Looking for instructions on how to replace brake pads?

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Answered by: Kimberly, An Expert in the DIY ATV Repairs Category
Learning how to replace brake pads is pretty easy and requires average mechanical ability. Having everything you need at your fingertips will make the job go smoothly and quickly.

Buying Brake Pads

You must purchase new brake pads, which can be picked up at your local automotive store or ordered online. There are a few different types of pads available:

Semi-metallic brake pads contains up to 65 percent metal. This type of brake is considered to be pretty durable. The downside of semi-metallic pads is they wear down quickly and may not function well in cold weather climates.

Organic brake pads or non-asbestos pads are made from materials such as rubber, glass, Kevlar, carbon and filler materials. These pads tend to wear out rather quickly and they produce a fair amount of brake dust. Low-metallic organic pads contain up to 30% metal which creates a better braking capability, but the brakes tend to be noisier and there is the issue, again, of brake dust.

Ceramic pads are made up of filler materials and bonding agents. These are more expensive, but they are also quieter and produce less dust. Ceramic pads provide excellent stopping for vehicles and they do not wear down the rotors like other types of brakes.

Now that you have purchased your brake pads, it’s time to put them on.

Replace Brake Pads

Items you will need are a lug wrench, a hammer, Allen wrench(s) or an adjustable wrench, a c-clamp, and of course, jack stands.

You must first set the parking brake and put blocks at the rear tires do the vehicle will not roll. Jack up the vehicle and loosen the lug nuts to remove the wheel.

Once the tire is removed, you will see the brake caliper that holds the brake pads in place. If you visualize the rotor you will see two pads on either side. Using the C-clamp, compress the caliper piston, which will allow you to remove the caliper assembly. Next, you unmount the caliper bolts and pull the caliper back from the rotor, taking special car not to damage the brake line.

Installing the new pads is pretty easy by inserting the pads in the caliper one at a time. It may be necessary to depress the piston in order to allow enough room for the pads. Once this has been completed, put the caliper on the rotor and bolt it back in place. Put the wheel back on and you’re all set, almost!

Testing the Brakes

It is extremely important when you replace brake pads, to check the brakes and brake fluid levels before you drive the vehicle. It is possible for air to get into the brake line preventing the fluid from going through. Bleeding the brakes before you drive the vehicle is strongly recommended.

Now that have saved yourself some time at the garage, and money by doing it yourself; you can hit the road and be confident that your vehicle will stop when you want it to.

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