disc brake

How To Do Your Own Disc Brake Job

How To Do Your Own Disc Brake Job

One of the most important parts of any running automobile is the brakes, for obvious reasons. People ask me all the time if they can change their own brakes.

I always say “yes” if you take the time to learn how.

Most cars today have discs brakes which makes it easier to do a brake job than the older drum type. But you still have to know what to do.

First let me explain how the disc brake works. Real simple, there are 2 pads and a rotor on each wheel hub that works in conjunction with brake fluid when you apply pressure to the brake peddle.

Now when you apply pressures to the brake peddle with your foot, brake fluid goes though the lines causing the pads to apply pressure to the rotor which cause you to slow down and stop when needed. This is very basic.

So what do you have to do and what is needed to do a basic brake job with disc brakes?

The first thing you want to do is to jack up the front end of the car so you can put jack stands under the front and get the wheels off.
Note: Make sure when using jack stands that you put them in a place that won’t hurt the car or slide off and hurt you.

Now you are ready to take off the lug nuts that hold the wheel on. If you have trouble with the wheel spinning while you’re trying to loosen the lugs, you can put something between the tire and the ground to stop the wheel from moving. What I do is loosen the lugs just a little before I jack the front end up. Back yard stuff…

Remove all the lug nuts with the lug wrench that came with the car. To loosen the lug nuts you must turn them counterclockwise, to tighten turn them clockwise. Remember “ Righty Tighty – Lefty Loosey “

Now remove the wheels from both sides, do this so you have something to go by or look at if for some reason you get lost or confused about putting it back together.

Now you are ready to remove the bolts. Make sure that you have the proper tools and sockets. Some tools need to be metric.

By being careful you can use a flat head screwdriver and push the caliper piston back into its hole. Be careful of the rubber boot you don’t want to rip it. There are special tools that you can use to push the piston back but if you don’t have them a screwdriver works fine. This makes room to put the pads on and slide the caliper back over the rotor without the piston out of the way you will have troubles.

Now you are ready to put the new pads on the caliper, than place the caliper and pads over the rotor and side in the bolts into place and tighten clockwise “ Righty Tighty” using the proper tool.

After you do both sides you can replace the wheels and tighten the lug nuts. Which way? Righty Tighty clockwise.

Remove jack stands from front end and do the same thing to the rear. This information is only if you’re automobile has disc brakes on the front and rear.

Some automobiles have disc brakes on the front with drums on the back; some cars still have drums on all 4 wheels.

I hope this information was helpful to you and if you are going to attempt to do you own brake job be careful and try to keep any parts of your body from being under the car while you’re working on it.