How to Change the Brakes on a Chevy Colorado

by Jule PamplinUpdated November 07, 2017
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Items you will need

  • Tire iron

  • Lifting jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wheel chocks

  • 3/8-inch Allen wrench

  • Flat head screwdriver

  • C-clamp

The Chevy Colorado comes equipped with an anti-lock braking system that uses brake fluid-forced pistons. The brakes are designed to press the caliper pistons against the brake pads, which in turn make contact with the brake rotors to stop the vehicle. In order for the brakes to function properly, the brake fluid needs to be at a sufficient level, the lines need to deliver the fluid as designed, and the pads need to able to withstand the heat and pressure during braking. If the brake pads are worn, they will not be up to the task, and brake failure can result. You can have your worn brake pads replaced by an auto mechanic, or you can do it yourself.

Place wheel chocks behind the rear tires of the Colorado. Put the transmission in "Park" and apply the parking brake.

Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels with the socket on the tire iron.

Put the jack beneath the frame of the Chevy and lift the vehicle. Remove the lug nuts and pull the wheels from the wheel bolts.

Turn the steering wheel to the left, allowing access to the right brake caliper. The caliper is the metal object that brackets a portion of the rotor.

Remove the caliper bolts. The bolts are located on the right side of the right brake caliper and can be removed using a 3/8-inch Allen wrench.

Pull the caliper from the rotor. Pull the two brake pads from the caliper sides. The pads are clipped to the caliper by thin metal clips. The clips can be disengaged from the caliper using a flat head screwdriver.

Open the caliper pistons. The pistons are the twin metal rings that extend from one side of the caliper. You can either place a worn pad against the pistons and squeeze the pad against the side of the caliper to force open both pistons, or you can clamp the pistons individually.

Place the new brake pads onto the sides of the caliper. The metal clips will fix the pads to the caliper with a moderate amount of pressure by hand. Return the caliper to the rotor and screw in the caliper bolts using the Allen wrench.

Turn the steering wheel so that the wheels are pointed forward. Place the wheel onto the wheel bolts and replace the lug nuts by hand.

Turn the wheel to the right and replace the left brake pads. Turn the wheels forward and replace the wheels and lug nuts. Lift the vehicle with the jack, remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle to the ground.

Tighten the lug nuts with the socket on the tire iron. Press the brake pedal repeatedly to return the brake fluid to the caliper that was expelled by opening the pistons.


Check the level of brake fluid after changing the brake pads. The brake fluid is stored in the master cylinder under the hood, near the windshield on the driver's side. Add fluid if necessary.

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