After removing brake pads and rotors, you need to replace them before you can drive the car. Doing it properly is vital for the safety of yourself and those who drive with you. If you’re not experienced, have a friend who knows what he’s doing help you through the procedure. Take your time over things and be certain you follow each step with precision.
Step 1 - Rotor
Whether you have a new rotor or your old one has been turned so you can re-use it, start by spraying it with brake cleaner, then wipe it dry with a cloth. Put the rotor on the nuts on the wheel and settle in place. If you have an ABS sensor on your brakes, take the time to inspect it to see if it’s cracked.
Step 2 - Caliper Piston
Before putting the caliper back on the rotor you need to depress the brake piston. This is located on the caliper. Take a C clamp and put it over the piston, then take the old brake pad and put to between the piston and the clamp tooth. Tighten the clamp until the brake piston is fully depressed.
Step 3 - Brake Pad
Put the brake pads in the calipers. There might be secondary bolts or clips to hold them in place. Make sure they’re seated properly. Start with the inner pad and once that is in place you can put the outer pad in place.
Step 4 - Caliper
The caliper will only fit in one way on the wheel. This does make your job a little easier. Place over the rotor fully and then spray thread locker over the bolts you’ll use to secure the caliper. Insert the bolts and tighten with a torque wrench, being sure you tighten them to the degree specified in the service manual. If you don’t have a torque wrench, tighten until there’s some resistance. After that, give an extra ¼ turn to give full tightness.
After this, use brake parts cleaner on the whole brake assembly, including brake pads and rotors. It will eliminate all the grease and dust that might have built up when you were working on the brakes. Be careful not to spray on any paint as it will strip it off.
Step 5 - Finishing
Put the wheel over the hub and hand tighten the lug nuts on each of the wheel studs. With the wheels in place you should jack up the front end a little higher and then remove the jack stands. Lower the front end to the ground.
Use your lug nut wrench to fully tighten all the nuts on the wheel, making them as tight as you can. Don’t tighten going around the wheel, but tighten nuts opposite each other so everything is even. Finally, start up the car and take for a test drive to check that the new brake pads and rotors work well. Apply brakes gently at first.