How to Replace Rear Brake Pads and Rotors
Rear disc brake pads offer better performance and are not as affected by moisture like conventional brake shoe style brakes are. Rear disc brakes are similar to front disc brakes. The main difference is that rear disc brake systems must incorporate the emergency brake system. There are two methods widely used for the emergency brake with rear disc systems. The first system is a brake shoe inside the brake disc that is actuated by the emergency brake lever. The second is a screw style actuator inside the brake caliper. When activated the brake pads are forced into the brake disc and held tightly by the emergency brake lever.
READ COMPLETELY BEFORE STARTING
Step 1 – Identify Rear Disc Brake Components
Rear disc brake assembly includes; rear brake disc, rear brake pads, brake caliper mount and a caliper mounting screw. (Note: Some vehicles do not have the rotor mounting screw.)
Step 2 – Removing the Rear Brake Caliper Mount Bolts
To replace rear brake pads and rotors the rear brake caliper needs to be removed. First loosen the rear brake caliper mount bolts and remove them. Turn counter clockwise.
Step 3 – Lift Rear Brake Caliper from The Caliper Mount
After the caliper mount bolts have been removed, gently lift the brake caliper from the caliper mount. Inspect the caliper slides; they should move freely in the caliper mount. Remove rear brake pads and hardware.
Step 4 – Removing Caliper Mount Bolts
With a socket wrench or other appropriate removal tool, loosen the rear brake caliper mounting bolts. Remove bolts and lift the caliper mount and remove it from the vehicle. Remove the retaining screw from the disc mounting hole. Tap the rotor gently to release any rust that has accumulated between the rotor and bearing hub. Lift brake rotor from wheel hub holding on tightly, using both hands. You do not want to drop the rotor.
Step 5 – Removing Rear Brake Rotor
Remove the retaining screw from the disc mounting hole, tap the rotor gently to release any rust that has accumulated between the rotor and bearing hub. Lift brake rotor from wheel hub, hold on using both hands and do not drop.
Step 6 – Install New Brake Rotor
Check the new rotor against the old brake rotor to make sure they are the same size. Clean the mating surface on the wheel hub before the new brake rotor is installed. Reinstall rotor retainer screw.
Step 7 – Reset Rear Brake Caliper
Before new brake pads can be installed, the rear brake caliper must be reset. The reset tool winds the piston back into position so the new brake pads will fit. This style of brake caliper will not compress with a clamp tool; it can only be reset with the proper reset tool.
Step 8 – Reinstall Rear Caliper Mount and Install New Rear Brake Pads
After the caliper has been reset, reinstall caliper mounting bolts and make sure the bolts are tight. Then match up the old brake pads to the new brake pads. They should be exactly the same except, of course; the old ones will be worn out. Check the new brake pads for proper fit and install any brake hardware that is required.
Step 9 – Remount Rear Brake Caliper
Reinstall the brake caliper, align brake pad hardware and reinstall caliper mounting bolts. (Note: align the rear peg of the brake pad to the groove in the caliper piston.) Recheck and retighten all caliper and caliper mount bolts. Bleed brake system to relieve any air in the system. Before driving the vehicle, push the brake pedal down and let it up slowly. This operation forces the brake pads to travel to the brake rotors. DO NOT DRIVE VEHICLE until proper brake pedal operation resumes. When test driving vehicle listen for any unusual noises during the operation of the brakes.
WARNING! Always have the vehicle under inspection on level ground, in park with the emergency brake on. Always wear protective eyewear, gloves and necessary clothing before inspection or work begins. Never crank an engine over when anyone is near the battery or engine. Always have an operational fire extinguisher close by, obey all first aid instructions in the event of an injury. Never stand in front or behind a vehicle when cranked over or running. When engine is cranked over keep hands and clothing away from rotating components. Never move a car without proper brake pedal operation.
How Do I Repair My Car? / How Do I Replace My Rear Brake Pads?
* Brake pads wear down too far contacting the rotor.
* Caliper slides lock up not letting the caliper move causing one brake pad to wear out and not the other.
* If inferior parts are used they will squeak, grumble and not last as long.
Rear Brake Parts
Rear Brake Pad – Semi metallic brake pads are generally made copper, brass, and steel wool shavings held together in a resin. Ceramic pads are also available for high performance applications.
Rear Brake Caliper – Brake calipers provide the squeezing power to the brake pads when you press the brake pedal down. Whether using standard master cylinder or ABS braking systems, brake calipers apply the pressure from the pads to the rotors.
Rear Brake Rotor – A brake disc is the rotating part of the braking system that contacts the brake pads. Heat and energy are transferred from the brake disc to the pads while providing friction to stop the car. Cross drill brake discs help dissipate heat more efficiently under extreme driving conditions like long down grades or repeated hard accelerations and decelerations.
Brake Master Cylinder – The brake master cylinder supplies brake fluid pressure to the brake system.