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Chevrolet Cruze Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a 2nd generation 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 GM Chevy Cruze sedan.

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2018 Cruze Front Wheel
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Loosen Five Lug Nuts
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Front Jack Point Location
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 GM Chevrolet Cruze in changing the front disc brake pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles from Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Holden such as the Sonic, Spark, Malibu, Impala, Volt, Bolt, Camaro, Corvette, Trax, Equinox, Blazer, Suburban, Tahoe, Traverse, Colorado, Silverado, Express, TrailBlazer, Encore, Regal TourX, Envision, Enclave, LaCrosse, Cascada, Sierra, Canyon, Acadia, Terrain, Yukon, Savana, XT4, XT5, XT6, Escalade, CT5, CTS-V, XTS, CT6, ATS, Astra and Commodore may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement sets of new front brake pads with their part numbers are as follows: ACDelco 17D1844CH, Power Stop Z23-1844, KFE KFE1844-104, ACDelco 14D1844CH and genuine OEM GM 84152472 (also known as 23286272).

The tools and other items needed to complete this procedure include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, a 14mm socket, a 3/8" drive ratchet, a 17mm wrench, an "F" clamp and a tube of brake caliper grease.

The first few steps are to drive the vehicle on to a level surface, shift the transmission into "Park" and turn off the ignition.

Engage the emergency / parking brake and place wheel chocks on both sides of the rear tires to help prevent the car from moving.

The lug nut wrench or "tire iron" and the floor jack are located under the spare tire situated in the cargo area below the trunk mat.

Slightly loosen the five lug nuts on the front wheel by rotating them about 1/4 to 1/3 turn in the counterclockwise direction with the tire iron.



 

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Raise Front of Vehicle
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Spin Off Lug Nuts
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5 Lug Nuts Removed
Carefully raise the front of the car with the floor jack and securely support it with at least two jack stands.

Please do not solely rely on the floor jack to support the vehicle.

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

Spin off the five lug nuts in the counterclockwise direction and set them aside in a safe place.

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Rotor, Bracket, Caliper
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Front Brake Caliper
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Rotor Torx Set Screw
Carefully remove the front wheel to reveal the rotor, bracket, caliper and suspension.

Some home mechanics choose to place the wheel and tire under the frame rail of the vehicle as an extra emergency backup support device just in case both the floor jack and jack stands fail.

The front brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts situated on the back side of the caliper. The bolt heads face in towards the engine bay.

If you plan on replacing the rotors, you'll need a Torx T30 screwdriver to remove the single set screw on the outside face of the rotor.

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Loosen Lower Bolt
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Loosen Upper Bolt
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Spin Out Bottom Bolt
Loosen the bottom caliper bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

Then loosen the top caliper bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction (when viewed from the outside of the car looking towards the rotor) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

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Spin Out Top Bolt
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Two Caliper Bolts
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Lift Out Brake Caliper
Spin out the two caliper bolts the rest of the way by hand and set them aside in a safe place.

Carefully lift the front brake caliper out of the bracket and off the old pads.

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Rest Caliper On Rotor
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Two "V" Spring Clips
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Bottom Clip Removed
Carefully rest the caliper on the rotor or suspend it from the suspension spring with a bungee cord or some rope.

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

There are two "brake drag reduction clips" or "spreading springs" attached to the outer edge of the old brake pads.

Pull the two "V" or "U" shaped spring clips off the old pads and set them aside for re-installation later on.

Your set of new pads might also include new spring clips.

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Remove Top Clip
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Spring Clips Removed
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Wear Bar Top Inner Pad
Pull the old inner and outer brake pads out of the bracket.

Make a mental note of where the wear indicator bar or "squeal bar" was situated on the old pads.

On this 2018 Cruze LT, the wear indicator bar was located at the top of the inner brake pad.

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Remove Old Outer Pad
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Pad Abutment Clip
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Replace Abutment Clips
If your new set of pads includes a bag of replacement brake hardware, pull the two old pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket.

Clean off the rotor, caliper, bracket and lug studs with some brake parts cleaner spray.

Avoid breathing in the brake dust or the cleaning spray since they might be carcinogenic.

Apply some synthetic high temperature brake parts lubricant grease to the top and bottom of the new pad abutment clips where they will come in contact with the new pads and the bracket.

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

Make sure the clips are fully seated in the bracket.

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Caliper Slider Pins
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Lubricate & Replace Pins
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Attach "F" Clamp

In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins or "guide bolts" need to be well lubricated.

Do not mix up the top and bottom caliper slider pins. They are slightly different.

Pull out one pin at a time from its rubber dust boot.

Apply a thin layer of brake caliper grease to the smooth part of the pin.

Push the pin back into the dust boot.

Repeat the process for the other pin.

In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, the caliper piston needs to pushed or "compressed" back.

Attach the "F" 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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Right Rear Engine Bay
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Twist Off Brake Fluid Cap
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Compress Caliper Piston
Move to the right rear (driver side) area of the engine bay.

Locate the brake fluid reservoir bottle situated near the black plastic cowl by the windshield.

Twist off the brake fluid reservoir cap in the counterclockwise direction.

Set the cap aside in a safe place.

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

Repeatedly check the fluid level in the reservoir tank to make sure it doesn't overflow.

Continue compressing back the caliper piston until it is just about flush with the rubber dust boot that surrounds it.



 

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Replace Reservoir Cap
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Install New Outer Pad
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Wear Bar, Top Inner Pad
Replace the reservoir cap as soon as possible since brake fluid is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture from the air).

Allowing the brake fluid to be exposed to the open air for too long may lead to reduced braking performance due to water from the air being absorbed into the fluid.

Twist on the cap in the clockwise direction.

If your Cruze has been exhibiting shuddering, shaking or vibrations in the front end during braking, the old OEM rotors may be warped and should be replaced with new front rotors.

To replace the front rotors, remove the Torx T-30 set screw, remove the two 21mm bracket bolts, take off the bracket, slide off the old rotor and slide the new rotor into place. Replace the bracket, the two bracket bolts and replace the Torx set screw.

The torque specification in the service manual for the 21mm front bracket bolts is 74 lb-ft of torque (or 100 Nm) for the first pass and then another 20 to 30 degrees past that for the "final pass". The Cruze is equipped with TTY (torque to yield) bracket bolts which General Motors recommends should not be re-used.

The genuine OEM General Motors front rotor part number is ACDelco 18A2822A.

The wear indicator bar should be situated at the top of the new inner brake pad.

Install the new inner and outer brake pads into the bracket.

I recommend buying the genuine OEM ACDelco 17D1844CH professional ceramic brake pads.

Ceramic brake pads tend to be much quieter, produce less brake dust, fade less under high temperatures and cause less damage to the rotors.

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Push Pads Against Rotor
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Re-Attach Spring Clips
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"V" / "U" Clips Secured
Push the two pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

If your new pads are equipped with the holes on the outer edges for the spring clips, re-attach the two "V" or "U" shaped metal spring clips to the new pads.

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Lower Caliper Over Pads
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Spin In Top Caliper Bolt
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Replace Bottom Bolt
Carefully lower the caliper over the new pads and into the bracket.

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

Spin in the two caliper bolts a few turns by hand in the counterclockwise direction to help prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

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Tighten Top Bolt
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Tighten Bottom Bolt
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Rubber Valve Cap
Tighten the two caliper bolts by turning them in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the car) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet until they are snug.

If you have a torque wrench, the service manual specification for the caliper bolts is 21 lb-ft of torque (or 28 Nm).

If your brake pedal has been feeling soft or spongy, the brake fluid in the lines might contain some air bubbles or moisture. It would be best to bleed the brake fluid at this time and replace it with fresh fluid.

I recommend using the Allstar Performance Bleeder Bottle since it makes bleeding the brake lines an easy one person job.

Check out my Acura MDX Brake Line Bleeding Guide for more information on this topic and how to use the bleeder bottle.

The brake fluid bleeder valve is located on the back side of the caliper just below the top caliper bolt.

You'll need a standard 10mm wrench to open and close the brake fluid bleeder valves.

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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
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Replace Front Wheel
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Spin On Five Lug Nuts
Double check that the two caliper bolts, the two bracket bolts and the brake fluid bleeder valve are tight before moving on to the next steps.

Carefully push the front wheel and tire back over the five lug studs.

Spin on the five lug nuts a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to help prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Slightly tighten the lug nuts with the tire iron in the clockwise direction in a "criss-cross" or "star" pattern.

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Lower Car From Stands
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Torque Five Lug Nuts
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Front Pads Replaced
Carefully lower the vehicle from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

Continue tightening the lug nuts in a criss-cross or star pattern to about 1/16 to 1/8th of a turn past hand tight.

It would be best to use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts to the owner's manual specification of 100 lb-ft of torque.

Check the brake fluid level in the reservoir and if necessary, carefully pour in some new DOT 3 brake fluid until it reaches the "MAX" (maximum or full) line on the side of the bottle.

Next, sit in the driver's seat and firmly pump the brake pedal a few times to restore the brake line pressure.

Take the car for a short test drive and listen closely for any strange noises that might indicate a problem.

It would also be a good idea to check your driveway, garage or parking spot for drops of fresh brake fluid during the next few days and make sure that the lug nuts are still tight.

Be sure to write down the brake pad change in your vehicle's service records.

For more, please check out all of my 2016-2019 GM Chevrolet Cruze DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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