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How to Change Brake Pads on a 2001 Chevy Silverado

by Jule Pamplin; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Turkey baster

  • Tire iron

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • 3/8-inch socket

  • Ratchet

  • Brake pads

  • C-clamp

  • Brake grease

  • Funnel

  • Brake fluid

The four wheel disc brakes on the 2001 Chevrolet Silverado should be maintained regularly: General Motors recommends that you replace the brake pads every 50,000 miles. Worn brake pads can severely compromise the stopping power of the vehicle and lead to brake rotor damage. The braking system relies on its components working in concert to consistently slow and stop the truck during braking. Regularly check the brake pads, the brake lines, the rotors and the brake fluid level in the Silverado's master cylinder. Replace the brake pads when you hear the wear indicators scraping against the rotors or when the brake pedal response feels softer than usual.

Park the truck on a relatively flat surface. Apply the parking brake and pull the hood release lever located under the dashboard on the driver's side.

Lift the hood and remove the master cylinder cap. Remove half of the brake fluid in the reservoir with a turkey baster or syringe.

Crack the lug nuts on the wheels with the tire iron. One quarter turn on each nut will suffice.

Place the jack under the truck's frame and lift the vehicle. Place jack stands under the axles and lower the Silverado onto the stands for support.

Remove the caliper slide bolts (or pins) with the 3/8-inch socket and ratchet. Lift the caliper from the caliper mounting bracket and rest it on the rotor or the steering arm above the brake assembly.

Slide the two brake pads for each wheel away from the caliper bracket slots.

Apply brake grease to the back sides of the new brake pads and place them into the bracket's slots.

Lay an old brake pad or block of wood across the two pistons inside each of the front brake calipers. The rear brake calipers have just one piston and therefore do not require the worn pad or block of wood.

Place the C-clamp over the worn pad (or block of wood) and the back side of the caliper. Tighten the C-clamp to force the pistons into the side of the caliper. Remove the clamp and pad once the pistons have been fully opened.

Place the caliper over the new brake pads in the caliper bracket slots. Screw in the caliper pins and tighten them with the 3/8-inch socket and ratchet.

Replace the wheels onto the wheel bolts and screw on the lug nuts by hand.

Lift the Chevy with the jack and remove the jack stands. Lower the Silverado's tires to the ground and tighten the lug nuts with the tire iron.

Repeat steps 5 through 10 for all other sets of brake pads you are changing.

Remove the master cylinder cap and place a funnel inside the container. Pour brake fluid into the container until the reservoir is full. Remove the funnel and replace the master cylinder cap. Close the Silverado's hood.

About the Author

Jule Pamplin has been a copywriter for more than seven years. As a financial sales consultant, Pamplin produced sales copy for two of the largest banks in the United States. He attended Carnegie-Mellon University, winning a meritorious scholarship for the Careers in Applied Science and Technology program, and later served in the 1st Tank Battalion of the U.S. Marine Corps.

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