How To Change Chevy Cavalier Brakes & Rotors

Brake disc

A good braking system of a vehicle is crucial as even a minor problem can pose a safety concern for the driver and everyone around the vehicle. As time passes, there are wear and tear items of the brake system that should be maintained on a regular basis. One of these wear and tear items would be the brake and rotor pads. You should always check on the braking pads of your vehicle and if it is 1/8 of an inch thick, then you are long overdue for a brake pad replacement.

  • Preparing to take out the wheels. Before raising the vehicle to release the tires, you need to work loose the nut first while it is still on the ground. Keep in mind to only loosen the nuts; do not remove the nuts yet while the wheels are still on the ground. Make certain that the vehicle is either in park or first gear depending on the transmission of your vehicle.
  • Raising the vehicle. Locate the jack spot at the front end of your vehicle; it should be within the area behind the vehicle’s radiator. Use the jack there to raise the front end of your vehicle.
  • Secure the vehicle. Now that the front end of your vehicle is raised, you need to insert two stands on both sides in front of your vehicle. It should be placed beneath the dash weld in front of your vehicle. When the stands are in position, slowly lower the vehicle and make certain that the vehicle is stable once it has set on the stands. Now that the vehicle is secured, you may now work loose all of the nuts and take the wheels off from the vehicle.
  • Brake rotors. Now that you can see the disc brake assembly, unlock the bolts of the brake calipers both on top and at the bottom. Now temporarily fasten the calipers with a tie wire or zip ties on the coil springs. This will allow you do your maintenance more freely. Now slip the brake rotors out of your hub assembly. There may be a need for you to apply a gentle hammering from the rear of the assembly to discharge some of the accumulated rust and corrosion. With the replacement brake rotors, install it on top of the brake assembly.
  • Replacement preparation. Slip the old pads out of your hub assembly. With the old pads placed at against the caliper piston, carefully squeeze the piston towards the caliper. Make certain that the boot of the piston folds naturally and straight back to the caliper.
  • Brake Pads. With the replacement brake pads, slide it back to the calipers and make certain that the correct point of reference is observed for each brake pad. Make sure you have the correct pad for that specific assembly as these pads are directional and can fit only in a specific path. Once these pads are secured, you may cut the tie wires from the coil springs and slot in the calipers over the rotors. Set it in place and tighten the bolts of the calipers.
  • As it was. Replacement of the brake rotors and disc pads is now over. The final step is to set the tires back and tighten all the nuts. Always remember when securing the nut, you need to follow the cross pattern to be assured of the tire stability. Before driving off into the sunset, you may have to press the brake pedals a couple of times before the brake system normalize and the correct pressure returns.

The brake system is an integral part of your vehicle. You have the option to do the maintenance repairs yourself to make certain that the system would function properly. However, if you are not familiar with the brake system maintenance specifically the replacement of the brake pads or brake rotors, it may be best to have it done through the dealership. This is not a good first time, do-it-yourself project for you and your vehicle.


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