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How to Replace Brake Pads in a Geo Tracker

by Grace Mclain; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Lug nut tool

  • Floor jack

  • Safety stands

  • Small pry bar

  • C-clamp

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet

  • Metric socket kit

  • Mechanics wire

  • Replacement brake pads

Geo Trackers come equipped with basic disc brake pads. The disc brake pads are designed to stop the wheels on the Geo Tracker from turning. The disc brake pads are pushed against the inner and outer sides of the brake rotor as the wheel is turning to stop the vehicle. These types of disc brake pads have a built-in wear indicator. Replace the brake pads before they wear down to the wear indicators. Most brake pad manufacturers recommend replacing the pads when the width of the pad exceeds 1/8 inch.

Drive the Geo Tracker to a safe and level work location. Pull the parking brake up.

Walk around the Tracker to make sure the ground or surface is level underneath the car. Then, loosen each lug nut from the front wheels with a lug nut tool such as a tire tool or a lug wrench. Do not remove the lug nuts.

Slide the floor jack under the front end of the Tracker and position the jack under a safe jacking point. Jack the front just high enough to position the safety stands under the side rails on each side of the car. Make sure the safety stands are positioned close to the back side of the front wheels so that the stands can hold the weight of the front end safely. Lower the jack until the Tracker is sitting securely on the safety stands. Do not remove the jack from the up right position. The jack will act as an additional safety measure.

Unscrew each lug nut from both front wheels. Pull the wheels off the wheel hubs with your hands and place on ground in a flat position.

Go back to the driver's side wheel and look on the side of the brake caliper for the access hole. Use the small pry bar to pry the outboard brake pad toward the caliper cylinder until the cylinder is flush with the cylinder housing. Use the C-clamp if necessary to finish pressing the cylinder into the cylinder housing.

Look on the back of the brake caliper and locate the lower and upper caliper slide bolts. These slide bolts are what connect the caliper to the caliper bracket. Loosen and remove the two slide bolts with the ratchet and a metric socket.

Pull the caliper off the rotor. If the caliper is stuck, pry the bottom of the caliper off. Then pry the top of the caliper off. Wrap a piece of mechanics wire around the caliper and hang it to one of the steering components located behind the wheel hub.

Slide the brake pads out of the retaining clips that are holding the pads to the inside of the caliper. Then install the replacement pads into the retaining clips in the same direction the old pads were in. Look over the pads to make sure they are secure inside of the retaining clips.

Remove the caliper from the steering component and remove the mechanics wire from the caliper. Then mount the brake caliper with the new brake pads back onto the side of the brake rotor with the two slide bolts. Tighten the slide bolts with the ratchet and metric socket until the slide bolts are very tight.

Position the wheel back on the wheel studs and screw on the lug nuts. Tighten each lug nut until the wheel begins to turn. Move over to the passenger side and repeat the steps above to replace the front passenger side brake pads. After replacing the brake pads, jack up the front end of the Geo Tracker and remove the safety stands from under the side rails. Lower the Tracker to the ground.

Finish tightening each lug nut on each front wheel. Go over the lug nuts twice to ensure that each nut is tightly secured to each wheel.

Crank the Geo Tracker and depress the brake pedal all the way to the floor and then back up again three times. This will position the new brake pads the proper distance from the brake rotor. Test drive the tracker to check out the new brake pads.

Tips

Each time the brake pads are replaced, the brake rotors need to be inspected for wear and grooving. Most vehicle manufacturers and repair shops will not replace the brake pads without turning or replacing the brake rotors. If the rotors have a small amount of wear, they can be turned. If the rotors have an excessive amount of wear or grooving, they need to be replaced.

Warnings

Be aware when working around or near a vehicle on jack stands. If the vehicle falls, it could break an arm or leg or worse.

Applying new brake pads to worn brake rotors can cause the pads to stick to the surface of the brake rotors, resulting in uneven braking.

References

About the Author

Grace Mclain has been writing professionally since 1998. Her articles have appeared on eHow.com, Answerbag.com and LIVESTRONG.COM, and she specializes in automotive and business topics. McIain has a professional writing certificate from JB Hunt in Little Rock, Ark.

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