Wednesday 18th July 2012
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This is an easy-to-follow step by step guide on how to change your brake pads yourself. Watch our resident mechanic Carlton at work to help lead you through the simple steps to replacing the pads yourself.

Estimated time: approx 1 hour for each set                          Difficulty: Easy/Medium

Step 1 Learn how to change your brake pads

Before you start lift up the bonnet and locate the brake fluid container. Make sure you unscrew and remove the cap. This will release pressure and save damaging the master cylinder when you change your brake pads.

Step 2

To begin this process you will need to jack up the vehicle with a wheel jack being careful you place the jack on a flat surface, and in the correct location underneath the vehicle. Once this is done you will have to remove the wheel. Make sure you have the security bolt socket to hand if your vehicle is fitted with security wheel nuts. You can then remove the nuts with a wheel brace or socket set, whichever you prefer. Remove all the wheel nuts and lift the wheel off so you can gain access to the brakes.

Step 3

You will need to turn the steering wheel so that the one the wheel is off the brakes are pointing outwards from the vehicle. This creates more space for you to see and work efficiently when you change your brake pads.

Step 4

As seen in the video the brake pads are located in the brake calliper wrapped around the brake discs. Use one spanner to hold the guide pin on the calliper and remove the guide pin bolt with a ratchet or similar tool. There will either be one or two guide pins and bolts. On the car in the video you will see 2 bolts holding the calliper in place.

Step 5

Once you have removed these bolts, you can swing the calliper round to gain access to the pads. Unclip the old pads from the mounting brackets on the callipers, noting how they clip into place. Also, if you have sensor leads make sure you note which colour fits in which hole so that you can easily replace them with the new pads. The connectors in the video are white and black, and one is longer than the other.

Step 6

Clip the new brake pads into the mounting brackets, and replace the connections. If preferred, you can apply a little copper grease to the edges and backs of the new brake pads.

Step 7

You will need to compress the piston to make room for the new pads. This can be done by forcing them back with a clamp or applying the pressure with another tool as seen in the video.

Step 8

Now that the brake pads are are correctly positioned, you can put the calliper back in place over the brake disc and pads. Once in place, you will need to insert the guide pin bolts (if you have them), ensuring they are fastened tightly in position. Make sure everything is tightened back up again.

Step 9

Put the wheel back on and tighten the four wheel nuts. When this is done pump the brake pedal a few times to get the pads against the discs. Top up the brake fluid if necessary.

Step 10

Finally, make sure you put the cap back on the brake fluid and tighten accordingly.

This completes the 10 step process on how to change your brake pads. Repeat the above processes on each wheel needing new pads.

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