Install Ceramic Brake Pads Yourself and Save Money On Car Repairs
Installing ceramic brake pads can be a great way to enhance the performance of your vehicle and provide maximum braking power, especially if you regularly do some hard driving. Ceramic brake pads are light-weight, have great heat dissipation, and most importantly, have a long product life. These advantages come at a cost, however, and ceramic brake pads are more expensive than regular metallic brake pads.
If you are looking to equip your car with ceramic brake pads, then you must take extra steps to ensure that the installation is done correctly, or else the pads will not be able to provide their optimal performance. Just follow this detailed guide to get the job done correctly.
Before installing the new ceramic brake pads, you must check the rotors for excessive run-out. An excessive run-out reading that is higher than 0.004 inches means that you must replace the rotors. Place a dial indicator gauge on the rotor to check for run-out.
Now it’s time to get started with the installation. Put on protective gear like the filtering mask before beginning. Mechanically jack up the car and place the jack stands beneath the car frame to support it while you take the wheel off.
Once the wheel is taken off, locate the disc brake calipers between the lug bolts and brake pads. Inspect the condition of the old pads and rotors for signs of damage, wear and tear. If there is dirt, grease, oil, or debris on the components, clean them with a rag and brake cleaner. When replacing with ceramic brake pads, it is prudent to replace the old pads even if they are in good condition.
Now, it’s time remove and disconnect the brake calipers. Carefully adjust a C-clamp and position the brake calipers between the two sides of the clamp. Remember the position of the retaining clips and bolts before removing them. Put them on a safe surface.
Take out the old brake pads, using a spanner, and thoroughly clean the calipers to remove dirt, debris, or grease.
Now, adjust the brake piston by using the C-clamp to move piston to the farthest position. Once that is done, attach the ceramic brake pads in the same position that the old pads were placed.
Reattach the calipers, fix the lug bolts, and place the retaining calipers back in their position. Secure the bolts firmly and make sure all the hardware is tightened in the right position.
Carefully replace the wheel and screw it in place. Do not forget to make sure that no lubricants or brake oil comes in contact with the mounting surfaces or the vehicle paint. You should also make sure to clean any residue from previous brake pads since rust, scale, and other debris can cause brake judder or brake shimmy.
Once you are done installing the ceramic brake pads, it is time to take the car for a test drive. Test the brakes in normal driving mode, then switch to sports mode and check the performance of the ceramic brake pads. If the pads perform up to your expectations, you have successfully installed the ceramic brake pads!