Q:

How do you repair brakes?

A:

Quick Answer

To perform a complete brake repair, raise the vehicle and secure it, and remove the tire. Remove the brake drum to examine the underlying components, including the brake drum, rotors, calipers, brake shoes and wheel cylinder, and replace any parts that appear worn or damaged. Check the entire system, including the brake lines, for leaks, and replace parts that are leaking. After installing new parts, bleed the brakes, and burnish the new brake pads.

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Full Answer

When repairing a vehicle with an integral brake system, depress the brake pedal 30 to 40 times to depressurize the system before making repairs. Remove the fuse that controls the anti-lock braking system, or disconnect the vehicle battery, before making repairs to prevent injuries.

To determine whether new brake pads are necessary, remove the wheel, and measure the thickness of the brake pads. Replace brake pads that are thin, noisy, excessively worn or damaged. Replace the brake calipers if the brake pads are unevenly worn. Resurface the rotors if they are scratched or grooved, or replace the rotors if they are thin.

To determine whether leaks are present, have an assistant press the brake, and examine the brake system. Along with replacing leaking parts, remove and replace hoses that swell when applying the brake. To perform a brake pad burnishing, stop the vehicle from a speed of 30 MPH 30 times, allowing 30 seconds between each stop.

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