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How To Change Brake Pads And Rotors

What To Purchase For A Brake Pad And Rotor Repair?

* The vehicle used for this brake pad and rotor repair demonstration is a 2003-2007 Cadillac CTS. The first items you will need to purchase is your brake rotors and brake pads. Most brake pads come with graphite grease prepackaged and often come with new brake clips. Sometimes the brake clips are optional and you can just clean your existing brake clips, or buy new ones. With brake rotors you have two options, you can purchase drilled and slotted rotors, these allow a cleaner brake pad as they get rid of the brake dust and allow better airflow keeping the brakes cooler, or you can just get the standard brake rotors that aren't drilled and slotted. Next on the list would be at least two bottles of brake cleaner and some anti seize, I personally like to use permatex anti seize. Make sure you have a torque wrench,socket set and a brake caliper compression tool.

Changing Brake Pads and Rotors Safety Precautions

Whether your vehicle be front-wheel drive or rear wheel drive, whichever brake you are going to be working on you will want to put a block of wood in the front of the vehicle or in the rear of the vehicle. If you're working on your rear brakes, place a block of wood in front of the front tire, if you're a working on the front brakes place a block of wood at the back of the rear tire. Once you've done that make sure your e-brake is engaged and you place the Jack & Jack stand in the proper location. You can see in the images for most vehicles there is a downward arrow showing where to put the jack. You will also want to make sure that you place the jack stand at good support point next to the jack.

Removing The Brake Caliper

Brake calipers come with two caliper bolts that are on the back side of the brake caliper, some of them also have a nut after the bolt that you need to use a wrench to hold it in place as you loosen the bolt. Remove the two bolts and pull the brake caliper off of the pads. Make sure to hang the brake caliper with a bungee cord/coat hanger, or set it on top of the control arm. You do not want to hang the brake caliper as it can put stress on the brake line. After you've remove the brake caliper just pull the brake pads out from the brake carrier.

Removing The Brake Carrier

Removing the brake carrier aka *(Brake Caliper Bracket) is fairly simple, once you remove the brake caliper, you now have easy access to the two brake carrier bolts that go through the spindle and into the brake carrier. Remove the two bolts, but make sure to place your hand underneath the brake carrier before you take the last bolt out or else it will drop and hit the ground. Take note of which carrier bolt go where, for most vehicles they are different lengths.

Removing The Brake Rotor

Before you pull the brake rotor off, most vehicles have a torx bolt installed, some vehicles are missing this and the brake rotor can come off without removing it. Look for the torx bolt on the side of the brake rotor close to the lug nut studs and remove it first if it is installed. Once you've removed your torx bolt, take a hammer and hit around the edges close to the lug nut studs with a to break the rust free. Do this if you are going to be replacing the rotor, if you are not you might want to be careful not to damage it. Once the rotor is loose you simply pull it straight off of the lug nut studs.