Project VIP: Brake Pad Replacement

Our new project car is a gently used Lexus RX that needed some basic maintenance, one of the requests we had from readers was to offer more How-To and Tech Articles.

Jack the car up using a properly working and safe jack, if you are not using pneumatic tools, be sure to slacken lug nuts slightly before jacking the car off the ground. Place a jack-stand under vehicle is a safe location to prevent accidents.

Remove lug nuts and put them to the side.

Remove the wheel and place to the side.

The Disc Brake Caliper is held in place with two 14mm bolts pictured here.

Using a 14mm ratchet (or air ratchet as pictured) remove upper caliper bolt.

Remove lower caliper bolt, and place caliper on a jack stand or another secure object as not to put stress on the brake line.

Remove old brake pads, notice brake caliper resting on a jack stand. Remember don't step on the brake pedal at this point, as the piston could shoot out of the caliper.

Notice clip that goes on inner brake pad, new clips come with better brake pad kits, our kit included new clips that needed to be installed.

We had our rotors checked out and they were still in good condition and did not need to be turned.

Reinstall new brake pads and grease, better kits include grease with directions on placement. This will prevent squeaks when brakes are in use.

Using one of the old brake pads and a clamp, slowly push the piston back into the caliper. Before attempting this on your car check to make sure that your pistons do not twist in place. Some manufacturers pistons retract into the caliper by rotating into place.

Place the caliper back into place and install upper bolt a few threads to hold the caliper in place. Our kit came with new hardware for mounting the calipers.

Reinstall lower bolt.

Using 14mm socket and ratchet tighten bolts back to factory specifications. (note red grease can be seen in this picture). Repeat process on opposite side, reinstall wheels, and lower vehicle.

Always reference a factory shop manual before attempting any work on your car, be sure to use proper safety equipment, and always use the correct tools. does not accept any liability or responsibility for damage or injury caused by persons attempting automotive repairs on their own vehicles.