How to change brake pads

Friday 25th March 2022

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If you often hear a screeching sound from your brake pads, this could signal it is time for a replacement. Worn brake pads can be very dangerous, as they could lead to comprising the safety and performance of the vehicle, putting you at a higher risk of an accident. If you suspect that your brakes are not in top condition, you can get a free brake check at your nearest Formula One Autocentre.

In this guide, you can learn how to replace your brake pads yourself – and when to seek help from a professional.

Things you will need

  • New brake pads – check your vehicle manufacturer handbook to ensure you have the right replacement brake pads for your vehicle.
  • Gloves – to protect your hands and keep them clean.
  • Brake fluid – again, check your vehicle manual to ensure you purchase the correct type.
  • Wrench (specifically a lug wrench)
  • Plastic tie – you could use a piece of string or bungee cord
  • C clamp – this is to retract the piston
  • Eye protection glasses
  • Car jack
  •  Copper grease

Brake pads are a vital part of the car – which is why removing them incorrectly could be dangerous for your vehicle and, in some cases, lead to total brake failure. It is important you fully understand the instructions before you even attempt to remove your brake pads.

Removing your brake pads

  • Remove each wheel: raise your car using a jack and ensure your car is fully supported on a level surface. Place your axle stands under your car as an extra safety measure. You can remove one wheel at a time and replace each brake pad individually, or you could remove all the wheels at the same time and replace your brake pads in a clockwise process.
  • Remove the guide pin bolts: using a spanner to hold the guide pins and unscrew the guide pin bolt.
  • Remove the brake pads: unbolt the calipers and loosen them, then remove the clips holding your brake pads in place.
  • Check the brake disc: if you see any scoring on your brake disc, this will need to also be replaced.
  • Tighten up the clamp: next, remove the brake fluid reservoir and allow the pressure to escape. Keep an eye on the fluid levels as an overflow could be dangerous. Check your vehicle handbook for more details.
  •  Apply the copper grease: use the grease on the edges and backs of the new brake pads – but avoid touching the friction linings.
  •  Fit your new brake pads: place the new brake pads into the mounting bracket and push the calipers back into the original position so they can slip back over the new pads. This is most effectively done with a G-clamp.
  •  Test brake pads: when you have fitted your brake pads on both sides of the vehicle, press your brake pedal a few times to bring the brake pads up to the caliper disc. After this, check and top up the brake fluid level if needed.

Free brake check and replacement

Here at Formula One Autocentres, our trained experts can help you to replace brake pads, as well as conducting a free brake check to ensure your brakes are in working condition. If you are looking for your brake pads to be replaced, pop into a local centre near you where you can get a free brake check.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact our helpful team

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