Yesterday Cami’s brother replaced my worn out catalytic converter. It runs quietly now, and I won’t be getting as many strange looks. That’s a good thing.
I’ve been worried about the brakes. They haven’t been squealing constantly, but I wanted to make sure the car is ready for whatever cross-country jaunts I might have to take. Three days to North Carolina will be challenging enough. I don’t want car trouble.
Replacing brake pads is something I’ve done before. I had the new brake pads ready to go. I got my tools ready. The first problem I encountered was getting the right wheel off. I removed the six lug nuts, but the wheel was frozen in place. Five minute into it and the car already has me in a submission hold! Fifteen good whacks later, from a stout piece of wood, and the wheel breaks free. The next challenge was removing the two bolts that anchor the brake caliper (the thing that holds the brake pads). They wouldn’t budge. I used a heavy wrench to beat on the handle of the socket wrench. No joy. I found my little sledge hammer. BANG BANG BANG! Nope. I found my WD-40 and shot a few short bursts onto the head of one of the bolts and then it stopped spraying. I wasn’t able to spray the second bolt. LAME!
So, I kept working on the first bolt until finally it started to move. Little by little I was able to make it turn. It started moving freely, and I removed it. I kept messing with the can of WD-40 until I got it to spray again – this time on the second bolt. A few minutes later, with a lot of muscle applied and a hammer, I was able to get the second bolt free.
From that point it was easy. I removed the old pads. Then I used a clamp to compress the piston on the caliper. The new pads fit nicely, and I soon had the caliper bolted on and the lug nuts retightened.
The second wheel was even harder to remove. I probably hit the tire 50 times with the big piece of wood before it finally came loose. But, the caliper was much easier to get loose. I had sprayed both heads with WD-40 and waited several minutes. They came off fairly quickly.
So, I’ve got my sweet ride ready to roll. Now I just need to make an appointment for the inspection.