On disc-brake equipped vehicles, changing the brake pads is crucial to keeping your car stopping like it did from day one. Drum brakes use brake shoes, which are totally different from brake calipers. Over time, the brake pads become worn out from clamping onto the brake rotor. There is no timetable for when to change your brake pads because of the factors involved. Driving type, driving distance, braking style and weather conditions all play a role in the longevity of them.
A mechanic isn’t necessary for changing them. This can be done by literally anyone who knows how to jack up their vehicle and take the wheels off. Once that is done, the task is fairly simple. When brake pads become worn, the driver will notice brake fade. This condition is when the brakes are pressed and the car has trouble slowing down. Upgrading to EBC brake pads will solve this immediately.
Knowing when to change your brake pads is done by checking out the wear indicators that are equipped on every EBC brake pad. The wear indicator is a small piece of metal attached to the pad that contacts the brake rotor when the pad material has been worn down to a specific level. Noisy brakes aren’t something to mess around with. If you hear any noise, check them out immediately. If the brake pad is severely worn down, it can leave imprints on the rotor and possibly need resurfacing or replacement.
While you have the wheels off, be sure to check the brake lines for any damage. Leaks can also cause problems when braking. Fluid is not able to travel efficiently and the brakes could fail. Choosing the right set of brake pads is a task in itself. It is hard to decide which ones are right for you and your vehicle. EBC greenstuff, EBC redstuff, EBC bluestuff, EBC yellowstuff, EBC orangestuff, and EBC ultimax are at your fingertips when you are ready to choose. They all offer different characteristics and will each perform differently.
If you are starting with the front brakes using a jack, make sure to secure the rear wheels with some sort of block so it does not roll away. Also, jack stands are going to be necessary as the factory jack does not offer enough support to hold the vehicle that long in the air. When you lower the car on the jack stands, make sure they are on the correct jack points for optimum stability and safety.
Getting the correct tools for the job will make it much easier and more efficient. You will need a C-clamp, a wrench to remove caliper bolts, a lug wrench, gloves, dust mark, safety glasses, and the new brake pads. The C-clamp is for installing the caliper and is a specialty tool that some may not have. This is a requirement when servicing brakes. EBC brake pads are very affordable and when combined with the price of the tools, it is still cheaper than taking your car to a mechanic. You also gain some good knowledge.
The first step is removing the brake caliper. When you have it removed, do not let it dangle, as it is connected to the brake line. This can cause damage to the brake line. You can use a bungee cord to hang it from a suspension component. If the EBC brake rotors look okay, then proceed to removing the old brake pads from the brake caliper. Pins or bolts hold the pads in and are easily removed.
Before you install the new brake pads, you must reset the caliper piston. The caliper piston pushes on the inboard side of the brake pad. It has adjusted itself to match the worn-out part. If you do not reset it, the new pads will not fit as they are much thicker. Also, before you reset the piston, remove the brake fluid reservoir cap to avoid pressure. While using the C-clamp, tighten the pads using the set screw and finally fit the caliper with the new brake pads onto the brake rotor. If the piston isn’t resetting, you will need a special brake caliper tool found at any automotive store.
Make sure to tighten all the bolts when you have the caliper back on the EBC rotor. Finally, sit inside the car and give the brake pedal a few pumps to make sure everything works. You can put the wheels back on and remove the jack stands to lower it down. A test drive around the block is always recommended for peace of mind.