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How to Change the Brake Pads on 2002 Chevy Pickup

by Jule Pamplin; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Syringe or turkey baster

  • Lug wrench

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • 13 mm socket wrench

  • Flat screwdriver

  • Brake pads

  • Brake grease

  • C-clamp

  • Brake fluid

General Motors recommends that you replace the brake pads on the 2002 Chevy pickups every 50,000 miles. Of course, that is merely a guideline, as the bake pads may wear more quickly based on the driving habits of the owner. Regular maintenance of the brakes includes checking the pads for wear, inspecting the rotors for damage and keeping the level of brake fluid at the prescribed level. Use the replacement of the brake pads as an opportunity to service the entire braking system.

Park the Chevy truck on a flat surface. Engage the parking brake and pull the hood release lever under the dashboard on the driver's side of the truck.

Lift the hood and remove the cap from the master cylinder. The master cylinder contains the vehicle's supply of brake fluid and is located to the right of the Chevy's engine, near the firewall.

Remove half of the brake fluid from the reservoir to prevent the fluid from overflowing when the caliper piston is depressed in future steps. Remove the fluid with a turkey baster or syringe. Dispose of the fluid--do not reuse it. Lay the cap loosely over the master cylinder container.

Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels related to the brake pads you will be changing. Turn each nut one half-turn with the lug wrench or 21 mm socket and breaker bar.

Place the jack under the frame of the Chevy. Lift the vehicle and place jack stands under the frame for support.

Remove the lug nuts and take off the wheels.

Remove the two caliper slide bolts on the back side of the caliper. Loosen the bolts with a 13 mm socket wrench and finish removing them by hand.

Lift the caliper from the caliper bracket and rest it above the brake assembly.

Slide the worn brake pads from the slots of the bracket. The pads will slide from the bracket's slots (on either side of the brake rotor) by hand. Pry the pads from the slots with a flat screwdriver if they are stuck to the bracket by rust and leaked brake fluid.

Apply brake grease to the backs of the new brake pads. Slide the new pads into the caliper bracket slots on either side of the brake rotors.

Force the caliper pistons into the sides of the calipers with a C-clamp or channel-lock pliers. Place the clamp or pliers onto the pistons and the back of the caliper. Squeeze the pistons until they are flush with the inside wall of the caliper. This will force the brake fluid in the caliper back through the brake lines, into the master cylinder, as well as make room for the new brake pads.

Return the caliper over the brake pads and caliper bracket. Screw in the caliper bolts by hand. Tighten the bolts withe the 13 mm socket wrench.

Repeat the process (steps 6 through 12) for the remaining brake pads you need to change on the Chevy.

Place the wheels back onto the wheel bolts. Screw on the lug nuts by hand.

Lift the Chevy with the jack and remove the jack stands. Lower the truck back to the ground.

Tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench or 21 mm socket and breaker bar. Return to the engine compartment.

Lift the master cylinder cap and fill the reservoir with brake fluid. Replace the cap and close the Chevy'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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