Changing your pads yourself could save you a lot of money. However, a botched job would milk you dryer than a professional would have if you survive its backlash. This is why it is very important to know what exactly is required of you when you want to change your rear brake pads. This is how to do it.
Put a wedge behind other tires after pulling up your parking brake. This ensures that your car remains in position while you carry out the whole exercise. Do you have to be told how important this is? Next, take out your wheel cover if you have one and loosen the lug nuts around the wheel a little.
Then suspend your car with a jack stand. They are a lot more reliable and less risky than hydraulic jacks.
Remove the lug nuts totally and pull out the wheel. You are confronted with the brake calipers which hold the two pads firmly against the rotor. Remove the caliper using a C-clamp and be very careful not to destroy your brake hose. You could suspend it with a cord to prevent its weight from damaging the brake hose.
Detach the brake pads from the caliper. At this point, check your rotors because you may need to machine or replace them too. This will prevent squeaking noises after some time.
Bring out your new pads and fix them in the caliper. You have to push in or press down the brake caliper piston to achieve this. This will provide the space required for the new pads. Place the inner pad first and follow up with the outer pad.
Be careful not to twist your caliper when replacing it. Ensure first that your pads are firmly in position. Place the caliper back on the rotor and replace the screws.
Go over the previous steps in a reverse manner- the wheel comes back on, and you tighten the lug nuts a little. Down comes the jack and you finish tightening the nuts.
Now, here comes the most important step right at the end. Test drive at a very low speed to check your pads before hitting the road. Before you start, pump the brake pedal several times to push out the pistons and tauten the pedals. Switch on your engine and repeat the pumping. The more you pump, the harder the pedal gets.
Changing your pads is very easy. If you still do not feel confident after going through this, engage a friend or an experienced hand for your first brake job and watch carefully. You will be able to cope on your own subsequently.