How to Replace the Brake Rotors on a Saturn L-300

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You can replace the brake rotors on a Saturn L-300 at home using a few common tools you might already own. Although the rotors are relatively accessible, you have to remove a few components to get to them. Still, you need to know how to remove these components to prevent damage to the brake system. You can perform this project in about an hour right in your garage and save on your Saturn L-300 maintenance budget.

Things You'll Need

  • Lug wrench
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stand
  • 3 wheel chocks
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Ratchet
  • Socket
  • Heavy wire
  • Thin Phillips screwdriver, if necessary
  • Torx bit
  • Brake parts cleaner
  • Lint-free paper towels
  • Torque wrench
  • Loctite 272 thread locker or equivalent
  • Hammer, if necessary

Removing the Brake Rotor

  • Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel assembly you are going to service using a lug wrench.

  • Lift the wheel/tire assembly off the ground you need to service using a floor jack and support the suspension with a jack stand under the frame. Block the rest of the wheels/tire assemblies with wheel chocks.

  • Remove the wheel assembly from the hub and rotor you are going to service.

  • Follow the brake hose connected to the brake caliper where it hooks to the strut. The caliper is the component with the brake pads and is mounted on one side over the brake rotor.

  • Pull off the locking plate that secures the caliper brake hose to the strut using a pair of needle-nose pliers and pull the brake hose off the strut clip router. If you are servicing a rear rotor, the brake hose is secured to the rear axle control arm with a single bolt that you can unfasten with a ratchet and socket.

  • Locate the two brake caliper mounting bolts behind the caliper and unfasten the caliper bolts with a ratchet and socket. Pull the caliper off the brake rotor and secure it to any suspension component with heavy wire to prevent damage to the brake hose. If you are servicing a rear rotor, first drive out the two pins on top of the caliper from the outside to the inside with a thin Phillips screwdriver. After removing the two pins, remove the spring on top of the brake pads inside the caliper and the two brake pads. Keep the pins and pads organized so that you reinstall the components in their original locations.

  • Unfasten and remove the single brake rotor mounting bolt from the front of the rotor using a Torx bit and a ratchet and remove the rotor from the hub assembly.

Installing the New Brake Rotor

  • Spray brake parts cleaner around the hub and brake assembly to wipe the assembly clean of brake dust and grease using lint-free paper towels. Also, spray the friction surfaces of the new brake rotor with brake parts cleaner and wipe it clean with lint-free paper towels to remove the protective film.

  • Place the new brake rotor in position on the hub assembly and tighten the rotor mounting bolt to 3 foot-pounds (4 Nm) using the Torx bit and a torque wrench.

  • Put the brake caliper in position over the brake rotor. Clean the two caliper mounting bolts with brake parts cleaner and apply Loctite 272 thread locker or equivalent to the bolts' threads and tighten the bolts to 70 foot-pounds (95 Nm) using the torque wrench and socket. If you are servicing a rear rotor, replace the brake pads, spring and drive in the two pins from the inside to the outside of the caliper with light taps using a hammer.

  • Secure the caliper brake hose to the strut installing the locking plate using the needle-nose pliers. If you are servicing a rear rotor, secure the brake hose to the rear axle control arm and tighten the bolt with the ratchet and socket.

  • Replace the wheel assembly and partially tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench. Repeat the brake pad replacement on the opposite wheel.

  • Lower the car using the floor jack and tighten the lug nuts to 46 foot-pounds (63 Nm) on the first pass and then to 92 foot-pounds (125 Nm) on the second pass, using the torque wrench and a socket.

References

  • "Saturn L-series Automotive Repair Manual"; Mike Stubblefield and John Harold Haynes; 2004
  • "Modern Automotive Technology"; James E. Duffy; 2003
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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