Thursday, May 1, 2014

DIY Car Mechanic. I changed out my brakes.

My car-IMG_20131019_104120

When I bought my ekWagon last year after changing jobs, I knew the car was old and stuff would eventually need to be changed out but I thought I got all the big expensive things handled before buying the car like timing belt and other engine related things. I forgot about the second most important thing second to tires, my brakes. The front disc brakes and pads on my car were worn to nearly nothing and the discs looked like it would be better just to change them out completely without bothering with a resurfacing. Thank goodness my rear drum brakes were rebuilt and painted before I bought the car, I would’ve cried if they were all bad and I were sold a nice looking lemon. So I handled it all by myself.

Before- Crusty brakes with a hairs width of brake pad

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I got some price quotes for parts and labor and found it was far cheaper to just do everything myself. The parts alone saved me over a hundred bucks even if I were to resurface. I ended up picking up a front disc and pad set from Rakuten.com for under $80. So I just went all in and gave myself a crash course on auto repair though YouTube. I had already done some car work in the US with my old MR2, but I never did brake work before so I was a bit nervous.

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After closer inspection, I'm glad that I went ahead with the brake change but it wasn't easy. The rotor was stuck to the hub and the bolts on the caliper didn't come off easily. Thank god for rubber mallets and breaker bars.
I managed to scratch the front bumper of my car because I was wearing glasses and put my face on the bumper to give myself leverage to free a very stubborn bolt on the passenger side caliper. 

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Everything swapped out without a hitch outside of needing a breaker bar which set me back another 10 bucks. Even with the additional tools needed, most of which I bought at the 100 yen shop, I came out under 100 bucks and 2 hours. Not bad for a first time DIY job. But now I am totally cool with brake repair and my car is much, much safer to drive.

A HUGE difference-

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