How to Replace a Caliper in an Oldsmobile Alero


With Oldsmobiles out of production, finding parts for an Alero can be hard. If you need to replace a brake caliper on your Alero, take it to your mechanic and find out what compatible parts will work with it (like the Pontiac Grand Am). Study as much as you can about this type of service before taking it on yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Allen/socket wrench
  • Tire iron
  • Jack
  • Oil/fluid pan
  • Fresh brake fluid
  • Caliper for Alero
  • Replacement washers
  • Small rubber piece
  • Brake pads
  • C-clamp

Removing the Old Caliper

  • Raise and secure the car on a jack stand. Drain two-thirds of the brake fluid from the master cylinder. Remove the tire and wheel to reach the caliper you need.

  • Disconnect the brake hose from the caliper by removing the fitting bolt. Discard the washers on the bolt. Plug the hose with a piece of rubber to prevent contaminating the brake fluid.

  • Remove the caliper mounting bolts and inspect their condition. They may need to be replaced, too. Lift and remove the caliper from the knuckle.

  • Take the brake pads off the caliper. They should probably be replaced as well.

  • Inspect the caliper support. Check for rust and corrosion that will hinder the caliper's travel.

Installing a New Caliper

  • Attach new brake pads to the replacement caliper. Install the caliper onto the steering knuckle. Connect the mounting bolts and torque them to about 23 foot pounds for the front calipers, 40 foot pounds for the rear.

  • Connect the brake hose to the caliper, using new copper washers with the mounting bolt. Torque the bolt to 35 foot pounds to 37 foot pounds.

  • Refill the master cylinder. Bleed the brake system by opening the bleeder valve and having an assistant press the brake pedal to remove air from the system.

  • Reinstall the wheel assembly and lower the car. Test the brakes' firmness and operation, first while stopped and then on the road.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure the replacement caliper's piston is bottomed in the bore. If not, compress it in there with a C-clamp.
  • Don't dry clean any brake parts, as they may contain asbestos. Run a mist of water over any brake parts, wipe them with a damp cloth. Dispose of the cloth in an airtight container.

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