Kevin and I got all geared up to change the front pads and rotors on my Cavalier this weekend. Since I was jacking the car up and I was close to my 135K oil change we did that as well.
Things went really well for a bunch of novices. Labour took probably 4 times as long as a brake shop, but it’s fun to get in there with a wrench and have a go. We’ll only get better. The big problem of the day was when we were missing the 3/4″ hex socket to get the caliper pins off so a quick trip to Canadian Tire was in order.
What wasn’t very good to see was that my pads wearing unevenly. Which means the caliper pins were seized – they were pretty hard to turn through the bushings but they moved. I cleaned and lubed them up and along with the bushings in the caliper itself and hopefully these new ceramic pads will wear better.
I decided to replace the rotors instead of machining the OEM ones again. They’ve been machined 3 times now and warp every pad change (40-50K km). But I think they warped even more this time because of the uneven pad pressure, just the piston was pushing outward on the rotor with a single pad instead of both pads grabbing the rotor.
The next front brake job I’ll have to replace the calipers since it’s about the same cost as rebuilding them on the Cavalier.
But up next in the home mechanic maintenance is trying to figure out the rear shoes and drums, then doing a brake fluid flush.