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How to Change Chevy Trailblazer Brake Pads

by Jody L. Campbell

The Chevrolet Trailblazer was introduced in 2002, replacing the Blazer. The brake configuration was the same as the Blazer; and like the later model Blazers, the Trailblazer featured either rear drum or disc brakes. Replacing the rear pads on disc brake applications employed a similar procedure as the front, but the calipers and pads are much smaller, since they only provide 20 percent braking power.

Use a brake siphon to remove half the brake fluid from the master cylinder, and then replace the cover.

Using a jack and jack stands, lift and support the axle on which you're replacing the pads. Be sure to first crack the lug nuts loose 1/8 of a turn using a lug nut wrench or similar tool. Remove the lug nuts and then the wheels once the Trailblazer's axle is raised and safely supported.

Place a 6-inch C-clamp over the caliper so the drive shaft of the clamp is on the backing plate of the outboard pad and the top of the clamp is on the inside of the caliper housing. Tighten the clamp slowly to retract the caliper piston fully into the bore. Remove the clamp.

Pull out the two caliper bolts using a ratchet and 3/8-inch hex-head socket adapter. Remove the caliper, and support it to the suspension with metal wire. Remove the inboard pad and the retaining spring, then the outboard pad. Remove the bushings and sleeves. Clean and lubricate the bushings and sleeves using a small wire brush and silicone brake lubricant, and then reinstall them into the caliper.

Spray the backing plates of the new pads with anti-squeal brake pad solution and allow a few minutes to become tacky. Inspect the rotor while you wait. If scored, heat-spotted or severely corroded, replace. Two-wheel drive models feature a bearing rotor, while the four-wheel-drive models employ a knock-off rotor.

Insert the retaining spring onto the inboard pad; then install the inboard pad into the caliper. Affix the outboard pad onto the caliper, and bend the tabs if necessary. Most quality pads will feature pre-bent tabs for the outboard pads. Place the caliper and pads over the rotor, and then replace and tighten the caliper bolts.

Replace the wheel and lug nuts, and tighten the nuts flush to the wheel hub.

Repeat Steps 3 through 7 for the opposite wheel.

Torque the lug nuts at 100 foot-pounds with a torque wrench and socket once the Trailblazer is back onto the ground. Pump the brake pedal until it feels firm, then check and adjust the brake fluid level in the master cylinder. Add only clean brake fluid to fill the master cylinder. Replace the cover, and test drive the Trailblazer.

Tip

  • Rear pads remain in the caliper bracket, and you may need to gently pry them from the bracket to remove them.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.

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