September 06, 2012

How to Change Your Brake Pads

Step 1- Buy new brake pads from your local auto parts store.

Step 2- Call your friend Jimmy. :)

What a real man looks like. :)

My dad believed there was no reason for a girl to not know a few basic things about car maintenance. He taught me how to change a tire, check my fluids, jump start a car, etc., but I never learned how to change my own brake pads.

All the parts you need to know. (via)

When the mechanic told me I needed new brake pads, he also told me he wanted to charge me a million dollars to change them! Thankfully, Jimmy came to my rescue! Here are a few photos of what brake pads even look like:

See how thin my old brake pads were? In order to get your car to stop, the brake pads press against the rotor from both sides, so it's dangerous when they get that low (thin).

And now, the rest of the steps:

Step 3- Jack up the car. (Be sure to put your emergency brake on first, or the car will fall on you! This may or may not have happened to me...)

Step 4- Remove your tire (use your handy lug wrench that should come with your car and your jack).

Step 5- Pop your hood and open the cap to your brake fluid.

Step 6- Remove the caliper (that's the clamp thing that holds the brake pads in place. See diagram above.)

Step 7- Pop out the old brake pads.

Step 8- Pop in the new brake pads.

Another view of old (top) vs. new (bottom) brake pads.

Step 9- Compress the piston using a C-clamp or a pair of pliers.

Step 10- Put the caliper back on and screw everything back in.

Step 11- Put the tires back on. This is where I put MY skillz to use. (This is also where the car fell off the jack, because I hadn't put the e-brakes on. Ooops.)

Step 12- Put the cap back on the brake fluid thingie.

Step 13- Lament the loss of your manicure. Feel empowered anyway.

Step 14- Thank Jimmy profusely!




  1. It’s a good thing your dad taught you those basic things about car maintenance. As a woman, you should definitely learn those, just in case your car breaks down somewhere and the place has no signal. That way, you don’t freak out or anything. Well, changing brake pads will be another thing you really need to know because the brakes are critical to safety on the road.

  2. Very helpful and step by step review of changing Brake Pads. I learned very much from here. I will share this helpful information with my friends. See different types of categories of Centric Brake Pads.


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