The tools used for changing brake pads and rotors vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle. As a rule of thumb, you need to have a good collection of wrenches, sockets, ratchets, chain locks and different types of pliers for this task. You may also need a hammer to get the rusted rotors off the vehicle.
Practicing caution is of utmost importance to ensure safety while handling the vehicle. You must use a Jack stand for jacking up the vehicle; this will help you work easily under the vehicle. It is also your responsibility to understand all the risks involved in this type of work. If you do not know what you are doing, it is best to leave the job to an ASE certified technician.
Here are the steps:
*Pop the hubcap cover to access the lug nuts of the vehicle, while the vehicle is still on ground.
*Now you may jack the car up on the jack stand.
*Remove the lug nuts completely and slide them off the wheel.
*Using a penetrating catalyst, attack the calipers bolts and spray them down. Now use a socket that fits on the bolts and using a counter clockwise direction, turn the bolt off until it can be pulled out completely.
*Now slide the calipers and brake pads, but note that in some cases, there may be a clip holding them.
*While removing the brake shoes, note the direction so that while replacing them, you use the same one.
*Now use a c-clamp on the piston of the caliper. This is a big, circular part that pushes the brake against the rotors. Remove the caliper housing unit.
*The housing has two bolts and you may be needed to spray these too. A counter clockwise movement will help you remove the bolts and slide off the rotor. Now replace the old rotor with the new one and ensure that you clean it with brake cleaner.
*To put the brake pads in, locate the smooth surface and ensure that this is away from the rotor.
*Now replace the clip and the calipers back in the housing. With a clockwise motion, put back the bolts.
*Reinstall the wheels back and tighten the lug nuts. Now you can remove the vehicle from the jack stand and re-tighten the lug nuts until they feel right enough.
*Get inside the car and push the brake pedals until the piston is moved back out all the way, and the brakes are pushed completely onto the rotor.
Once the brakes feel right, cap the brake fluid reservoir and close the hood.
Always test-drive the car to ensure that the brakes are working properly. A DIY project like this one can help you save a great deal of money.