Repair & Maintenance

14 Steps to a Complete Brake Job


Investigating your vehicle’s brake system

We've all heard the phrase “complete brake job.” But what is involved with a complete brake job? Is it getting new brake pads? Or is it getting the rotors replaced? When you understand the steps in this common repair job, you'll be able to better understand and converse with your mechanic.

When you take your vehicle to a reputable mechanic for a complete brake job, the first important step is a thorough examination of your vehicle's brake system.


Replace any cracked, chaffed, swollen, or leaking hoses


Change steel lines that are leaking kinked, badly corroded or damaged


Rebuild or replace a leaking caliper or wheel cylinder


Replace caliper if it has a seized piston or guide pins (look for uneven pad wear)


Check for master cylinder leaks or a brake pedal that sinks to the floor


Inspect rotors and drums and measure for wear, heat cracks, warping, rust or other damage; replace if there is any irresparable damage


Change the brake hardware when replacing brake pads or shoes


Replace shoe retaining clips and return springs on drum brakes


Replace self-adjusters if they are corroded or frozen


Service wheel bearings on most rear-wheel drive vehicles and some front-wheel drive cars


Lubricate key areas like shoe pads and caliper slides with high temperature brake lubricant


Check brake fluid, flush the brake fluid and bleed all the lines if needed


Examine, and then adjust the parking brake


Resolve any ABS system fault codes or replace any faulty components like wheel speed sensors, accumulator or hydraulic modulator

Once your mechanic has gone through these steps and has returned your vehicle to you, you can rest assured that your brake system is in top working order. When you press down on the brake pedal, your car will stop just as you expect it to.


Learn more about quality brake parts, find your car part, or find a local car repair shop today.

The content contained in this article is for entertainment and informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.