Brake Pads are steel plates with a type of friction material bonded on one side. The “pad” or friction material faces the
. When pressure is applied to the brakes, the pad is pressed against the rotor to stop the spinning wheel and bring the vehicle to a stop.
When should I replace my Brake Pads?
Most vehicles have a method of alerting the driver when it’s time for a disc brake pad replacement. Typically, there is a “wear indicator” on the brake pad that will cause a squealing sound when the fiction material is getting too thin. Other cars have a warning light that is activated on the dash. Replacing brake pads in a timely manner may also save you the expense of having to replace your rotors.
What happens if I don’t?
If you don’t replace your brake pads when indicated, you may end up causing damage to your entire braking system which can add up to a major repair bill. In addition to that, you are putting yourself at risk for the brakes to fail completely and possibly cause an accident.
How to do it: Replacing your front and rear Brake Pads:
Replacing your car disc brake pads does not require any special tools and takes about an hour. Complete the replacement on one side before starting on the other side.
- Safely elevate the vehicle (do not rely solely on a jack). Remove the wheel so you can see the brake assembly.
- You’ll need to locate the two slider bolts holding the caliper in place and remove the bottom one.
- Pivot the caliper up and out of the way being careful not to disturb the hydraulic line (rubber hose). You should be able to see and evaluate the thickness of the brake pads (1/8 inch or less is too thin).
- Slide out the brake pads.
- Most new pads come with retaining clips. Snap them into place, matching the left and right as you go.
- Slide the new pads into place.
- Push back the pistons so you can lower the caliper into place. Most cars have one piston per caliper, but some have two. You need to push both back at the same time with steady pressure. In any case, be very careful that you don’t nick the rubber boot and seal around the pistons.
- Check the master cylinder often to ensure the brake fluid is not overflowing. If it is, siphon off some of the fluid. This fluid is higher with new pads and will naturally go down as the pads wear.
- The calipers should easily slip over the pads when the pistons are pulled back.
- At this point, you’re ready to replace and tighten the slider bolt. Re-mount the tire and be sure to tighten the lug nuts.
- Repeat the entire process for the other side of the front brakes. Be sure to keep monitoring the brake fluid level now that you’ve installed a new pad on the first side.
- Finally – test drive the car to be sure all is working properly. You may notice that the brake pedal seems to engage at a higher point than before. That’s normal.
Anything else I need to know?
Most cars today have disc brakes on the front and they typically wear out more quickly than the rear brakes. Rear brakes can be either disc or drum brakes, but disc brakes are more effective when wet and have a more direct response to the amount of pressure applied to the brake.
Disc brake pads can be made of a variety of friction materials depending on your vehicle’s braking requirements. Softer materials are quieter but are often not suitable for trucks and high performance cars that have more aggressive braking conditions and can wear out more quickly. Ceramic disc brake pads are light and durable, but ceramic brake pads are considerably more expensive.
Browse our selection of Disc Brake Pads available for your make and model. Our Live Support staff is available to answer your questions and guide you to the right choice and best value.