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  • The brake pads are typically inside the brake calipers that surround the brake discs.
  • They slow down the rotors when the brake system is used.
  • Park your vehicle on a flat and even surface when accessing the brake pads to keep your vehicle from wobbling.

Q: Where Are Brake Pads Typically Located?

A: Brake pads are crucial components in a disc brake system. They’re usually inside the caliper that surrounds the brake disc.

In a disc brake, each rotor has two brake pads. If your vehicle uses disc brakes for both the front and rear wheels, you might have eight brake pads in total installed on your ride. A caliper attached to the wheel hub holds these pads in place and controls their movements.

Tips on How to Access the Brake Pads

image of a 2007 ford f 150 brake pads and caliper
This is a photo of a new set of brake pads in place before the caliper was reinstalled on a 2007 F-150. The part in which the pads are mounted is called the “caliper bracket,” which provides support for the pads as they pinch the rotor to slow the vehicle. | Image Source: Richard McCuistian

Before trying to access the brake pads, park your vehicle on a dry and flat surface. Otherwise, it might move or wobble while you’re accessing the brake pads. Put wheel chocks on the wheels you’re not working on for extra precaution.

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Here’s another tip: check the brake fluid level. If it’s full to the brim, you must remove some of the fluid to prevent spills when you compress the brake caliper piston.

The pistons extend as the pads wear, which makes adding more fluid necessary, and when you retract the pistons to make way for the new pads, the fluid is forced back into the master cylinder reservoir, which usually causes the reservoir to overflow. This isn’t really a big deal, but if you don’t want fluid dribbling all over the area under the master cylinder, remove some fluid first.

If you don’t want brake fluid dribbling all over the area under the master cylinder, remove some fluid first.

Richard McCuistian, ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician

Once you’re ready, you have to raise the vehicle with a hydraulic jack and remove the wheel. You’ll also have to remove certain bolts and the caliper to gain access to the brake pads.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Technical Reviewer at

Richard McCuistian has worked for nearly 50 years in the automotive field as a professional technician, an instructor, and a freelance automotive writer for Motor Age, ACtion magazine, Power Stroke Registry, and others. Richard is ASE certified for more than 30 years in 10 categories, including L1 Advanced Engine Performance and Light Vehicle Diesel.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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