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How to Replace Brake Pads and Discs Yourself

Steve has been producing How To tutorials and articles for over 10 years, as well as E-books with Amazon KDP.

How to replace brake pads and discs

How to replace brake pads and discs

When Should You Replace Your Pads and Discs?

If you rarely drive your car, you might manage to get as many as 50,000 miles out of your brake pads and discs. It all depends on your driving style and the type of roads and conditions you drive in.

Replacing pads and discs should be planned maintenance as opposed to reactive (meaning, do before it becomes a problem). Just because your pads wear out doesn't always mean the discs need changing. It all depends on the thickness and tolerance of your discs.

Hopefully, you won't be in a flap because your brakes have suddenly started making a grinding noise but have been doing regular maintenance checks on your car. it's important that you include a check of the brakes every 6 months and add it to the weekly checks that I am sure you do for fluids, tires, and lights.

Safety First!

To keep yourself and your car free from damage whilst you work on it the following things should be noted,

  • Wear gloves
  • Use a mask as particles of brake dust are dangerous
  • Support your car with axle stands
  • Keep your jack in contact with the vehicle body when on stands
  • Ensure the work area is kept tidy
  • Have a helper if possible
  • Use goggles to protect your eyes


  • Wire brush
  • Soft brush
  • Socket set
  • Ratchet driver
  • Pliers
  • W.D. 40
  • Copper grease
  • Anti-squeal paste
  • Screwdriver
  • Torque wrench
  • Crow bar
  • Wheel chocs

Brake Safety

Regular checking of your brakes is necessary. Include checks on your brake fluid with your weekly checks. Make sure to investigate all changes to the way your car brakes, such as pulling to one side, spongy pedal, or further travel.

Keeping on top of things will prolong the life of you and your car. Ignoring warning lights or unusual sounds will cause issues in the long run. Very often a visual check can be done underneath without having to remove the road wheel.

Be sure to do a static brake check upon completion of the work on your brakes. You will need to pump the foot brake a few times to position the caliper pistons after fitting the new pads.

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Read More from AxleAddict

Refit the brake fluid reservoir cap on completion! This is sometimes overlooked.

Don't worry you will be reminded about the more important tasks more than once in an effort not to miss anything.

Step by Step

Follow the steps below as a guide when working on your vehicle.

  • Open bonnet and remove brake fluid cap
  • Slacken wheel nuts while vehicle on ground
  • Jack vehicle up and remove road wheel
  • Wire brush calipers and spray caliper slide nuts with W.D.40 or similar
  • Remove brake pad retainer clips
  • Undo caliper casing nuts and remove moving caliper clear and tie up safe
  • Prize out the old brake pads
  • Now remove caliper body by undoing back nut
  • Remove worn disc from hub
  • Clean and spray copper grease before fitting
  • Fit new disc
  • Clean up caliper slides prior to refitting
  • Refit caliper body
  • Wind back caliper and spray before with W.D.40 to release piston
  • Fix new pads in place and refit caliper front body
  • Spray discs with brake cleaner and wipe off excess
  • Tighten all nuts then fix road wheel in place
  • Repeat on other side
  • Check brake fluid level and refit cap

Road Test

Don't forget to road test your car after the work is completed. That way you can diagnose any other things that may need attention and that everything works the same or better as a result of carrying out the work.

#1 Top Tip

Use your smart phone to photograph parts before removal.

Build back up using photo so everything goes back correctly.

How Did You Do?

If you found this article of use, consider sharing it on your social media. This article was written to help owners of Vauxhall / Opel Astra models do maintenance jobs with a view to saving money by not having to entrust the work to expensive garages and main dealers.

If you enjoyed the article then please feel free to comment about your experience.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate it.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Steve Mitchell

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