How to Change the Brake Pads on a Chevy S-10

by Jesse VibbertUpdated November 07, 2017
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brake calipers image by Tom Oliveira from

Items you will need

  • Suction bulb

  • Lug wrench

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Socket and ratchet set

  • Drain pan

  • Brake cleaner

  • New brake pads

  • Brake lube

  • Brake quiet

  • Torque wrench

The Chevy S-10 pick up truck brake pads are mounted in the brake calipers. Some brake pads are mounted in the caliper mounting bracket. The S-10 Chevy front brake pads have wear indicators to tell you when the pads are worn out. When you hear the brakes making noise, it's time to change your brake pads. If you hear a grinding noise, this usually means the pads are grinding into the rotors. This means you will have to have the rotors turned or replaced.

Loosen the lug nuts 1/2 turn on both front wheels. Raise the hood and remove the cap on the master cylinder. With a suction bulb, remove half of the brake fluid. Jack your S-10 up with a floor jack, and place jack stands under the frame. Take the lug nuts off both front wheels, then take the wheels off.

Clean the brake assembly by spraying it with brake cleaner. Spray the caliper, rotor, and all mounting bolts. Put a large pan under the assembly to catch the brake cleaner. Work on one side at a time, so you will always have a complete assembly as a visual reference.


Remove the caliper mounting bolts with a socket and ratchet. Take out both mounting bolts and lay them aside where you can find them later.

Remove the caliper assembly from the mounting bracket and take the outside brake pad out of the caliper. Take the inside brake pad out of the caliper mounting bracket and place the pad against the caliper piston. Place a 6-inch C-clamp's hook side against the back side of the caliper, and the screw-side on the inside brake pad. Screw the C-clamp in until the caliper piston is completely retracted into the caliper. Remove the C-clamp and take the caliper off the mounting bracket. Hang the caliper up with a wire to avoid damage to the brake hose.

Take both old brake pads out of the caliper. Replace the anti-rattle clips on the new brake pads, and spray the backs of the pads with brake quiet. The anti-rattle clip goes on the inside brake pad in the caliper piston. Use brake lube to lube both sides of the caliper where it slides into the mounting bracket.

Place both brake pads in the caliper, the one with the anti-rattle clip going on the piston side, the other on the outside. Place the caliper over the rotor and replace the mounting bolts and torque them to 40 foot-pounds with the torque wrench. Repeat the procedure for the other side.

Put both front wheels and log nuts on, and snug with a lug wrench. Jack your S-10 up, remove the jack stands from under the frame, and let the truck down. Retighten both front wheel lug nuts. Refill the master cylinder

Start your S-10 up but do not put it in gear. Pump the brake pedal until it feels firm. Check the master cylinder to be sure it is full.


If the rotors are scored or warped, replace them.

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