Is Replacing Your Own Brakes Worth It?

Squeaking, failing brakes are inconvenient and dangerous for any vehicle. When it comes time to replace your brakes, you may be considering replacing your own brakes. Whether you’ve received sticker shock from a recent brake job quote or you’re looking for an excuse to flex your DIY muscles, find out today if replacing your own brakes is a worthwhile project or one that’s best left to the professionals.

Extent of Replacement Project

One major factor is the scope of the project. More often than not, a brake replacement project only requires a new set of brake pads. Swapping out brake pads can be a reasonable project to tackle on your own.

However, some replacement projects require new brake rotors and calipers. If your calipers are rusty, broken or bent, this repair or replacement project can be time-consuming and more difficult than more DIYers are willing to handle.

Available Time and Work Space

Another factor to consider is the time commitment. Swapping out brake pads may only take an hour or two, but a complete brake job could take all day. How much time are you willing to invest in your brake replacement project? Inspect your brakes and try to determine the extent of the damage. Look for signs of rust and corrosion on your brake rotors and signs of sticking, bent or broken calipers.

Replacing your own brakes requires ample space to lift your vehicle, remove its wheels and inspect the brakes. Check out your toolkit and workspace to determine whether your home garage is prepared for this project. Thankfully, there are tool loan programs at leading auto parts stores to assist you in gathering the necessary tools and equipment for this project.

Make and Model of Vehicle

Some makes and models of vehicles are far more expensive and difficult to install than others, so receive a quote for your exact brake pads before choosing the DIY route. For example, European vehicles typically use more costly replacement parts than Japanese and domestic vehicles. The exact brake layout can change as well, which can affect the time commitment.

Experience Level

Replacing your own brakes is an intermediately difficult DIY project. If you’re experienced in changing your own oil, rotating tires and other auto maintenance tasks, you shouldn’t have any issues changing brake pads. As a first-time auto repair project, however, there may be a significant learning curve.

Quality of Parts

As you shop for brake pads, rotors and calipers, you’ll quickly realize there are many levels of quality. While most expensive, premium brake pads tend to last longer and are typically easier to install. If you’re replacing your own brakes, consider investing in high-end brake pads to enjoy a more convenient replacement project.

Whether you’re prepared to tackle this maintenance task on your own or you’ve decided to leave it to the professionals, use a free VIN lookup online to find the exact brake pads and other replacement parts you need. Save time and money by shopping for an exact match or an aftermarket option that is designed to last longer and provide more efficient braking power.

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