How to Replace the Brake Pads on Dodge Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Because of the size and weight of the Dodge car it utilized disc brakes on both the front and rear axles. These disc brakes utilize a pad comprised of friction material bonded to a steel backing plate. Over time, the friction material can wear away and the pads will need to be replaced. The manufacturer recommends replacing the pads on both front and rear wheels. If you hear a screeching or grinding noise whenever you apply the brakes your pads could need to be replaced, and waiting too long could damage the rotors.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Brake Pads on a 2007 Dodge Caliber

Park the Dodge Caliber in a location that allows you to safely work on both sides of the vehicle. Put the transmission in "park" and apply the parking brake.

Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels with the lug wrench.

Lift the Dodge with the jack and place jack stands beneath the frame to support the vehicle during the brake pad replacement.

Remove the lug nuts and pull the wheels from the wheel bolts of the Caliber.

Remove the two caliper slide bolts with a 5/8-inch hex socket and ratchet. Pull the caliper from the caliper bridge (fitted around the rotor).

Slide the worn brake pads from the two sides of the caliper.

Place the C-clamp onto the side of the caliper and the caliper piston. Screw the C-clamp to force the piston into the side of the caliper. Remove the C-clamp from the caliper once the piston is fully opened.

Clean the inside walls of the caliper with a wire brush. Apply a thin layer of brake grease onto the inner walls of the caliper, particularly at the point that the piston protrudes from the caliper wall.

Slide the new brake pads onto the walls of the caliper. The brake pads connect to the caliper by thin metal clips on the backs of the brake pads.

Place the caliper, with new brake pads installed, onto the caliper bridge. Replace the caliper slide bolts and screw them in with the 5/8-inch hex socket and ratchet.

Place the wheel onto the wheel bolts and screw on the lug nuts by hand.

Lift the vehicle with a lifting jack to remove the jack stands and lower the Caliber to the ground.

Tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench.

Open the hood of the Dodge and remove the cap to the master cylinder. The master cylinder is on the driver's side of the vehicle, near the windshield.

Press the brake pedal three times and hold it in the depressed position for 10 seconds.

Fill the master cylinder with DOT-3 brake fluid. Replace the master cylinder cap and close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Lug wrench

  • Lifting jack

  • Jack stands

  • 5/8-inch hex socket

  • Ratchet

  • C-clamp

  • Brake pads

  • Brake grease

  • Brake fluid

 How to Replace Brake Pads on a Dodge Stratus

Lift one corner of the Stratus with the jack, ensuring that the emergency brake is firmly set. Remove the tire by loosening the lug nuts with the lug wrench. Lay the wheel flat under the corner of the car to serve as extra protection if the jack were to fail.

Loosen the bolts located directly behind the caliper and slide it off. Pull both of the brake pads out and set them aside. Replace the pads with new ones, ensuring they are pressed all the way to the back of the slot.

Feel the surface of the rotor to see if it has any grooves running around it. If you feel any indentations, the rotor should be either replaced or machined by a local shop to even out the surface for the new pads. If necessary, the rotor can be removed by simply pulling it off of the studs.

Replace the caliper and tighten the connected bolts. Put the wheel back on and carefully lower the Stratus to the ground. Repeat these steps to change the pads on the other three wheels.

Items you will need

  • Lug wrench

  • Wrench set

  • Jack

 How to Replace Brake Pads on a Dodge Intrepid

Removing the Wheels

Park the vehicle on a level surface.

Place wheel chocks in front and behind the rear wheels and tires.

Set the parking brake.

Loosen the lug nuts on both the front and rear wheels using a lug wrench. Do not turn the lug nuts more that one turn.

Raise the front of the vehicle, using a floor jack and support with jack stands placed underneath the front frame.

Lift the rear of the vehicle. Begin by positioning a floor jack underneath the rear frame. Raise the jack, then place jack stands underneath the rear frame. Lower the jack.

Unscrew the lug nuts on both the front and rear wheels using a lug wrench. Lift all four wheels off the lug studs and move them out of the way.

Open the master cylinder reservoir and siphon about 2/3 of the fluid out using an old turkey baster. You cannot use the baster for food ever again.

Removing the Brake Pads

Position a C-clamp over the brake caliper. Position the bottom of the clamp on the inboard side of the caliper. Position the top of the clamp on the outboard brake pad. Compress the C-clamp to drive the caliper piston back into its bore.

Unscrew the two screws that secure the brake caliper to the steering knuckle, using a socket. Do not remove the banjo bolt that secures the hydraulic brake line to the caliper.

Lift the caliper off the brake disc using your hands. Do not put stress or allow the caliper to hang from the hydraulic brake hose.

Pull the brake pads from the caliper using your hand.

Installing the Brake Pads

Pull the guide pin bushings from the caliper, using your hand. These are the bushings that the caliper retaining bolts slide through.

Coat the outside of the guide pin bushings with a multipurpose grease before reinserting them into the brake caliper.

Press the new pads into position in the brake caliper. Be sure the steel clip on the inboard pad fits into the caliper piston. Fit the steel clip on the outboard pad over the tabs on the outside of the caliper.

Drop the caliper into position over the brake pad.

Screw in the two bolts that secure the caliper to the steering knuckle, using a socket.

Installing the Wheels

Lift the wheels onto the lug studs, and screw on the lug nuts using a lug wrench.

Lower the vehicle.

Retighten the lug nuts using a lug wrench.

Check the fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir. Add brake fluid as necessary.

Pump the brake pedal until pressure builds in the brake system (five to seven times). This will reset the pistons inside the brake calipers.

Check the fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir. Add brake fluid as necessary.

Items you will need

  • Wheel chocks

  • Lug wrench

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Turkey baster

  • C-clamp

  • Socket set

  • Multipurpose grease

  • Brake pads

  • Brake fluid

 How to Replace the Brake Pads on a Dodge RAM 1500

How to change brake pads on a Dodge Ram 1500.

Park the vehicle on a flat surface. Make sure the back wheel is chocked. This means you need to wedge something behind the wheel, between the back of the tire and the ground to keep it from rolling backward. Never trust the emergency brake. When you jack the vehicle up, the chock will keep the truck from rolling back. Always do this just in case your emergency brake is faulty.

Remove the front tire. It doesn't matter which one as you will end up doing both. As you remove the tire, look at the rotor and the calipers. If you will feel toward the back of the caliper, you will find two bolts holding it around the rotor. Usually the caliper is held on by a 1/2-inch bolt. Make sure both top and bottom bolts are removed. The caliper should now just fall off the rotor. Remember that the brake lines hold brake fluid so you will want to make sure you are careful when handling the caliper.

While holding the caliper, remove the old shoes. When you buy shoes from the auto parts store, you will notice they are labeled. One should say "Front" and the other should say "Back." If you remember which shoe you pulled off, then it should be easy to remember which shoe goes back on. You will notice as you try and put the shoe on that both may not go back on smoothly. You don't have enough room as the shoes you pulled off were worn down and the ones you have are brand new. You will want to take your C-clamp and you can actually use an old brakeshoe. Put the old brakeshoe back on the caliper where you see what looks like a cylinder popping out. It will actually look like a camera lens when it retracts. Push that back down. If you use the old brakeshoe and the clamp, it will push it down easily.

When you get the cylinder pushed down, place the shoes on the caliper. They are slotted so it goes on a certain way. Match it up per side of caliper. When you finish putting the shoes back on the caliper, inspect your brake assembly. Take your fingers and gently slide them along the front and back of the rotor. Make sure it is smooth. If you notice a lot of ridges and bumps in the rotor, then it is time to get it "turned" or replaced. In most cases, you can "turn" or regrind the rotor back to a flat surface. Be careful removing the rotor.

It is simple to remove the rotor, but you will have many parts to keep track of. Remove the dust cap, pull the cotter pin, nut and the washer. There is a bearing as well. When you pull it off the spindle, you will notice a bearing in the back. You might as well replace those as they get old and burned out. In most cases, there should be a seal. You can take the now-removed rotor to any auto parts supply store and someone at the store can turn the rotor or point you in the direction of someone that can do it for you. If they can't turn it, then it should be replaced. Go ahead and pick up two as you will want to replace the other side as well. You will also use grease to "pack" or lubricate the bearing. Soak the bearings in grease. Place the larger bearing in the back of the rotor and make sure it is packed with grease.The appropriate order is going to be as follows: seal, bearing and the race. On the inner side, it will be the small bearing, the race, the washer, the nut and the cotter pin. Put it back on the spindle and load it up with grease. Excess grease will fall out. Go ahead and put your locking nut and washer back on and when you go to tighten it down, only go half a turn after you get a little resistance. You will then place the cotter pin back through the little hole in the nut and put your dust cap back on over the spindle.

Once that is done, line up your caliper and put it back on. Tighten the bolts holding the caliper back on to the rotor and you will be able to put your wheel back on. Follow these steps on the other front wheel as well.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Tire tool

  • C-clamp

  • Socket set

  • Pliers

  • Tub of lithium grease

 How to Change the Brake Pads on a Dodge Ram 2500

Place a floor jack under the center of either the front or rear axle, depending on which end you wish to service first. Chock the opposite wheels to keep the truck in place. Pump the jack handle until the tires have cleared the ground. Position two jack stands under the axle, one at each end. Slowly lower the jack until the full weight rests upon the stands. Remove the jack.

Unscrew the lug nuts and set them in a secure location. Pull the wheel off to expose the braking components. Identify the caliper, which surrounds the rotor and contains the brake pads. Remove the bolts holding the caliper in place and pull it off the rotor.

Remove the brake pads, using a screwdriver to pry them out if necessary. Find the piston, which is a metal circle located on the inside part of the caliper. Using firm pressure, push the piston back into the caliper to make room for the new pads. Insert the new pads by reversing the process used to remove the old ones.

Push the caliper back over the rotor and align the bolt holes. Reinstall the bolts, torquing them until they feel firm. Replace the wheel and the lug nuts. Repeat this process to change the brakes on the other side. Lower the Dodge to the ground, and if the other end also requires service, repeat the process.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wrench

 How to Change the Brake Pads on a Dakota

Removing the Brake Pads

Wipe dust and grease off the master cylinder reservoir and filler caps with a shop rag.

Draw at least half of the brake fluid from the master cylinder. You can use a clean turkey baster.

Unfasten the wheel lug nuts using a lug wrench on the set of wheels you are servicing.

Raise the front or rear of your vehicle using a floor jack. Then safely support it on jack stands.

Finish taking off the wheel/tire assemblies.

Disengage the caliper spring out of the front side of the caliper with a screwdriver, if you have a 2000-2002 Dakota model.

Unfasten the caliper slide pins with a six-point socket and ratchet. Then pull the caliper off the brake rotor.

Pry the outer pad retainer spring with a screwdriver and slide the pad off the caliper.

Push the caliper piston into its bore using a large C-clamp. Let the clamp screw push against the inner brake pad to seat the piston.

Pry off the inner brake pad from the caliper piston using a screwdriver.

Tie the caliper to the coil spring with a piece or wire to prevent damage to the brake hose attached to the caliper.

Installing New Brake Pads

Spray the brake assembly, caliper and bracket with brake parts cleaner and a piece of clean, lint-free cloth.

Install new anti-rattle clips, if you are replacing the rear brake pads.

Position the new inner brake pad against the caliper piston and push the pad until the pad back spring is fully seated into the piston.

Install the outer brake pad.

Coat the sliding surface of the caliper-mounting bracket with high-temperature brake grease.

Install the caliper assembly on its mounting bracket and rotor and start the caliper slide pins by hand to avoid stripping the threads. Then tighten the pins using the six-point socket and ratchet.

Install the caliper spring to the front side of the caliper using the screwdriver, if you have a 2000-2002 Dakota model.

Mount the wheel/tire assembly and tighten the wheel lug nuts using the lug wrench.

Service the opposite wheel assembly following steps 6 from the previous section through step 8 in this section.

Lower your vehicle and finish tightening the wheel lug nuts on both tires.

Seat the new brake pads on the rotors by pumping the brake pedal several times.

Add new brake fluid to the master cylinder to bring the level up to the Full mark, if necessary.

Be sure the brake pedal is firm and working properly before driving the car.

Items you will need

  • Shop rags

  • Clean turkey baster

  • Lug wrench

  • Floor jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • Six-point socket and ratchet

  • Screwdriver

  • Large C-clamp

  • Piece of wire

  • Brake parts cleaner

  • Clean, lint-free cloth

  • High temperature brake grease

  • New brake fluid

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.