Garage Files: How to Check and Replace Your Brake Pads




Garage-66-Next, we’re going to remove the retention pin to free the pads. Our Avid X0 Trail brakes use a 3-millimeter Allen. Simply unthread it to remove it and then set it aside with the safety clip.

Garage-77-Now we can remove the old pads. Some pads will come out easily by hand. Our pads were so cooked and full of brake dust that they required needle-nose pliers to remove them.

Garage-88-Brake-pad sets come in three pieces. There are the two pads and the H-spring that goes in the middle of them. The H-spring helps the pads retract when the brake is released.

Garage-99-On the left you can see one of the worn-out pads we’re replacing. On the right is one of the new ones. Notice the difference in thickness?

Garage-10b10-Brake pads are made of two parts—the pad material and the backing plate. Pads should be replaced when the pad material thickness wears to less than 1 millimeter, or preferably sooner. Letting pads wear more than this puts you at risk of damaging the rotor or caliper, not to mention puts you at higher risk for brake failure. You can check this measurement using a caliper like so.


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