HOW TO – Replace the pads on your car’s disc brakes

Energy & Sustainability
HOW TO – Replace the pads on your car’s disc brakes

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Geo has a really good Instructable on replacing the pads on your car’s disc brakes, it isn’t that hard and as one of the commenters (and MAKE pal Radiorental) says “Seriously – of all the odd jobs someone should learn this ought to be top of the list. A brake job at your local shop will easily run in $200 notes for an axle. Parts and 30-60 minutes of your own time ~$30-40. Probably one of the biggest scams/best kept secrets in automotive history. Maringally harder to replace than bicycle brakes…”Link.

Related:
Transportation archives – Link.

12 thoughts on “HOW TO – Replace the pads on your car’s disc brakes

  1. paulyg says:

    As a track junkie, I often replace brake pads, so it is definately a very easy thing to do, BUT please wear some latex or other gloves when you do this, brake dust is pretty nasty stuff

  2. novabeatnik says:

    Really aside from being dirtier and bigger installing pads on a car is easier in some ways than a bike. There are a great deal of easy fixes the auto repair shops charge loads of money to. A friend of mine who is a mechanic at a dealer told me he get paid for an hour labor even when the job takes 15 minutes. I dont fell like a car is really mine until I have worked on it.

  3. radiorental says:

    Novabeatnik, I completely agree but people who havent done it would never beleive that statement. Most folks have replaced their bike breaks, my girlfriend wouldnh think twice about it. Tell these people that car breaks are marginally harder and they’re will to give it a go.

    She still insist on getting her oil changed at Valvoline (or wherever) because ‘well they charge $50 so they must be doing some important stuff and checking things that need to be checked’ I’ve tried explaining otherwise… a lot of people think that because a break change is $200 there’s no way they could do that ‘level’ of work themselves. Its a bit of a con trick in my opinion, I’m just suprised garages collectively pull this off.

  4. thinkythings.org says:

    Every car’s brake replacement procedure is slightly different. Here’s my write-up for Mazda Protege5 brakes:

    http://www.thinkythings.org/p5/brakes.html

    Nothing’s worse than getting partway through a job like this and getting stuck because you’re missing a piece of expertise or a tool. My advice would be to get help from an experienced assistant your first time.

  5. jbjhill says:

    Brake cleaning spray is a must! The dust from the old pads is very nasty – you definitely don’t want to be inhaling it. And shop carefully, there are still asbestos pads out there.

  6. tms10000 says:

    Reiteration of safety concern: car on a jack. A lot more unstable than it looks. Especially with only one wheel removed. Jackstands are a must in my opinion.

    Brakes themselves are a vital part of safety in your car. Make sure you know what you are doing. Have someone with experience help, especially on the first time. It’s easy to make a mistake (like, say, smear grease on the disk)

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