How to Replace the Brake Pads on a Pontiac G6

by Jule Pamplin

The brake pads on the Pontiac G6 require regular maintenance to ensure their proper functioning. GM recommends replacing the brake pads every 50,000 miles, however, the time and mileage that it takes to wear a set of brake pads to the point that they require replacement varies. The G6's brake pads are designed with metal wear indicators attached. The indicators are thin clips that will make contact with the brake rotors when the pads have reached a critical level of wear. Listen for the grinding and/or squealing from the brakes and replace the pads as soon as possible.


Park the Pontiac on a level section of the road or driveway. Pull the hood release lever and move to the engine compartment.


Lift the hood and remove the master cylinder cap. The cap is located at the back of the engine bay (near the firewall). Remove one-quarter of the brake fluid in the reservoir with a syringe or other siphoning tool. Dispose of the removed fluid. Loosely lay the master cylinder cap over the reservoir opening.


Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels with the lug wrench or tire iron. Do not removed the nuts altogether, just give them a one-half counterclockwise turn.


Place the jack beneath the frame at the front of the vehicle and lift the G6. Place jack stands beneath the axle for support.


Remove the lug nuts and take the front wheels off.


Remove the two caliper bolts on the back side of the caliper with the 13 mm wrench. Turn the wheels by grabbing both sides of the rotor and angling the disc to gain better access to the back of the caliper.


Lift the caliper from the caliper bridge and rest it above the steering arm. Do not allow the caliper to hang by the brake line.


Remove the brake pads from either side of the rotor. The brake pads rest within slots in the caliper bridge and can be removed by hand. Use a flat screwdriver if you need to pry rusted or otherwise stuck brake pads.


Inspect the rotor for damage. The surface of the rotor should be smooth and consistent. Badly scored or warped rotors should be replaced immediately.


Apply brake grease to the back sides of the new brake pads. Use anti-squeal, copper-based grease.


Slide the new pads onto the slots of the caliper bridge.


Lay one of the worn brake pads across the two caliper pistons. Place the C-clamp over the pad and the back of the caliper and screw the C-clamp to force the pistons into the side of the caliper. Remove the clamp once the pistons are fully depressed within the caliper.


Place the caliper over the new brake pads and the caliper bridge. Apply brake grease to the caliper bolts and screw them in by hand. Tighten the caliper bolts with the 13 mm wrench.


Turn the wheel back to a neutral position and replace the wheels onto the wheel bolts. Screw on the lug nuts by hand.


Lift the front of the Pontiac and remove the jack stands. Lower the front tires to the ground. Tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench.


Lift the rear end of the vehicle and place jack stands under the rear axle.


Remove the rear wheels and remove the brake pads as you did the front pads. Repeat the steps for replacing the rear brake pads with the exception of depressing the caliper piston. The rear brakes have just one piston per caliper. Use the C-clamp directly on the piston (as opposed to using a spent brake pad to depress both pistons on the front brakes).


Replace the rear wheels and screw on the lug nuts. Lift the back of the G6 and remove the jack stands. Lower the back tire to the ground and tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench. Return to the engine compartment.


Remove the master cylinder cap and place a clean funnel into the reservoir. Fill the container with brake fluid until the master cylinder is full. Replace the cap and close the Pontiac's hood.


  • check General Motors recommends using DOT-3 brake fluid to replenish the G6's master cylinder reservoir.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jule Pamplin has been a copywriter for more than seven years. As a financial sales consultant, Pamplin produced sales copy for two of the largest banks in the United States. He attended Carnegie-Mellon University, winning a meritorious scholarship for the Careers in Applied Science and Technology program, and later served in the 1st Tank Battalion of the U.S. Marine Corps.