How to Replace GM Rotors

GM vehicles, like all other makes and models, must have the brake rotors replaced when they become too worn. Brake pads squeeze against the brake rotor and slow the vehicle when you apply the brake. Brake rotors disperse heat that is created from the friction of the brake pads squeezing against them. When they become too thin, heat is not dispersed as well, and the rotors must be replaced.


  1. Loosen the lug nuts using the lug wrench. Do not completely remove them at this time.
  2. Raise the GM vehicle with the floor jack, and place the jack stand in a secure place. Lower the car until it sits securely on the jack stand. Rock the car to ensure that it is resting safely.
  3. Remove the lug nuts and take the wheel and tire off the vehicle.
  4. Remove the brake caliper and the caliper mounting bracket, using the socket and ratchet. Hang the caliper from the vehicle using mechanic's wire, being careful not to pull or stretch the rubber brake line.
  5. Remove the brake rotor by pulling it away from its resting position on the wheel studs.
  6. Spray brake parts cleaner on both sides of the new rotor to remove the protective coating. Place the new rotor over the wheel studs and bolt on the caliper mounting bracket with the socket and ratchet.
  7. Remove the brake pads from the caliper. Use the brake pad separator to compress the caliper piston back into its bore. Put the brake pads back into place.
  8. Remove the mechanic's wire and gently slide the caliper over the new rotor. Tighten the caliper mounting bolts with the socket and ratchet.
  9. Put the wheel back on the GM vehicle and hand-tighten the lug nuts. Lower the vehicle back to the ground and tighten the lug nuts with the torque wrench to the recommended torque. Start the vehicle and pump the brake pedal until the pedal is firm.