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Posted: 6/13/2003 10:50:04 AM EDT
hey everybody, The front brakes on my car are starting to squeak pretty badly. Im pretty sure i need new brake pads. I dont have much money and im fairly mechanically inclined, so i was wondering if it would be economically advantagous to replace them myself? Do any of you guys do this? Could you give me kind of a run through on what i need to do? Any help is GREATLY appreciated. My car is a '97 honda accord, and i have no clue when the last time the brakes were checked. it has been at least 45,000 miles. thanks a lot guys -Spaceman
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 10:57:38 AM EDT
Sure, I always do mine. I'd recommend that you pick up a Chiltons or Haynes manual for your car at your local autoparts. They'll have complete brake job instructions. This way you can first see if it's something you'll want to do. It's not difficult to do, but you'll need some tools. You'll need jack stands, may need C-Clamp to compress the calipers, and a break bleeding wrench. You'll most likely want to get the rotors turned. This takes out any ridges and assures that they mate properly with the pads. Most brake shops (and other repair places) will do this for you for $10-$15 a rotor. Also, since you have the rotors off, it's a good time to inspect and repack the wheel bearings. Read the manual first though. Some newfangled $#@! cars won't even let you remove the rotors. They have to be turned on the car!! Most screwed up piece of engineering I've ever seen. Good luck. Ed
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 10:59:14 AM EDT
It's easy. Get one of those Chilton books for your car. For my car, a chevy, all I needed was the lug wrench, large hex wrench (to take off the calipers), some tool that pushes a plunger back, and new brake pads. I usually replace my rotors because it is only a few more dollars for new ones and it takes too much effort to take the old ones in and wait to get them turned. It is really easy. Only things I know how to do on a car are oil, spark plugs/wires, and front brakes. One lesson I did learn. When you are all done pump your brake pedal a few times or you will have "no brakes" until the brake fluid pushes that "plunger" thing back down.
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 11:17:22 AM EDT
Changing brake pads is just about the easiest maintenance one can do on a car, after changing the oil. Be clean, be careful and follow the procedures in a service manual, and you will have no problems. You will be rewarded with the satisfaction of a job well done. Make sure you top off the brake fluid reservoir with the proper type of fluid for your vehicle. Check your owner's manual for specifications. Also, at 45K, I would suspect that your rotors have little life left, so prepare to pony up for a new pair. Cannot overemphasize the importance of cleanliness when doing brakes. It is essential to have no greasy fingerprints on the rotors or pads. "Braking performance may suffer" is a gross understatement.
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 11:41:49 AM EDT
Hello Spacemanspiff! Another thing that you will want to do, if you dont know it allready, is get 2 containers of brake fluid and approx. 3 feet of some sort of hose with an inside diameter of around 1/8 inch for a good snug fit on the bleeder port. Pour out approx. 1/2 of the fluid from one can into something else for safe keeping.When you have changed the pads,put everything back together,etc.,then you will want to bleed the brakes. You will definately want to do this because when you press the piston back into the caliper assembly it WILL force some air back into the system, and we dont want that there do we! After you get the bleeder port loose,slip one end of the hose over the port and the other end into the half can of fluid. This will allow the air to escape when you pump on the pedal and suck only fluid back into the system. Do not get too carried away on pumping the brakes without keeping an eye on the reservoir so it doesnt run dry on fluid and start sucking air in that way.That is why you bought 2 containers of fluid. once you have finished bleeding 1 side, and before removing the hose, tighten the fitting (or valve as some refers to it), and then remove the hose and move on to the next one. This has worked for me for the past 20 or so years, and if done properly will keep from having to worry about any air getting into the system. Hope all goes well for you when you decide to start on it! If you would like any more help, etc., just IM me. [beer]
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 12:23:51 PM EDT
You can buy bleeding kits. Get a Haynes or Chilton manual, or just get someone who's done it before to help you out and you'll have it changed in no time for under $50.
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 6:28:07 PM EDT
No way does air get forced back into the system by pushing the piston back. You will need to remove fluid from the master cylinder before you push them back in or it will spill over. You will need about a 6 in c-clamp to push the piston back into the caliper. Also if you have abs, you should not force fluid back out of your calipers. You should crack open a bleeder valve and catch that fluid in something as you push the piston back. This will prevent you from back pressuring the system. I never bother to turn the rotors. Just get life time pads and replace them once a year or so. You should also take this time to bleed out the system. While there is no air that gets in, you do get moisture in the fluid, and it gathers in the calipers and wheel cylinders which leads to rusting. If the rears are disc brake too, then there is a special tool you need that turns the pistons so they move back in so you can put new pads in.
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 6:34:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 6:39:37 PM EDT
if you don't want to buy the manual go to the libray and check one out.if the don't have one for your car to check out,ask for the ones in the refrence area that can not be checked out.then just photo copy the pages that you need!
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 8:56:06 PM EDT
Just make sure to properly torque your lug nuts. Tightening them improperly will warp the brake rotors and screw you up. GunLvr
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 9:40:36 PM EDT
So you have a Honda? Ok, the rotors are mot likely junked out. Most cars today have disposable rotors meaning they are not to be turned. Most rotors are gone when you need to replace the pads. Most have worn thinner than their minimum thickness. Or they have heat spots if you drive like a little old lady. These cannot be machined off as they are deep into the rotors. But,you can take them to a shop to have them checked out. But I think they are toast ,so figure new. The pads, don't buy cheap pads. Get a good set & pay the dough. Or you will be throwing away your money if the entire program isn't followed. You won't have any bearings to check or repack as I believe you have sealed bearings in the front hub assemblies. But you will need to blead the brakes to rid the car of old,dirty brake fluid. I just did this on a friends 97 Chevy and it looked like molasses comming out. You should change your fluid every 2 to 4 years at a minimum due to the fluid becomming contanimated from water absorbtion and old rubber dust from the brake cylinders and calipers. It ain't gonna be cheap and that's the painful truth. But , you can do the job if you have the right tools. For the good news, on my neighbours 2000 VW Pasat ,a pair of rotors was $45 and the front pads were $55 for Mintex pads. A good deal! And it took longer to jack up the car & remove the wheel than it did to replace the rotors & pads. On A Honda, you will not be so lucky. But it is a Jap car, not a German one. Oh yea, pads & rotors for my BMW only cost $ 135 for the fronts. GOOD LUCK TO YOU !!!
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 10:04:43 PM EDT
First of all, the bit about rotors being disposable is absolute 100% BS. Any rotor that is designed so weak would shatter the first time you applied the brake. Turning may or may not be necessary. If the old pads are worn to the rivets, the turning the rotors is advised. If the squeeking is from the "cricket" or break wear indicator (a small piece of metal that is attached from the back of the pad and rubs against the rotor to squeek before the pad gets to the rivets (or backing material if a non-riveted pad) to protect the rotor from being cut by the rivets or backing metal. All rotors are removeable. Some "float" over the wheel studs and simply slide off. Some contain the studs and bearings and require removal by first removing the bearing dust cap, the cotter pin, castle nut cap, retaining nut and bearing. In this case, you will also need bearing grease and replacement inner seals. The Haynes or Chilton manual will give you step by step. Read it, remove one wheel and inspect the condition of the rotor and you will see what you need to buy. Also, there are "brake bleeder kits" available that have fluid catch bottles and reservior covers that allow you to bleed the brakes without pumping the pedal (you have a hand pump which attaches to the reservior cap to force the fluid through the lines) The recommendation on opening the bleeder valve to compress the piston on an ABS system is correct. You can damage the check valve by applying too much back pressure. If you do not have a C clamp, you can use slip joint pliers. It is a bit of a pain, but I have done so successfully more times than I can count. Even if you don't have your rotor turned, it is recommended that you take them to a brake shop to get Miked. (only a real worry if a floating type. The hubbed/bearing type are typically much thicker and will, without abuse, outlast your car) Brakes happen to be the single most important part of your car. If your radio is broke, it sucks, if your window leaks, you get wet, if your motor don't run, you don't go, if your brakes go out, you [b]CRASH AND BURN[/b] So, just read up a little and pay attention to what you are doing. If you have a mechanically inclined neighbor, ask his/her (the her added so I can't be accused of sexism) assistance. It is the best way to learn.
Link Posted: 6/14/2003 11:36:55 PM EDT
It is easy to do, but you should have someone show you. You shouldn't need to bleed the brakes if you do it right. Check the breakpads. If there is still pad left, you may be able to put a little RTV like compound on the backs of the pads to stop the vibrations that are causing the squeling.
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