The brake pads: steps for changing

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It must be said, that the auto service specialists pay attention to the operation of all the elements of the braking system as a whole, test the steady operation of the pads, measure the stopping distance and detect external noise during braking. The period of brake pad replacement depends on the type of vehicle body, transmission, and operating conditions.

Off-road vehicles that are used on sand, dirt, and off-road may require padding replacement every 15,000 km. Vehicles with automatic transmission need their brake pads to be replaced every 25 – 30,000 kilometers, whereas it’s 40,000 to 50,000 kilometers for manual gearbox sedans.


Basic principles of brake pad changing.


It is not recommended to allow the pads of the front or rear axles to have a different degree of resource exploitation! This is why both brake pads change – front or rear wheels. At the same time, specialists strongly recommend checking the degree of wear of brake discs, the integrity of dust covers and covers, and brake hoses.


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All processes of pad changing shall be carried out on a cooled-down vehicle, using a wheel chock mechanism. The process of replacing disc and brake pads on different car models may have some peculiarities, but the common steps are:


  • Open the hood and unscrew the cap of the brake fluid;
  • Remove the wheel;
  • Clean the brake assembly of dirt;
  • Unscrew the fastening elements in the form of disc caliper or drum-brake bolts to gain access to the pads;
  • Slide-out the braking pads with a screwdriver;
  • Change the pads on both wheels of the axle;
  • Pump the brakes and check the whole operation at speed.


 Let’s discuss more details concerning the changing of brake pads of the disk system:


  • We purchase quality pads recommended by the producer;
  • Unscrew the nuts of the wheel and support the car on the appropriate side with a jack. After this, we remove the wheel;
  • To achieve a lighter brake piston depression, open the hood and unscrew the cap of the brake fluid tank;
  • If there are staples on the caliper, get them right underneath and remove them with a screwdriver. If you have a wear sensor connector, then disconnect it and then twist the directional calipers;
  • Insert a chisel or a large screwdriver between the pad and disc and remove the pad. Push the brake piston, remove worn-out pads, clean everything of dust and dirt;
  • Lubricate carefully the directional calipers so that the lubrication in any way does not get on the new pads and brake disc. Install new brake pads;
  • Assemble the connector and straps in reverse order, install the wheel, lower the car;
    Pump the brakes, check the results at low and medium speeds;


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The principles of changing drum brakes:


  • Pick up the car and take off the wheel;
  • Twist the brake drum locking bolts and carefully remove them. It is quite often the brake drum is stuck and cannot be dismantled. In such cases, the experts advise using a hammer and knocking on it;
  • Pay attention to the correct position of the fixing springs. If you change them incorrectly, the brake will not work properly;
  • Release the parking brake cable. Remove the drum brake springs and rods with a screwdriver, then remove the brake pads;
  • Install new brake pads, put all elements in reverse sequence;
  • Set the wheel, but do not lower the jack. Put the car on the hand brake and check the drum pad;
  • If everything’s ok, lower the car and test it.
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It is not necessary to delay the diagnosis of the braking system and the examination of the brake pads if the following signs appear during driving:


  • The braking distance has increased;
  • Brakes can «slip» when the pedal is activated;
  • There is a chip with a metal reflection on the discs and brake pads;
  • Squeaks and knocks during braking;
  • Once the brake pads have been replaced, it will take some time to work perfectly. You should brake smoothly first 200-300 km. Try to avoid sharp pressing the brake pedal and monitor closely the operation of the system as a whole.

If there is any doubt about the correct operation of the brakes, you notice external sounds and vibrations, then it is necessary to stop and consult with the auto service specialists.




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