How to Change Honda Civic Brake Pads

Updated July 19, 2017

The Honda Civic is one of the most well known Japanese cars. The Civic is a very reliable, well-engineered compact car that has been through several redesigns over the years. As part of routine maintenance, the Civic’s brake pads should be inspected regularly and replaced if necessary. This is a job that can be done by a professional shop or by an amateur mechanic with the right tools and approach.

Park the car on a flat, level surface that is well lit. Use a lug wrench to loosen the wheel’s lug bolts. Lift the vehicle with a floor jack and support it on jack stands. You can do the front brake pads and then the rear brake pads if you prefer. Finish the removal of the lug bolts and the wheels.

Locate the brake caliper bolts, which are located on the top and bottom of the caliper facing the wheel well. Loosen and remove the lower caliper bolt with a socket and ratchet. You will have to hold the inboard nut with an open-ended wrench to loosen the bolts. Pivot the caliper on the upper caliper bolt up and away from the rotor.

Remove the brake pads and the brake pad shims from the caliper carrier with your hands. These will simply slide out. Remove the brake pad retaining clips from the caliper carrier.

Spray brake cleaner on the caliper, bracket and rotor and wipe everything down with a clean rag. Apply a thin layer of assembly paste on to the brake pad retaining clips where they mount on the caliper carrier. Install the clips in the caliper carrier.

Apply a thin coat of the assembly paste to the side of the shims that go against the brake pads and the back of the pads. Do not get any paste on the rotor or surface of the pads that touch the rotor. Install the new pads and shims in the caliper carrier.

Remove the lid of the brake master cylinder and remove about one-half inch of brake fluid. Place the caliper piston tool on the caliper piston and the caliper body. Compress the piston into the caliper.

Slide the caliper back over the rotor. Install the caliper bolts and tighten them with the socket and ratchet. Repeat the above steps for the remaining corners of the vehicle. The rear pads are changed in the same manner.

Reinstall the wheels. Lower the vehicle to the ground and tighten the lug nuts. Fill the master cylinder with fresh brake fluid and tighten the lid. Pump the brakes until the pedal feels firm.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Socket set and ratchet
  • Open-ended wrenches
  • Brake pads
  • Brake caliper piston tool
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About the Author

William Zane has been a freelance writer and photographer for over six years and specializes primarily in automotive-related subject matter among many other topics. He has attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where he studied automotive design, and the University of New Mexico, where he studied journalism.