Tips on How to Replace Brake Pads

Tips on How to Replace Brake Pads
By Everette Jamison

How to Replace Brake Pads

Brake pads naturally wear out over time. Luckily, it is not as difficult to replace them as you may think. The tools that you need for this project include a lug wrench, c-clamp, adjustable or open wrench, Allen wrenches, hammer, and a bungee cord. When you jack up your car, make sure that you have it supported by blocks or jack stands. It is never safe to work on a car that is supported by a jack only. The first thing you need to do is remove the wheel. The lugs should be easy to take out, it is best to do so from the bottom up.

Next, in order to remove the brake pads you must first remove the brake caliper. The brake caliper can be located just above the lug bolts, sitting on top of the brake disc. There is a bolt that keeps the caliper in place. You can remove it easily using the suitable wrench. There are different types of bolts that could be keeping it in place, so it is a good idea to have different wrenches handy. Now you can pull the caliper off by pulling directly up. You may need to wiggle it a bit in order to loosen it. Now you can sit the caliper some place convenient, or use your bungee cord to tie it up.

Now comes the time to remove the brake pads. They should actually slide right out without giving you any trouble. Remember how they are attached though, because you will need to know this when you are installing the fresh ones. If you are driving an older vehicle, you may need to tap them with your hammer a bit to get them unstuck. There may be some small metal tabs keeping the pads in place as well. If so, make sure you hang onto them; you will need them when you put the new pads in.

Now you can easily slide your new brake pads in, using the metal tabs to keep them in place if applicable. Now with your new pads affixed, you should adjust the brake piston. This piece of equipment adjusts as your pads wear out in order to keep your brakes working efficiently. To readjust it, you need your c-clamp. Put the end of the clamp with the screw against the piston. The other end should rest behind the caliper assembly. Now just slowly tighten the clamp until the piston has moved to a point where you can insert the pads easily.

The next thing you need to do is slide the caliper assembly over your new pads. Replace the bolts. At this point, it is a good idea to push down the brake petal a few times so that you may be assured of your brake pressure. Now you can replace the wheel and the lug nuts. It is a good idea to make sure that the lug nuts are truly secure. At this point you have successfully changed the brake pads on your car.

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