How to Repair the Brakes on Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

When the brakes on the Vehicles begin to wear down past the wear indicators, the brake pads will need to be replaced. The Vehicles comes equipped with both front and rear brake pads. Whenever you press the brake pedal down, the caliper cylinder on each wheel hub pushes the brake pads to both sides of the brake rotors to stop the Vehicles. If the brake pads wear down past the wear indicators, the worn pads can damage the rotors and the rotors will need turning or replacement.

Under The Hood:

 How to Repair the Brakes on a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Park the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee in a safe work area and raise the hood.

Remove the lid that covers the brake fluid container located below the brake master cylinder. Insert the basting syringe into the brake fluid and pull out a syringe full of the brake fluid. Set the syringe in a safe place.

Loosen the lug nuts on the front driver side tire with the tire tool. Move to the passenger front of the Jeep and loosen the lug nuts on the wheel.

Slide the hydraulic floor jack under the front of the Jeep and jack it up. Place a safety jack stand under the jacking points on both sides of the Jeep. The jacking points are located under the vehicle near the back side of both front wheels. Lower the floor jack so the Jeep comes to rest securely on top of the stands. Leave the jack under the jeep.

Finish loosening and removing the lug nuts from the driver side front wheel and remove the wheel. Move to the front passenger side and finish loosening and removing the lug nuts. Remove the wheel.

Move back to the front driver side of the Jeep and locate the brake caliper. The caliper is the component attached to the top of the brake rotor. Slide the flat part of the screwdriver into the top of the caliper near the outer brake pad. Pry the outer brake pad towards the engine to compress the caliper cylinder enough to loosen the caliper from the rotor.

Loosen and remove the two mounting bolts from the upper and lower portions of the back side of the caliper. Use a 1/2-inch drive ratchet and a socket to remove these two mounting bolts.

Tap the top and bottom of the caliper upward until the caliper comes loose from the brake rotor. Then, slide the caliper off of the rotor and hang the caliper on the nearest part of the suspension with a bungee cord.

Remove the inner brake pad from the inside the caliper. Position the c-clamp inside of the brake caliper so that the threaded rod of the c-clamp is facing the caliper cylinder. Compress the outer brake pad against the caliper cylinder with the c-clamp until the cylinder is completely inside of the caliper housing.

Remove the c-clamp from the inside of the caliper. Then, remove the outer brake pad, and any shims or other brake pad accessories from the caliper. Insert the new brake pads into the caliper along with any new accessories that come with the new brake pad kit.

Position the brake caliper onto the brake rotor. Screw the two rear mounting bolts back in the rear of the caliper. Tighten the rear caliper bolts down with the 1/2 inch drive torque wrench and a socket to 32 foot-pounds.

Put the front driver side wheel back onto the hub and screw the lug nuts on. Tighten the lug nuts down hand tight. Then, follow the same instructions above for replacing the brake pads on the other three wheel hubs. When you have finished replacing the brakes on all four axles, you can jack the Jeep back up and remove the safety stands.

Slowly squirt the brake fluid back into the brake fluid container and put the lid back on top of the container. Make sure that the lid is secure on the brake fluid container. Close the hood.

Start your 2005 Jeep Cherokee up and pump the brake pedal in and out at least five or six times. This will position the new brake pads to the required distance from the sides of the rotors on all four axles. Turn the engine off.

Items you will need

  • Small basting syringe

  • Tire tool

  • Hydraulic floor jack

  • safety jack stands

  • Big flat head screwdriver

  • 1/2 inch drive ratchet

  • 1/2 inch drive socket set

  • Medium size bungee cord

  • New pads

  • 1/2 inch drive torque wrench

 How to Repair the Brakes on a 1970 Chevy C10

Replace the Front Brake Pads

Park your 1970 Chevy C10 on a level surface and engage the parking brake.

Loosen the lug nuts on all four wheels about one-quarter of a turn with a tire iron or lug wrench.

Jack the front end of the Chevy C10 up and place jack stands under the front jacking points. Lower the truck onto the jack stands. Move the jack to the rear of the truck and jack the rear end up. Place the other jack stands under the rear jacking points. Lower the truck onto the jack stands and leave the jack in place.

Remove the lug nuts from all four wheels. Place the wheels aside for later reassembly. Begin the brake pad replacement process on the front wheel on the driver's side.

Loosen and remove the two slide bolts from the back of the brake caliper with a ratchet and a metric socket. Slide a flat-head screwdriver between the brake rotor and the outboard brake pad. The outboard brake pad is on the back of the brake rotor. Pry the brake pad back and forth until there is enough slack in the caliper to remove it from the rotor. Pull the caliper off of the rotor and hang it on one of the suspension components behind the wheel hub assembly with a bungee cord.

Pull the inboard brake pad out of the inside of the caliper. The inboard brake pad is the pad that is opposite the caliper piston. Slide the C-clamp around the back of the caliper and around the front of the outboard brake pad. Slowly compress the brake pad against the caliper piston with the C-clamp until the piston is fully retracted inside of the caliper. Remove the C-clamp and the outer brake pad from the caliper. Insert the two new brake pads into the caliper.

Inspect the brake rotor for damage. The brake rotor is the round component that the brake caliper is mounted on. Inspect the rotor for excessive grooving and cracking. Replace the rotor if the damage is excessive; if the damage is minimal, have the rotor machine-turned. If the rotor is undamaged, no action is necessary.

Remove the bungee cord from the caliper and slide the caliper over the rotor. Screw the two slide bolts back into the rear of the caliper. Tighten the bolts down securely with the ratchet and socket. Torque the slide bolts with a torque wrench and a metric socket to 25 foot-pounds.

Slide the wheel onto the hub and screw the lug nuts on tight. Move to the front wheel on the passenger side and repeat the steps outlined above to replace the brake pads.

Replace the Rear Brake Shoes

Move to the rear wheel hub on the driver's side and pull the brake drum off the brake shoes with your hands. If the drum is stuck, use a hand-held sledgehammer to tap the back of the drum until it is loose enough to remove from the brake shoes. Pull the drum off and put it aside.

Remove all of the springs from the inner and outer brake shoes with a brake-spring removal tool. There are two brake shoe return springs on the top of the brake shoes and one brake shoe hold-down spring near the bottom of the brake shoes. Slide the removal tool over the springs and twist counterclockwise to remove the springs. Pull the brake shoes apart and pull the shoes free from the wheel hub. Place the old shoes aside. Tap the spring retainer clips out of each brake shoe with the hand-held sledgehammer.

Install all of the new brake shoe accessories provided in the new brake shoe kit to the new brake shoes. Position the brake shoes back onto the wheel hub. Re-clip all of the springs with the brake-spring removal tool. Make sure that the top of each brake shoe is against the top edges of the wheel cylinder. Inspect the brake drum for any damage such as cracks or breaks. Slide the brake drum over the new brake shoes. If the drum will not go over the new brake shoes, adjust the brake shoes to retract by using the brake shoe adjuster. Use a flat-head screwdriver to turn the gears on the brake adjuster counterclockwise until the brake shoes are retracted enough for the drum to fit over the new brake shoes. Slide the drum in place over the brake shoes.

Slide the wheel over the drum and screw the lug nuts on tightly. Move to the rear wheel hub on the passenger side and repeat the same process as outlined in this section to replace the brake shoes.

Jack the rear of the truck up and remove the jack stands. Lower the truck to the surface and remove the jack. Push the jack under the front end of the truck and lift the truck to facilitate removal of the jack stands. Lower the truck to the ground. Start the engine. Crank the engine and push the brake pedal in and out repeatedly to position the front brake pads to the proper spacing on each brake rotor. Test drive the C-10 in a safe area to check the operation of the new brake pads and new brake shoes.

Items you will need

  • Tire iron or lug wrench

  • Jack

  • Four jack stands

  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet

  • 1/2-inch drive metric socket set

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Bungee cord

  • C-clamp

  • Torque wrench

  • Hand-held sledgehammer

  • Brake-spring removal tool

  • Two new brake pad kits

  • Two new brake shoe kits

 How to Repair the Brakes on a 2008 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5

Removing the Old Brakes

Park the Jetta on a flat, level surface. Loosen the lug nuts with the lug wrench prior to raising the vehicle. Siphon 1/3 of the brake fluid inside the brake master cylinder reservoir with a turkey baster. Dispose of the siphoned fluid in an environmentally friendly manner.

Raise the vehicle off the ground with a floor jack and secure the vehicle with jack stands. Finish removing the lug nuts with the lug wrench. Remove the wheel from the hub to reveal the brake hardware.

Locate the caliper guide pins. These pins consist of a 13mm bolt and a 16mm nut in between. Use one combination wrench to hold the 16mm nut while working the 13mm bolt loose with a second combination wrench. Pull the caliper off of the caliper bracket and suspend it in mid-air with mechanic's wire.

Pry the brake pads loose from the caliper bracket with a slotted screwdriver. Use a 14mm triple square driver to remove the two bolts holding the caliper bracket to the hub. Move the bracket out of the way to gain access to the brake rotor.

Use a T30 Torx driver to remove the Torx screw from the front of the rotor. Grasp the rotor with both hands and pull it away from the hub. If the rotor is frozen on, apply a liberal amount of penetrative lubricant on rotor where it joins with the hub and allow it to set for a few minutes, and then gently tap the rotor free with a rubber mallet.

Installing the New Brakes

Apply a liberal amount of anti-seize lubricant to the hub prior to installing the new rotor. Mount the rotor onto the hub and secure it with the T30 Torx screw.

Reattach the caliper bracket onto the hub and over the rotor. Reinsert and tighten the two retaining bolts with the 14mm triple square driver. Insert the new brake pads into caliper bracket.

Use a brake service kit with the appropriate adapter to twist the brake caliper piston back inside of the caliper housing. The correct adapter will have two raised bits that fit inside of the notched slots on the caliper piston.

Slide the caliper over the brake pads and onto the caliper bracket. Reinsert the two guide pins and tighten them with the combination wrenches.

Repeat the procedure on the other wheels. Mount the wheel onto the hub and reattach the lug nuts. Tighten the nuts by hand before lowering the vehicle. Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle to the ground. Use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts to 90 foot-pounds. Add fresh DOT 4 brake fluid to the brake master cylinder reservoir until it reaches the Full mark.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Lug wrench

  • Torque wrench

  • Turkey baster

  • Combination wrenches

  • Slotted screwdriver

  • Triple square driver, 14 mm

  • T30 Torx driver

  • Anti-seize lubricant

  • Penetrative lubricant

  • Mechanic's wire

  • Brake service kit

  • DOT 4 brake fluid