How to Repair ABS Brakes on a GMC Sierra 1500

Written by jule pamplin
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How to Repair ABS Brakes on a GMC Sierra 1500
(Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

The ABS brakes on the GMC Sierra 1500 are comprised of brake pads, rotors and caliper pistons. Each of the components should be in proper working condition to perform as designed. Worn brake pads can gouge the surfaces of the brake rotors and lead to a diminished braking performance. Scored rotors will also wear new brake pads prematurely. Replace the brake pads and rotors when wear or damage is noticed to ensure safe driving.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Turkey baster
  • Tire iron
  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • 18mm socket wrench
  • T-30 Torx bit and drive
  • Dead-blow hammer
  • Rotor
  • Brake pads
  • Brake parts cleaner
  • Cloth towel
  • Brake grease
  • C-clamp
  • Funnel
  • Brake fluid

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  1. 1

    Lift the Sierra's bonnet and remove the master cylinder cap. The cap sits to the right of the engine and covers the vehicle's reservoir of brake fluid. Siphon half of the fluid from the master cylinder with a turkey baster. Place the cap loosely onto the reservoir container to keep debris from the remaining fluid.

  2. 2

    Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels with the tire iron or lug wrench. Lift the truck with the lifting jack and place jack stands under the frame for support. Lower the GMC onto the stands. Remove the lug nuts and take the wheels off.

  3. 3

    Remove the two caliper slide bolts from the back side of the caliper with an 18mm wrench. Lift the caliper from the brake assembly and rest it on top of the steering arm above the brake assembly. Slide the brake pads from the caliper walls.

  4. 4

    Remove the rotor retaining screw from the outside surface of the disc with a T-30 Torx bit and drive.

  5. 5

    Grab the rotor with two hands on opposite sides of the disc and pull it straight from the wheel hub. Use a dead-blow hammer to strike the centre section of the rotor if it does not slide easily from the vehicle's wheel bolts.

  6. 6

    Remove the new rotors from their packaging and clean them thoroughly with brake parts cleaner and a cloth towel. Place the new rotor onto the vehicle's wheel bolts and push it against the wheel hub. Replace the retaining screw on the outward face of the rotor.

  7. 7

    Apply a thin layer of brake grease to the back sides of the new brake pads. Use anti-squeal, copper-based compound for best results.

  8. 8

    Force the caliper piston into the caliper with a C-clamp. The piston is the metal cylinder that extends from the inside of the caliper. Remove the C-clamp once the piston is fully depressed within the side of the caliper. Slide the new brake pads onto the sides of the caliper. Screw in the caliper slide bolts and tighten them with the wrench.

  9. 9

    Place the wheel back onto the wheel bolts and screw on the lug nuts by hand. Lift the Sierra with the jack and remove the jack stands. Lower the tires to the ground and tighten the lug nuts with the tire iron. Move to the driver's seat and start the engine.

  10. 10

    Press the brake pedal slowly to the floor and release it. Repeat the depressions until the brake pedal response returns to normal. Move to the engine compartment.

  11. 11

    Remove the master cylinder cap and place a funnel into the container. Fill the reservoir with DOT 3 brake fluid as needed. Remove the funnel and secure the cap onto the master cylinder. Close the GMC's bonnet.

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