Easy Steps to Complete a Brake Job

Your brake pads and rotors help your vehicle make safe stops so it's important to replace them when necessary. We'll show you basic steps to do the job on a 2008 Nissan Altima. Many vehicles are similar to the steps we'll show in this video, but jobs vary. Check a repair guide to see one of our vehicle's specific brake videos for more detailed steps. Inspect the pads when rotating the tires or if experiencing an issue like brake noise or a pulsating steering wheel when brakes are applied. Before getting started you'll need the right tools. You can get everything you need for this job at your local Auto Zone or on AutoZone.com. You'll also need to choose brake pads and rotors. Auto Zone carries Duralast and Duralast Gold rotors, and Duralast and Duralast Gold brake pads. Park the vehicle on a dry, flat surface and install wheel chocks. Open the hood and check the brake fluid reservoir. If it's full, some fluid needs to be removed to avoid spillage due to overflow when compressing the caliper piston. Move to the wheel. Loosen the lug nuts with a breaker bar while the wheel is on the ground and stationary. Then, raise your vehicle with a jack and place it on jack stands. Remove the lug nuts and the wheel. Remove the caliper bolts and the caliper. Suspend the caliper safely with a bungee cord. Remove the old pads and inspect for uneven wear patterns. Uneven wear is an indicator of the pad or pads sticking due to lack of lubricant, worn pad or caliper hardware, or a sticking caliper piston. Refer to the brake pad wear guide on the brake pad box. Replace the old hardware. Remove the rotor and clean the mounting surface with a wire brush. Spray the new rotor with Auto Zone brake cleaner and let it dry. Install the new rotor. Then, install the new brake hardware applying brake lubricant at the slider contact points. Install the new pads. Note the wear sensor position orientation to install correctly. Inspect the brake caliper and piston for fluid seepage. If clean, compress the caliper piston until it's seated and installed. Do not over-tighten the caliper bolts. Install the wheel and hand tighten the lug nuts. Jack up vehicle. Remove jack stands. Lower the vehicle until the wheel is just touching. Torque the lug nuts. Lower the vehicle and remove the jack. Repeat on all disc brakes. On rear disc brakes some caliper pistons screw in and require the disc brake pad spreader set. Check the brake fluid reservoir and top off if needed. Sit in the vehicle and slowly pump the brake pedal until firm. Inspect the fluid reservoir again and top off if necessary. Go for a drive to break in the new pads. Enjoy your safer, quieter, smoother stops. Visit Auto Zone or AutoZone.com for all the parts, tools, and friendly advice you need to get the job done right.