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How to Change the Brake Pads in a Buick LeSabre

by Jody L. Campbell; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Lug wrench

  • Floor jack and jack stands (2)

  • Syringe

  • Screwdriver

  • Brake fluid DOT 3

  • Wire brush

  • Brake lubricant

  • Box end/open end hand wrench set

  • Large C-clamp

  • Mechanic's wire or metal hook

  • Quality brake pad and shim replacement set

The brake pads in your Buick LeSabre will wear down after normal wear and tear. The removal and replacement procedure has remained virtually unchanged on the Buick LeSabre for many years. The newer LeSabres sometimes have rear disc brakes as well, which means they use pads and calipers in the rear braking system instead of drums and shoes. You can save time and money by purchasing quality brake pads from an auto parts store and replacing them yourself.

Remove ½ of the brake fluid from the master cylinder with the syringe and replace the cover. Discard the fluid.

Remove the front hubcaps and loosen the wheel nuts using the lug wrench, but do not remove the nuts.

Lift the front end of the LeSabre with the floor jack and secure safely onto the jack stands.

Remove the wheel nuts and wheels. Screw one wheel nut back onto a wheel stud hand tight to retain the rotor away from the caliper assembly.

Place a large C-clamp over the left inboard caliper housing and the outboard pad, and tighten to compress the caliper piston.

Remove the two caliper guide bolts using a box end wrench. Remove the caliper and secure it to the vehicle chassis with mechanic's wire or a metal hook.

Remove the outboard pad from the caliper on the LeSabre first. Pry it off the outboard caliper housing using the screwdriver.

Remove the inboard pad by lifting the retaining clips out of the caliper bore.

Clean the surface of the caliper bridge that contacts the backing plate of the pads using a wire brush, and apply a thin coat of brake lubricant to the contact points. Be careful not to let the lubricant get onto the rotor.

Install the new inboard brake pad and shim into the caliper piston bore by pressing the retaining clips into the bore until it locks into place.

Install the outboard pad onto the caliper housing, making sure to align the retaining clips into the holes in the caliper. Use the screwdriver to convince the clips onto the caliper if necessary.

Replace the caliper over the rotor.

Clean off the surface of the guide bolts and apply a light coat of lubricant to the smooth surface of them. Align them properly through the rubber boots and bolt the caliper to the knuckle. Tighten the guide bolts using the wrench. Remove the wheel nut from the wheel stud securing the rotor.

Replace the wheel and wheel nuts. Tighten the wheel nuts snugly, and re-tighten them (with a torque wrench is recommended set at 100 foot pounds) once the LeSabre is back on the ground.

Repeat steps 5 through 14 for the right side.

Pump the brake pedal when you're through to seat the new pads against the rotors, then check and add new brake fluid to the master cylinder.

Tips

Always test drive the LeSabre after replacing and brake components.

To replace the rear pads, remove only the lower guide bolt and the parking brake cable retaining screw from the control arm. Lift the caliper upward, pivoting it on the upper guide bolt enough to remove and replace the pads. Unlike the front pads, the rear pads secure in place in the rear caliper anchors and do not clip to the caliper housing.

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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