Replacing a Warped or Worn Brake Disc

Using a jack to lift up a vehicle

A warped brake disc can make even short car trips very irritating. Every time you apply the brakes you think you're going to lose a filling. Thankfully, it's easy to replace your brake discs, and not at all expensive. Combine this repair with brake pad replacement and you've had a very productive car repair day!

Level of Difficulty: Novice

Tools You'll Need:

  • New Brake Discs
  • Jack and Jack Stands
  • Lug Wrench
  • Large Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Dead Blow Hammer
  • Open End or Ratchet Wrench Set
  • C-Clamp

Before you begin to work in the wheel area, be sure your car is safely supported on jack stands. Never work on your car while it is supported only by a scissor or other emergency tire-changing jack.

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Remove the Brake Caliper

Arrows indicate bolt location.
Remove these two bolts to remove the brake caliper. photo mw

The first step in brake disc replacement is removing the brake caliper. Remove the brake caliper just like you were replacing your brake pads. Once the caliper is unbolted hang it out of the way using a bungee cord or similar hanger. This is so you don't have to unbolt the brake line.

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Remove the Carrier

Remove the disc brake carrier.
The carrier is held on by two bolts on the back. photo mw

Once you've removed the brake caliper, you have to remove the structure that was holding the caliper and pads in place, called the carrier. Removing it is similar to removing the caliper -- two bolts on the back and it's off. Be sure to put all of the parts you remove in a safe place with the bolts that they go with.

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Unbolt the Brake Disc

These screws can be tough.
Use a large Phillips head to remove the brake disc screws. photo mw

With everything out of the way, you can finally start removing the old brake disc. Your disc is held in place by one or two set screws on the front. These may seem like nothing, but they can really be stuck in there.

Using a large Phillips head screwdriver, remove the bolt or bolts holding the brake disc in place.

Sometimes the screws will be stripped or otherwise damaged. In this case, you'll have to drill them out.

With the screws removed, slide the old brake disc off the hub. If it's stubborn, give it some taps with your dead blow hammer to loosen things up.

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Install the New Brake Disc

Shiny new brake disc, no more shimmy.
The new brake disc is in place. photo mw

With the old, stank disc off, you can slide your shiny new brake disc into place. Installation is the reverse of removal. Don't forget to replace the brake disc screws.