Skip to content

Quality time with the parental unit while changing the brakes on my car

I'm not mechanically inclined, so it was an interesting challenge indeed
Arron Pickard (File)

I’m no mechanic.

In fact, I have a very basic knowledge of vehicle mechanics. I can change a flat tire, wiper blades, and I know where fluids go when they are getting low.

Anything more than that, and I take it to a garage. After all, that’s their specialty, right?

Recently, when I had my winter tires changed over to summer tires, they told me I needed new brakes all around.

My father, on the other hand, is a mechanic and can do just about anything. When I told him about it, he told me to buy the parts and we would change the brakes ourselves.

Doing the work ourselves would cut the costs by two-thirds, so I figured why not, I’ve never done this before, it will be a good learning experience.

So, on a warm Saturday morning, we set out to change the brakes on all four tires.

The first tire proved to be challenging because I didn’t know what I was doing.

I also remembered why my old man never worked much on his own vehicles. All patience goes out the door when he’s working on his own vehicles, and working on my brakes was no exception. Let’s just say a few choice phrases were repeated, but we all deal with stress in our own ways, right?

Brake jobs are actually easier than I had anticipated. I think everyone should have a rudimentary knowledge of auto mechanics. I know my own daughter will be shown how to change a tire and wiper blades, hopefully more than that, but at least she will know what to do in those situations.

The only real problem I encountered changing my brakes was with the two calipers on the back tires. We were unable to change the brake pads on those tires, but we did get new rotors installed.

Have you seen the price of calipers? They are expensive, and then there’s a “core” charge on top of it, sort of a deposit, and you get reimbursed when you bring back your old calipers. Some of the metal can be refurbished, I guess.

The brakes are much better now, it was a great learning experience, and despite the foul language (plenty of it came from me, too) it was a fun thing to do with my parental unit.