How to Replace the Front Brakes on a Buick

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Replacing worn out or damaged brake pads on your Buick is critical for proper brake system operation. This is a straightforward and simple procedure on the front tires of your car. However, careful handling of brake components is necessary to prevent damage to the system and trouble with your car brakes on the road. A brake hose connects to the brake caliper. Be careful not to damage this hose or you will end up with a brake fluid leak.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean turkey baster
  • Container
  • Lug wrench
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Chocks
  • Large C-clamp
  • Torx-bit socket
  • Ratchet
  • Piece of wire
  • Brake parts cleaner spray
  • Lint-free cloth or towel
  • Wooden or plastic tool (if necessary)
  • New brake fluid (if necessary)

Removing the Brake Pads

  • Park your Buick on a level surface and shift the transmission to Neutral.

  • Open the hood and draw enough brake fluid from the master cylinder reservoir to bring the level down midway between the Full and Add marks if necessary. Use a new or clean turkey baster and a proper container. Then replace the reservoir cap but do not tighten.

  • Loosen the wheel lug nuts on both front tires using a lug wrench.

  • Raise the front of your vehicle using a floor jack and support it on jack stands.

  • Secure the rear wheels with chocks.

  • Finish removing the front wheel/tire assemblies.

  • Reinstall two wheel lug nuts, hand tight, on the hub assembly you will be working on first. This will prevent the rotor from sliding off the hub.

  • Force the brake caliper piston partially into its bore using a large C-clamp, just enough to allow it to clear the rotor when removing the caliper.

  • Unscrew and remove the lower caliper pin bolt using a Torx bit socket and ratchet.

  • Rotate the brake caliper upwards and secure it to the coil spring with a piece of wire.

  • Remove the inner brake pad from the brake caliper bracket and place it against the caliper piston.

  • Seat the caliper piston into its bore with the large C-clamp by pushing the inner pad with the clamp screw. Then remove the inner pad from the caliper.

  • Remove the outer brake pad and brake pad retainers from the brake caliper bracket.

Installing the Brake Pads

  • Clean the brake assembly of brake dust using brake parts cleaner spray and a clean, lint-free cloth or towel.

  • Install the brake pad retainers on the caliper bracket.

  • Inspect the boot around the caliper piston and make sure it is laying flat. If necessary, use a blunt plastic stick or suitable tool to set the inner edge of the boot flat while avoiding damage to the boot.

  • Set the new brake pads on the brake caliper bracket.

  • Untie the brake caliper and rotate it back into position over the brake pads and bracket.

  • Start the caliper lower-pin bolt by hand. Then tighten it with the Torx bit socket and ratchet.

  • Climb in behind the steering wheel and depress the brake pedal only about 2/3 of its normal travel distance. Release the pedal and wait for about 15 seconds before depressing the pedal again. Repeat this procedure until you feel a firm brake pedal.

  • Remove the two wheel lug nuts from the brake assembly.

  • Replace the brake pads on the other front wheel starting with Step 7, from the previous section, through Step 8 of this section.

  • Reinstall the wheel/tire assemblies.

  • Lower the vehicle and remove the chocks.

  • Add new brake fluid to the master cylinder reservoir to bring the level up to the Full mark if necessary. Then tighten the cap.

References

  • "Buick, Oldsmobile & Pontiac Full-size models 1985 through 2005: Front-wheel drive (Haynes Repair Manual);" Max Haynes, Mike Stubblefield and John H. Haynes; 2007
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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