How to Change the Brakes on a Lumina

by Jeremy HoltUpdated November 07, 2017
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Items you will need

  • Automobile jack

  • Jack stands

  • Tire iron

  • Socket set

  • Brake caliper tool

  • Emery paper

  • Lithium grease

  • Rubber mallet (optional)

  • Brake parts cleaner

  • Paper towels

When you hit the brakes in your Chevrolet Lumina, hydraulic pressure forces brake pads against brake rotors to slow the car. Braking creates a great deal of friction and heat that over time wear the brake pad material away. If the brakes in your Lumina feel spongy or uneven, it's time to replace the pads. Rotors usually last longer than pads, but if you need to replace them, too, you have the option of either buying new ones or having the repair shop machine a thin layer of metal off the old ones.

Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel with a tire iron. Raise the Lumina with an automobile jack and then place it on jack stands. Remove the lug nuts and the wheel.

Remove the mounting bolts from the inside of the caliper with a socket wrench -- one bolt at the top of the caliper and one at the bottom.

Lift the caliper up and off the rotor and suspend it from the frame of the car with a piece of wire or bungee cord. Do not stretch or stress the rubber brake hose.

Slide the old brake pads out of the caliper. Position a caliper tool around the caliper and turn the mechanism to retract the piston. When the piston is fully retracted, remove the tool.

Clean the brake pad sliders with emery paper, then apply lithium grease to their surfaces. Slide the new brake pads into the caliper and onto the sliders.

Slide the rotor off the wheel hub; you may need to tap the rotor with a rubber mallet if it is rusted in place. Prepare the new rotor by spraying it with brake parts cleaner; wipe off the residue with a paper towel. Replace the new rotor onto the wheel hub and secure it temporarily with a lug nut tightened by hand.

Replace the caliper over the rotor, then replace and tighten the mounting bolts. Remove the lug nut from the rotor. Replace the wheel and tighten the lug nuts by hand. Lower the car to the ground, then tighten the lug nuts evenly with a tire iron.

Pump the brake pedal with the engine off to restore pressure to the brake lines.


Brake dust is hazardous; do not breathe it in. Never replace only one brake; you must replace both front or both rear brakes at the same time.

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