It is key to car safety that the brake system works perfectly. It is your life insurance before an unforeseen event. How to detect wear and what to do.
If the number of meters that your car travels when you press the brake increases, if the wheels squeak or make some strange noise and if you feel that the car no longer responds as it did before braking, it is most likely time to change the Rear or front brake pads because they have worn out with use.
Detecting the warning signals of our braking system and acting accordingly is of vital importance for our safety on the road. Do not forget that the brakes are one of the parts of the car that make up the so-called safety triangle, along with the tires (how many kilometres a cover lasts) and the shock absorbers (how often the shock absorbers are changed). These three elements are what “grab” us to the route, so it is essential that they are in optimal conditions to stop and contain the vehicle in a risk situation.
Here at Alpha Mobile Mechanics you are also part of the team, so we explain every detail related to the process and keep you aware of the way we complete this process.
Why brake pads should be replaced?
Making a brief technical review, we can say that the main function of the brake pads is to work by creating friction with the brake disc to slow down the rotation of that disc and brake the car. This is essential for proper braking. Therefore, as these elements wear out, the braking gradually worsens.
Using worn out brake pads or in poor condition can not only cause damage to the brakes but also reduce their effectiveness.
A set of brake pads in poor condition could cause little friction on the disc and increase the braking distance. This is something we should avoid, since in case of any surprise the wheels may not respond in time.
When to replace the brake pads?
Because of the constant use of these parts, the brake pads usually wear out before other elements of the car. That is why most manufacturers recommend changing the brake pads every 15,000 kilometres. However, given the slightest suspicion of deterioration or malfunction, it is advisable to replace it.
You should keep in mind that the technical specifications indicate that the minimum thickness of brake pads recommended for use is 2 mm.
Not only does it ceaseless use when driving affects the degree of wear of the pads, but also depends on the type of driving. Accelerations and sudden braking result in wear accelerating.
On the contrary, a progressive driving makes the entire vehicle system more efficient, having a positive impact on the care of the environment and, especially, on saving fuel and the proper maintenance of other materials of the vehicle and the brake system.
How to change the brake pads?
Although it is not a simple manoeuvre and, at the same time, each brand of pills has slightly different specifications when changing them, following these indications you will be able to do it yourself and save a few pesos.
- Car Jack: to lift the car and be able to disassemble the wheel.
- Cross wrench: to loosen the wheel bolts.
- Allen key: to remove the screws that cannot be removed with the cross key.
- Flat screwdriver: to pry and separate the brake pads from the brake discs.
Now let’s talk about the procedure step by step.
- Turn the car direction and loosen the wheel bolts
Turn the steering wheel to the wheel with which you are about to start the replacement to have better access to the brakes. That is, if you want to change those on the right, you should turn to the right. Then, just as if you were changing a tire, use the cross wrench to loosen the screws, but without finishing removing them.
- Lift the car and take out the wheel
With the jack, lift the car and once well secured you can finish removing the wheel bolts with the cross wrench. When you have already removed them all, you will be able to remove the wheel and thus access the brake system.
- Disassemble the bolt system
First you will have to find the two sliding pins / pins that hold the caliper in place. Normally, it is enough to remove the lower bolt. Once the lower bolt is removed, you will find a flexible rubber hose so that it is enough to move it and you do not need to disconnect it.
- Take out the brake pads
Now the brake pads and the disc will appear. Once you identify the tablet, you can use a screwdriver to pry and remove it. You have to pry supporting the end of the screwdriver on the pads and with the edges of the disc, never on the contact surface of it.
- Change the anti-squeak plate
Most of the new pads have metal spindles that allow the pads to slide back and forth easily. Since they do not have any screws that hold them, their replacement is very simple. It is important to put some oil so they do not squeak.
- Place the new brake pads
Not much technique is needed for this process, as the new pads will come under pressure. Just try to introduce them a little side to and then hook them to the metal top plate. Once they enter, it only remains to adjust the brake piston until they fit perfectly and then finish the process by adjusting them with the Allen key.
- Replace the wheel
This operation does not require any special comments. Just keep in mind that once the wheel has been shod, you should place the screws and just turn them. Then lower the jack until the wheel is supported and, with the handbrake in place and already firmly on the ground, finish adjusting all the screws.
Here at Alpha Mobile Mechanics you are also part of the team, so we explain every detail related to the process or replacing break pads and keep you aware of the way we complete this task.