How to Change Your Brake Pads Near Seattle, Washington

It is time to give some attention to a part of the vehicle many drivers take for granted: the brakes. They may not be the most glamorous part of a vehicle but they would be sorely missed if they stopped working. Be sure to recognize the warning signs that your brake pads are ready to be retired. The service team at Legend Auto Sales in Burien, Washington is ready and waiting to help you get new brake pads for spring.

It is best to glance at your brakes from time to time to make sure everything looks like it is in top condition, however most brake pads are made with metal wear indicators to let drivers know when it is time for the brakes to be changed. These indicators usually make a squeaking or grinding noise. Vibrations when braking in a vehicle can be indicative of a variety of other issues, including warped brake rotors. It is best to let professionals investigate braking vibrations.

There are also some tips that make the process of changing brake pads easier. Completely finishing the changing of the brake pads on one side of the vehicle before moving to the other side allows for the car’s wheel to be turned in the direction of the side you are working on, making for easier access to the brake pad area. You will also need a few items before you can begin changing your brakes. You will need:

  • Gloves
  • A jack and jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • A short length of 2×4
  • A socket or adjustable wrench
  • New brake pads
  • Brake fluid

Step 1:

You will need to loosen the lug nuts on the wheels, jack the car up, and then place the car on the jack stands. After the car is stabilized fully, loosen the lug nuts and remove the wheel.

Step 2:

There will be two slider bolts or pins. Usually, removing the bottom bolt is sufficient.

Step 3:

Do not disconnect any hydraulic lines. You should be able to slide the caliper up and out of your way. Check the brake pads at this point. Is the friction material ⅛ inch thick or less? If so, or if metal wear indicator is visible, the brake pad needs to be replaced.

Step 4:

Remove the old brake pad. It should slide right out.

Step 5:

Most new brake pads come with new retaining clips. There are no screws involved in this process. These clips should just snap into place. It is good to change these clips one at a time to make sure they match up to the previous ones. Once the new clips are in place, throw the old ones away.

Step 6:

Included with these clips should be a packet of grease. Apply this grease to the clips and the brake pads to make sure they slip into place more easily.

Step 7:

You should see metal tabs on either side of the new brake pads. They should slide into slots on the clips.

Step 8:

Pistons press on brake pads and squeeze rotor to make vehicles stop. You must push these back before the caliper can fit back over the new, thicker brake pad. Many vehicles have only one piston per wheel, however, in the event of two, you will need a 2×4 to hold both back at once in order to slide the caliper back into place.

Step 9:

Slide the caliper back. It may fit more snugly over the new brake pad. If the caliper is snagging on the brake, you may need to double-check that the piston is out of the way.

Step 10:

Reinsert the bottom slider bolt and tighten into place.

Step 11:

Straighten the vehicle’s wheel and remount the tire, tightening the lug nuts to hold the wheel on. You will repeat this process on the other three wheels as well.

Step 12:

Be aware that the brake pedal may be more sensitive than it was prior to the changing of the brake pads. Test drive the vehicle in a safe area, taking extra care at stops.

If you need help changing your brake pads, come by and visit our service department at 14650 1st Ave South, Burien, WA 98168 or give us a call at (206) 241-1888 to schedule your service appointment today. Our service professionals are happy to help our customers in the Seattle, Kent, and Renton, Washington areas. Our service hours are Monday-Saturday 9 AM-8 PM. You can also schedule your service appointment online anytime.

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