Replacing the front brakes on a 2002 Hyundai Accent is a pretty straightforward job that takes about an hour and requires only basic hand tools.
However, since the brakes are the most important safety system on your car, if you're not comfortable with auto repair, you should leave it to a professional mechanic.
So here's how to replace the front brakes on a 2002 Hyundai Accent.
First, make sure the car's in gear, the parking brake is set, and the rear wheel is blocked. I blocked mine with a brick and a dumbbell.
I started with the right side. Turn the wheel all the way to the right to make it easier to access the brake caliper bolts. Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheel just a little. It's easier to break them loose now than when the car's on the jack. I used a Craftsman ratchet and Snap-on socket instead of a lug wrench, because it's easier.
Find your car's jacking point (the reinforced part under the rocker panel) and jack up the car. For safety, you should also support the car with jackstands. Then finish removing the wheel.
Here's a "before" photo of the brake rotor on my 2002 Hyundai accent. It's done its job, certainly.
This photo shows the deterioration to a Hyundai brake rotor after probably 50,000 miles.
The inspection hole in the caliper shows how worn the brake pad is. Very.
Start by removing the caliper bolt. On my 2002 Hyundai Accent, the bolt on the right caliper is 13mm, and the bolt on the left caliper is 12mm. I don't know why. I used a 13mm GearWrench combination wrench instead of a socket because I don't want to apply too much torque to this bolt.
The top of the caliper pivots on a shaft, and the entire caliper comes off, revealing the heavily worn rotor and pads.
If I was just replacing the brake pads on my 2002 Hyundai Accent (or "doing a pad slap," in mechanic's lingo), I wouldn't have to remove the caliper bracket. But I'm not, so I do. There are two 17mm bolts that hold the bracket in place. Like the caliper bolt, I used a wrench on these to avoid excess torque. But I did have to use a big Craftsman ratchet and Snap-on 17mm socket to break the bolts free.
Here are the old brake pads after I removed them from the caliper bracket.
The old caliper was a little stuck so I tapped it with a hammer.
I had initially gone to AutoZone to buy my new brake pads and rotors, but just as I was about to pay, I remembered that I had a coupon at home. It turned out that the coupon was for Advance Auto Parts, so I bought the parts there instead. I prefer Autozone, but I saved five bucks. Wearever brake parts are probably just as good as Duralast.
Here's the new brake rotor for my 2002 Hyundai Accent. I think the old rusty one looks cooler.
I used a 17mm Craftsman Professional wrench to install the caliper bracket. It probably would have been easier to use a GearWrench, but this was what I had in my tool bag. And I like it better. It's a nice wrench.
The brake pads slide into the caliper bracket.
As the old brake pads wear, the caliper's piston extends. Before I could reinstall the caliper, I had to compress the piston. I did this with a big C-clamp, and I forgot to take photos. Sorry. Google it. Before I compressed the piston, I took the cap off of the brake fluid reservoir to release pressure.
"Disc brake quiet" is a sticky goop that prevents high-frequency vibrations that cause squealing during braking by effectively "gluing" the pads to the caliper. I usually use it when I replace disc brake pads.
The caliper was catching on the pad clip, so I used a little screwdriver to pry up the clip a bit.
At this point I was almost done replacing the front brakes on my 2002 Hyundai accent. I used the 13mm GearWrench to install and tighten the caliper bolt. I'm sure there's a correct torque setting for this bolt, but "as much torque as I can comfortably apply with a 13mm wrench by hand" seems to do the trick.
I installed the wheel and tightened the lug nuts with the Craftsman ratchet and a Snap-On socket. Your car will come with a lug wrench but this makes it a lot easier. Then I lowered the jack and finished tightening the lug nuts. Be careful, because apparently if you over-tighten the lugs, you can warp the rotor.
The process on the other side of the car is the same, unless the wheel on that side is rusted to the hub, like mine was, in which case you'll need to figure out how to remove it. First I sprayed the center of the wheel with PB Blaster. That didn't work, so I laid on the driveway and kicked the tire with my heel, which usually works. Not this time. Then I hit the wheel with a hammer, making sure not to mar the threads on the wheel studs. Finally I used the hammer to drive a Snap-On pry bar between the wheel and the rotor, and the wheel came off.
Replacing the left front brake on my 2002 Hyundai Accent was a little different than the right side, because the left rotor was held in place with a screw, which I removed with a large Craftsman screwdriver , and the caliper bolt is 12mm instead of 13mm. Otherwise the process was the same.
I decided that since the left side had a screw, the right side needed one too, so I installed two, from my plastic tub of screws 'n stuff.
Finally I checked the brake fluid level, which was fine. I put the cap back on afterward, of course. Then I started the car and pumped the brake pedal several times to build pressure to the calipers. If you don't do this, the brakes won't work at first and you'll drive through the back wall of your garage. After that I took a slow test drive up and down my street to make sure everything was working properly.
So that's how to replace the front brakes on a 2002 Hyundai Accent. And here's a list of the tools I used: