3 Brake Pad Replacement FAQs
Let’s go over some common brake pad queries and their answers:
1. What Is A Brake Pad?
Brake pads are the friction element in disc brakes (like brake shoes in drum brakes.) They apply the necessary pressure and friction on the brake rotor, slowing down the wheels and stopping the vehicle.
2. How Often Should I Change My Car’s Brake Pads?
Generally, brake pads can last for anywhere from 15,000 to 70,000 miles.
How long your brake pads last depends on several factors, including your vehicle’s make, type of brakes, tire brand, driving habits, tire condition, etc.
Front brake pads tend to wear out faster than rear brake pads. So you might need to change out the front brake pads before a rear brake pad replacement.
3. How To Change Brake Pads?
Brake pad replacement requires good mechanical knowledge. So it’s best to get a brake replacement near you from an expert auto service.
That being said, here’s a general walk-through for a brake pad replacement:
- Start by parking the vehicle on a flat, dry surface and applying the parking brake. Place a jack under its frame.
- Remove the lug nuts and the wheel to locate the brake caliper assembly.
- Locate the two slider bolts that hold the brake caliper in place.
- Once you remove the bottom bolt, the brake caliper should pivot upwards. The rubber hose (hydraulic line) will flex to allow this, so you don’t have to disconnect the hydraulic brake line.
- Inspect the thickness of the brake pads. They are generally considered to be worn out if the friction material is one-eighth of an inch thick or less.
- Locate the retaining clips that hold the old brake pad in place, and slide out the brake pads.
- Replace the retaining clips and apply brake grease to keep them from squeaking.
- Slide in the new brake pads and push back the caliper piston.
- Monitor the brake fluid level. Drain out some fluid if brake fluid reservoirs overflow, as a new brake pad often has this issue. You can also perform a brake fluid flush to replace the dirty brake fluid.
- Reposition the brake caliper and reinstall the slider bolts.
- Repeat the same procedure on the other side and test the new brake works to ensure everything is working properly.