how to lubricate brake pads

How to Lubricate Brake Pads? Full Process Explained

Lubrication is a vital practice to maintain the good condition of your brake pads. However, you should have adequate knowledge regarding the correct method of lubrication, especially since the location where the lubricant is applied is a key factor in this procedure.

If you make a mistake, it can affect the overall performance of your brake pads, so join this discussion to learn the correct process of greasing brake pads. Besides, you will be able to find out other critical factors, such as the frequency of lubricating brake pads, from this blog post.

Why is it Important to Lubricate Brake Pads?

It is highly important to lubricate brake pads at the right time in order to enhance their performance and lifespan. Check the full list of reasons below. 

  • One of the main reasons to lubricate brake pads is to minimize brake noise. Without proper brake pads lubrication, brakes can emit squeaking or squealing sounds due to metal-on-metal contact or vibration.
  • Lubrication of brake pads allows the brake components, particularly the caliper sliders and pads, to move freely. This freedom of movement is essential for the brake system to function correctly.
  • Proper lubrication reduces wear and tear on the brake components. This can extend the lifespan of the brake pads and calipers, so you can save money on replacements and repairs.
  • When you grease brake pads, the entire components of the braking system operate more efficiently. This ensures that the brakes respond promptly and effectively when applied.
  • Brake lubricants often contain properties that protect against rust and corrosion, which can be caused by exposure to moisture and road salts.

How to Lubricate Brake Pads?

In order to lubricate the brake pads, you need to choose a good-quality lubricant and apply it to the correct points. Lubricating brake pads is an important part of brake maintenance that can help reduce noise and ensure smooth operation. Here’s a straightforward guide on how to do it:

1st Step

Before you start, make sure your vehicle is parked on a flat surface and the parking brake is engaged. If you’re going to lift the vehicle, you can use jack stands for safety.

2nd Step

Next, loosen the lug nuts of the wheel and lift the car using a jack. Remove the wheel to access the brake caliper and pads.

3rd Step

Then, locate the brake pads. The brake pads are located within the brake caliper. You’ll see them clamping onto the brake disc (rotor).

4th Step

Then, use a brake cleaner spray to clean the brake caliper and the area around the brake pads. This helps remove any dirt or debris, so do not skip this step.

5th Step

Do not apply lubricant directly to the friction surface of the brake pads. Instead, lubricate the contact points where the brake pad backing plate meets the caliper and where the caliper slides.

6th Step

Use a high-quality brake lubricant (not regular grease) to lightly coat these points. Be careful to apply it sparingly and avoid getting any lubricant on the rotor or the friction part of the pads.

7th Step

Once you finish lubricating the brake pads, you can reassemble the brake components in the reverse order that you took them apart. Make sure everything is securely fastened.

8th Step

After reassembling, lower the car and tighten the lug nuts. Before driving, gently press the brake pedal a few times to ensure that the brake system is working properly.

How often do you lubricate brake pads?

In general, you can lubricate brake pads once every year. It would be better to lubricate brake pads as a part of regular brake maintenance, typically every time you change or service your brake pads.

This usually coincides with a brake pad change, which can vary depending on driving habits but generally occurs every 20,000 to 50,000 miles. However, if you start to hear squeaking or squealing noises from your brakes or if the vehicle is pulling to one side during braking, it may indicate a need for earlier lubrication.

It’s always good to inspect and potentially lubricate the brake components during routine tire rotations or oil changes, ensuring consistent and safe braking performance.

Are Brake Lubricant and Brake Grease the Same?

No, brake lubricant and brake grease are not exactly the same, although they serve similar purposes in maintaining brake components. The key differences lie in their formulation and specific applications. Let’s identify their roles separately. 

Brake Lubricant: This is typically a high-temperature, synthetic lubricant designed specifically for brake system components that experience extreme heat. It’s used on parts like caliper slide pins and the contact points between the brake pads and the caliper. Brake lubricants are formulated to withstand the high temperatures generated during braking without breaking down or causing rubber components to degrade.

Brake Grease: Brake grease is also used in brake systems but is often a more general-purpose grease that can be applied to a broader range of components. It’s thicker than regular lubricants and is used in areas that require more substantial protection and lubrication, such as the back of brake pads to prevent vibration and noise or on other brake components that don’t experience as much direct heat.


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