Can You Replace Your Own Car Brakes?

car brake change

If you want the short answer, it’s a resounding yes. Handy DIY hobbyists and professional mechanics often perform their own brake work. For most vehicles, simple pad replacement is something anyone can pick up if they have the right tools, and with a little experience and the right resources, many people eventually learn to replace any parts in the brake system they need. Of course, sometimes it’s more convenient to let someone else get you back on the road quickly.

If you’re trying to decide whether this brake job is one to do yourself, you need to know the average brake job quote includes between $115 and $270 for labor. If it’s better to save that money, look into handling your own brakes. Especially since you have control over the cost of parts then, so you can often save a little more there if you shop smart. See Also: Porsche Design Tower Miami

What Parts To Buy

There are three basic components to the brakes that you may need to replace when doing a brake job at home. If you have a well-maintained vehicle that gets replacement pads on time, you may only need new brake pads. Often, drivers find they also need to replace the rotors, the calipers, or both as part of a basic brake replacement.

Even if you maintain your vehicle well, it’s likely that when doing your own brakes regularly you will eventually need this fix. That’s because the calipers and rotors do a lot of work at high heat and with considerable forces at play when they stop your car. While they are built to last longer than pads on average, it’s still common for them to be replaced a couple of times over the life of a vehicle. A brake inspection helps you understand whether you need to replace everything, so make sure you wait until after you inspect your own brake system to buy parts.

Performance or OEM?

One of the big questions to ask is whether you want to save a little money on OEM parts or invest in a performance brake setup. There are good reasons to choose either. As well, if you find a good deal on pads, you may be able to get the performance set you like at close to the price a garage would put on your OEM parts after their markup. With the labor savings in your pocket already, that’s an attractive idea for a lot of folks. Here are a few other points to consider:

  • OEM parts are often the least expensive option, and they are built to the same specs as the original brakes.
  • Performance parts use upgraded designs and materials, so they can last longer and wind up cheaper per mile.
  • Performance parts often perform better under adverse conditions because they are designed and tested for it.
  • OEM parts may be available from multiple contractors, sometimes at multiple price points.

Consider all these options when you’re shopping, and don’t hesitate to ask for advice from the same friendly experts you visit when you need a free VIN lookup to help diagnose your check engine light. They can help you figure out the way forward that works for you.


In conclusion, the decision to replace your own car brakes depends on your level of expertise, comfort, and access to the necessary tools and resources. While it is possible for some individuals to successfully replace their car brakes, it is crucial to prioritize safety and ensure that the task is performed correctly.

If you have the knowledge and confidence to undertake the job, there are numerous resources available, such as instructional videos and manuals, to guide you through the process. However, if you are unsure or lack the necessary experience, it is advisable to seek professional assistance to guarantee the proper functioning of your brakes.

Remember, your safety on the road is of utmost importance. So, weigh your options, assess your capabilities, and make an informed decision that prioritizes your well-being. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to enjoy the crisp sounds coming from your car speakers as you embark on your next adventure.


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