Changing the Brakes on a Buick LeSabre
Brake maintenance is an essential part of caring for your Buick LeSabre. Without the brakes, the car loses the ability to stop, which poses a variety of hazard, most notably collisions. As such, routine inspection and changing of the brake pads is necessary. Inspection of other parts is warranted as well and repair or replacement should occur if any parts are worn or damaged.
Determine if You Need New Brakes
The first step in changing the brakes is determining if you even need them. Brake noise can occur and some people may mistake this for the sound that comes from them squeal tab, which is an indicator that the brakes need changed. While a person may be able to get a visual inspection with the tire on, removal of the tire for a full visual inspection is best.
Acquire the Brakes and Necessary Tools
Once it has been determined that the Buick LeSabre does need brakes, you must purchase the brakes you need. You local auto store, such as AutoZone or NAPA, can help you look up the necessary brakes. Be sure to purchase brake cleaner and any other parts you may need.
Lift the Car
It is very important to lift the car in an appropriate manner and to secure it in order to prevent movement while elevated. To do this, place the wheels in a straight, place the car in park, and engage the emergency brake. With the car off, place stops behind the back tires. Place a jack under the car on one side and lift that side. Insert a jack stand. Remove the jack.
Inspect the Brake System
Take another good look at the brake system, and inspect the system for any damage or wear. Look at the rotors, calipers, brakes, and brake lines. Look around at other elements too, just to be certain no other area that is visible shows sign of wear. If everything looks good, proceed. If not, make a note of the problems you see so that they can be addressed later.
Spray the Rotor
The rotor on your Buick LeSabre likely has dust on it. Spray the brake clean onto the rotor and surrounding areas to remove the dust. Do so in accordance with the instructions on the can. The cheaper the previous brake, the more dust that may have collected. This dust is harmful if breathed in. Remove it and allow the sprayed area to dry.
Release the Caliper
The caliper may be holding on tight to the brakes. To remove them you need to remove the screws/bolts that hold the caliper in place. Ideally, you only need to remove one and the caliper can be flipped out of the way. The brake pads can then be removed.
Remove the Old Brake Pad
To remove the old brakes, simply grab hold of them and slide them out. They slide into two grooves, one on either end of the brake pad. If they are tight or simply do not budge, which is rare, carefully insert a flat object to pry them out being sure to not damage anything around them.
Install the New Brake Pad
The caliper is set to fit the brake pad that was removed. It has a smaller available space than the size of the new brake pad. To widen out the caliper, you need to move the pistons, which are two cylindrical objects with holes in the center that are on the inside of the caliper, where the brakes sat. A c-clamp or a piece of wood can be pressed against these to create the pressure that moves the pistons. Put everything back together and replace the tire.
Repeat the Process
The process for the rest of the brakes is the same. You have to lift and lower the car for each brake pad unless you opt to lift one end of the vehicle at a time. This allows you to access both tired with one lift. Just be careful, as the car is less stable on two jack stands as opposed to one.
Double Check the Tires
Once you have completed changing all of the brakes, double check the tires. Walk around the car and double check each lug nut to be sure they are tight. Loose lug nuts lead to problems. Remember to double check them after the car has been driven as well.
Test drive the car. Pump the brake pedal a few times before heading out to make sure that the caliper has depressed onto the brakes. Take a short drive and makes sure that the brakes are working fine.
Changing the brakes on a Buick LeSabre is an easy process. It may take a little time but none of the steps in themselves are hard. Always be careful when working in the wheel well of a car. Accidents can happen and, should the car become excessively unbalanced, you could be the object of harm. Skip no steps and always inspect your work. Make sure it looks the same as when you started.