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Chevrolet Cruze Rear Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the rear disc brake pads on a second generation 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 GM Chevy Cruze.

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2018 Cruze Rear Wheel
Slightly Loosen Lug Nuts
Rear Floor Jack Point
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 rear 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 rear brake pads with their part numbers are as follows: ACDelco 17D1857CH, Power Stop Z23-1857, Raybestos MGD1857CH, StopTech 308.18570 and ACDelco 14D1857CH.

The tools and other items needed to complete this rear brake job include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, a 13mm socket, a 3/8" drive ratchet, a 17mm wrench, a Lisle 28600 disc brake piston tool and a tube of brake caliper grease.

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

Make sure that the manual (or electronic) emergency / parking brake is NOT engaged. If the parking brake is engaged, you will not be able to pull the caliper off the old pads and out of the brake.

Place wheel chocks on both sides of the front wheels to help prevent the vehicle from moving.

The tire change tool kit containing the lug nut wrench and the floor jack are located in the trunk below the cargo area mat situated by the spare tire.

Slightly loosen the five lug nuts on the rear wheel by turning them about 1/4 turn in the counterclockwise direction with the tire iron.

Look under the vehicle and locate the jack point situated by the frame rail just in front of the rear tire.


Raise Rear of Car
Spin Off Five Lug Nuts
5 Lug Nuts Removed
Carefully raise the rear 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.

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

Caliper, Bracket, Rotor
Rear Brake Caliper
Loosen Top Caliper Bolt
Remove the rear wheel to reveal the caliper, bracket, rotor and suspension.

Set the tire and wheel aside in a safe place.

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

The rear 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 cargo area.

Loosen the top caliper bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the car) with the 13mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

Loosen Bottom Bolt
Hold Pin In Place
Hold Slider Pin - Wrench
Then loosen the bottom caliper bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction (when viewed from the outside of the car looking towards the outside face of the rotor) with the 13mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

If the caliper slider pin (or "guide bolt") turns as you are attempting to loosen the caliper, hold it in place with a 17mm wrench.

Spin Out Lower Bolt
Spin Out Upper Bolt
Two Bolts Removed
Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.
Lift Caliper Out of Bracket
Screw In Type Piston
Remove Old Inner Pad
Carefully lift the caliper out of the bracket and off the old brake pads.

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

You'll notice that the rear caliper is equipped with a "screw-in" type piston that will need to be turned back in order to retract it into the caliper.

(The front calipers have standard pistons that can be easily compress back into place with just an "F" clamp.

Wear Bar - Bottom Inner
Remove Old Outer Pad
Pad Abutment Clips
Remove the old inner and outer brake pads from the bracket.

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

On this 2018 Cruze LT, the wear indicator bar was situated on the bottom of the inner brake pad.

If your new set of rear pads includes a bag of replacement brake hardware, pull the old pad abutment clips (also known as "anti-rattle" clips) out of the top and bottom of the bracket.

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

Try to avoid breathing in the brake cleaner spray or the brake dust since they may be carcinogenic.

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

To replace the rear rotors, remove the Torx T-30 set screw, remove the two 15mm 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 rear 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 rear rotor part number is ACDelco 18A82034A.

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

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

Replace Abutment Clips
Lubricate Lower Pin
Top Caliper Slider Pin
Make sure the pad abutment clips are fully seated in the bracket.

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 since they are different.

Pull the top caliper slider pin out of the rubber dust boot attached to the bracket.

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

Push the pin back into the bracket until the rubber dust boot "snaps" over the raised ring near the end of the pin.

Push the pin in and out and spin it around a few times to help spread the grease.

Repeat the process to lubricate the bottom caliper slider pin.


Disc Brake Piston Tool
Turn Back Screw-In Piston
Rotor Set Screw
In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, you'll need to turn back or "retract" the rear caliper pistons.

Test fit the various sides of the Lisle 28600 disc brake piston tool to see which side has the best grip on the piston.

Attach the tool to a short extension bar and the 3/8" drive ratchet.

Slowly rotate the "screw-in" type rear caliper piston in the clockwise direction while applying pressure.

If you have trouble screwing in the piston, try removing the round black plastic cap on the brake fluid reservoir located in the right rear area of the engine bay (near the driver side of the windshield) to allow the fluid to more easily travel through the system.

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

Be sure to replace the brake fluid reservoir cap ASAP when you are done retracting the piston since brake fluid is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture). If the brake fluid absorbs too much water from the air, it may lead to a lower boiling point and reduced braking performance.

Install New Outer Pad
Wear Bar - Bottom Inner
Push Pads Against Rotor
Install the new inner and outer brake pads into the bracket.

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

Push the two pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

Lower Caliper Over Pads
Line Up Bolt Holes
Spin In Top Caliper Bolt
Carefully lower the caliper over the new brake pads and into the bracket.

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

Spin in the two caliper pins a few turns by hand in the counterclockwise direction (when viewed from the outside of the car) to help prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Replace Bottom Bolt
Torque Top Bolt
Tighten Lower Bolt
Tighten the two bolts in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 13mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet to just past hand tight.

The service manual specification for the rear caliper bolts is 21 lb-ft (28 Nm) of torque.

If the caliper slider pins turn as you are attempting to tighten the caliper bolts, hold them in place with a 17mm wrench.

Double Check Bolts
Rubber Valve Cover
Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
Double check that the two caliper bolts are tight before moving on to the next steps.

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.

Replace Rear Wheel
Spin On 5 Lug Nuts
Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts

Carefully replace the rear wheel 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.

Lower Car From Stands
Torque Lug Nuts
Rear Brake Job Done
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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