10 tips for a successful brake job

Nov. 4, 2020
When tackling a brake job, whether just replacing the pads or updating the entire braking system, there are some basic steps to keep in mind to ensure the project is a success.  

When tackling a brake job, whether just replacing the pads or updating the entire braking system, there are some basic steps to keep in mind to ensure the project is a success.

The automotive experts at Goodyear Brakes offer some tips for understanding your vehicle’s braking system, as well as advanced solutions for addressing any issues. The new line of Goodyear Brakes provides premium quality brake bundles, calipers, rotors, brake pads and all the hardware for today’s most popular vehicles, from daily drivers, to SUVs, as well as light trucks. This line of brakes is backed by a national warranty, decades of production experience and one of the best-known names in automotive excellence. The Goodyear Brakes product lineup offers the ideal solution for almost every braking need – whether drivers are looking to save money on your vehicle repairs, upgrade your performance, or restore your perfect car.

Here are 10 tips from the Goodyear Brakes experts for your next brake replacement project:

1. Get the right parts from the start

Remember, when purchasing your brake bundle, use the www.GoodyearBrakes.com search tool.  Simply enter your vehicle’s VIN or license number to discover the correct brake bundle or brake parts for your vehicle. Never buy cheap or discounted brakes, as the brakes are the most important safety equipment on your vehicle.

2. Safety first

It’s very important when changing or installing your Goodyear brakes that you take every safety precaution available. That includes wearing safety glasses and quality work gloves. Always refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual to see exactly where the vehicle manufacturer instructs you to place the floor jack and the jack stands before you begin working on your vehicle.  For extra protection, slide the wheel you removed under the frame while installing your Goodyear brakes.

3. Lubricate 

While changing your brakes, remember to properly lubricate and clean the parts and bolts that require attention to properly install your brakes.

  • Brake Pads – use a little ceramic or silicone brake grease on the ends of the brake pads where they mount into the mounting bracket. Be sure the brake pads slide freely along the mounting bracket slides.
  • Guide Pins – remember to remove the guide pins from the caliper and clean them thoroughly before applying some silicone brake grease to each one.  Make sure you clean the rubber boots that the guide pins slide into as well.
  • Caliper bolts – when you reattach the caliper to the knuckle, apply some blue thread locker to your caliper bolts after you clean and dry them.  This will give you a good tight fit and prevent them from backing out.

4. Don’t get burned

Always make sure your vehicle has been sitting for a while, and your brakes are nice and cool before starting to work on them.

5. Stabilize the rotor 

While you’re taking the caliper on or off the rotor, it helps to screw on a lugnut to hold it securely in place.  It’s a simple and effective way to stabilize the rotor as you work.

6. Expose the assembly

Once you have removed the tire, and you’re ready to begin working on your brakes, simply turn steering wheel to expose the entire brake assembly.  This makes it much easier to access the bolts and brake assembly while you work.

7. Compress the pistons

For front brakes, either the compression tool or the C-clamp will compress the piston(s) back into position to allow you to place the new brake pads into position.  As the brake pad wears down, the pistons expand, which requires that you compress them to accommodate the new brake pads. Rear brake calipers that integrate the emergency/parking brake (the same brake pads are applied by a cable or electric motor for the emergency/parking brake function) will usually require a different procedure. Pistons on these types will rotate in, not push in. Do not try to compress these pistons without first checking your vehicle’s service information.

8. Clean the hub

Once you have taken the old rotor off, grab a wire brush and some brake cleaner and thoroughly clean the wheel hub.  Make sure you have removed all the rust, dirt and grime to create a clean, dry mounting surface for the new Goodyear rotor.  Some mechanics like to apply some anti-seize lubricant to the wheel hub as well – just a smear will be plenty.

9. Clean the rotor

After you clean the hub, apply some brake cleaner to your new rotor and wipe it off with a microfiber towel.

10. Drain the master cylinder

Just before you bleed your brakes, use a large syringe or turkey baster to drain the fluid out of your master cylinder.  This will speed up the process of eliminating the old brake fluid.  Once it is drained, add new brake fluid to the fill line in your master cylinder. Make sure you reference your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the correct brake fluid specifications. As you bleed your brakes, you will see the old brake fluid draining out until it becomes the new clean brake fluid. That’s how you will know your brake bleed was a success.

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