How to change brakes: 8 steps

Required tools

You will need some tools to open all the brake components. Such as,

  • Jack and Jack stand
  • Lug nuts opener
  • New rotor
  • Ratchet set
  • C-Clamp or brake caliper piston.

STEP-1: Removing the wheel and greasing the guide pins:


The first step is opening up the wheel's lug nuts. Make sure to grease the guide pins. Silicon paste is good for that. You can turn the wheel using the steering wheel to place it in a suitable position.

STEP-2: Removing the caliper.


Open up the caliper bolt with a rachet. Do not let the brake line hold the caliper. The brake line is not designed to hold much weight. Use a bungee cord to hold the caliper without letting any stress on the brake line.

STEP-3: Remove the old rotor and place the new rotor:


After the caliper is removed, the rotor can now be removed easily. The hub that holds the rotor gets rusty. If your hub is rusty, use a wire brush to brush off the rust since it will prevent you from setting the new rotor on the hub evenly.

You can add anti-seize paste on the rotor. It will make the rotor removed the next time easily. Now set the new rotor on the hub.

Note: You should remove oils from the surface of the new rotor since they could prevent the brake from working properly.

STEP-4: Setting new brake pads:


Use a C-clamp or brake caliper piston tool to compress the brake caliper piston. This will make removing the old brake pads and installing the new ones.

Remove the old pads. It is a very easy process. You will be able to do so just by your hand. After removing the old one, simply add the new pads.

Use the C-clamp or brake caliper piston tool to compress the caliper piston again so that the new pads are properly seated against the rotor.

Note: Pads with wire indicator is good for your brake safety. It will indicate by making a noisy brake that it is time to replace your existing brake before any unwanted accident happens.

STEP-5: Setting the caliper:


If the old caliper is worn out. Then you need to replace the old caliper with a new one.

Remove the brake line and the pads from the caliper

Add the pads to the new caliper

Attach the brake line to the caliper

You should clean the rubber boot of the caliper's piston before installing the brake tool to compress the piston. Now set the caliper back.

STEP-6: Adding brake fluid.


Compress the brake's piston and unscrew the bleeder screw to open the bleeder valve on the caliper. This will cause the old brake fluid to force out. Add fresh fluid and ensure the process does not let air into the valve. Finish the step by screwing the bleeder screw.

STEP-7: Pump the brakes


Pumping the brakes is a great way to extend the life of your brake pads and rotors. When you pump the brakes, you are essentially pressurizing the brake fluid, which in turn applies more pressure to the pads and rotors. This increased pressure helps to distribute wear more evenly, which means your pads and rotors will last longer.

Additionally, pumping the brakes can help remove any debris or contaminants on the surface of the pads or rotors, which can also help extend their life.

STEP-8: Remove oils & debris & place the wheel back:


Before placing the wheel back, removing any oil and debris on the rotor, pads, and caliper is essential. You can spray the brake clean and wipe the oil and debris with a wiper.

After setting the rotor, caliper, and pads, hold the wheel on the hub and screw the lug nuts.

Do steps 1-8 to change the brake of other wheels.

If the condition of your car brake is so worn that you cannot change the brake by yourself, call for a brake specialist.

How to know when to change your brake pads?

There are a few signs that it might be time to change your brake pads. If you notice any of the following, it's a good idea to have your brakes checked by a professional:

  • Your brake pads are wearing thin. If you can see the pad's metal backing, or if the pad is less than 1/4 inch thick, it's time to change.
  • If your brake pads have a wire indicator, it will make a noise when it is time to change the pads. If you hear squealing or grinding when you use your brakes, it's a sign that the pads need to be replaced.
  • Your brakes are not working as well as they used to. If it takes longer for your car to stop than it used to, or if you have to press harder on the pedal to get the same response, it's time for new pads.

If you're unsure whether or not your brake pads need to be changed, a professional mechanic will be able to take a look and let you know for sure.

FAQs of How to change brakes: 8 steps :

1. How much does a brake rotor cost?

Brake rotors are a vital part of your car’s braking system. They are part of the brake system that stops your wheels from spinning when you step on the brake pedal. The brake rotor is on the hub assembly, bolted to the wheel. The rotor is what brings your car to a stop by transferring heat from the brake pads to the air flowing over them and slowing down your wheels.

The rotor cost can vary depending on your vehicle type, but they typically range between $60 and $200, with some exceptions costing as much as $600.

2. How much does a brake caliper cost?

The brake caliper is a component of the braking system, which is mounted on the braking disc. It comprises two or more parallel metal plates, called "boots," attached to a rotating hub.

The pressure from the brake pads squeezes the rubber seals between the boots and the disc, which in turn pressurizes hydraulic fluid and causes pistons to push inwards on both sides of each boot. This creates friction that slows down and eventually stops the wheel's rotation.

The cost varies depending on quality and size. A low-end caliper might cost $10, while a high-end one could be as much as $200+.

3. How many types of car brakes are used in a car nowadays?

The car brakes used are drum brakes, disc brakes, and air brake systems. Drum brakes are used in most cars and trucks. They work by using a hydraulic system to push shoes against the inside of a rotating drum to stop the wheels from turning.

Disc brake systems use calipers that squeeze pads against a solid disc to stop the wheels from turning. Air brake systems use compressed air or vacuum pressure to create resistance that slows down the rotation of cylinders on which shoes are mounted, This, in turn, slows down the rotation of wheels on vehicles that have them installed.

4. How do you know when it’s time to change your brakes?

You should change your brakes when the brake pedal feels spongy. This means that there is a leak in the brake fluid, and it needs to be replaced. Another sign of this is when your car starts to pull to one side when braking. This can be caused by worn or warped rotors and needs to be replaced.

5. What tools do you need to change your brakes?

The tools you need for changing your brakes depend on the type of brakes you have. You only need a wrench and a screwdriver if you have disc brakes. If you have drum brakes, you will need a ratchet, socket, and extension bar.

If I had to pick one tool I would recommend for changing your brakes; it would be a torque wrench. This is because it will help ensure that the bolts are tightened to the right amount of pressure so that they don't loosen up over time.


In conclusion, changing your brakes is a relatively simple process that can be completed in eight steps. However, consulting a professional is important if you're unsure about any part of the process. Additionally, keep an eye on your brake pads and discs and replace them as needed to ensure optimal performance.

John D. Archer

John D. Archer is a mechanical engineer and writer based on the area of automotive accessories at, A resident expert and professional, John is passionate about all things automotive and loves to share his knowledge. He has good experience in all kind of automotive accessories. He has worked as a chief mechanical engineer in some reputed automotive garage firm.