There’s nothing worse than starting a new project and realizing you don’t have the materials you need to finish. When it comes to vehicle maintenance, gathering your equipment ahead of time will let you work without stopping. If you’re planning on fixing your brakes, make sure to have all the tools you’ll need before you start getting your hands dirty.
10 Tools to Have Ready for Your Next DIY Brake Job
Sock Wrench & Ratchet Set
For a successful brake job, you’ll need a socket wrench and ratchet set. These will help you remove the brake calipers from your car’s suspension.
Jack & Jack Stands
Since you’ll have to remove your car’s tires to work on your brakes, you’ll need a jack and jack stands to get under your vehicle safely. A service/floor jack is recommended for these types of tasks because it’ll provide you with more height than a jack made just for tire changes.
Jack stands will provide you with confirmation that your car is firmly fixed on the jack to prevent any slipping. It’s unsafe to use a jack without stands, so make sure you have both before doing any work under your vehicle. You can find more advice on how to pick the right jack for your needs here.
Brake Pad Spreader
A brake pad spreader will help you reset your pistons so that you can insert your new brake pads. You can also use a c-clamp for this.
Specialty Brake Job Tools
Before you get to work, make sure you have these specialty tools in your garage. Depending on how you service your brakes, you may not need them all, but they can be good to have around.
Brake Piston Tool
To replace your rear brake pads, you may need a brake piston caliper wind back cube tool. This is used with a 3/8-inch square drive ratchet to rotate the pistons back into the cylinder.
A torque wrench is necessary for applying the right torque to the caliper bolts in your brakes and to your lug nuts once you put them back on the wheels.
If your brake calipers are held together by Allen bolts, you’ll need an Allen/hex key set to adjust them. If you have torx bolts, you’ll need a torx set. Check the shape of the bolts on the back of your calipers to confirm which style you have.
Brake Line Wrench
If you’re going to disconnect the brake hose to change your brake calipers, you’ll need a brake line wrench, also known as a flare nut wrench, to release any trapped air in the hydraulic lines.
Along with the tools mentioned above, when starting a brake job, you always need to have proper protective equipment on hand.
When working on your brake system, mechanic gloves are crucial for protecting your hands from any chemicals, oils, or dirt. Disposable nitrile gloves are a great choice to get you through all kinds of maintenance jobs.
Check out this article for details on the different work gloves available and all the benefits of keeping them around your workstation.
To prevent dust inhalation, make sure to wear a face mask while performing your brake job. Your mask should fit snugly over your mouth and nose while still allowing proper ventilation so you don’t overheat while working.
Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from debris, fluids, and any tiny pieces that may fly out of place when working on your vehicle. Look for glasses that are scratch resistant, with an anti-fog coating, that you can wear comfortably for long periods of time. If you wear prescription glasses and frequently work on your car, talk to your optometrist about getting prescription safety glasses.
Other Items to Complement Your Brake Job Tools
If you’re going to replace any parts during your brake job, make sure to have those on hand as well. You should also have lubricants, grease, and brake fluid nearby.
After putting your brake job tool kit together, do plenty of research and seek expert advice before getting down to business. Of course, the experts at our NAPA Auto Parts stores will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
For more car maintenance tips, check out our blog.