Tap to Read ➤

How to Change Disc Brakes

Fatima Rangwala
If you are fed up of spending time and money in hiring a professional to change your car brakes, it's time that you learn to do it yourself. The following story tells you how.
As compared to drum brakes, disc brake systems are more efficient, reliable and responsive at high temperatures and treacherous conditions. The entire braking assembly consists of a disc brake (rotor) which is mounted on an axle which is then connected to a caliper assembly.
This in turn has two brake pads which get activated by the hydraulic pressure system. Both brake pads are forced hard against the sides of the disc brakes effectuating a lot of friction slowing down the vehicle.
Moreover, the factor of how long do brake pads last usually arises under this discussion. Well, the wearing capacity of brake pads is the based on different variables, like mileage of the car, the built of the brake pads, and driving style of the user.


  • Car jack
  • Normal-size sockets/wrenches
  • C-clamp
  • Black grease
  • Crack the lug nuts and bolts loose enough on the front wheel (not all of them). The wheel just has to come off gently. Do this procedure right before you jack the car up. It's risky when you jack it up and try to remove the wheel, the vehicle can spin or fall hard on the ground.
  • Jack up the car with the help of a jack stand.
  • Now that you have already removed the lugs, keep them in a secured place so that you don't have to hunt for them later.
  • Turn the disc brakes to your working side to remove the calipers comfortably.
  • Now find the two bolts that hold the caliper carriers altogether. The bolts must be behind the caliper on either sides.
  • You can locate them with the rubber boot material situated on the shaft, because the caliper slides along them as the brake pads function.
  • You can also use a brake cleaner to clean the surface of the disc, these cleaners are easily available in hardware stores.
  • Spray the cleaner on the calipers and all the car parts that have been removed. Clean them well.
  • Now, it's time to replace old with new. First, get the replacement parts from an auto parts store, particularly the ones which are worn out, like brake pads, brake lines, calipers, etc.
  • Now using grease, lube the newly bought disc brakes so that they slide on the carrier easily.
  • Next, use a C-clamp to fit it around the caliper. On one end, place the clamp around the caliper and on the other side to the piston crank. Clamp them tight until the piston is completely pushed inside along with the caliper edge.
  • Do not force the piston to go right inside, once you see it fit, leave the job as it is.
  • Grease the back of the brake pads to help reduce noise and friction in the braking assembly.
  • Unless and until the worn out brake pads aren't scraping against metal, the change of discs shouldn't take place. The issue of knowing when to change these brakes should rise only when, there is an imposing vibration in the steering wheel while you apply brakes to stop the car. This is when you will realize that the discs are worn out and they need a change.
  • Moving further, the process of braking the glaze is now conducted. It is done using a sandpaper which is rubbed against the discs to remove the shiny coat.
  • Get hold of the caliper with new pads which were slipped in and slide the caliper slowly and gently back into the caliper carrier to secure it well. Refit the two bolts that were removed from the calipers.
  • Once all the bolts and nuts have been replaced back into its place, you may now put the wheel back in place by snugging up the lugs.
  • Ground your car, by removing the jack and tighten all the lugs and parts the way it was.
The method for changing rear disc brakes is likewise. So if you wish to work on the other side of the wheel, now you know how to go about it.