Braking system isn’t complicated as you might think.
By reading this article and watching video below You will be able to change brakes & pads on Your car by Yourself! It will save You lot of money and you will be proud for fixing your own car! 

At a certain point You will have to Change Brakes on Your car!

Whether you are buying a new car, a pre-owned car, or renting a car, maintenance is inevitable. All consumable parts of the car such as brakes must be checked and regularly changed to extend its lifetime. Brakes may not be the sexiest part of a car, but they’re certainly one of the most crucial.

Before We begin with replacement let’s see how brakes work

When you press brake pedal, It compress the master cylinder that transfers that pressure by fluid to the brake piston. There starts a friction process between the brake pads and the discs fixed to the hub point. During this process brake pads and rotors wear and tear. Meaning you will have to change these parts after some time.

Car brakes discs and pads

How do we know when?

Brake pads are consumable materials, their durability depends on the quality and materials of the production. It also depends how we drive the car or what are our habits for braking, and do we break sudden, more often, slowly… Generally speaking brake pads can last from 20,000 kilometers to even 100,000 kilometers. Older vehicles have it only on the front wheels, while newer cars have it both on front and rear.

Over a certain period of time discs become uneven and distorted because of large braking forces. Discs usually last more than a pads. In most cases, you will change 3-4 sets of brake pads before replacing rotors. Just like pads, the discs also change in pairs – left and right sides.

What to look for?

There are several systems that indicate if the pads are worn out. With newer cars, driver will see the warning indicator on the instrument panel. For some older ones, there are metal plates installed on the brake calipers, which starts to scratch the discs and makes squeaking noise when the plates are worn out. This is a sign that you should replace them as soon as possible.

How to choose car brakes parts?

To choose right discs you should look for manufacturers recommendations,.  

To choose pads material you should think about your driving requirements. There are 4 different pad material you should consider:

Brake Pads

Organic

Organic car brake pads provides good life for the other brake components, but don’t offer superior braking when pulling a trailer or traveling long downhill routes. Additionally, when organic pads get wet, they lose a lot of braking capacity.

Semi-metallic 

A better braking material is semi-metallic. A friction material has composite of soft metals which improves braking. However, this does wear out the discs or drums a bit faster than the organic materials. Most newer cars have semi-metallic pads, because car manufacturers do recommend it. Cars that have discs made of harder metals tolerate the semi-metallic pads very well.

Fully metallic

The next step up in quality (also in price) and braking efficiency are fully metallic brakes. They have great braking in almost any condition, but do wear the discs faster.

Ceramic

Ceramic pads are most expensive but for a good reason. They offer the longest life and best warranty. Ceramic brakes tolerate very high temperatures with very little fading or loss of braking.

If you are looking for a great all-round choice for a passenger car, semi-metallic brake pads are best buy.

To change brakes follow these 4 steps:

  • 1. Lift the car and remove the wheel

In order to change brakes You will need a jack and jack stands to raise the end of the vehicle where You want to replace them.  Pull handbrake and place something underneath the wheels you are not lifting, so You secure Your car.

Lifting the car- Secure your car with wood blocks

Before you jack the car, loose bolts on the wheel.

Wheels removing

Jack Your car up and secure it with jack stands and remove the wheel.
In the video below you will see  prefect guide how to to it right.

Car Lifting - placing the jacks
  • 2. Remove the car brakes – pads and rotors

When you’ve lifted the car and removed the wheel you will see caliper with one bolt. Remove the bolt and open the caliper to excess to brake pads.

Car brakes - Caliper Bolt

Remove the pads.

Car brakes - removing the pads

If You are changing just brake pads, put new pads in and all parts that You removed back in place.
(You can see full procedure in the video below)

Now find two more bolts for caliper bracket. Remove caliper and use hammer to tap off the disc from hub. Before that, check are there any bolts on disc. After that it’s important to clean the caliper and the hub in order to remove rust and to easily install new discs. In video you can

Car brakes - removing the caliper mounting bracket
  • 3. Change Brakes – pads & discs

Put the new rotor in place and be sure it’s in proper position. Replace the old hardware on caliper, than return the caliper.

Car brakes - Hardware on caliper

In order to install pads you have to compress the piston on the caliper since new are much more ticker than the old ones.

Car brakes - compressing the piston

Easiest way to do this is by using brake piston compressor, you can find it very cheap online:

Caliper piston compressor

It’s important to lubricate corners of brake pads, caliper hardware and caliper guide pin.  Be careful not to lubricate pads surface or rotors as it will cause brakes to fail. Finally put the wheel back on.

  • 4. Test new car brakes

Push the brake pedals until you fill pressure and go for test drive!

Check our article about motor oil and learn everything about types and specifications! 

Please tell us what do you think about this article in the comment section below.

We recommend You to watch full video of amazing ChrisFix where You have step by step guide with every detail perfectly explained. It is great for beginners and those who want to learn more about How to change brakes. 

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Cheers!

Your Automotivefixing team