How to Install Brake Pads

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Working on your car brakes? Learn how to install brake pads with expert auto maintenance tips in this free car repair video clip.

Part of the Video Series: How to Install Car Brakes
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Video Transcript

In this clip we are going to talk about the proper way to install your new set of brake pads. The first thing I want to point out is the difference between pads. As you can see, these pads have wear indicators on them and they are exactly opposite from each other. This is your wear indicators here; these metal tabs. As the pad wears out, this makes contact with the rotor surface and gives you that squeaking noise. This wear indicator is supposed to be installed on the inboard trailing edge of the rotor. The reason why they call it the trailing edge is that as the wheel is rotating forward, it is actually after the beginning of the brake pad. As you can see, it will be there on the bottom. That is the way they work. If you put the one for the passenger side on this vehicle, it will be on the outboard trailing edge and you will have trouble trying to mount your caliper. As you can see it doesn't quite fit. Once you determine which pads go where, go ahead and take and reinstall your caliper clips, they'll pop right into place just like so and grab the upper. It's not necessary to lubricate these being that whatever lubrication you put on them will wash off in a matter of days. Once you have them in place, I like to install the hard pad first. Take your inboard pad and set it on the perch and slide it into place on the top perch and that's that. You can see what's locked into place on the tabs right there. You can go ahead and grab your outboard brake pad. As you can see, it is identical to the passenger side outboard brake pad. You can't mix these up. Go ahead and install it on the perch and it will pop right into place; there you go. Once you have those popped into place, some vehicles have return springs. This one does. These are your return springs. One goes on the bottom, just like so and the other one goes on just like it on the top, right there. That's the proper way to install your brake pads. As you can see, everything looks nice and uniformed and symmetrical but double check and make sure the caliper hooks are on the perches where they are supposed to be and that is the proper way to install your pads.

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