DIY: How to change your front brakes

You don’t have to be an experienced mechanic to learn how to change your front brakes on your vehicle. Most car manufacturers recommend you service your brakes every 30,000 to 42,000 miles. Quanz Auto Body in Albuquerque, New Mexico shares some tips for changing your own front brakes with this week’s blog.


Steps to Change your Front Brakes

Vehicles that were manufactured after the 1970s have disc brakes rather than drum systems, making them more reliable and easier to service. The following are steps to servicing your front brakes:

Step 1: Buy the service manual so you can make sure that you are doing the job correctly.

Step 2: Jack your car up and remove the wheel and tire. Keep track of where you are putting the lugnuts and bolts.

Step 3: Remove the calipher. This will help you inspect the condition of the rotor. Be careful, as you loosen the bleeder screw (on the back of the calipher), disconnect the flex hose and have a metal pan ready to catch brake fluid. Once you remove the calipher retaining bolts, move the unit back and pull it away from the rotor.

Step 4: Remove the hub retaining nut found in the middle of the rotor. It should easily come off for you to inspect it. If it is dirty, clean it with a wire brush and determine the amount of thickness that remains. If the wear on the face of the rotor is bad, seek a service technician from Quanz Auto Body to replace it.

Step 5: Next you should check your wheel bearings and make sure they are in good condition. If the vehicle has a sealed roller that has become worn, the entire wheel hub will need replaced. Quanz Auto Body can assist you with this process. Before replacing the bearing, you should grease it.

Step 6: Replace your brake pads. Taking the old pads off the calipher is usually an easy process. When applying new pads, you will want to apply an anti-squeal gel or shims and let it dry for about 30 minutes on the pads before replacing them. The pads should then simply click into place.

Step 7: Now that all components of your brakes have been inspected and parts have been replaced if needed, you can put everything back on your vehicle. First you take the rotors and wash them to remove any grease then put them on the spindle and attach them.

Step 8: Bleed the brake fluid. You will want to remove all of the old brake fluid from your vehicle by using a turkey baster and sucking the old fluid out. Have a partner help you with this step. You will need to go to the calipher and attach a rubber hose to the back of the bleeder screw with the hose in a pan to drain. Your partner will need to sit in the car and pump the breaks as you open the nut to drain the excess fluid out and remove air bubbles in the line. Tighten the bleeder screws when finished.

Step 9: Replace the tire and wheel assembly. Just put the hubcap back on and make sure all bolts are tight. You are finished!

Performing a front brake inspection can be a tedious task to do by yourself, but knowing how to do it properly can save you money in the long run. If you are not comfortable trying the steps above, just bring your vehicle by Quanz Auto Body on the Westside and let our master technicians do the work for you with no appointment necessary.