How to Replace Brake Pads on a Honda Accord

by Arthur Barnhouse
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brake calipers image by Tom Oliveira from

According to, up to 90 percent your vehicle's brake replacements will involve the front brake pads. This is because most of your car's stopping power comes by way of the front brakes. With the extra work comes extra wear. Therefore, it's always important to inspect your brakes and replace their components as needed. If the rotors are in any way gouged or scarred, have them either replaced or resurfaced. As for the pads, you can change them yourself.

Step 1

Park your Accord in a comfortable work area with a flat surface and engage the emergency brake. Pop the hood and find the master cylinder. If you need to, use your owner's manual as a guide.

Step 2

Loosen the lug nuts one of the front wheels. Because you have to change both sides, it doesn't matter whether you begin with the left or right. After loosening the lugs a bit, situate the jack at the designated spot just behind the wheel, near the front door. Lift the Accord until the tire is off the ground, finish removing the lugs and pull the wheel off.

Step 3

Examine the brakes, both the rotor and pads. Again, if the rotor is gouged or uneven, you must first replace or resurface it. If the pads are less than 1/4 inch thick, you must replace them. Examine the back of the caliper. You should see two bolts, one on the upper part and one on the bottom. These are the bolts you must remove.

Step 4

Remove the caliper bolts with your metric socket and ratchet. After you've removed both bolts, you should be able to pull the caliper off of the rotor and slide the old brake pads out. Make sure you look at the pads first, noting how they're installed so that you can properly re-install the new pads.

Step 5

Place the caliper carefully on top of the rotor and spray the rotor with caliper with brake cleaner. Be careful with the caliper, as you don't want it to fall. If it does, the brake line could be ruined. Also, look in the packaging of your new brake pads. If you did not receive new shims, which are thin metal plates that attach to the pads, you must retrieve the old shims from the old pads.

Step 6

Hold an old pad between the piston, which is on the inside of the caliper, and your C-clamp. Tighten the C-clamp until it's tight against the old pad and continue tightening the clamp. This pressure will push the piston back into the body of the caliper, allowing you to fit the new, thicker pads onto the caliper and rotor.

Step 7

Slide your new brake pads into place, checking to make sure that you've attached the shims. Once the pads are installed correctly, you can replace the caliper on the rotor and tighten the top and bottom bolts.

Step 8

Replace your wheel and tighten the lugs. Go to the other side and replace those pads in the same manner. When you're done, check the brake fluid in the master cylinder. If it looks low, add fluid until it's full. When starting your Accord for the first time after changing the brakes, you want to pump the brake pedal to increase the pressure in the lines.

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