How to Fit Brake Pads

Updated March 23, 2017

Fitting brake pads is crucial to the proper functioning of your vehicle's brakes. When it's time to change the brake pads, fitting the new ones into the caliper assembly can be confusing without proper instruction. Thankfully, fitting new pads can be done with a few simple tools for most vehicles. Once you have removed the wheel and have the vehicle onto jack stands, fitting new brake pads should take you no more than 20 minutes.

Slide the screw end of the C-clamp over the outboard brake pad (the pad that is facing you as you look straight at the caliper assembly). Slide the other end of the clamp over the back of the caliper assembly. Turn the handle on the C-clamp to tighten the clamp against the pad. This will compress the caliper piston. You won't be able to see it at this point, but you will see a gap developing between the outboard pad and the brake caliper bracket. This will tell you that the caliper piston is being compressed back into the caliper.

Remove the C-clamp and then remove the caliper pin bolt on the bottom of the caliper. The pin bolt is the bottommost bolt on the caliper.

Remove the upper and lower caliper mounting bolts.

Slide the caliper off the brake rotor.

Remove the brake pads by swinging the bottom of the caliper up and sliding the old pads out.

Slide the new pads into the caliper so that the curved end of the brake pad is facing the caliper assembly.

Sling the caliper bracket closed and slide the caliper back over the brake rotor. Thread and tighten the caliper mounting bolts and pin bolt. Tighten the bolts to the torque specs listed in your vehicle's service manual.

Things You'll Need

  • C-clamp
  • Socket wrench
  • Socket set
  • Torque wrench
  • Brake parts cleaner
  • New brake pads
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About the Author

I am a Registered Financial Consultant with 6 years experience in the financial services industry. I am trained in the financial planning process, with an emphasis in life insurance and annuity contracts. I have written for Demand Studios since 2009.