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How To Replace Front Brakes 1992-2005 Chevy Cavalier

Created on: 2013-08-02

How to repair, install, fix, change or replace your own worn, squeaky, fading old front brakes on Chevy Cavalier, model years 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 00, 01, 02, 03, 04, and 05.

  1. step 1 :Removing the Wheel
    • Loosen the lug nut caps with a 19mm socket
    • Pull off the center cap by hand
    • Loosen the lug nuts with the vehicle on the ground
    • Raise the vehicle with a floor jack
    • Secure the vehicle on jack stands
    • Remove the lug nuts
    • Pull off the wheel
  2. step 2 :Inspecting the Brakes
    • Turn the rotor by hand or turn the steering wheel to turn the rotor
    • Check the thickness of the brake pads
    • Check the brake pad wear indicator
    • Check for gouges on both sides of the rotor
  3. step 3 :Removing the Brake Pads
    • Loosen the two 3/8 inch Allen bolts from the brake caliper
    • Pry the brake pads into the caliper with a flat blade screwdriver or a pry bar to push in the pistons
    • Pull the caliper aside
    • Pry the brake pads out of the caliper with a flat blade screwdriver
  4. step 4 :Removing the Brake Rotor
    • Slide off the rotor
    • If the rotor won't come off normally strike it with a hammer to loosen it
  5. step 5 :Preparing the Brake Caliper
    • Use a large C-clamp to push the pistons back into the caliper
    • Remove the two 3/8 inch Allen bolts from the brake caliper
    • Clean the caliper bolts with a wire brush
    • Apply white grease to the bolts
    • Slide the bolts into the caliper
  6. step 6 :Installing the New Brake Rotor
    • Slide on the new brake rotor
  7. step 7 :Installing the New Brake Pads
    • Apply white grease to the brake pads
    • Snap the brake pads into the caliper
    • Put the caliper on
    • Tighten the two 3/8 inch Allen bolts to between 30 - 35 foot-pounds of torque
  8. step 8 :Reattaching the Wheel
    • Turn the wheel straight
    • Slide the wheel into place
    • Start the lug nuts by hand
    • Tighten the lug nuts preliminarily
    • Lower the vehicle to the ground
    • Tighten the lug nuts to 100 foot-pounds in a crossing or star pattern
    • Reattach the center cap
    • Tighten the lug nut covers with 19mm socket
  9. step 9 :Testing the Brakes
    • Pump your brakes repeatedly until they feel firm
    • Test your brakes at 5 miles per hour and then 10 miles per hour
    • Road test the vehicle

Tools needed

  • 3/8 Inch Allen Wrench

    Large C-Clamp


    Flat Blade Screwdriver

    Torque Wrench

    Pry Bar

    Jack Stands

    19mm Socket

    White Grease


    Wire Brush

    Floor Jack

Brought to you by 1AAuto.com, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet.

Hi, I'm Mike from 1A Auto. I hope this how-to video helps you out, and next time you need parts for your vehicle, think of 1AAuto.com. Thanks.

In this video, we're going to show you how to service the front brakes on this 2000 Chevy Cavalier. It's pretty much the same as any Cavalier from this generation. We're going to show you the right hand or passenger side. The left hand, the driver's side's, the same, and we always recommend you service your brakes in pairs. For these front brakes you'll need new pads and rotors from 1AAuto.com, jack and jack stands, 19 millimeter socket with a breaker bar, 3/8 inch Allen wrench with a pipe for some leverage, a large screwdriver or a small pry bar, a large C-clamp, brake or white grease, and a torque wrench.

Use the 19 millimeter socket to loosen the caps. This vehicle has a wheel cover, so you loosen the caps first, and then you can pull the wheel cover off and then with the same 19 millimeter socket, you'll probably want to loosen the lug nuts with the wheel on the ground. Then raise and support the vehicle, and remove the lug nuts the rest of the way, and remove the wheel and tire.

Now turn the wheel so you have easy access to the brakes. Check on the brake conditions. See the inner pad has plenty of life left. It's the same with the outer. Then, you check the condition of the rotors. Run the back of your finger along the outside, as well as the inside. Make sure they're nice and smooth and no deep grooves or anything. These brakes are in fine shape so we'll just take them apart and put them back together to show you.

Two 3/8 Allen bolts hold the caliper to the caliper bracket. I've got a 3/8 Allen key, and then I just use a pipe, or you could use another wrench, and use a little bit of extra leverage and get the bolt started. Here I'll just fast forward as we remove those bolts the rest of the way. Use a large screwdriver or pry bar and pry the caliper out. That forces the piston back in some and gives you extra room just to be able to pull the caliper right up and off. The inner pad's just held in with a couple clips. It pulls out towards the outer pad and then up and out. Then the outer pad is held in with more sturdy clips. Actually what you need to do is force the pad away from the caliper, and then pry it up and bring it up and out of the caliper.

The rotor should come right off. Use a hammer if you need to.

Now we're going to use a large C-clamp to reset the piston and the caliper. You can see, as we tighten the clamp, it forces the piston back in. We did detect some uneven wear on the pads, so we're going to force the bolts out. So, Don just uses the 3/8 Allen wrench, kind of twists them back and forth, and pulls on the bolts. You push on one end with your thumb as you're twisting it back and forth, and then grab the other end and pull them right out. We'll use some white grease. We basically took a wire brush, cleaned them up a little bit first, and then took some white grease, put it on there, and then they should slide right back into the caliper nice and easy. Reinstall the rotor. The rotors from 1A Auto are going to fit just like the original. You can see we are just reinstalling the original because, like I said, they're in good shape.

Put a little bit of grease on the backside of the inner pad, and then fit that down into the caliper, and snap the clips into the piston. Do the same thing, put a little bit of grease on the outer pad. The grease just keeps them from squeaking a little bit. It's a little bit of insurance against that. Then, snap that outer pad down in. Just make sure your pad stays put and then put the assembly right down on. Then, use your 3/8 Allen wrench and start the bolts in. I'll fast forward here as we take care of tightening those up. Those bolts should be tightened up to about 30 to 35 foot-pounds.

Turn the wheels back straight, put the wheel and tire back on, install the lug nuts by hand first, and then tighten them preliminarily. Put the vehicle back down on the ground. Tighten the lug nuts to 100 foot-pounds using a star pattern to tighten them. Then put your hub cap or whatever back on, and just tighten those plastic nuts with the socket itself by hand.

Last but not least, always make sure you pump the brake, get a nice firm pedal before road testing.

We hope this video helps you out. Brought to you by www.1AAuto.com, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet. Please feel free to call us toll-free, 888-844-3393. We're the company that's here for you on the Internet and in person.

1995 - 2005  Pontiac  Sunfire
1991 - 1998  Buick  Skylark
1991 - 1991  Oldsmobile  Cutlass Calais
1990 - 1990  Oldsmobile  Cutlass Calais
1990 - 1990  Buick  Skylark
1990 - 1990  Pontiac  Grand Am
1992 - 2005  Chevrolet  Cavalier
1992 - 1998  Oldsmobile  Achieva
1992 - 1994  Pontiac  Sunbird
1991 - 1998  Pontiac  Grand Am
1992 - 1996  Chevrolet  Corsica
1992 - 1996  Chevrolet  Beretta
1996 - 1998  Oldsmobile  Achieva
1996 - 1996  Chevrolet  Beretta
1996 - 2005  Chevrolet  Cavalier
1996 - 1996  Chevrolet  Corsica
1996 - 1998  Pontiac  Grand Am
1996 - 1998  Buick  Skylark
1991 - 1995  Buick  Skylark
1995 - 1995  Pontiac  Sunfire
1992 - 1995  Chevrolet  Cavalier
1992 - 1995  Chevrolet  Beretta
1992 - 1995  Oldsmobile  Achieva
1991 - 1995  Pontiac  Grand Am
1992 - 1995  Chevrolet  Corsica
1996 - 2005  Pontiac  Sunfire
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