I need to replace my pads and warped rotors. How hard of a job is that and where can I find good but inexpensive parts

2 Answers 2


Changing pads and rotors is easier than changing a timing belt but harder than doing an oil change. Does that help? Probably not.

Hard or easy depends entirely on your experience and your available tools and supplies. If you've never done a brake job, I suggest you find videos showing the procedure for your vehicle. There are thousands of procedure videos online. Quality varies. Best to watch more than one.

where can I find good but inexpensive parts

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It's do-able for a DIY and is a good "more difficult than an oil change" project.

I don't know where you are, but if you have lots of rust (from salt on roads during the winter, say) the rotors can be tough to get off.

Watch a few videos on how to do it and you'll be fine.

Note that if you have an electronic e-brake there might be some sort of procedure to put it in maintenance mode before you start messing with it. If it's a lever type brake you don't have to worry about it.

Things to have ahead of time that are handy:

  • Sockets for removing rotors
  • Hex bits for removing the brake pad pistons
  • Screwdriver to remove brake pad clip
  • Brake caliper compressor - some you press directly in and some you have to twist - watching a video of your make and model will explain how to do this
  • Caliper hangers to keep brake calipers away and keep your hoses safe
  • Brake grease for pistons and backs of pads

Things that are required:

  • Use jack stands when the car is off the ground. If you don't do anything else, do this. Don't rely on just a jack.
  • Take pictures before you take stuff apart, so you can look at how it goes back together.
  • Do one wheel at a time

Remember it's going to be difficult the first time, and don't give up. That sounds like a lot, but by the time you're done with the second or third wheel you'll be on a roll.

For buying parts, local shops are generally OK or rock auto is decent as far as online goes. The disadvantage of ordering online is that you can't run back and return a part if it's not right...

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