Q:

How do you change the brakes on a car?

A:

Quick Answer

Change the brakes on a car by jacking the car up, removing the wheel from the hub, removing the caliper, and then removing the brake pads. Install the new brake pads into the caliper, and reattach the caliper. Bleed the brakes to ensure no air is trapped in the brake lines, and replace the wheel. Finish the job by tightening the lug nuts to the specifications found in the owner's manual for the vehicle and installing the hubcap.

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Full Answer

When loosening the caliper from the rotor, it is not necessary to completely disconnect the caliper. Slide the loosened caliper up and to the side, and find a good location to secure the caliper out of the way. Don't allow the caliper to dangle or hang to prevent damage to the brake lines.

After removing the caliper, it is good practice to inspect the rotor for excessive wear and damage. A rotor that displays deep grooves on the surface, no longer meets the minimum thickness measurement found stamped on its edge or is warped should be replaced before reassembling the brake assembly.

Properly bleed the brake lines by first removing the old brake fluid from the master cylinder with a suction tool, such as a turkey baster. Add new brake fluid to the reservoir, attach a drain hose to the bleeder screw on the caliper. Have someone pump the brakes while you open the drainage nut, and allow the remaining old brake fluid and air bubbles to escape into a drip pan. When satisfied, tighten the bleeder screw, and inspect for any leakage.

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