Can you change your own brakes in Canada?July 15, 2021
Can you change your own brakes in Canada or do you need to hire a mechanic?
You might have received a hefty quote from your mechanic to install new brakes and now are wondering if you can do them yourself at home and save on all the labour costs.
Is it legal to do my own brakes in Canada?
In Canada, you need to be a licensed mechanic to work on people's vehicles. If you do your own brakes and then end up in a collision linked to a faulty DIY brake job, you can be liable for damages to everyone involved in the collision. However, you are definitely allowed to do repairs on your own vehicle as it is your property.
Advantages of changing your own brakes
If you are a car aficionado and love getting dirty in the motor oil on the weekend, you can totally replace your brake pads and even rotors from home. The key is to get the right parts for your exact make and model of car. We wouldn’t recommend changing your brake lines at home as that gets quite complicated. Any brake work is also more complex than an oil change so you will need a slew of special tools. If you are just starting out, consider shadowing an experienced mechanic and doing plenty of research before getting your car up on the hoist.
Disadvantages of changing your own brakes
While you can save thousands on labour in the long run by not hiring a mechanic, you are risking your safety and the safety of all your passengers when you DIY your brakes. You won’t have access to the same professional tools an auto shop will use and it often takes multiple tries to order the right parts for your brakes.
Hiring a mechanic
A mechanic is a licensed and trained professional that will have all the right tools and know exactly what parts your vehicle needs. To save yourself from upselling and unnecessary costs, find an independent local mechanic your friends and family trust, read Google reviews and avoid going to the dealer or chain shops unless you have a warranty that covers certain services. Also be aware that some mechanics may be less expensive but might also operate without a license, which is illegal in Canada.
In short, do your own brakes in Canada at your own risk and make sure you are being as safe as possible. Fun fact, you can rent a bunch of tools from Canadian Tire and Home Depot or even borrow them for free.