Automobile brake repair, such as brake rotor replacement, can seem like a daunting task. However, it is not an impossible task.
With a knowledge of auto parts, the appropriate tools and an understanding of applying their use, and with a clear and comprehensive set of instructions, you should be able to replace your car's brake rotors with few problems.
Step 1 - Raise the Car
You will need to remove the wheels of the automobile whose brakes you plan to repair. The brake rotors are behind these wheels, and you will not be able to access these components unless the wheels are first removed.
To remove them you will need to raise your car high enough with a car jack that the tires are no longer resting on the ground or floor.
Alternatively you can use a smaller hydraulic jack or a hydraulic car lift if your shop is equipped with one.
Jack stands typically are strong enough to hold your car up while you remove the wheels and replace the rotors.
Be sure you have four of these stands on hand, one for each of your car's wheels, or you can do the front two and the back two separately.
Once you have your car’s shift lever in the "Park" position and have applied the parking brake, you will need to raise one of your car wheels with your car jack.
When the car is high enough, slip a jack stand under the car frame as close as possible to the wheel you're about to remove.
With the stand in place, lower the car so it is resting on the stand. Then do the same with the other wheels.
Step 2 - Inspect the Rotors
The brake rotor is the smooth disc the brake pads rub against when you apply your car's brakes.
In order for your brakes to operate at maximum efficiency, this rotor should be free of gouges and scoring that can be caused by calipers exposed by worn brake pads.
If your rotor is free of these gouges, you can check the next brake rotor. If it is scored or gouged you will need to replace this rotor.
Step 3 - Remove Brake Fluid
At the proper time in your rotor replacement project you'll need to depress the caliper piston. This action will require you to lower the level of brake fluid in your master cylinder, the place where your brake fluid is stored.
To reduce this fluid level, use a turkey baster and suck out 1/3 to 1/2 of the brake fluid in the master cylinder.
Step 4 - Compress the Brake Caliper
Place an open C-clamp on your caliper, one side of the clamp on either side of the caliper. By tightening the clamp you'll be able to compress the caliper enough to remove the rotor.
Step 5 - Remove the Caliper and Brake Pads
Remove the bolts that hold the caliper and pads in place in order to remove them.
Step 6 - Replace the Rotor
Without the caliper holding the old rotor in place, you will be able to remove the rotor by pulling it straight toward you. Then you can slide the new rotor into place.
Step 7 - Finish
With the new rotor in place you'll now be ready to replace all brake components and wheels and lower your car onto the floor again.