How to Change the Front Brake Pads and Rotors on a 05 Chevy Cobalt 2.2L Base 2Dr
I am not responsible for any injuries, deaths, or damage that may occur. Repair at your own risk.
Tools and Accessories Needed
14mm &15mm socket
Brake or Carb Cleaner
Hot and Soapy Water
PB Blaster or WD-40
19mm lug nut wrench
Front Brake Pads- Centric Ceramic 10309560
Front Rotors 4x100 Bolt Pattern- Centric 12162072
Identify the hood release lever under steering wheel to open the hood and pull the emergency brake.
I started on the front driver's side tire using a 19mm lug nut wrench LOOSEN
the lug nuts a turn or two. DO NOT
remove the lug nut! Do the same on the passenger side.
Identify a good jacking point. I jacked up the vehicle using a jack on the bolt head of the control arm bushing on both sides of the vehicle.
USE A JACK STAND TO SUPPORT A VEHICLE! NEVER WORK UNDER A VEHICLE THAT IS ONLY SUPPORTED BY A JACK!
Remove the lug nuts from their studs on the wheel hub. Try to keep track of which lug nut goes on which stud.
Remove the tire and roll it out of the way. If the tire is stuck to the vehicle, bang the tire with your hand to break it free. Place newspaper under your work area to collect debris and liquids.
Remove the bottom 14mm hex bolt on the caliper. If too hard to get off, use PB Blaster or WD-40.
Once the bottom 14mm hex bolt is removed, Pull the caliper up and it should open to reveal the old brake pads. If it is tough, try using the 14mm socket on the top 14mm hex bolt and it will open the caliper with enough force being used.
Pull the old brake pads out by simply grabbing the left and right sides with your fingers and pulling straight. The pads will slide out of the notches.
Get your new pads and compare them to the old ones. My old ones have been on the vehicle for 1 year and 4 months and had a couple of months left on them. I chose to change them due to it being cold outside when they would eventually be due for a replacement.
NOTE: The new brake pads do come with a wear indicator you can put on your brake pads but I chose not to mainly because they wouldn't fit with the caliper in the way. No big deal.
Slide the new brake pads into the caliper. It is reverse of what you did to remove the old pads.
Under your hood locate the master brake fluid reservoir on the drivers side. This will allow air inside the reservoir so later on you can squeeze the caliper piston.
By using one of your old brake pads, place it inside of the top portion of the brake caliper next to the caliper piston.
By using a large C-Clamp, squeeze the clamp together the clamp to push the old brake pad into the caliper piston. Watch to make sure no brake fluid escapes the master brake fluid reservoir. One the piston is flush with the inner edge of the caliper you may remove the clamp and old brake pad.
If you want to although its not completely necessary, you can grease up the 14mm hex bolts for smoother caliper squeezing. I used a grease gun. Then do the reverse of steps 6 and 7.
Locate the two 15mm hex bolts that hold the entire caliper assembly to the wheel assembly. Use a 15mm socket to remove them. I recommend removing the bottom one first so that the caliper doesn't fall on your head. When removing the last bolt, be careful because the caliper will fall off and could damage the brake hose. If the bolts are stubborn you can use PB Blaster or WD-40. I used PB Blaster.
Once the bolts are removed, HANG THE CALIPER BY USE OF A BUNGIE CORD, ROPE, ETC
. I just simply lifted it up and turned it around to hang on the strut base. DO NOT LET THE CALIPER HANG FROM THE BRAKE HOSE. YOU WILL DAMAGE THE INNER WORKINGS OF THE BRAKE HOSE AND GIVE YOURSELF A MUCH MORE DIFFICULT REPAIR
Remove the rotor from the wheel hub by simply pulling it towards you off of the studs. If it is stubborn to remove use a hammer and bang the surfaces around the lug nut studs to break the rotor free. I did not have to do this shockingly.
Use a wire brush to brush the contact surfaces on the wheel hub. Then use brake or carb cleaner to remove debris. This will help prevent the rotor getting stuck to the wheel hub for future replacements.
After washing the rotors with hot and soapy water, spray them with brake or carb cleaner to remove the manufacturer rust prohibitive oil from the rotor services. Once dried, slide the new rotor onto the wheel hub and lug nut studs.
Do the reverse of what you did in steps 15 and 16 to mount and secure the caliper back onto the wheel assembly. This can take some patience to maneuver because of the new thicker brake pads.
Do the reverse of what you did in steps 5 and 6. Make sure to finger tighten the lug nuts as far as you can. Then use the 19mm lug nut wrench to tighten the lug nuts.
Raise the vehicle off the jack stand with the jack and remove the jack stand. Then lower the vehicle to the ground.
Tighten the lug nuts further with all of your might. The tire contact on the ground will prevent the tire from spinning while you are tighten the lug nuts.
Follow these exact steps for the other side it is no different than what you just did.
After Both Sides Have New Pads and Rotors
Put the cap back on the brake fluid master reservoir.
Close the hood.
Move anything that may be in the way of the vehicles direction of travel.
With the vehicle off, pump the brake pedal until it gets firm and you can't push it anymore.
Start the vehicle and pump the brake pedal again until it feels like how it usually does. This will clamp down the brake pads to the rotor because you used the large C-Clamp to push the caliper piston back in.
Find a secluded 1.5 mile stretch of road that has no traffic road crossing dangers that is very close by to the location you chose to replace everything. Oh and no cops either around either. That would suck.
When at the roadway you chose, gun it to a speed of 65MPH and then brake hard to a complete stop. Repeat this process a few times and decrease the speed and level of force pushing the brake pedal. This is what is called “breaking them in.” You want your brakes to be prepared for normal day to day use.
YOU ARE DONE! If you chose ceramic pads then enjoy the quiet stops and the less brake dust on your wheels and tires.