How To Change Honda Civic Brakes

How To Change Honda Civic Brakes


You hear the familiar scraping sounds coming from your front wheels as you depress the brakes, the shudder of your rotors, telling you you need new brakes. Over time your brake pads will become worn and unusable, and the scraping sounds you hear when pressing on the brakes are from the caliper or the brake pad clips grinding into your rotor.

Today we’ll be changing the brakes in a 1998 Honda Civic EX, and replacing them with Centric units. The part number for the front rotors is Centric 120.40023, for a set of Centric Carbon Alloy rotors. The part number for the front brake pad set is 104.02730 and this Centric brake pad set is from their Posi-Quiet Metallic lineup.

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Learning how to change Honda Civic brakes is an easy process, the tools you will need are a 17mm, 19mm, 14mm and 12mm sockets, an impact screwdriver, along with a caliper tool to open the caliper.  To begin, jack up the front of the vehicle and secure it safely before proceeding. Need help on how to secure your Honda Civic? Check our How to Use a Automotive Jack Guide here.


Remove the front wheels to expose your brake system and take a look at your front brakes. You will be removing the pads and rotors, so make sure you have your tools ready.


With your front wheels removed you can now see your brakes, get your 12mm socket ready to undo the caliper bolt located on the bottom of the wheel hub.


Look on the back of your brake caliper to locate the 12mm bolt at the bottom of the caliper, this bolt must be removed.


Undo this 12mm bolt and set this to the side, your caliper should now be able to swing up and open. Lift up on the caliper to swivel it upwards and clear your old brake pads.


Remove your old brake pads and brake pad clips, if the brake pad set your purchased came with new mounting clips or hardware, now is the time to get those ready.


Now with the brake pads removed, let’s grab your impact screwdriver and remove the screws from the rotor.


Carefully remove these set screws using your impact screwdriver, if you do not have an impact screwdriver either rent one or purchase one for this job. Do not try and attempt to remove these screws using any other method, as you can strip these screws and get yourself into trouble.

Halfway through our How To Change Honda Civic Brakes Guide, you will now be undoing the brake line using the 10mm socket. This brake line will allow you to safely and gently remove the caliper and place it on top of the rotor. Do not pull, stretch, bend or otherwise subject this rubber brake line to any stress. Doing so may compromise your braking ability and the your safety along with the safety of your passengers.


With these screws removed, grab your 17mm socket and undo the two main mounting bolts that run through your brake caliper and the hub assembly. These 17mm bolts are on the back of the hub assembly, and have to be removed for your rotor to come off.



With the caliper removed, gently and carefully place your caliper on top of your rotor as shown. Make sure it does not fall or cause any stress to the rubber brake line. Remove the old rotor and set to the side, open your Centric box and remove your new rotors.


Slide on the new brake rotors and use the impact screwdriver to reinstall the set screws. Make sure they are flush with the rotor and do not protrude into your brake pade, or you’ll be doing this job again very shortly.

Remount the calipers after your new rotors are installed, and you can now use the brake caliper opener to gently push open the caliper piston. Make sure you do not touch or cut into the brake caliper piston boots, which can contaminate your calipers and hydraulic brake system.

With the calipers opened up, slide in your new brake pads and hardware, at which point you should be ready to slide down the caliper over the new rotor.


Spray off the brake rotor with brake clean and tighten the 12mm bolt that holds the caliper on place. Reattach your brake line to the upper control arm and you are now ready to put your wheels back on and attack the other side.

Congratulations you have now completed our How To Change Honda Civic Brakes article, for more on your Honda Civic, check out some of the related articles below!

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  1. […] With the vehicle stopped but engine started slowly apply steady pressure to your brake pedal. Note the feel of the pedal and if it feels spongy or overly responsive. This can be a sign of air trapped in your brake lines and in your hydraulic system. You should bleed your brakes to restore the braking system to normal operating standards. If you don’t know how check our guides here and here. […]