SCREECH! That spine-tingling sound every time you hit the brakes can only mean one thing—it’s time to replace your worn out brake pads. As much as we’d love our brakes to last forever, those pads take a beating mile after mile and eventually wear down like erasers on pencils.
Don’t let squealing, grinding brakes go on too long. It’s only going to get worse, and you’ll just end up causing damage, getting stranded somewhere, or worse yet, getting in an accident.
But before you hand over your hard-earned cash to a mechanic, consider this…
Changing brake pads is easier than making pancakes. With basic tools and the help of this guide, you can swap out your pads in less time than it takes to watch an episode of Stranger Things on Netflix. So why not save some money and DIY?
I’m going to show you exactly how to change your Hope brake pads properly so you can stop safely with fresh, strong braking power. No more squeaks, vibrations, or having to pump your pedal constantly. Just silky smooth, responsive brakes that slow you down with confidence.
Let’s dive in and get your Hope brakes back up to speed!
Do You Need New Brake Pads? Here’s How to Tell
Before we jump into the step-by-step process, let’s go over how you can evaluate if your Hope brake pads need to be replaced. Here are some telltale signs that your pads are worn and new ones are needed:
1. Check pad thickness. Pads should be replaced when they reach 3mm or less in thickness. There is usually a thickness indicator groove molded into the pad to make checking easier. If not, use a caliper to measure.
2. Listen for squeaking/squealing. As pads wear down, they start to make high-pitched noises when braking due to vibration. This means it’s time to change them.
3. Check for visible wear. Look at the outer pad surfaces. If they are visibly worn unevenly or down to the metal backing plate, replacement is needed.
4. Notice changes in braking. If braking feels “mushy” or lacks responsiveness, new pads may be in order. Fading after repeated hard stops also indicates wear.
5. Consider mileage. Generally, pads are good for 30,000-50,000 miles depending on driving conditions. Check and replace them at least by 50,000 miles.
Replacing pads before they are completely worn helps prevent damage to rotors and brake system components. It’s good practice to inspect pad thickness and condition regularly as part of routine maintenance.
Preparing for a Smooth Brake Pad Change
Installing new brake pads is not only about the swap itself. Proper preparation is key to getting the job done right. Here are some tips:
- Inspect rotors for damage like grooves and excessive wear. If rotors are worn, they should be resurfaced or replaced along with pads.
- Lubricate caliper pins with silicone paste to prevent sticking. Seized pins can cause uneven pad wear.
- Check brake fluid level in reservoir. Top it off if low to prevent air from entering the hydraulic lines.
- Clean caliper mount points and hardware to remove dirt, corrosion and old pad material.
- Never push brake pedal while caliper is disassembled, as this can force the piston out.
Following these preparatory steps prevents bigger problems down the road and sets you up for smooth, hassle-free pad replacement.
The Complete Step-By-Step Guide to Changing Hope Brake Pads
Now let’s get to the meat of the job—swapping worn pads for fresh, new ones. With the right tools and techniques, you can get it done like an experienced mechanic.
Tools and Supplies You’ll Need
- Socket set with extensions
- Torque wrench
- C-clamp or caliper piston reset tool
- Brake pad retaining clip pliers
- Brake pad grease/lubricant
- Wire brush
- Shop rag
- Eye protection
- Jack and jack stands (if removing wheel)
Step 1: Loosen Wheel Lug Nuts
If changing pads without removing the wheel, skip this step. Otherwise, break loose the lug nuts so the wheel can be easily removed later.
Step 2: Jack Up Vehicle and Remove Wheel
Position jack under vehicle and lift at proper jacking point. Place jack stand securely under frame, then remove wheel to access brake assembly.
Tip: Never work under a vehicle supported only by a jack. Use secure jack stands.
Step 3: Remove Caliper Mounting Bolts
Locate the two caliper mounting bolts on the backside. Use appropriate socket to loosen and remove bolts, catching them as they come out.
Step 4: Remove Caliper from Mount
With the bolts out, carefully slide the caliper off the mount. Avoid hanging it by the brake line to prevent damage. Rest it securely aside.
Step 5: Remove Pad Retaining Clips
Locate the retaining clips that hold each pad in place. Use retaining clip pliers to remove clips and slide old pads out.
Step 6: Clean Caliper Assembly
Use a wire brush to scrub away any dirt, debris and old pad material from the caliper mount points and hardware. Wipe clean with a rag.
Step 7: Press In Piston
With pads removed, use a C-clamp or reset tool to slowly press the caliper piston back into its cylinder to allow clearance for new, thicker pads.
Step 8: Install New Pads
Slide new pads into place on bracket. Ensure the friction material faces the rotor. Add pad grease to retaining hardware.
Step 9: Reinstall Retaining Clips and Pins
Secure each pad with its retaining pins and clips. Press firmly to seat them fully in the grooves.
Step 10: Remount Caliper
With pads loaded, slide caliper back over rotor and into place against mount. Add a light coat of threadlocker to caliper bolts.
Step 11: Torque Bolts to Spec
Thread in caliper bolts by hand first before tightening with a torque wrench to manufacturer specs, usually around 30-40 ft-lbs.
Step 12: Reinstall Wheel and Tighten Lugs
With caliper remounted, put wheel back on and hand tighten lugs in criss-cross pattern. Then torque wheels lugs to spec with torque wrench.
Step 13: Pump Brakes to Seat Pads
Before driving, pump brake pedal several times to restore proper pad-rotor clearance. Check for leaks before taking it for a test drive.
And that’s it—you’ve just successfully swapped out old, worn brake pads for fresh new ones! But there are still a few final steps to take for optimal safety and performance.
Bedding in New Brake Pads
New pads won’t perform their best until they have been properly bedded in with a series of heat cycles known as the bedding process. Here’s how to do it right:
- Find a safe open area like an empty parking lot for the bedding process. Avoid heavy traffic.
- Accelerate to around 30 mph and make 10-15 hard stops down to ~5 mph, allowing time between each for brakes to cool.
- Avoid coming to a complete stop. Allow wheels to keep rolling to prevent overheating.
- After final stop, drive slowly with minimal braking for next 10 minutes to cool.
Bedding transfers pad material onto rotors for maximum contact. It prevents squeaking while conditioning the friction surfaces for responsive braking power.
Get the Most from Your Hope Brake Pad Service
Changing your own brake pads is rewarding and can save you money over a shop repair. To get the most from the job:
- Stick with manufacturer recommended pad compounds. Avoid super cheap pads that wear quickly.
- Inspect all brake parts any time pads are changed. Replace or repair as needed.
- Lubricate caliper pins and lube pad backing plates to reduce noise.
- Check rotors for wear and thickness variation. Resurface or replace if damaged or warped.
- Flush old brake fluid and use fresh DOT4 fluid when doing a full pad and rotor change.
- Road test brakes carefully after service. Check for proper pedal feel and responsiveness.
By following the steps in this guide and these extra tips, you can change your Hope brake pads properly the first time. Taking the time to do it right will have you stopping smoothly, safely and confidently for miles to come.
Mahin Abrar is a passionate writer and outdoor enthusiast. As a regular contributor to Bikepics.net, Mahin shares his knowledge and experiences in the fields of biking, cycling, hiking, and camping. With a deep understanding of these activities and a keen eye for detail, he offers valuable insights and practical advice to help readers get the most out of their adventures. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, Mahin's writing is sure to inspire you and guide you on your journey.