How to Replace the Rear Brakes on a Saturn Ion

by Ashton Daigle; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Lug wrench

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wheel blocks

  • Pliers

  • Brake cleaning fluid

  • Shop rags

  • Replacement rear brakes

Squeaking or grinding noises that come from the rear end of your Saturn Ion could mean it is time to change the rear brakes. Proper maintenance of your brake system plays an important role in overall vehicle safety. It is recommended that you change the rear brakes on your Saturn at least once every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. However, if you hear noises coming from your car's rear end when you apply the brakes before this time, they should be changed.

Loosen the lugs on your right left rear tire.

Jack up the rear end of your Ion from the rear middle of your frame, and place jack stands in place. Place wheel blocks in front of the front wheels.

Finish loosening the lugs on your left rear tire and remove the tire. Set the lug nuts and the rear passenger tire on the side.

Slide off the rear brake drum, and set it aside.

Remove the brake adjuster springs with a pair of pliers.

Remove the inner shoe by twisting it inwards to remove it from the hook that holds it in place.

Take off the outer shoe by pushing downwards on the hold-down pin and twisting it off like you did on the inner shoe.

Spray brake cleaner fluid onto the break assembly, and wipe it dry. Also, spray the brake drum down well, and wipe it clean and dry with an old shop rag.

Insert the new outer and inner brake shoes by twisting them into place.

Replace brake adjuster springs using the pliers.

Slip the brake drum back into place, and replace the rear wheel and lug nuts.

Repeat the process to change the brakes on the right rear wheel.


About the Author

Ashton Daigle, a New Orleans native, graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1998 and went straight to work as a journalist. In 2005 he tackled the biggest news story of his life - Hurricane Katrina. Daigle is writing a collection of essays: What It Means to be a Saints Fan.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Car Brake image by Joelyn Pullano from