There aren’t many things as dangerous as a car with inefficient brakes, you know this.
Regularly changing brake pads is really important.
Your safety while driving depends on several factors but regarding brakes it all depends on equipment: saving few bucks on brake pads isn’t worth!
There’s no need to go to the mechanic to replace your brake pads, you can easily do it yourself.
If it’s the first time you do it allow it some hours, it’s not difficult but it will require some time if you’re not experienced.
Attention: after driving the car brake pads and brake discs are hot and avoid any possible risk working in a safe area.
The 9 Steps to Change Brake Pads
Make sure your car will not move at all, set the handbrake and park in a plain area.
Loosen the lug nuts before jacking the car up.
Jack the car up so you can remove the wheel as if replacing the wheel. (Use two jack stands for your safety)
Remove the caliper bolts and make it slide away from the disc: brake pads are the black parts that were near the disc surface.
Remove them from the caliper: there are several kinds of calipers so you have to see how it works in your car but you should easily do it: it’s just a matter of bolts or clips.
Take the occasion to check brake rotors condition, rotors must be the more smooth possible and must not have any asperities. If it’s damaged you’ll have to get a new one. Discs can also be reconditioned but it’s not recommended.
Now, with the new thicker pads you need to push the caliper piston back to its original position in order to create enough space for the new pads, you might need an adjustable spanner or a C-Clamp.
Apply brake pad grease on the part that won’t be in contact with the rotor and put them inside the caliper.
Reassemble everything as it was and proceed with the other side and the rear axle if your car has four disc brakes.
You’re done, go out for a test and drive slow. Pay attention, the brake pedal might be softer and braking spaces longer. In few days the new pads should reach their final position and any noise should disappear.
Make sure you reassemble everything carefully.