How to Change the Brake Pads on a GMC Sonoma

by Gregory CrewsUpdated November 07, 2017
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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Chock

  • Tire tool

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

  • T-45 Torx bit

  • Hammer (optional)

  • C-clamp

The GMC Sonoma was GMC's light duty truck before they discontinued it. The brake pads in the Sonoma can be replaced the same as the GMC Jimmy, Chevrolet S-10 and the Chevrolet S-10 Blazer. These brake pads provide padding to the rotor when coming to a stop. When the pads get low, they have what is known as a squeal sensor that will rub the rotor, causing a high pitched sound letting you know that the brake pads are ready to be replaced. Failure to replace the brake pads will result in rotor damage and ultimately major brake malfunction.

Removing the Brake Pads

Set the parking brake. Ensure the back wheel is chocked. Place a block of wood or a brick behind the back wheel. This will prevent the vehicle from rolling back.

Loosen the lug nuts on the driver's side front wheel. Do not remove the lug nuts as you just want to loosen them.

Jack the vehicle up to raise the wheel off the ground. Take off the lug nuts to remove the wheel.

Take the wheel off the truck. This will expose the caliper.

Locate the bolts in the back of the caliper. Unscrew the bolts with a T-45 Torx bit. This bit should fit on your socket wrench.

Take the caliper off by pulling it off the rotor. Pull the rotor up and out. If the caliper is stubborn and will not come off the rotor, you can tap it with a hammer to loosen it. Do not allow the caliper to hang freely by the brake line. Keep a stool nearby to place the caliper on to keep any tension out of the brake lines.

Pull the brake pads out of the caliper. They are fastened into the caliper and can be pulled out with little force.

Turn the smaller brake pad around and place it against the piston.

Tighten the small brake pad against the piston till the piston is flush with the rest of the caliper. Use a C-clamp positioned between the pad and the back of the caliper. Tightening the C-clamp will push the pad against the caliper. This will push the piston back into the cylinder to make room for new brake pads.

Loosen the C-clamp and remove it and the old brake pad. You now have room to install the new pads.

Installing the Brake Pads

Place the new pads in the caliper. They will click into place. Ensure the large pad is in back and the small one is in front.

Place the caliper back onto the rotor. Ensure the caliper is in position by starting the two bolts. Do not tighten the bolts until both are started.

Tighten the bolts with the socket wrench and the T-45 Torx bit. Ensure the caliper is tight on the rotor.

Install the wheel back onto the wheel studs. Start the lug nuts but do not tighten till all the lug nuts are on the vehicle.

Tighten the lug nuts with the tire tool. Ensure all the lug nuts are tight.

Lower the truck to the ground. Ensure all the lug nuts are tight.

Repeat these steps to the passenger side front wheel. When completed, start up the truck and pump the brake pedal to reset the caliper.


Use your center cap from the truck wheel to hold the lug nuts and caliper bolts. This will keep you from losing any vital bolts.


Use extreme caution when working under a raised vehicle. Ensure the parking brake is set and the back wheel is chocked. Failure to do so could result in the truck falling on you.

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