Can You Change Brake Pads Yourself

Yes, you can change brake pads yourself. The amount of work required varies depending on the vehicle you own and the type/style of brakes you need. Before you buy that first set of brake pads, you need to make a plan.

Do you have the equipment you need to replace the pads?

Raise Your Vehicle

Plan for safety first. Make it your top priority. To replace brake pads, you will work under a 3,000-pound vehicle.

You have to raise (jack-up) the car or truck high enough to remove the wheels/tires and safely support it while you are working.

How high should you raise it? Unless you like to work lying down, the vehicle should sit high enough for you to work under it while kneeling or sitting comfortably.

To do this, you will need tools you don’t have in the trunk of your vehicle.

    1. Jack – You need a jack that can lift the vehicle to the appropriate height.
      1. Choose a hydraulic, bottle, or scissor jack. The jacks supplied by the vehicle manufacturers are only designed to remove a flat tire and replace it with a smaller ‘run flat’ tire.
      2. These jacks aren’t the best for raising your car or truck as high as you need.
    2. Jack Stands
      1. Get one or two well-built jack stands to support the vehicle once it is jacked-up.
      2. Because you work inside the wheel well, be sure you have solid, well-built equipment.

Your safety and health are at risk, so don’t go cheap on this equipment.

Before you start, turn the tires so they are facing the opposite direction. Turn them to the right before working on the driver-side brakes and to the left before working on the passenger side. We are talking about left-hand drive here, so Brits should do the opposite for right-hand drive vehicles.

Correct Tools Required

Once the vehicle is properly supported, you need specialized hand tools.

  1. Lug wrench – You have to remove the wheel/tire, so you need a lug wrench to remove and replace the lug nuts. You might have one in your car or truck.
  2. Flat Blade Screwdriver – If you have wheel covers, you may need a large flat blade screwdriver to remove them.
  3. Pliers – You need brake tools such as pliers to remove clips, safety pins, and brake pads.
  4. Wrenches & Sockets
    1. If you need to remove the caliper, get some wrenches and sockets.
    2. Use a tool to separate the caliper pistons or compress a single piston.
  5. Sandpaper and a wire brush – used to clean off dirt and rust, and scuff the brake rotor surfaces.
  6. Micrometer (optional) – a professional job would include a micrometer to measure the thickness of the brake rotor.
    1. There is a published minimum thickness for all rotors.
    2. Even if the rotor looks good, it may need to be replaced.
  7. Diagnostic computer (optional) – you may need a diagnostic computer to ‘release’ the caliper before the pistons can be retracted for the new, thicker pads.
    1. Check your owner’s manual or online because forcing the pistons can damage the calipers.

If you plan to replace brake pads on all your vehicles, invest in the proper tools. Build your tool inventory for different vehicles and make the job faster and easier.

Thousands of individuals change their brake pads.

Join the group but stay safe.

About Goodyear Brakes

Goodyear Brakes manufactures premium quality brake bundles, calipers, rotors, brake pads and all the hardware required to successfully install brakes, all backed by a national warranty, decades of production experience and one of the best-known names in automotive excellence. The brake pads are manufactured in the USA using a proprietary green production process by a company with more than 50 years of experience in friction science. The Goodyear Brakes product line is available through Goodyear Brakes at Amazon, CarID, Buy Brakes and AutoAnything.

Goodyear (and Winged Foot Design) and Blimp Design are trademarks of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company used under license by FDP Virginia Inc., 1076 Airport Road, Tappahannock, VA 22560, USA. Copyright 2020 The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Goodyear Brakes and FDP Virginia are not responsible for its products when they are subjected to improper applications, installation, or accident.

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