How to Change Brake Pads
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to change the brake pads in your vehicle, our team at Ira Toyota of Tewksbury has you covered! We’ve put together this step-by-step guide on how to change your brake pads for our local Lowell, Dracut, and Tewksbury drivers.
Let’s get started!
What’s the Purpose of Brake Pads?
Before we dive into how to change your brake pads, let’s go over exactly why they’re necessary. While you know that brake pads are an important part of your vehicle’s braking system, it might be a little unclear as to what they actually do.
The brake pads act as buffers between the brake calipers and rotors; essentially, they prevent metal-to-metal contact, which would create damage to the entire braking system. As you can see, it can be easy for these guys to get worn down from time to time.
How Often Do You Need to Change Brake Pads?
This all depends on several factors. If you’re someone who takes a long commute into the city every day, for example, the stop-and-go traffic will take a toll on your brakes a little sooner. It also depends on your personal driving habits-if you slam on your brakes frequently, you’ll likely wear on the brake pads much faster.
The longevity of your brake pads can also depend on if they’re made from a hard or soft compound. Both have their pros and cons, but generally speaking, brake pads made from hard compounds have a longer lifespan.
How to Change Brake Pads
Now, let’s get to the fun part: how to change your vehicle’s brake pads! Here’s what you’ll need before you get started:
- Your owner’s manual
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- New brake pads
- Socket wrench
- Tire iron
- Caliper grease
Once you’ve acquired these materials, it’s time to get started. The very first thing you should do is start by pressing on the brake pedal 10-20 times to release any leftover air pressure.
1. Access the braking system
You’ll have to remove your tires to access the brake pads. Depending on which brakes you’re replacing, this will either be the front or back tires. Using the tire iron, loosen the lug nuts on the wheels and begin the process of jacking up the car. Consult your owner’s manual to find the safest spot under your car to place the jack.
2. Remove the old brake pads
You can begin to remove the old brake pads by first using a socket wrench to take apart the caliper assembly. Set the caliper on top of the rotor and begin to remove the old brake pads.
3. Put in the new brake pads
After applying brake grease to the back of the new brake pads, you can insert them into the rotor. However, be sure not to get this grease on the front of the pads or on the rotors, as this could damage your vehicle and cause bigger issues in the future.
4. Reinstall the brake caliper assembly and tires
Once you’ve changed the old brake pads, you can then go ahead and replace the brake caliper assembly. Then, replace the tires, lower the jack, and you’ve got yourself brand-new brake pads!
Let Us Give You a Hand!
At Ira Toyota of Tewksbury, we know that a DIY auto project can sometimes be a little stressful. This is where our reliable auto service center can help! Schedule an appointment today and we’ll have your braking system running like new in no time.
We’re happy to assist our Tewksbury, Dracut, and Lowell drivers with any and all of their auto maintenance needs!