DIY brake pads - khizman
I was wondering how hard it must be to change your own brake pads?

I dont have much experience on car maintanance, I have looked at a couple of google videos on how to do it, and it seems easy enough, is it a hard job?
DIY brake pads - Steptoe
Technically easy, as this is one of the few maintenance jobs that manufacturers have designed to be simple.

But, as it is safety related, not IMHO the sort of job to start your car maintenance career on! The procedures for each vehicle are different so general instructions/videos will not be much help.

Suggest you get a knowledgeable friend to do it, watch closely and learn for next time
----------------------------------------------

One mans junk is another mans treasure
DIY brake pads - GregSwain
If in doubt, why not invest £18 in a Haynes manual. Pads are an easy job - if you can change the oil & filter, you can change the front pads. As has been said, different cars have slightly different set-ups, for instance there are some where you need a tool to push the piston back into the caliper.

Brakes are of course safety-related, but as long as it looks the same after you've finished as it did before you started, and there's no bits left over(!!), it will stop when you press the brake pedal. The brakes will feel a bit weak until they've bedded in, so don't panic when you first hit the pedal!
DIY brake pads - jc2
Always hit the pedal before you go near the road to get the shoes back where they ought to be!!
DIY brake pads - Cliff Pope
It's a simple job on paper, and a doddle when things go right. But there are associated components that you need to know about in order to assess their condition, and they are not so straightforward if needing attention.
You need to know how to assess the condition of the disc, and remove and replace if necessary. Also you need to be able to check that the pistons move freely, so you need to know, eg from experience, how free they are supposed to be, and what to do if they are sticking. Also of course ABS may be a complication.
Ideally you'd do this with someone who's already had experience of your car.
DIY brake pads - kithmo
Make sure you clean the grooves where the pads sit in the caliper and put a thin smear of coppaslip on the ends of the pad backing plate, to prevent the pad sticking in the groove and not releasing properly. The caliper and disc can be destroyed by overheating due to this.
DIY brake pads - David Horn
Since I can (and have on several occasions) screw up the hydraulic disc brakes on my mountain bike, I let the garage deal with the car.
DIY brake pads - none
Replacing your own brake pads is a fairly straightforward way of saving on maintenance costs. Cliff Pope is right though, an experienced mechanic will spot potential problems, an amateur might not.
The average garage is equipped to deal with most problems, the home mechanic might have to make a couple more trips to the motor factors.
"Wrong pads" is a well known phrase in the motor repair industry. Mr.Garage just calls his supplier and gets them changed - pronto. Mr.Amateur has to repack and return them. A bit awkward if you have the brakes in bits !
Most importantly, only use recognised brand names such as Ferodo or Mintex, there are lots of well packaged, good looking replacements around, priced just under the premium price. Ignore them - they're just "get through the mot" bits. Similar quality to the new £10 - £15 tyres you can buy.
DIY brake pads - artful dodger {P}
If you are not sure of what to do I would recommend buying the pads from a trade counter and then paying a mechanic to fit them. If you use a mobile mechanic then you can watch and ask questions. This will not cost a lot more than DIY, but what cost to you value your safety.

I had considered fitting pads and discs all round on my car with ABS fitted, but when reading the manual I decided it was something I did not feel sufficiently qualified to do. So I had a local garage do it for me, they charged £90 for fit pads, discs and change the brake fluid.


--
Roger
I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
DIY brake pads - fossyant
Easy job as mentioned - just take your time. Hardest part is pushing the piston back in - won't go into the details, - just get a manual or do a web search.

As for very good quality brake components, try brakeparts.co.uk - very helpful folk who sell OEM quality parts only - they don't do rubbish - I had a good chat with their guy on the orderline about the quality of the pads as I didn't want rubbish - will use them again. They know their stuff !
DIY brake pads - davemar
It's also worth remembering that brake discs can wear out relatively quickly compared to the days when pads had asboestos in them. So for every third or fourth pad change the disc might need changing too (obviously this can vary too). Fortunately most new discs are quite cheap, and are usually easy to change (just a couple of screws holding them on, and swing the caliper away). However, rust being rust, they can get stuck to the hub and require some persuasion to get off.
DIY brake pads - DP
However, rust being rust, they can get stuck to
the hub and require some persuasion to get off.


The good thing of course being that if you're changing the discs anyway, damaging them isn't a problem. The real fun is when you have seized on discs that you intend to refit, and are removing for another reason.

Cheers
DP
DIY brake pads - richy
No one else has yet mentioned about spreading a thin layer of copper grease on the back of the new pads. Apparantly this helps stop them squealing and sticking to the pistons but I've not had problems when I've failed to do this. Go one and take the plunge, if you feel content with the standard of your work and the money saved then get prepared to start takling bigger and bigger jobs and saving even more money....
DIY brake pads - daveyjp
Yes they have!

Make sure you clean the grooves where the pads sit in the caliper and put a thin smear of coppaslip on the ends of the pad backing plate, to prevent the pad sticking in the groove and not releasing properly. The caliper and disc can be destroyed by overheating due to this

As for DIY garages often change more than the pads, so you need all the parts. On my Focus the anti rattle clips were replaced as well as the pads.
DIY brake pads - Big Bad Dave
The brake pad warning light has recently started to flicker when I press the brake. How long before I should change them? Days, weeks or months? I mean realistically in the real world, not the "do it right now or you could be putting hundreds of lives at risk" world.
DIY brake pads - spikeyhead {p}
The brake pad warning light has recently started to flicker when
I press the brake. How long before I should change them?
Days, weeks or months? I mean realistically in the real world,
not the "do it right now or you could be putting
hundreds of lives at risk" world.


that really depends on teh condition of your discs. If they're going to be changed anyway then I'd wait until metal starts hitting metal. If the discs don't need changing then I'd do it sooner rather than later, certainly within the next few hundred miles.

Note that you're far more likely to suffer brake fade when teh pads are this thin, so if you're heading down stepp hills use the engine breakign mroe than the foot brakes.
--
I read often, only post occasionally
DIY brake pads - sierraman
>>
that really depends on teh condition of your discs. If they're
going to be changed anyway then I'd wait until metal starts
hitting metal. If the discs don't need changing then I'd do
it sooner rather than later, certainly within the next few hundred
miles.



No-metal to metal would mean you would have no friction material,what would happen in an emergency,particularly if an accident occured and your car was then inspected.When the friction material gets thin itoverheats,cracks up and brakes away from the backing.If the warning light is flashing it is telling you that your brakes need attention NOW,not in a few hundred miles.
DIY brake pads - kithmo
The thing about brake pad warning lights is that the light is only telling you that possibly one pad is at or near the minimum thickness. In some systems, not all the pads have the wires in them, this means that the pads without wires in could be thinner, due to them, or the pistons, sticking. IMO there is no substitute for regular maintenance such as checking the brake pads visually every few thousand miles (or less as they get nearer to the end of their life). I have the good fortune to have alloy wheels with large enough gaps in them to be able to see the brake pads without removing the wheel or dismantling the caliper, on both front and rear disc brakes, so I check them every time I notice that the gaps in the wheels are lined up with a view of the pads.
DIY brake pads - GregSwain
Agree with kith 100%. Electronic pad "warning" systems are all well and good, but my advice would be to ignore them and visually check the pads before replacing them, as has worked for decades since disc brakes were first used. Call me a cynic, but I think gimmicks like these systems serve only to relieve the less technically-minded drivers of their money, as they'll probably phone the main dealer and say "there's a light on".
DIY brake pads - George Porge
If you have an interest in car mechanics diy why not contact your local college and see if there's an evening class for starter course for mechanics?

The last thing you want to do is "hit" the brakes, its gently does and short pumps (not using full pedal travel that will be available) it until the pedal is firm, if you "hit" the pedal you're likely to invert the master cylinder seals.
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car