Remove Rotors to Replace Brake Pads

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Learn how to remove rotors to change car front brake pads with expert automotive tips in this free online car maintenance and repair video clip.

Part of the Video Series: How to Replace Front Brake Pads
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Video Transcript

MARK BLOCKER: Okay. In this segment, we're going to cover removing the rotors. Anytime they replace the brake pads on a vehicle, you need to have the rotors inspected and machined. And what they do is they measure the rotor to determine its overall thickness. Anytime that you replace the brake pads on a car, you need to have the rotors checked for thickness and serviceability. Each different vehicle has a different specification for how thick this rotor should be. As the brake pads are wearing from friction, so are the rotors, depending on the type of brake pads that your vehicle requires whether it be a standard type of friction pad or a semi-metallic or metallic. The metallic ones, they have a tendency to wear the rotor as much as they're wearing the pads. So, every time you replace your pads, you need to have them checked and machined. If you run your hand across the rotor surface on both sides, you'll feel under the edges, some grooves that have formed and that's where the rotor is wearing. And if your brake pads have worn down, pass the point where the friction pads were gone and you're getting a metal-to-metal contact, you might feel big grooves in there and those all have to be machined out so the rotor is perfectly smooth again and straight. Also the rotors have a tendency to warp as they get hot from extreme temperatures caused by high-braking situations. So, anytime that you replace your pads, you need to have your rotors checked and machined and if they can't be machined and straightened correctly and stay within a specification, they'll need to be replaced. For training purposes, in this video, we're not going to do that at this phase and I'm going to go ahead and show you how to assemble the--and put the new pads on it and everything just for training purposes. In order to remove the rotor, what I'm going to do is turn that wheel back around straight again so I've got a good, even access to it. The rotor is held on by two screws, two Phillips screws. And you see them--and they're marked with yellow paint--yellow paint or chalk or crayon--those are marks they put on there when they're assembling it and it's a verification mark for an inspector to ensure that the screws were put in and checked for tightness. To remove the screws, you can just use a large Phillips screwdriver. They're generally put in fairly tight and sometimes with a Loctite solution that's put on the threads of a bolt or fastener to help prevent it from coming loose and it may require the use of a Phillips impact driver and that's just simply a tool that as you smack it with a hammer, it twists and turns the bit at the same time with the impact and it helps to remove them easier. We're not going to do this at this time for training purposes. So, please watch our next segment on cleaning the brake parts.

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