Replacing Brake pads?

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So I've noticed that i have to press down harder on my brakes before it slows down. Heh, i've been getting a lot of close calls where i almost hit the car in front of me. I was wondering where can i learn to replace my brake pads. Is it a simple job to learn to do or do i have to get a license mechanic? If so how much would it cost me?

posted by  likuid

You don't have to be a licensed mechanic. Just pick up a Haynes or Chilton manual for your car, get a jack and axle stand, get the pads and whatever other brake parts you may need, and proceed to change your brake pads.

posted by  KNTRDR

heh k Do i only have to replace the pads? Or is there some other parts?

posted by  likuid

Unless you are down to the rivets, the brakes should still grab. If your pads are glazed then you should also have the rotors ground to make the rings dissappear and eliminate any pads deposits, otherwise you will be back to where you are in a short space of time.

I would also suggest changing brake fluid whenever you change pads.

posted by  Wally

Okay thanks!

posted by  likuid

The safe wear limit on most brake pads and shoes is 2/32 (1/16) inch

Is the pedal firm or spongy as you push it further?

While you are working on the brake system, go ahead and inspect for leakage around the wheel cylinders and or caliper - If you notice brake fluid or wet areas, more work will need to be done

posted by  tbaxleyjr

CHANGE THE BRAKE FLUID WHEN YOU CHANGE THE PADS??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????? DUDE, YOU NEED TO STOP MIS-INFORMING THESE PEOPLE!!!! WHERE IS THE HELL ARE YOU FROM AND PLEASE GO BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!THIS GUY IS TRYING TO LEARN AND YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE HIM OUT THERE F**KING UP HIS CAR'S BRAKES SYSTEM BY TRYING TO CHANGE HIS FLUID. FACT OF THE MATTER IS THIS......BRAKE FLUID DOES NOT EVER NEED CHANGING UNLESS THE FLUID BECOMES CONTAMINATED BY MOISTURE OR FOREIGN MATTER OR SOME OTHER FACTOR. JUST TO CHANGE YOUR PADS DOES NOT EVER REQ. FLUID CHANGE. AS A MATTER OF FACT, YOU SHOULD INSPECT YOUR FLUID LEVEL BY LOOKING AT THE FLUID TANK AND NOT EVER EVEN OPENING IT BECAUSE BRAKE FLUID IS LIKE A SPONGE TO MOISTURE. YOU SURE DO HAVE A LOT OF ADVISE TO GIVE THESE POOR PEOPLE THAT ARE ON HERE TRYING TO SEEK THE CORRECT ANSWERS, IT IS TOO BAD THAT 85% OF WHAT YOU SAY ON HERE IS INCORRECT TO A FAULT!!!!!!!!!!!

FOLKS, TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT WALLY HAD TO SAY ABOUT "WARPED BRAKE ROTORS" IN THE R/M SECTION TOO!!! GOD HELP THIS GUY.

posted by  cmeseadoin

I hope you were joking by the highlighted part I quoted you on.....most brake fluid needs to be changed at 6,000 mile intervals, or so. Brake fluid, as does most other stuff, wears out, and over time the boiling point drops, this can cause brake fade, if you've ever used the correct equipment to test brake fluid, you'd know this already!

posted by  Cliffy

I have only seen one manufacturer specify brake fluid changes (Mazda) but it was a a 60000 mile interval or something like that on an 86 model 626. Some people do it because brake fluid does attract moisture.

I never have changed fluid as a maintenance item nor is changing the fluid a mandatory part of brake pad repacement ervice . Much of the fluid is removed when removing fluid to bottom the calipers or opening the bleed valve during caliper bottoming as is done on a car with ABS

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Sorry, I meant to say either 30,000 to 60,000...I just had the lower figures on the brain lol, In the UK at least, we have equipment to test brake fluid, the minimum temperature for dot4 to fall to is 155 deg C....the lowest for Dot5 is 175 deg C....and the lowest for Dot5.1 (which is race orientated fluid) is 189 deg. When Dot3 was around, that too was 155 deg C for it's minumum temperature. Also, I've just researched some old service records we used to keep at the garage and brake fluid must be changed onve every three years regardless of mileage, or if you reach 36,000miles before three years...that's the point to change it at :thumbs:

Edit: My Astra I used to have, once dropped to 12...yes 12 Deg C!....that's the serverity of keeping an eye on your brake fluid!

posted by  Cliffy

Look, don't attempt to change the brake pads yourself not even know the answer to the question you just asked. That's a not a flame, just highly recommened safty advice. You only get one chance to get it right when you need your brakes and need them to work properly.

However, it is a strait-foward job. I started doing brakes when I was 8 with a little help. If you want to attempt it, atleast have someone there watching you that knows a little something about brakes.

posted by  DodgeRida67

While you're correct to warn likuid about the safty side of things, most brake pads are soooo straight forward to change, that even a bloke with half a brain could carry it out...You just have to remember to tighten everthing up properly. The only pads that can cause problems are rear ones, that and some front ones can damage the master cylinder if you squeeze the piston in the caliper back too quickly, to be on the safe side, remove the top from the fluid resevoir first, dont worry if you see brake fluid dripping under the car, it's just overflowed! :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

Anyone who thinks you're a mug's no fool eh? You are a dangerous person who obviously enjoys admonishing people who do not agree with your ingrained lack of knowledge.

I think you have made some of the most significantly ignorant comments in that one post than I have ever seen posted.

My recommendation to anyone taking this imbecile's advice is to consult with a professional mechanic or engineer before employing any of his dangerous practices.

cmeseadoin you are a menace and should stop taking whatever you are taking.


likuid do not just take my word for it. Do some research and discover how brake fluid is affected by heat, moisture, etc. A fluid change is very quick if done by a mechanic with the right tools. Even ignorant original car makers like GM and Ford have scheduled service intervals for brake fluid, mainly because they haven't been enlightened by the oracle cmeseadoin .

posted by  Wally

Okay, I'm gonna go get the fluid checked at a shop but I'm gonna try to do the pads myself. Thanks for the advice everybody

posted by  likuid

Sure you should change your brake fluid but not with every damn pad change.

posted by  DodgeRida67

I suppose it's a amtter of how many miles you get out of you pads. On older cars the importance of good fluid is not so great as on ABS systems. If you are getting around 30k miles with your pads and good practice is to flush the fluid every 30k miles, then kizmet.

Each to their own I guess.

posted by  Wally

Some folks advocate opening the bleed screw and using it as the relief whan changing pads on a car with ABS. Their reasoning is two fold - 1. To keep crud which may accumulate behind the calpier piston from baing backed up into the HCU. Second, to reduce the liklihood of getting air bubbles in the HCU. On many cars, if the HCU ends up needing to be bled, a scan tool must be used to electronically force the HCU to remain open during the bleed. In many cases, this ends up being a repair shop or dealer job if air gets into the ABS systems HCU. If the HCU gets full of crud and ends up being replaced, you are looking @ big bucks.

posted by  tbaxleyjr

There's also an advantage in doing it that way too, for example, if you intend to flush the old fluid out and refill it, by doing this you would have half drained the system by the time you've fitted the pads! :hi:

posted by  Cliffy

Buy one HCU for a late model American car and you wil not care how much fluid is drained. These little $)&'s are expensive - the HCU is about $450 and the pump assembly is over $600 on a Ford Crown Vic

posted by  tbaxleyjr

[QUOTE]Anyone who thinks you're a mug's no fool eh? You are a dangerous person who obviously enjoys admonishing people who do not agree with your ingrained lack of knowledge.

I think you have made some of the most significantly ignorant comments in that one post than I have ever seen posted.

My recommendation to anyone taking this imbecile's advice is to consult with a professional mechanic or engineer before employing any of his dangerous practices.

cmeseadoin you are a menace and should stop taking whatever you are taking.

likuid do not just take my word for it. Do some research and discover how brake fluid is affected by heat, moisture, etc. A fluid change is very quick if done by a mechanic with the right tools. Even ignorant original car makers like GM and Ford have scheduled service intervals for brake fluid, mainly because they haven't been enlightened by the oracle cmeseadoin . [QUOTE/]

Yeah Wally, you and your 3 brain cells missed the bus on that one. Likuid came in here asking a SIMPLE question about brake pads and now you have started this forum off into becoming a dissertation on how you have to change the brake fluid too. You're going to have him spending ten times the amount of money he would need to to get the job done in the first place and then on top of that, I guarantee if I took any of my four cars into the shop today and told the shop foreman that I wanted them to change the brake fluid, they'd look at me like I had lost my mind. I have four cars Wally and I never open the brake fluid system to expose it to contamination, therefore, GUESS WHAT? based on that, I will not be changing the fluid anytime soon. Brake fluid changes are NOT regular service items that you encourage most people top do UNLESS THERE IS A REASON TO SUSPECT OR BE ABLE TO SUBSTANTIATE THAT THE FLUID IS DEGRADED/CONTAMINATED. That is just fluff BULLSHIT that people like you are probably screwing customers over with when it does not need to be done.

You're in here telling Likuid to change his fluid and WHAT factors do you KNOW that he told you that lead you to think it needs to be changed? Answer iiiiiiis: NONE!!! So all of a sudden I am an imbecile with dangerous practises because I vote the old fashioned rule "IF IT AIN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT?" I guess that just places you as a ROCKET SCIENTIST doesn't it? Here you are recommending that someone mess with the FLUID in his brake lines whereby if not done correctly ESPECIALLY with ABS, you could cause him significant MONETARY expense and further more imporant, endangerment to his safety!!!!!!!

I'll tell you what you are Wally, you're a "think you know it all" asshole that is mis-informing members of routine maintanence work that should be done. You're going to cause them to expense more dollars than they have to and you are going to cause people like likuid to have their brake system screwed up by him trying to flush and refill his own brake system. Likuid came on here to talk about replacing brake pads and now you have him thinking that OH GEE, I NEED TO CHANGE MY FLUID TOO ALL THE TIME. GOOD JOB IDIOT! While you are correct on several KEY points regarding brakes, you have TOTALLY missed my point here which is, brake fluid can and should be changed under a certain set of circumstances yet it is NOT routine and should not be messed with if there is nothing wrong. That is a no-brainer.

You continue to bring up all this engineering crap and NO ONE in here is here to discuss this stuff on that level. People want answer to their questions and guidance. I suggest you re-think you strategy on this forum before you come in here as a newer member and try to tell someone such as myself what a horrible person I am just because I am trying to help someone and I don't buy your bullshit phillosophies on performing a service on a vehicle that does not need to be done. Go back to wherever you came from and crawl back under the rock you emersed from you flamboyant dick-head.

posted by  cmeseadoin

I remove the caliper from the mount then just clean up around the calipers with some emory paper to make sure that any deposits are removed so they dont damage the rubber seal, then using caliper spreders or a g clamp depending on the type of caliper, wind them back. Chip off any lose rust from the hub and rim of the disc. Taking the old pads out when ever they decide to cooperate. Get the new pads wipe some copper greese on the back to prevent squeel and make sure i dont touch the face. Put it all back together.

When you wind the calipers back depending if you have a vent on the resivoir is a good idea to losen the top slightly and put a rag around the catch rim incase any fluid overflows as it can damage the paintwork.

It is a good idea to change the fluid but look in the service manual on the intervals unless you have reason to suspect that it needs doing. Changing fluid as you probibly already gathered is not an easy job and if you dont get it right it can be very dangerous. I am sure if you do most of the basic stuff to start with then grab a more experianced freind and get them to show you how.

posted by  cinqyg

Did the brake pad change question get answered?

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Heh, So confused. Although I did change the pads. Seems to work fine. Thanks everyone!

posted by  likuid

I hate the question how to change the brake pads ended up becoming a major dissertation on brake fluid theory. It is like asking for the time of day and someone telling you how to build an atomic clock

posted by  tbaxleyjr

I'm still working on my water clock! Let the ranters rave on so long as someone reasonable addresses the requesters original question the difference is usually obvious.

posted by  HighWayMan

I apologise.

posted by  Wally

PM sometime to talk theory.

posted by  tbaxleyjr

And some of us can get 60k miles from a set of pads so in that case it may well be woth changing the fluid..! :thumbs:

posted by  R34RB30DETTV

Im lucky if i get 12

posted by  cinqyg

I'd hate to be on the road with yur wreckless ass driving :ohcrap:

posted by  DodgeRida67

I recomend doing this repair yourself more than pretty much any other.

Its hard the first time but very easy. Brake shops are rip offs.

changing the shoes will displace some fluid. I agree with wally I would bleed all the fluid unless you know its been done recently, might as well in the same job.

The brake fluid in my dodge van turns brown after im thinking around 20k miles. Yes bad fluid will boil and in hard braking cause problems. It might even be your problem you are describing.
Bleeding the brake system is very easy it requires one clear cup and a thin peice of hose. But get your chiltons or haynes manual and it will show u all the steps.

I recomend learning to do this repair to everyone it is worth $1000s over your life. A brake shop will sell u a bunch of bs.

posted by  stamar

Many of the repair shops (except for several independants with the owner's name above the door and the owner trying to keep a good reputation so he can eat) will sell you B.S. Many chains such as Sears and some of the tire outlets pay their service advisors on commission - sell more work, make more take home pay thus it is in the service advisor/sales person to convince you your car needs $2000 in work right now..... you all know the drill

posted by  tbaxleyjr

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