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Most peoples’ at-home car maintenance begins and ends with an oil change. However, another common car repair that everybody’s car needs eventually is the replacement of brake pads and brake rotors. Truly, the mechanical structure of your wheel is not too complicated. There is the tire, caliper, rotor, and pad essentially. The tire, of course, rolls on the surface and makes the car drivable. The caliper is what squeezes and releases the pads against the rotor to make the wheel stop and go by way of friction.

Briefly, the brake pad is a rough, slightly flexible rectangle mechanism that rubs against the rotor to slow it down from rotating so fast. This is how braking works. The rotor is a thin cylinder with holes in it. The holes let the brakes breathe and let the brake dust escape and avoid trapped dust which causes squealing noise. The dust is caused from the pads rubbing. Now that you understand what the pad and rotor do, we can go about replacing them.

Jack your car properly to begin the process. The tire needs to be off the ground to allow the removal of the tire and a wider range of access for you to work with in the wheel area. Once the car is jacked, remove the tire with a tire wrench. There are usually four lug nuts securing the tire. Loosen the nuts and twist the tire off. You have now exposed the brake system. You will see the caliper, brake pad, and rotor. As stated, the caliper squeezes the pads with rub against the rotor slowing down your car; otherwise known as braking. To remove the caliper, use a c clamp. Grip the top portion and pull down. It should pop right off. Now, remember the brake pad is located inside the caliper. To get to the brake pad, untwist the rod that connects one half of the caliper to the other half of the caliper. Remember the caliper is designed to squeeze so it’s shaped like a foldable hot dog bun. Said rod keeps the hot dog bun from becoming separated. Therefore, simply unscrewing the rod will open the caliper up and the inside will be exposed. You have now found your way to the pad. The old brake pad should simply fall out when you unsecure the rod. Place the fresh brake pad in place and reassemble the caliper by screwing the rod back in.

Now, it’s time for the rotor. The rotor, as stated, is the last object to come off the wheel mechanism. It is a cylindrical, metal-coated plate with numerous holes in it. You’ll know it when you see it. There are two simple screws securing the rotor. With a screwdriver, remove the screws and off comes the rotor. Place the new rotor where the old one was and reattach the pair of screws that hold the rotor to the wheel mechanism.

After backtracking to reassemble, you’ve just completed a rotor and pad replacement. Can you believe it? I didn’t believe it was so easy at first either. Save yourself some serious money and take up this new hobby.

Guest Author : Alex specializes in writing articles about car maintainance.