Easy, Illustrated Instructions on How to Change Brake Pads

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The piston. White circle highlight added for illustrative purposes.

I didn't have a block of wood handy, so I used the lid to a bottle of gunpowder to push evenly on the cylinder.

It only needed to be pushed back a half-inch or so.

With the cylinder out of the way, the caliper should pivot back into place.

Half way down.

Once it is down all the way, I just needed to put the lower bolt back in, and tighten the top one.

Then I bolted the wheel back on. 

When I moved to the passenger side of the car, and removed that wheel, I found the source of the squeaking wheel.

The outside shim had slipped out of place, and was scraping a pair of shiny little grooves into the wheel. 

I unbolted the caliper, swung it away and pulled the old brakes and shims out of there. I repeated the replacement process on this wheel, and finished with a squeak-free automobile.

And that's it!

Changing the brake pads is easy, but it might be a little scary to repair this very important system on your own.

But, as mom always said, if at first you don't succeed, lay on the horn and try to plow into something soft and cheap, like bushes or a fruit stand.


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September 6, 2006 

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