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DIY Auto Repair Tactics For Beginners By Ryan Frank

The cost of car repairs can add up to a lot of money over the years, but by learning some simple, do it yourself car repair tactics you can save yourself some of the expenses. This article will give you the basics of how to replace your brake pads.

For this job you'll need: a lug wrench, a c-clamp, an open end or adjustable wrench, a hammer, a small bungee cord, a couple Allen wrenches.
You'll have to loosen the bolts (a.k.a. "break" them) before you jack up the car so that you can remove them once the car is jacked up. Make sure to have jackstands securely in place for safety. Never get under a car supported only by a jack.

Remove the Wheel
Remove the bolts one at a time, starting from the bottom ones. This keeps the wheel in place while your remove the rest of them and makes it easier to catch the wheel when you're done.

Unbolt the Break Caliper
The break caliper is in the 12 o'clock position, above the lug bolts and just above the shiny brake disc. There is a bolt on either side of the back of the caliper. Remove them using either the Allen wrench or the lug wrench. Pull the caliper up from the top, giving it a few taps if needed to loosen. Careful not to put stress on the brake line. If needed, use the bungee cord to hang the caliper from something, just make sure it's not hanging directly from the brake line, as this could damage the line.

Remove Old Pads
Now that the caliper is out of the way, the brake pads should slide out fairly easily. Before sliding them out, though, take a digital picture so you remember how everything is installed. This will help when you're putting everything back into place. If your car has metal retaining clips holding the brake pads, put them aside someplace safe. Slide in the new pads and put the retaining clips back in place.
Compress the Brake Piston
If you look inside the caliper, you'll see the round brake piston. This is the piston that pushes on the brake pads from the back. The piston adjusts itself to fit the pads as they wear out. Because you are installing new, unworn pads, you'll need to adjust the brake piston back to its original position. Take the c-clamp and place the screw end against the piston and the other end around the back of the caliper assembly. Tighten the clamp until the piston is in far enough that you can comfortably put the caliper assembly over the new pads.

Reinstall Brake Caliper
With the piston adjusted, the caliper should slide in easily. Once it's in, put the bolts you removed back in and tighten them well. Check the pressure by pushing down on the brake pedal a few times. Put the wheel back on and tighten the lug bolts securely, making sure to double check 'em a few times.
If you are unable to do these because you don't the proper tools consider your safety and consider a Sandiego auto shop, visit http://www.robertsautoservice.com.

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