These instructions will help you change brake pads on most popular vehicles. Be sure to READ them completely before you begin.
Note: Most of vehicles are equipped with ABS (Anti-Lock Brake Systems), a computer-controlled system that requires additional mechanical and electrical parts to prevent the wheels from locking up during braking. It may be necessary to temporarily disconnect or remove some of the ABS parts to replace brake pads. Consult an appropriate service manual to be sure that all brake parts have been properly reinstalled and reconnected.
- Difficulty: Medium
- Duration: 1-2 hours
- How often: depending on brake wear
TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
TO REPLACE YOUR DISC BRAKES YOU’LL NEED:
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
- Get the correct brake pads and hardware for your vehicle from your local NAPA Auto Parts store or using the brake selector at NAPACanada.com.
- Gather all the tools and equipment you’ll need and choose a solid, level place to work.
- CAUTION: Brake linings may contain asbestos. Avoid creating or breathing dust when changing linings or cleaning parts.
- Check for leaks and replace seals or calipers/master cylinder lines/valves as needed.
- Work on one wheel at a time, leaving the other side intact for use as a reference.
Jacking the vehicle
- There are times when you’ll need to jack and support your vehicle to reach various parts. Bumper, scissors or hydraulic jacks can be used to raise the vehicle, but NEVER ATTEMPT TO WORK UNDER A VEHICLE SUPPORTED ONLY BY A JACK. The parking brake should be set, the wheels remaining on the ground should be blocked, and the vehicle should be supported by adjustable jack stands or drive-on ramps rated for the weight of the vehicle.
- Siphon approximately half of the brake fluid from the brake fluid reservoir into a container and dispose of it properly. Don’t reuse the removed brake fluid. Note: Brake fluid will dissolve paint, so handle it with care.
- Loosen the lug nut.
- Jack up the wheel or axle you’ll be working on, support it securely with jack stands and block the other wheels. NEVER work under a car supported by only a jack.
- Remove the lug nuts and the wheel.
To remove the calipers:
- In most cases you’ll need to remove the calipers to change the brake pads.
- For fixed calipers, remove the caliper mounting bolts only if the pads won’t come out the back of the caliper.
- For floating calipers, remove the two caliper mounting bolts or guide pins. Note the location of any bushings or positioner pieces so they can be replaced in their original locations. Lift the caliper off the rotor. Sometimes a twisting motion will push the piston back a bit to give you enough clearance for removal.
- For sliding calipers, a support key or retaining clip holds the caliper to the adapter or anchor. Remove the screws or pins holding the key or clip and drive it out. The retainers will lift off when the screws are removed. Note the position of any support springs, anti-rattle springs or clips. Lift the caliper up and off.
Removing the brake pads
- Push back the piston before removing the old pads.
- For fixed calipers, push against the old pads before you remove them. If the caliper must come off, push back one pad at a time until the pistons are seated, after you remove the caliper.
- For floating or sliding calipers, you must remove the caliper to push the piston back. Use a large C-clamp and push on the inboard pad.
- Be careful not to damage the pistons, bores or the dust boots when pushing the pistons back. Do one side at a time and be sure you don’t pop one piston out while pushing on another. Remember to remove half of the brake fluid in the master cylinder before you start.
- Check for fluid leaks or rotor scoring and fix them (replace seals/calipers, machine rotors) before going any further. Certain pistons must now be screwed back with an Allen wrench or special tool to seat them.
Remove the pads from the calipers.
- For fixed callipers, remove any pins or retainers (push pads back and pull them out).
- For floating or sliding calipers, separate the pads from the caliper. The inner pad must be clipped to the piston. The outer pad may be pinned, clipped or pressed tightly on the caliper. Some pads may remain on the adapter or anchor when the caliper is removed.
- Thoroughly clean the entire caliper and the mount with a wire brush. Then use a damp rag to remove any dust or debris.
Installing new brake pads
- Install the new pads in the caliper or anchor in the reverse order of their removal. Make sure all locating clips or anti-rattle springs are in position. Some outboard pads have “ears” that must be bent to fit tightly on the caliper. If necessary, bend the ears by tapping them carefully with a hammer, and use vise grips to press them into position. If the pad is loose on the caliper, it will squeal. DO NOT get grease or oil on the pad linings.
- Place the caliper in position and reinstall any bolts, guide pins, support keys or retainers. Some support keys must be hammered into position. Reinstall any retaining screws or pins. Make sure all bushings are in position.
- Lightly lubricate all sliding metal surfaces with high temperature lubricant.
- Tighten all bolts to factory specifications. NEVER replace bolts or pins with standard hardware. Use only special, high-tensile bolts or pins designed specifically for your vehicle.
- Fill the master cylinder with clean disc brake fluid, and bleed the brakes if necessary.