How To Change Front Brake Pads

If you are the handyman do it yourself type person you may want to consider saving some time and money when it comes to the automobiles that you own. This is an area where a lot of money is spent throughout the year, but many never realize that the things they have repaired or maintained can be taken care of at home with little or no trouble at all. The main issue is having the proper knowledge to go at these types of things. Of course people tend to believe that these kinds of issues are very complicated when in truth there is little that is complicated about automobiles in general.

For the purpose of this discussion let’s look at changing the front brake pads on a car. This is one of the more simple jobs and it is vital to maintaining the safety of the car or truck with the people inside.

The front brake system on a car is almost always a brake pad and caliper system. The caliper is the housing unit that holds the pads against the rotor and then pushes them against the rotor when pressure is applied to the brake pedal. The whole concept is simply by nature and brakes have change very little over the course of time.

You should never let your brakes get to the point where they are grinding or grabbing. This can start to cause more problems and damage other parts of the system when it is let go this far. A good rule of thumb is to change the brake pads every ten thousand miles to be on the safe side.

For this project you will need a set of brake pads (they come in fours), a socket set, allen wrench set, brake fluid (dot certified only) and a large c-clamp.

The first rule is to only do one side at a time. This will ensure that if you forget home something goes back together you can simply run to the other side and see what you need. So jack up one side of the car and remove the front tire. On the caliper there will be two bolts, either with bolt heads or allen heads. Remove these two bolts and set them aside in a safe place.

Now, the caliper will come out of its resting place with the bolts removed. With this the brake pads will come too. Take out the old brake pads and set them aside, paying close attention to the position they were in when removed.

You will notice that the piston is extended to a certain degree. It will be further out the more the brake pads were worn. Use the c-clamp to compress the piston all the way back in. Make sure you get it all the way in or the new brake pads will not fit.

Put the new brake pads in place and replace the caliper to its original position and reattach the bolts. Repeat for the opposite side.

Now, many people believe that they should open the brake lines at some point during this procedure which is completely unnecessary. But if you happen to do that then adding brake fluid will become necessary before using the brakes.

WARNING: Make sure that you follow all directions on packaging for any fluids or parts that you purchase when working on your car or truck.  Also be sure to wear the proper safety clothing, such as gloves and goggles, when working with fluids or chemicals to prevent illness or injuries.

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