How to Change Rear Brake Pads in a Car

What You'll Need
Impact Gun
New Brake Pads
C Clamp

Learn how to change rear brake pads in your car to save time and money that you would otherwise spend on a professional mechanic. If you are starting to notice squeaky rear wheels, there is a good chance your brake pads need to be replaced. Change them before you start to hear grinding noises. Once you hear a grind, you will have to replace the rotors as well, and this will cost you more money. So if you pay attention, you will save yourself some additional grief and aggravation. Here's a relatively easy weekend project to do by yourself or with a friend.

Step 1 - Elevate Car

Using a jack or using a pair of car ramps, elevate your car. Make sure your car is secure in place, especially if you use car ramps. You will want to put something underneath the wheels to keep them from rolling off.

Step 2 - Remove Back Tires

Start by removing the hub caps. Then remove the lug nuts using an impact gun and socket. Pull the wheels off completely

Step 3 - Remove the Caliper Bolts

Using a hand ratchet or a socket, remove the caliper bolts. If the bolts have not been touched for a while, they may be corroded and you will need to either cut them off or loosen them with high heat. There are usually two sets of bolts that need to be removed. Those that are in the upper section and those that are in the lower section. Some vehicles have pivoting bolts and in this style, you need only remove the upper bolts.

Step 4 - Remove the Old Brake Pads

Remove the brakepads carefully. You will need to use a C-clamp in order to apply pressure to the pistons and slide out the old brakepads. If the rubber boots are damaged, you will need to replace these as well. Replace the clips and lubricate the caliper bridge.

Step 5 - Replace with New Brake Pads

Purchase a new set of brake pads at your local automotive parts store. Slide the new brake pads into place. Replace the caliper and add the bolts. Secure the bolts well by tightening them completely. Replace the lug nuts using the impact gun or torque wrench. This will apply the amount of pressure needed to secure the lug nuts in place.

Step 6 - Put the Wheel Back Together

Put your rear wheels back in place. Secure them tightly. Take your car off the ramps or lower it with the jack. Take your car out and fill the tires. Drive your car around for a while and test the brakes out on street driveways before taking it out for a spin on high speed and highway driving.