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Basic Steps for Repairing or Replacing Your Worn or Damaged Brakes

A basic car maintenance is the brakes. Brake pads can wear out over time and will need to be changed every so often. Rotors should last longer and are made to last through several sets of pads. Most if not all vehicles have disc front brakes that utilize the pad and rotors in their design. 

 Services to the car will always be the brake system, due to its constant use, friction of parts and high temperatures is one of the points that needs constant revision because the wear that generates in the brake pad. We will talk about both disk and drum brakes and how to replace the pads, the greater braking pressure always generates in the front axle, for Which, it is completely normal to change the front brakes more regularly than the rear brakes.

Easiest way to replace drum brakes

Replacing drum brakes isn't difficult but it does require some special tools. You can save some on auto mechanics bills but it may be best to call a local expert mechanic to quickly and easily get the job done. But if you are a DIY type here are some basic steps to follow.  

Loosen the wheel lugs and then jack up the car, remember to always use jack stands to support the car when working under the vehicle. lock the front wheels with wheel chocks. Ensure the car is stable on jack stands.

Remove the brake drum, it may help to wiggle it as you pull. It may be necessary to back off the brake adjuster to remove the drum. Keep in mind that some brake drums are held on with screws so you will need to remove those first


Dismantle the brake. Remove the shoe return springs then detach the parking brake lever and remove the retainer springs. Spread the shoes apart from the top and disengage the shoes from the wheel cylinder pins. Remove both shoes and the self-adjuster as one unit. The shoe with the shorter strip of lining usually goes towards the front then tip the tops of the shoes inward to loosen the tension on the self-adjuster spring. Remove the self adjuster. Remove the spring and immediately hook it onto the new shoes exactly as you removed it


Rebuilding the new brake.
Screw the self adjuster back in. One side should be left hand tight and will be a self adjuster on the new shoes and spread the tops apart to tighten the spring at this point go ahead and put the shoes back in place and slip the retaining pins through the right holes.Install the shoe retainer springs then you can attach the shoes to the wheel cylinder pins.Once that is all done then you can reattach the parking brake lever and install the return springs. Use a brake adjustment sizing tool to adjust the brakes to fit the brake drum.


 Replace the wheel and lower the vehicle. Always test the brakes for proper operation before operating a vehicle. 

Replacing Disc Brakes

Changing disk brakes is a relatively easy and simple procedure, if you use the proper tools and follow standard safety practices. Although you may choose to utilize a local mobile mechanic to change your brakes for you it is still nice to have some understanding of the procedure required to complete the job. 

Jack or Lift

The first step is to remove the tire that is accomplished by removing the lug nuts. Then you can begin to lift the car with the jack or an auto lift. Once the vehicle is lifted and the tires are removed you can begin the job by removing the brake caliper. 

Brake Pads

Typically the brake caliper holds the brake pads in place and  is bolted to the vehicle with 2 bolts one on the top and one on the bottom. Once these two bolts are removed then you can pull the caliper and brake pads with it away from the brake rotor. Typically the caliper will still be attached by the brake line that connects to the caliper and the car. It is not necessary to remove the brake line from the caliper, just pull the caliper away from the rotor and then you can access the brake pads and remove the old pads to install the new ones. 

New Rotor

If you need to install new rotors this is a fairly easy step once you have already removed the caliper off of the rotor. Some rotors have a screw that will be holding them onto the car. Some rotors are held onto the car by pressure and need to be tapped with a hammer around the edges to help loosen them and then they should slide off the lug bolts of the vehicle. To install the new rotor just slide it into place and then go ahead and reinstall the caliper.