How to Replace a Caliper in a Pontiac Grand Am

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A Pontiac Grand Am's brake calipers, which hold the brake pads in place, are extremely important parts of the car. Replace them immediately if they are damaged in any way. This is not an easy task, and the help of an expert is highly recommended.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack
  • Tire iron
  • Allen/socket wrench
  • Replacement caliper
  • Brake pads
  • Caliper mounting bolts
  • Silicone grease
  • Replacement washers

Remove the Old Caliper

  • Reduce the level of brake fluid in the master cylinder to avoid possible overflow while working. Drain about two-thirds of the fluid.

  • Raise the car and remove the wheel. Make sure the jack stand is steady and secure before removing any parts.

  • Press the caliper's piston back within its bore so it will be easily removed. Use a pair of pliers or a C-clamp.

  • Separate the brake hose from the caliper. Disconnect the mounting bolt; you will need to replace the washers on it. Make sure no dirt gets into the brake line.

  • Remove the caliper's mounting bolts and inspect them for quality. You may need to replace them as well. The caliper should now easily come off the steering knuckle.

  • Take the brake pads off the old caliper. These will likely need to be replaced, too.

  • Check the condition of the caliper support. Look for rust and/or corrosion that could affect the caliper movement. This must be cleaned off if present.

Install the Replacement Caliper

  • Grease the mounting sleeves and bushings before installation. Silicone grease is recommended.

  • Attach the brake pads to the new caliper. Install the caliper onto the steering knuckle and connect the mounting bolts.

  • Connect the brake line to the caliper. Make sure you use new washers with the mounting bolt.

  • Fill the master cylinder with fresh brake fluid. Bleed the brake system of air by opening the bleeder valves and having another person press the brake pedal.

  • Install the wheel back on and lower the car. Test the brake pads for firmness before taking the car out on the road.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never clean brake parts with dry means like air or brushing. The dust may contain asbestos. Run water over the parts, wipe them with a damp rag and securely dispose of the rag.

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