How to Change Front Brake Pads and Rotors on a Buick Century and Similar Vehicles




Introduction: How to Change Front Brake Pads and Rotors on a Buick Century and Similar Vehicles

About: Known as 1ATony on the internet, I handle all of the marketing for 1A Auto Parts, a family owned national retailer of high quality auto parts. I've been in the automotive industry for the better part of my lif…
1A Auto shows you how to repair, fix, change or replace your own worn, squeaky, fading old front brake pads and rotors on a Buick Century. This video is similar for Buick Lesabre, Chevy Venture, Oldsmobile Intrigue and Silhouette, Pontiac Bonneville Grand Prix and Transport models. You'll first learn how to remove your existing front disc brake pads and then the rotor, and then install a new brake rotor and replacement brake pads.

To watch this repair being done, please watch the full video below:

Video Source:

Tools Needed:

  Flat Blade Screwdriver
  15mm & 19mm Socket and Ratchet
  Torque Wrench
  Jack and Jackstands
  Large C-Clamp

Step 1: Raise and Secure Vehicle

Raise and secure the vehicle with a jack and jack stands.

Step 2: Remove Wheel Cover, Center Cap, Etc

Remove wheel cover, center cap, etc. Depending on your vehicle this may require using a screwdriver to pry off the center cap then loosening up the plastic caps over the lug nuts, or you may only need to remove the plastic caps.

Step 3: Remove the Lug Nuts, Wheel and Tire

Using a 19mm socket and ratchet (or lug wrench), remove the lug nuts and remove the wheel and tire.

Step 4: Remove the Two Bolts on the Back of the Brake Caliper

To make accessing the bolts on the rear of the brake caliper easier, turn the wheels (all the way right for the right front wheel and all the way left for the left front wheel). With a 15mm socket and ratchet, remove the two bolts on the back of the caliper. These two bolts are your slider bolts so you should clean them up and put a little bit of grease on them before reinstalling them.

Step 5: Pry Off Brake Caliper and Remove Old Brake Pads

Using a flat blade screwdriver, pry the brake caliper up and off. You can hang the caliper up on the strut to get it out of the way. The old brake pads should slide out easily. That is how to remove brake pads on this Buick Century.

Step 6: Remove the Two 15mm Bolts Holding the Brake Pad Bracket, Remove Bracket, and Then Remove Brake Rotor

To remove the rotor, you must first remove the brake pad bracket which is held on at the rear with two 15mm bolts. Remove these two bolts using the 15mm socket and ratchet. Remove the bracket. Remove the brake rotor by pulling it with your hands. Removing the brake rotor may require some wiggling back and forth.

Step 7: Slide New Brake Rotor on and Reinstall Brake Pad Bracket

Now that we have shown you how to remove a brake rotor on this Buick Century, we are now going to show how to install a new rotor and replacement brake pads. First, slide the new rotor on, being careful to only touch the edges. You don't want any oil or dirt from your fingers to get onto the surface of the new brake rotor. Put the brake pad bracket into place and start the bolts by hand. Tighten the bolts with the 15mm socket and ratchet. Using a torque wrench torque the bolts to 75 ft-lbs.

Step 8: Install the New Brake Pads Into the Bracket

Install the new brake pads into the bracket. They should push in fairly easily by hand, though they may require a bit of force to get fully seated. Hitting them with the end of a socket is usually enough to get them in. When installing the brake pads you want to make sure that the wear marker (the small tab that contacts the brake rotor as the pads start to get thin) is closest to the rear of the vehicle.

Step 9: Reinstall Brake Caliper

Before reinstalling the brake caliper you will need to force the piston, located on the inside, back into the cylinder. Fit the large c-clamp over the piston and cylinder and tighten the clamp until the piston is back inside the caliper. Fit the caliper back over the brake pad bracket. Put a little bit of wheel bearing grease on the two brake caliper bolts that you cleaned up. The lower bolt has a bushing on the end, so make sure they are installed in the correct place. Tighten these bolts gently with the 15mm socket and ratchet. Torque the two bolts to 75 ft-lbs.

Step 10: Mount Wheel and Tire Back Up and Tighten, Lower Vehicle and Secure

Mount the wheel and tire back up on the vehicle. Put lug nuts back on and tighten in star pattern. Lower the vehicle and torque the lug nuts to 75 ft-lbs.

Step 11: Reinstall Wheel Cover, Center Cap, Etc

Once you have secured the wheel and tire to the vehicle, put the wheel cover, center cap, etc., back on as well.

Step 12: Test the Brakes to Make Sure They Are Functioning Properly

Pump the brake pedal several times with the car off, then take vehicle out for a road test. Begin the road test on a driveway or parking lot away from traffic. First put foot on brake as you shift the vehicle into gear to make sure the brakes hold the vehicle when idling. Then begin moving slowly (5 mph to start) checking the brakes at different speeds. When you are sure that the brakes are functioning properly then proceed onto roadways.

That is how to repair front brake pads and rotors that need to be fixed on Buick Century, Buick Lesabre, Chevy Venture, Oldsmobile Intrigue and Silhouette, Pontiac Bonneville Grand Prix and Transport models.

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    4 years ago on Step 6

    My 2000 Century has an odd factory spacer on the mounting bolt for the front calipers. They don't seem to be available any longer from any source. Can you think of any reason why they would be necessary on this car? The bolt has a shoulder in this area rather than being threaded the full length so I can't just cut off the extra 1/2" or so.


    6 years ago

    One trick that I learned many years ago was to start by releasing the pressure on the pads by compressing the piston with a C-clamp over the caliper drawing on the outside of the piston and the outer pad. (Note: take caution not to compress where the line may be damaged.) By releasing the pressure it makes it much easier to remove the bolts and pads in the disassembly. You can do the rest the way you have shown very well after that