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Buick LaCrosse Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a 2nd generation 2010 to 2016 Buick LaCrosse with the part numbers.

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2016 LaCrosse Front Wheel
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Slightly Loosen Lug Nuts
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Raise Front of Vehicle

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016) GM Buick LaCrosse sedan in changing the front disc brake pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles such as the Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo, Malibu, Spark, Sonic, Cruze, Volt, SS, Camaro, Caprice, Corvette, Trax, Equinox, Traverse, Tahoe, Suburban, Colorado, Silverado, Buick Verano, Regal, Cascada, Encore, Enclave, Envision, GMC Canyon, Sierra, Terrain, Acadia, Yukon, Savana, Cadillac CT6, ATS-V, ATS, ELR, CTS, XTS, XT5, SRX, Escalade and Holden Commodore may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, a 14mm socket, a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench, a "C" clamp and a tube of synthetic brake caliper grease.


A few compatible replacement sets of new front brake pads with their part numbers are as follows: ACDelco 17D1421CH, Wagner QC1421, Raybestos PGD1421C, Monroe CX1421 and Bosch BC1421.
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Spin Off 5 Lug Nuts
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Five Lug Nuts Removed
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Rotor, Bracket, Caliper
The first few steps are to park the vehicle on a level surface, turn off the engine and engage the emergency / parking brake.

Then chock both sides of the rear wheels to prevent the car from moving.

Slightly loosen the five lug nuts on the front wheel by turning them counterclockwise with the tire iron.

Raise the front of the car with the floor jack and securely support it with the two jack stands.

Spin off the 5 lug nuts and set them aside in a safe place.

Remove the front wheel to reveal the rotor, bracket, caliper and suspension.

I prefer to work on one side of the car at a time to keep three wheels on the ground for extra safety.

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Front Brake Caliper
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Loosen Bottom Caliper Bolt
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Loosen Top Caliper Bolt
The front brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts on the back side of the caliper that face in towards the engine bay.

Loosen the two caliper bolts by turning them clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.

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Two 14mm Caliper Bolts
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Lift Caliper Out of Bracket
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Rest Caliper On Suspension
Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.

Lift the caliper out of the bracket and off the old brake pads.

Carefully rest the caliper on the suspension or suspend it from the spring with a bungee cord.

Try to avoid kinking, bending, pulling or stressing the rubber brake hose.

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Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
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Remove Old Outer Pad
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Replace Pad Abutment Clips
Remove the two brake pads from the bracket and make a mental note of where the wear indicator or "squeal" bar was situated.

On this 2016 LaCrosse, the wear bar was located at the top of the inner brake pad.

I recommend buying the ACDelco 17D1421CH brake pads since they have excellent reviews on Amazon.

If your new set of front pads includes replacement brake hardware, pull the old metal pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket.

Apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease to the top and bottom of the pad abutment clips where they will come in contact with the bracket or the new pads.

Push the new pad abutment clips on to the top and bottom of the bracket.

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Pull Out Caliper Slider Pins
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Lubricate & Replace Pins
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Attach "C" Clamp To Caliper
In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins or "guide pins" need to be well lubricated.

Pull the two caliper slider pins out of their rubber dust boots in the bracket.

Apply some brake caliper grease to the two pins before pushing them back in to place.

In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, you'll need to compress back the caliper piston.

Attach the "C" clamp to the caliper and use the back of an old brake pad to evenly distribute the pressure across the piston.



 

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Brake Fluid Reservoir
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Twist Off Counterclockwise
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Compress Caliper Piston
Move to the right rear area of the engine bay and twist off the brake fluid reservoir cap in the counterclockwise direction.

Removing the reservoir cap will allow the brake fluid to more easily travel back through the system.

Slowly turn the "C" clamp handle in the clockwise direction to compress back the caliper piston.

Repeatedly check the level in the brake fluid reservoir to prevent it from over flowing.

Clean up any spilled brake fluid immediately since it can easily damage painted surfaces.

Thoroughly clean off the brake rotor, caliper bracket, brake caliper assembly and the lug nut studs with brake parts cleaner spray. Do not use compressed air or blow with your mouth to clean off the brake parts since breathing in brake dust can be harmful to your health. Brake dust can be carcinogenic (causes cancer) if inhaled.

 If your vehicle exhibits shuddering, pulsating, or vibrations during braking, you may need to have your rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or just replace them with brand new rotors. If this is the car's first front brake job and the rotors appear to be in excellent condition, you should be able to just replace the pads with great results.

To remove the existing rotors and install new ones, just remove the single Torx T30 set screw and remove the two 18mm bolts on the rear of the caliper bracket that attach it to the steering knuckle. Then loosen the old rotor with a rubber mallet, pull it off, and slide the new one in its place.

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Replace Brake Fluid Cap
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Insert New Outer Pad
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Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
Once the caliper piston is flush with the rubber dust boot surrounding it, you can detach the "C" clamp.

Replace the brake fluid reservoir cap as soon as possible. Brake fluid is hygroscopic, so it easily absorbs moisture from the air.

Install the new brake pads in to the bracket with the wear bar situated at the top of the inner brake pad.

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Push Pads Against Rotor
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Lower Caliper Over Pads
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Spin In Lower Bolt
Push the two pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

Carefully lower the caliper over the new pads and in to the bracket.

Line up the bolt holes in the caliper with their corresponding holes in the caliper slider pins within the bracket.

An optional step is to apply some Loctite Blue (medium strength) threadlocker to the caliper bolts to prevent them from vibrating loose. But properly tightened caliper bolts should not become loose during normal driving.

Spin in the two caliper bolts by hand a few turns in the counterclockwise direction.

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Replace Upper Bolt
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Tighten Counterclockwise
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Tighten Top 14mm Bolt
Tighten the two 14mm caliper bolts by turning them in the counterclockwise direction to just past hand tight or about 27 lb-ft of torque.

Double check that the two caliper bolts are tight before moving on to the next steps.

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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
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Replace Front Wheel
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Spin On 5 Lug Nuts
If your brake pedal previously felt soft, "mushy" or spongy, the brake fluid might be contaminated with water or the brake lines may contain a few air bubbles.

It would be best to bleed the brake lines at this time in order to flush out the old fluid and replace it with fresh DOT 3 brake fluid. For more on this topic, check out my Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With An Assistant DIY Guide or alternatively the Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With A Power Bleeder Guide.

Replace the front wheel and spin on the five lug nuts a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

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Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts
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Lower Car From Stands
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Torque To 110 lb-ft
Slightly tighten the five lug nuts in a "star" or "criss cross" pattern with the lug nut wrench.

Carefully lower the car from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

Progressively tighten the five lug nuts in a star pattern to about 1/4 to 1/2 turn past hand tight.

It would be best to use a torque wrench or an electric impact wrench with a torque stick to tighten the lug nuts to 110 lb-ft of torque.

Sit in the driver's seat of the vehicle and firmly push the brake pedal a few times to restore the brake line pressure. Check the brake fluid in the reservoir and verify that it is at the proper level. If it is low, pour in some new DOT 3 fluid.

To break in your new front brake pads, just drive normally for the first few hundred miles while avoiding any hard or "panic" stops which may glaze over the new brake pads and cause them to be noisy and not perform as well.

It's also a good idea to regularly check your driveway for drops of brake fluid which may indicate a leak, check the brake fluid level in the reservoir and also check that the lug nuts are still tight.

Be sure to record the brake pad replacement in your vehicle's service records.

For more, check out my other 2010-2016 Buick LaCrosse DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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