Attention! The recent strike of the UAW Union is having an effect on parts availability and causing processing delays. Your patience is appreciated.

​How To Change Your Brake Pads

How to Change your Break Pads

There are many types of fairly easy maintenance tasks you can perform on your vehicle that will help you save money. One of the simplest do-it-yourself repairs is replacing your brake pads. Changing your own brake pads is relatively easy and can eliminate the cost of having a mechanic do it for you. Here are some things that you must know, as well as a step-by-step layout of the process! 

What Parts Make Up The Brake Pads? 

Before changing your brake pads, it is a good idea to know what parts make up a braking system. There are three common parts that makeup disc brakes: the rotor (disc), caliper, and brake pads. The rotors are the large discs that spin with the wheels. The calipers are essentially a clamp on the rotors responsible for causing friction and eventually leading the car to slow down. This friction is caused by the brake pads, which are placed inside the calipers. When the brakes are applied, brake fluid sends pressure to the calipers forcing the pads to clamp onto the rotor. 

<< Get Your Brake Pads On >>

When Should I Change My Brakes?

If you hear a squeak noise or grinding noise, it could be time to change your brakes.  But more specifically, if your brakes squeak or squeal it is necessary to change the pads.  On the flip side, if the brakes make a grinding sound, then the rotors are what need to be fixed. Occasionally, brakes might make both noises and both parts may need fixing. For this exercise, we are going to give you instructions on how to change the brake pads, not the rotors. 

What You Will Need:

  • Car Jack/Jack Stands
  • Wrench (Socket, Allen, etc. depending on the caliper bolts)
  • Lug Wrench 
  • C-Clamp
  • New Brake Pads for your GM Car

Step-By-Step Process:

  1. Loosen the lug nuts on your tire. 
  2. Using the car jack, jack your vehicle up.
  3. Finish taking off the lug nuts and remove the tire. 
  4. Find the bolts on the caliper, loosen, and remove them. 
  5. Pull the caliper off of the rotor. 
  6. The caliper is attached through the brake line, so you do not want it to just hang there. You can either let it rest on a part of the car above the rotor, or you can use a piece of wire to hang the caliper on your wheel well. 
  7. Pull your old brake pads off the rotor and out of the holders. 
  8. Slide the new brake pads into where the old pads were just removed from. 
  9. Use the c-clamp to squeeze the caliper's pistons back into their original place. 
  10. Put the caliper back on the rotor, over the brake pads.
  11. Tighten the bolts of the caliper.
  12. Set the tire back in place, tighten the lug nuts, and lower the jack. 

As you can see, changing your brake pads is a process that is relatively quick and easy!