DIY Replacing Brake Pads – Cost Saving For Smart Auto Owners!
One of the best ways drivers can save money is by replacing brake pads on their own. This cost-effective option is easy for you to do. Before you change brake pads, you need to know when is the proper time to do this.
Pads will thin over time due to normal wear and tear. On most models, the front brake pads will thin much quicker as many cars have front disc brakes. Once your car begins to make a metallic grinding noise when you apply the brake you know it’s time to change them.
Before replacing brake pads, here are some items you need.
You’ll need a jack and a jack stand, which most modern vehicles house in their trunks. A lug wrench, disposable gloves, c-clamp, baster and adjustable wrench are also important tools to have. Most important, you will need to purchase new pads and a can of brake fluid. You can find all of these items at your local auto parts store. There, they can also give you advice on how to replace brake pads if you run into some difficulties.
To start replacing brake pads, loosen the lug nuts on your wheel. Then you want to use the jack to lift your vehicle’s wheel at least one inch above the ground. To find the optimum positioning for your jack consult your owner’s manual as each model has different requirements.
Once the tire is elevated you’ll want to remove all the lug nuts then the tire. Now you have access to the brakes. From here you want to locate the slider bolts. According to Edmunds on most models you’ll only need to remove the lower bolt.
Now you can closely inspect the pads. If you see they are 1/8 inch in thickness, it’s time to replace them. To accomplish this, slide them out. Then take the new pads, apply grease to the clips of them so they won’t squeak then slide them in.
You’ll also want to push back the pistons to make room for the new brake pads. To accomplish this, grab a c-clamp and use something to lever it, like a piece of wood. By using a solid item like a board it pushes all the pistons back at once, which is what you want to do.
While replacing brake pads you also want to be mindful of your fluid reservoir. When you push the pistons back this causes the fluid to rise. Normally, the first tire won’t cause that much of a change, however; when you replace the pads on the second tire it can cause the fluid to overflow. If this happens take the baster and suck out some of the fluid.
Once you install on both sides, make sure everything is flush and tight. Next, you’ll want to screw back in the slider bolt, straighten the cars’ wheels, re-mount the tire and screw in the lug nuts.
To ensure everything is working well, do a test drive around your neighborhood. Stop quickly several times to assess performance and to test for any squeaking or vibration from the drums. If everything feels and sounds good you had a successful installation.
As you can see, this is not a difficult task. Further, when you factor in how brake pads and rotors cost are cheap when you install them, you’ll find this a very cost effective way to keep you safe on the road.