How to Replace Your Car’s Brake Pads And Rotors

How To Replace Your Car’s Brake Pads And Rotors

Avandacar – Brake pads and rotors hold a significant role in your driving safety. Ensuring these two is in good condition will help you to have a comfortable drive, plus a safe trip. Now, if you have found that the brake pads and rotors in your vehicle are damaged or broken, you need to replace them. You don't need to ask for professional help because we will show you How to Replace Your Car's Brake Pads and Rotors for beginners.

Preparation

You need to prepare a set of tools to do this project. Luckily, it is all simple tools set you will have at your garage. Here are they:

  • Simple socket set,
  • Breaker bar,
  • Torque wrench,
  • Metal wire brush,
  • Brake piston compressor.

You will also need consumable items that you will use during the process, which are:

  • Copper anti-seize,
  • Silicon paste,
  • Brake cleaner,
  • Thread locker.

Of course, you need to buy a new brake pads (plus brake hardware) and regular non-drilled rotor. As for brake pads, use the ceramic type. It is less expensive, last longer, and produces less dust. Now, let's move to the steps in the How to Replace Your Car's Brake Pads and Rotors guide.

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Lift Your Car

The first step to change the brake pads and rotors is lifting the car. Make sure you use the wheel chock on the other tires to stop your vehicle from moving around. Also, make sure you loosen the lug nut before lifting it. If you try to loosen them after you lift the car, your tires will spin and you can't do that perfectly.

Use a jack to lift the car. Then, put the jack stand to support the car while you change the brake pads. After that, ensure that the car is not moving. Then, remove the lug nuts and wheels before we move to the next step.

You also might need to read our article, How to Choose the Right Tires for Your Driving Needs. It will help you to learn more about tires. You might also want to change it to match your driving needs in this process.

Removing the Brake Pads

Here are the steps you need to do to remove the old brake pads:

  • Removing the Brake Pads
  • Move the steering wheels, so you can access the bolt behind the caliper easily,
  • Remove the bold behind the caliper to open it and get the old brake pads. Use the breaker bar first to let loose the bolt easily before using the regular ratchet to remove them.
  • Open the caliper and take the old brake pads.
  • Then, remove the caliper by sliding it out of the top bolt.
  • Put it on a place that doesn't make it hanging on brake wire, which can break the wire. You can use space in the car body to do that.
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Removing the Rotor

To remove the rotor, here is how to do it:

  • Remove the caliper bracket. To do this, loosen the bolt that holds the bracket. It is behind the bracket. Use a breaker bar and short ratchet combination.
  • Remove the rotors by pulling it off from the bolt. It might be a bit difficult because of the rust. Therefore, hit the “outside” part of the rotor a few times with a hammer until it is loosened up. Then, you can remove it easily.
  • Use the metal wire brush to clean the rotor hub from rust.
  • Put a bucket under the rotor hub, then use brake cleaner to spray it down to clean it. You also can use it to clean the caliper bracket.

Installing the New Rotor and Brake Pads

Now, you are ready to install a new rotor. Here is how to do that:

  • Take the new rotor out of the box and spray it with brake cleaner.
  • Wipe the rotor with cloth to remove the oil layer that protects it from rust during shipping.
  • Put the rotor on the rotor hub. Use one lug nut to prevent it from moving while you are installing the brake pads.
  • Put back the brake caliper bracket. Do not forget to apply the thread locker on the bolt that holds the caliper bracket.
  • Use the brake compressor to put the caliper piston back.
  • Use a fly head screwdriver to remove brake hardware and install the new one.
  • Apply copper anti-seize lubricant to the brake caliper bracket, brake hardware and the back of brake pads to allow brake pads move smoothly.
  • Put back the caliper.
  • Put back the wheel and tighten the lug nuts.
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After that, you can test your car to see if the new brake pads work well. Now, you know How to Replace Your Car's Brake Pads and Rotors. Try it now, save more money, and get better brake performance.

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Adrian Padeanu

Adrian Padeanu is a seasoned automotive expert and the driving force behind AvandaCar. With over a decade of hands-on experience, Adrian's insights into car culture and vehicle mechanics fuel the website's engine. His passion for innovation and performance shines through every article, steering readers to the heart of the auto world. He graduated from Economy and Business Administration with a Master's Degree in European Business Management.