How to Change the Brakes on a Pontiac Aztek

by Contributor
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brake calipers image by Tom Oliveira from

The Pontiac Aztek was a vehicle made by General Motors Corp during the early part of the decade. The Aztek made use of a 4-wheel disc brake system to get the stopping power it needed. The brake pads, which are vital components to this system, need to be changed regularly, as they wear out during usage. Changing the brake pads is a relatively easy task for anyone mechanically inclined; the task can be completed in a Saturday afternoon by anyone with the right tools.

Accessing the Brakes

Step 1

Park the Aztek on a flat and solid surface, preferably on a cement garage floor.

Step 2

Use the tire iron to loosen the lug nuts on the wheels where the brakes will be replaced. Brake pads need to be replaced on both the right and left sides of the vehicle simultaneously, though they do not necessarily need to be replaced on the front and rear of the vehicle simultaneously.

Step 3

Jack up the front or rear of the vehicle using the floor jack under the Aztek's front crossmember or rear differential, respectively.

Step 4

Place the jack stands under the frame of the Aztek and lower it down onto the stands.

Use the tire iron to fully remove the applicable lug nuts and wheels.

Removal of the Brake Pads

Step 1

Remove the bolts that hold the brake caliper and housing in place, using the wrench and socket set.

Step 2

Pry the brake caliper and housing upwards to remove the housing assembly from the brake rotor.

Quickly remove the brake pads and place the wooden block over the caliper piston. Place the C-clamp over the piston and the caliper. Tighten until the piston is sticking out about 1/8 of an inch from the housing.

Assembly of Replacement Brake Pads

Step 1

Clean the brake pad tracks of any corrosion, then wipe a little bit of graphite lubricant in the tracks. Smear the lubricant into a thin film.

Step 2

Position the new brake pads in the tracks.

Step 3

Remove the wooden block and C-clamp from the brake caliper, then place it over the brake pads.

Step 4

Insert and tighten the bolts, using the wrench and sockets. The bolts must be as tight as possible, otherwise they could work their way out and allow the brakes to fall off the wheel.

Step 5

Replace the tire and lug nuts. Tighten the lug nuts as tight as possible.

Step 6

Replace the brake pads on the other side of the vehicle.

Step 7

Jack up the vehicle and remove the jack stands.

Re-tighten the lug nuts on all of the tires that you have removed.

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