January 2, 2009, Newsletter Issue #148: How To Install Brake Pads

Tip of the Week

Before you start your car's brake installation, you will want to put "blocking" behind the wheels to keep the vehicle from moving backwards after you jack up the vehicle. Here are some tips to getting started:

Set the emergency brake.Always use jack stands, as jacks have a tendency to fail from time to time.
Assuming now you have removed the wheel and the brake assembly is in front of you, remove the bolts holding the caliper in place.Remove the caliper from the disc, or rotor. The brakes are normally held in place by some type of clip, or even a bolt.
Remove the brakes from the caliper. The caliper is under pressure, so it will need to be compressed. You can compress the caliper by using a C-clamp and a small block of wood.Turn the C-clamp and the caliper will compress. You will want the caliper to compress all the way down. Be careful not to scar the caliper or its boot.
Once the caliber is compressed, put you new pads into place by using the clips and bolts provided by the manufacturer.
After the brake assembly is in place, replace the bolts, screws, nuts and tighten firmly.
Before letting the jack down, pump your brakes (both when the vehicle is turned off and when the engine is running).
Remove the jack stands and let the jack down. Check the brake fluid and top off if needed, then test the vehicles stopping ability. You may have some noise with new brakes, but this is normal for a few days.

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