How to replace worn out brake pads.
Tools you may need:
New Brake Pads, Jack and Jack Stands, Lug Wrench, Large Phillips Head Screwdriver, Dead Blow Hammer, Open End or Ratchet Wrench Set, C-Clamp;
Open end or adjustable wrench, Allen wrenches, hammer, small bungee cord.
Safety needs to be the most important part of your project. You'll be taking the wheel off so be sure you have your car jacked up and resting securely on jack stands.
Next : Preparation
Make sure you've got everything ready to go before you start this project. Go ahead and break the lugs before you jack it up. It's much easier and safer with the wheel on the ground.
Never work on a car which is supported by a jack only! You may need to replace your brake discs depending on the amount of wear they have endured.
Remove them from the bottom up, leaving the top lug nut for last. This keeps the wheel in place while you remove the rest of them and makes it easier to catch the wheel once you remove the last top nut.I remember one night my daughter called me in a panic,“Dad we had a flat, now we can't get the wheel off, what do we do?”If you remove the lugs and still can't get the wheel off, try this stuck wheel trick.
Reinstall the lug nuts them leaving about 5 turns before they start to get snug. Now lower the car to the ground, get in and start it up. Drive back and forth 4 or 5 feet a few times. Now jack the car up and test the wheel. It should be nice and loose now.
On most cars, the next step is to remove the brake caliper to access the pads.On the back of the caliper you'll find 2 bolts. It will either be a hex bolt or an Allen bolt.Remove these two bolts and put them aside.
Hold the caliper from the top and pull upward, wiggling it around to loosen it up. If it's stubborn,give it a few taps with a hammer to loosen it a bit. Pull it up and slightly away, being sure not to put any stress on the brake line.
If there is a place to safely set the caliper back there, do it. If not, you'll need to take your bungeecord and hang the caliper from something, the coil spring is a good spot.Don't let the caliper hang by the brake line, it can damage the line, causing a tear, which may leak.Before you pull out the old brake pads, take a second to observe how everything is in installed. If there are little metal clips around the brake pads, note how they are in there so you can getit right when you put things back together. Take a digital picture of the whole assembly, so you do not forget.With the caliper out of the way, the brake pads should slide right out, they may have little metal tabs holding the pads on the brake calipers pistons.While you're here, it might be a good idea to inspect your brake discs, looking for deep groves.As your brake pads wear out, the caliper pistons will push out of the caliper itself to keep the pads close to the rotor or self adjust, so that you will have quick brakes throughout the life of the pads. Now the pistons are adjusted to match the worn out pads. You will need to push the piston back into caliper housing.Take the c-clamp or a caliper tool and place the end with the screw on it against the piston with the other end of the clamp. Now tighten the clamp until the piston is in far enough that you can easily put the caliper with the new pads over the rotor. Once back together, you can put a little grease on the caliper mounting bolts and replace the bolts. Press the brake pedal a few times to make sure you have solid brake pressure, but remember you will have to start the car up to bring up the vacuum assist, so they will feel like you are used too. The first pump or two will be soft as the piston moves to adjust to the new pads. Put your wheel back on, tighten all of the lug bolts.
on Jan 28, 2010 | Chevrolet Impala Cars & Trucks