Knowing how to change brake pads and rotors improves safety and prevents costly damage. Here's what to do.
If you're looking to replace your brake pads and rotors, chances are you've begun to hear a high-pitched squealing noise when you apply the brakes. This is their way of telling you that the brake linings are due for replacement. How nice of them to let you know.
Brake pad lining is a friction material that wears every time the brake pedal is depressed. Heavier braking at higher speeds or with hefty loads or frequent downhill travel all increase brake pad wear until there’s nothing left except metal-to-metal, ear-piercing contact between brake pads and rotors. The end result is significantly reduced stopping power, which is never a good thing.
So how long should brake pads and rotors last? Between 20,000 and 50,000 miles—depending on driving conditions and driving style—is a good rule of thumb for gauging when to replace brake pads.
Fortunately, changing brake pads and rotors before they reach this critical phase requires only basic tools and supplies, some mechanical knowledge, and a couple hours. Here’s how to change your brake pads.
This is a good project for new DIYers