How to Change Rear Brake Pads on a Pontiac G6

by Jody L. CampbellUpdated November 07, 2017
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Items you will need

  • Brake fluid suction tool

  • Wheel block

  • Tire iron

  • Jack

  • Jack stands (2)

  • Box-end wrench set

  • Screwdriver

  • Caliper hook

  • 3/8-inch drive caliper piston tool

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet

  • Replacement pad set with hardware

  • Brake lubricant

  • Torque wrench with socket set

  • Brake fluid

Not much has changed on Pontiac vehicles that employ rear disc brakes. The Pontiac G6 is no exception. Introduced in the fall of the 2004 as a 2005 model, the G6 replaced the popular Grand Am. Much like the Grand Am, the G6 may feature rear disc brakes or rear drum brakes. The only major difference between the two is the rear caliper piston and how to compress it. The tool to perform this is available at most all auto parts stores and doesn't cost very much.

Remove 1/2 of the brake fluid from the master cylinder using a brake suction tool and then discard it appropriately.

Make sure the parking brake is not set or you will not be able to remove the rear calipers. Place a wheel block in front of one of the front tires on a flat, hard surface.

Crack the rear lug nuts loose on the G6 with the tire iron. Only turn them about 1/4 turn to loosen them.

Lift one rear quarter of the G6 with the jack and support it onto a jack stand. Repeat this for the other side to suspend the rear axle. Finish removing the lug nuts and then remove the tires and set them out of the way.

Remove the two caliper-mounting bolts using a box-end wrench and then pry the caliper off of the anchor, pads and rotor using a screwdriver.

Support the caliper to the rear coil spring with a caliper hook. You can use a metal coat hanger to make a makeshift caliper hook.

Insert the caliper piston tool onto the caliper piston. The tool features six different-sized piston options, so be sure to match up the correct-sized side of the tool to the caliper piston. Place the 3/8-inch ratchet into the square drive of the tool and turn the piston inward clockwise until it begins to resist. The pistons on the G6 caliper will stick out slightly once fully seated in the bore.

Pull the caliper pins out of the caliper anchor, one at a time. Wipe off the old grease and re-lubricate it with new brake lubricant and then reinsert it into it respective anchor hole. One of the pins has a rubber bushing on the end, so make sure the pins get placed in the same location.

Remove the rear pads and hardware from the caliper anchor. Use the screwdriver to pry the hardware off of the anchor if necessary.

Place the new hardware from the replacement pad set onto the anchor and then lubricate the top sections of the hardware that the pad tabs contact. Be careful not to get lubricant on the rear rotors.

Place the new pads (and shims supplied in the replacement pad set) into the anchor.

Remove the caliper hook and replace the caliper over the pads. Align the caliper bolt-mounting holes to the caliper pins and then replace the bolts. Tighten the bolts to 45 to 55 foot lbs. with a torque wrench and socket. Repeat the brake pad replacement for the opposite side.

Replace tires and lug nuts and tighten the lug nuts snug. Lower the G6 to the ground and then re-tighten the lug nuts to 100 foot lbs. with the torque wrench and socket.

Ensure the master cylinder cap is on tightly. Pump the foot brake pedal several times slowly until the pedal feels firm. Apply and disengage the hand brake several times.

Add brake fluid to the master cylinder to the full mark if necessary. Replace the cap. Remove the wheel block and then test drive the G6 for proper braking operation.

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