El Segundo, CA (PressExposure) November 20, 2009 -- Some people say you donât need to go to an auto service garage for brake pad replacement [http://mikesmastermechanics.com/brakes.html]. True, this kind of service can be costly for some people and would rather do it themselves. If you have no choice but to do brake pad replacement yourself, hereâs how:
The first thing you need to do before you get into the actual brake pad replacement [http://mikesmastermechanics.com/brakes.html] is to prepare all the tools. You will need a lug wrench, c-clamp, open end or adjustable wrench (depending on your car), Allen wrenches (depending on your car), hammer and a small bungee cord. The task involves taking the wheel off so your car needs to be jacked up resting on jack stands.
You can break the lugs before you lift the vehicle. It is after all, safer to work with the wheels on the ground. You should also consider looking for additional support aside from the jacks. You never know when accidents happen. Check if your brake discs are in top shape.
It is easier to remove the lugs from bottom up. This way the wheel doesnât move around while you are working on the nuts. And, when you are done with it, itâs a lot easier to catch the wheel. You can use the stuck wheel trick if the wheel wonât budge after removing the lugs.
The actual brake pad replacement [http://mikesmastermechanics.com/brakes.html] requires you to remove the brake caliper to let the pads slide out through the top. However, there are cars whose pads can be taken out without touching the caliper. The brake caliper is in the 12 o'clock position just above the lug bolts, riding atop the shiny brake disc. At the back of the caliper you will see two bolts which could be hex or Allen; remove them but donât lose them.
Get the caliper out of the way by taking your bungee cord, hanging the caliper from something, like the giant coil spring. Make sure that the caliper doesnât hang by the brake line, because it can cause damage and lead to brake failure. Before you take the old brake pads out, take a picture of the entire assembly so you know exactly what goes where.
Your car can have little metal tabs holding onto the brake pads. Again put them to the side but donât lose them. Put the new pads in the slots with any metal clips you removed. The last thing you should do is to adjust the piston that it accommodates the new pads. Do this using a c-clamp against the piston with the other end of the clamp around on the back of the caliper assembly. Tighten the clamp until the piston has moved far enough in that you can easily plop the caliper assembly over the new pads.