Brake Pads should be replaced in pairs, the front will wear faster than the rear so usually the front will need to be replaced more often.
First Here is a list of what you will need. This list mainly applies to disc brakes but I have included a link for how to replace drum brakes with graphic images. All parts can be purchased from an auto parts or hardware store.
- New Brake Pads
- Small amount of Brake/Caliper Grease (usually comes in a small packet)
- A can of Brake Cleaner
- Car-jack and lug wrench
- A small bungee cord
- Wrench/Socket/Allen Wrench (depending on your car)
- A hammer (mainly for drum brakes)
- Lossen the lug nuts.
- Jack up the vehicle.
- Remove the tire from the vehicle.
- Use the brake cleaner to spray the brake pads and disc taking care not to spray plastic parts on the vehicle. This is done to partly protect yourself from the brake dust and to also clean everything and help remove rust.
- The following steps are for disc brakes, for drum brakes skip to step 15.
- Next, remove the caliper bolts, the heads will be located on the inside side of the caliper, the wrench needed will vary base on vehicle make and model.
- Slide the caliper and brake pads off of the disc.
- Remove the outer brake pad.
- The bungee cord may be used to keep the caliper from hanging freely. Do not allow the brake line to be bent or hold the caliper itself.
- Use the C-Clamp to slowly depress the inner brake pad as far as it can go. If any brake fluid leaks out of the reservoir, it may need to be replaced once brakes are replaced. Make sure to press the brake pedal several times between each tire having brakes replaced to help keep brake fluid from leaking. Some brake fluid may be siphoned beforehand to prevent loosing any fluid.
- If the disc is to be replaced, do so now, spray the new disc with brake cleaner to remove any residue. The disc should be replaced if grooves or chips are found on it, or if it is outside of thickness specifications of the manufacturer.
- Grease the caliper bolts.
- Put the new brake pads on the caliper and slide the brake pads and caliper back onto the disc and insert the bolts.
- Skip to Step 18 for disc brakes.
- For drum brakes, use the hammer, brake cleaner, and possibly a pry bar to remove the drum which should slide directly off.
- Use the brake cleaner to spray the brake pads and other parts within the drum to clean and prevent dust from being breathed in.
- Use the following link for better information on how to replace drum brakes http://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-replace-rear-brake-shoes-and-drums
- Mount the tire, bolt on the lug nuts, and remove the jack.
- Press the brake a few times and clean up.
Congrats on replacing the brake pads on your vehicle.