New brake pad and disc

How to replace car brake pads and discs?

Both brake pads and discs last between 25000 and 50000 miles in general dependent on how the vehicle is driven and it is best to replace them at the same time.

Replacing brake pads and discs will take a few hours and can be performed by anyone with basic mechanical knowledge, DIY skills and a few tools detailed below.

When to replace brake pads and discs?

If uncertain a visual inspection of brake disc and pads condition can be key. Most rims allow visibility for these parts and the brake pad thickness must be at least 6.4 mm. Brake pads and discs must be replaced in pairs (front and rear) to provide even grip when braking.

Used brake pads and discs
Used brake pads and discs

What's needed to replace brake discs and pads?

As this is DIY tutorial let's presume You don't have access to a car lift.

The need for an impact wrench may be necessary if some bolts are stucks, although it's always useful to have and will make the whole process faster and easier.

  • a socket set
  • a combination spanner set
  • an allen key set (including 7mm)
  • large metal clamp (6")
  • car jack
  • new set of brake pads
  • new set of brake discs
  • *an impact wrench

10 Steps to replace car brake pads and discs

  1. Park the vehicle on a flat surface, apply handbrakes and possibly wedge the wheels to secure them in place
  2. Loosen rim bolts one by one diagonally with a socket wrench on the wheel to be serviced while the vehicle is still on ground as it requires force
  3. Lift the a wheel off ground with a car jack ensuring the vehicle is standing stabil and remove the wheel
  4. Loosen the (two) small screws holding the brake disc. Phillips headed bolts may prove more difficult to remove. Do no let the bit to spin inside a stuck bolt as it would just grind it down further. In this case an impact driver with a flat bit is likely to be required as flat bits can be hammered in slightly to allow for a better grip.
  5. Release the handbrake if working on the rear wheels
  6. Remove the brake caliper spring clips, bolts with spanners and allen keys then slide the caliper off the brake disc
  7. Remove the used brake pads, inspect piston and seal condition as it may need replacing (would also require brake fluid replacement). Depress the pistons completely in (a metal screwing clamp can be very helpful) to maximise space for the new brake pads after ensuring the seals are fit for purpose and the pistons are clean
  8. Replace the brake disc with new socket head screws. Do not overtighten to avoid snapping
  9. Fit the new brake pads, slide the caliper back on the brake disc then secure in place with bolts and spring clip removed in step 6
  10. Fit the tyre back in place, release the car jack and repeat from step 2 for each wheel serviced
Used and new brake pads
Used and new brake pads
brake caliper removal
Step 6: Remove brake caliper
Removed brake caliper
Step 7: Removed brake pads

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