Replacing Brake Pads on the Car

I took the car to my usual mechanic last Wednesday to have some work done and he was totally booked. So I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I carry an aluminum pipe in my trunk for taking the lug nuts off the wheels. The wrench is not enough. The nuts are so tight that you need the extra leverage to turn them. It was Archimedes who once said, “give me a lever that is long enough and I can move the world.” The pipe is also handy in case you need to encourage some random road rage miscreants into civility.

Here is what the brake assembly looks like with the tires removed. You have the caliper, the discs, and the pads.

Take the calipers off. Clean the discs using brake cleaner spray. Remove the worn pads.

Install the new pads. I get mine from the Toyota dealer.

Take out the sliding pins and clean them. Apply a fresh coating of high temperature grease.

The following photo shows the pistons inside the caliper. When you step on the brake pedal, these pistons apply pressure on the pads which then clamp on the disc.

In order to put the caliper back into place, these pistons have to be squeezed in. It helps to remove the cap of the brake fluid reservoir on top of the master cylinder to relieve the back pressure in the brake fluid line.

A lady who lives in the building next to me saw what I was doing and wants me to work on her car also. Great.

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One Response to “Replacing Brake Pads on the Car”

  1. I know people who change their oil by themselves, but brake pads? That’s impressive. I’d be afraid of fixing my car, driving, getting on the freeway, and then all of a sudden…no brakes.

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