How to Clean Front Brake Pads

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Tips for Cleaning Front Brake Pads....5

Learn how to clean the front brake pads before replacing them 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 cleaning the brake parts. The first side we're going to clean is the caliper mounting bracket and if you remember, this mounts in the front, the caliper pivots on it and it holds the brake pads. These brake pads fit in like so and they slide back and forth on those pivot points and the rotor is turning in here. As the caliper applies tension, it's gotta apply tension to both sides by these brake pads to be able to pivot back and forth and the caliper pivoting on this pin. When they get all dirty, clogged up with brake dust which is a normal environment for them, it inhibits their ability to slide correctly and you'll get one brake pad wearing on one side more than the other side. And the common cause for that could be a problem in the caliper itself or the piston or in most cases, it's dirt build-up on the caliper--or one of the brake pad slides on or the caliper slide itself. So, we're going to clean all those places real thoroughly and get all that dust and dirt off of them so we'll have a good, clean place for the brake pass to slide and the caliper to work correctly. So, you'll use a little industrial brake cleaning. Just spray them down quickly and this will remove all the loose dust and dirt off of them and kinda soften them up a little bit. Once I got this sprayed down thoroughly, just brush the dirt off with a little lightweight water brush or soft bristle brush. It's not going to take a lot to get this brake dust off. As you scrub a little bit, spray it off and you can see--'cause these are shinny chrome-type like finish and it is really easy to see where the dirt deposits are still remaining. You want to make sure and carefully keep those--these are sprung steel clips that hold the brake pads in and it keeps the tension on them so that they don't vibrate or want to fall out. Again, after a little brushing, spray them off. And this might be required two or three times until you get it; where you look at them, they're all nice and clean and shinny and you don't see anymore dirt or dust built-up. I think, about one more time with a brush should get this. And as you notice, I'm doing this over a metal pan or a containment system. The brake cleaner is another one of those chemicals that you want to contain and dispose it properly. Once I've got them all cleaned off where the brake pads slide, we just look over the pivot point here, get down to the base of it real good and make sure it's nice and clean and then you just check in the back where the--where it mounts to the spindle assembly. Make sure that those two spots are clean and free of dirt. Little bits of dirt can inhibit its ability to set smoothly and evenly. And inspect it. Give it a one more good, thorough rinse and make sure that all the dirt--dust and dirt is going to come off in this loose. And once you got it all clean, you just kinda set it aside, you can wipe it down and the chemical used in brake cleaning evaporates quite quickly so the majority of it will evaporate off and very rapid. Please watch our next segment on cleaning the brake parts part two.

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