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Chevrolet Impala Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to replace the front brake pads on a 2006 to 2011 GM Chevrolet Impala with picture illustrated instructions.

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Please note, I am not a professional automotive mechanic. If you have any doubts, please do not proceed and consult with your local repair shop or General Motors dealership. I assume no responsibility for damage to your property, persons or pets.
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Floor Jack & Jack Stand
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Front Jack Point
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Loosen Lug Nuts

This automotive "how-to" guide was specifically written to assist owners of the 9th generation 2006 to 2011 Chevy Impala in replacing the front brake pads.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles such as the Buick Regal, Century, LaCrosse, Allure, Monte Carlo, Lumina, Monte Carlo, Pontiac Grand Prix, Olds Cutlass Supreme, and Intrigue may also find this guide to be helpful.

New front brake pads for the Chevy Impala range in price from about $25 for economy semi-metallic or organic pads to over $90 for performance pads. I've had good luck with the Satisfied and Wearever brands of ceramic pads that cost about $45.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, jack stands, a 13mm socket or wrench, and a "C" clamp.

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Remove Lug Nuts
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5 Lug Nuts Removed
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Pull Off Front Wheel
I'd recommend using jack stands to support the vehicle and putting blocks behind the rear wheels for extra safety. Optional items include a breaker bar or rubber mallet for loosening a stubborn caliper bolt, CRC Disc Brake Quiet Gel, brake parts cleaner spray, high pressure moly grease for the caliper pin, blue medium strength "Permatex" brand threadlocker for the caliper bolts, and string or rope to secure the brake caliper to the suspension spring.
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Front Brake Rotor
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Front Brake Caliper
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Remove Lower Caliper Bolt
The first step is to slightly loosen the 5 lug nuts on the front wheel before raising the vehicle off the ground with a floor jack. Place your jack stands under the side of the vehicle for extra safety. Then spin off the lug nuts, remove the wheel and roll it out of the way. Use wheel chocks or wood blocks behind the rear wheels and engage the emergency brake to prevent the vehicle from moving.
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13mm Caliper Bolt
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Lower Bolt Removed
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Swing Caliper Upwards
To access the front brake pads, remove the lower of the two caliper bolts using a 13 mm socket or wrench. I had trouble breaking the OEM Threadlocker on the lower caliper bolt so I had to hit the socket wrench with a large rubber mallet a few times to loosen it.

Once the lower caliper bolt is removed, swing the caliper body upwards and off the brake pads. Support the brake caliper with some twine or rope to prevent it from crashing down on your fingers or the rotor while you replace the pads.

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Brake Pads Exposed
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Tie Caliper To Suspension
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To remove the two old brake pads, wiggle them off the face of the rotor and out of the anti rattle clips located at the top and bottom. If your new brake pads came with replacement anti-rattle clips you can remove the olds ones. If your new pads didn't come with new anti-rattle clips, you can re-use the original ones if they are still in good shape.

Be sure to take note of where the "squeal" or wear indicator bar is located on the old pads and move it to the same location on the new pads. On this Impala, it was located at the bottom of the outer brake pad.

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Pull Off Both Brake Pads
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Wear Indicator Bar
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Brake Parts Cleaner


 
Next, remove the cap on the brake fluid reservoir in the engine bay. This allows the brake fluid to flow freely back into the reservoir when you compress the two brake caliper pistons. Use the "C" clamp and the back of one of the old brake pads to slowly compress the two pistons on the caliper. Don't compress the two pistons any more than necessary to accommodate the larger size of the new pads. The furthest back they should be compressed is until they lie flush with the rubber dust boots around them. Periodically check the level of the brake fluid in the reservoir to make sure that it doesn't overflow. Remove any excess brake fluid with a turkey baster, spray pump from a household cleaner bottle, or just soak some up with a paper towel.
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CRC Disc Brake Quiet Gel
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Pull Out Caliper Pin
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Grease Lower Caliper Pin
Before installing the new pads, clean off the rotor and caliper body with brake parts cleaner spray. If your vehicle is prone to brake noise, you may want to apply a product such as the CRC Disc Brake Quiet gel to the rear of the pads where they come in contact with the caliper. Do not apply anything to the friction material side of the new pads.
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Attach "C" Clamp
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Brake Fluid Reservoir
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Remove Brake Fluid Cap
With the new pads in place, cut the twine supporting the caliper and carefully lower it down over the pads. Check that the lower caliper bolt's rubber dust boot is lined up with the bolt hole on the caliper. If the caliper won't fit over the thicker new pads, compress the caliper pistons some more with the "C" clamp.

The smooth end of the caliper bolt or the caliper "pin" needs to slide freely inside the caliper. Lubricate it with some high pressure moly grease and apply a tiny bit of blue "medium" Permatex Threadlocker to the threads on the bolt to keep it from vibrating out. Then insert the bolt into the caliper and tighten it down with the 13mm socket and ratcheting wrench. Torque the caliper bolt to the torque setting specified in the service manual for your vehicle. If the lower caliper bolt wasn't already well lubricated, you should remove the upper bolt and lubricate the upper caliper pin.

If your vehicle's brake pedal feels mushy or the brakes exhibit "fading" (loss of braking ability), it would be advisable to "bleed" the brake lines to replace the old contaminated brake fluid with fresh DOT 3 brake fluid. For more on that topic, check out my Brake Line Fluid Bleeding Guide.

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New Pads In Place
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Bleeder Valve Dust Cover
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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
To finish the job, reattach the wheel and spin on the lug nuts by hand. Then lower the vehicle off the jack stands and torque down the five lug nuts. Check the level again in the brake fluid reservoir, add or remove fluid until it reaches the "MAX" cold line, and replace the brake fluid reservoir cap. Pump the brake pedal a few times to restore brake line pressure.

To "break-in" the new brake pads, just drive the vehicle normally for a few hundred miles and try to avoid any hard or "panic" stops. Hard braking during the break-in period may cause the pads to glaze over and lead to squealing and/or reduced braking ability.
 

For more of my related automotive maintenance or repair guides, click on the following links: Chevy Impala Cabin Air Filter Replacement Guide, Chevy Impala Headlight Bulbs Replacement Guide, Chevy Impala Tail Light Bulbs Replacement Guide, Chevy Impala 3.5L V6 Engine Oil Change Guide, Chevy Impala Key Fob Remote Control Battery Replacement Guide, How To Reattach Car Door Molding, GM Power Window Door Tracks Lubrication Guide, GM Power Window Switch Contacts Cleaning Guide, GM Key Fob Battery Replacement Guide, GM A/C Condensate Drain Elbow Cleaning Guide, Meguiar's Headlight Restoration Buffing Kit Guide, Zaino Show Car Polish Review, GM Power Steering Whine Repair Guide, GM Brake Line Fluid Bleeding Guide, GM Rear Brake Pads Replacement Guide, Tail Light & Headlight Condensation Repair Guide, GM Power Window Motor & Regulator Replacement Guide, GM Wheel Bearing Hub Assembly Replacement Guide, Falken Ziex ZE-512 Tire Review, K&N Air Filter Cleaning Guide, and Fuzion ZRi Tire Review.
 
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