Brake Pad and Rotor Replacement - Front FWD

Step by step guide on how to replace front brake pads on a front wheel drive car. This repair was performed on a 2000-2007 Saturn Vue and pertains to most front wheel drive vehicles.

Difficulty Scale: 4 of 10

Tools and Supplies Needed

  • Socket set
  • Wrench set
  • Shop towels
  • Screw driver set
  • Large "C" clamp or channel locks
  • Brake fluid
  • Jack stands
  • Hydraulic floor jack
  • Breaker bar or lug wrench
Begin with the vehicle on level ground, emergency brake set and front of vehicle lifted in the air safely using jack stands.

Step 1 - After the car has been lifted, remove the wheel cover plastic nuts or hub cap.

Removing Lug Nut Cover or Hubcap

Step 2 - Remove lug nut with lug wrench or breaker bar. Shown with air tool. (Note: Loosen lugs on ground if no air toll are used.)

Removing Lug Buts

Step 3 - After all lug nuts have been removed, grasp the tire with both hands and lift off.

Lifting Wheel from Axle Studs


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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Article first published (Updated 2015-01-03)