Replacing the Front Brake Pads on a Suzuki Grand Vitara
Front brake pads on a Suzuki Vitara should be replaced as soon as you hear the squeaking. There is a tab on the front brakes. When the brakes get low, this tab rubs the rotors, creating a squeaking noise. If the brakes are not replaced, the metal of the pads will dig into the rotors, ruining the rotors.
You will need some basic tools to replace the front brake pads, including a floor jack, jack stands, sockets and ratchet, common screwdriver, wrenches, a dripping pan, rags and brake fluid.
Removing the Front Brake Pads
Raise and support the front of the vehicle on the jack stands and remove the front wheels. Place the dripping pan under the caliper. Using a 10mm wrench, break the bleeder screw loose. The bleeder screw in always located on the caliper at the highest point and on the back engine side. Loosen the screw a few turns. Insert the common screwdriver into the opening in the centre of the caliper. Have the screwdriver tip contact the top of the rotor and pry the inside pad in toward the engine, in effect compressing the piston back into the caliper.
Once the pad has moved in somewhat insert the screwdriver in between the rotor and the pad and proceed to compress the piston into the caliper the remainder of the way. Once the caliper piston is compressed, tighten the bleeder screw. Remove the lowest bolt in the caliper and lift the caliper up off of the pads. The caliper will stand up on its own. Remove the two springs that are inserted in the top of the pads to keep them from squealing. Lift the pads out of the caliper mounting bracket.
- Raise and support the front of the vehicle on the jack stands and remove the front wheels.
- Remove the lowest bolt in the caliper and lift the caliper up off of the pads.
Installing the Front Brake Pads
Lay the new pads face down and spread the brake quiet compound supplied with the pads to the back of the pads. Allow 10 minutes for this to set up before installing the brake pads. Install the new pads into the caliper mounting bracket and install the springs into the holes in the pads. The top spring goes in one pad and the other side goes into the other pad. Same for the bottom spring. Hold the pads close to the rotor with your fingers and rotate the caliper downwards and over the pads. Install the bolt in the caliper and tighten securely. Replace the wheel and do the same thing to the opposite side.
- Lay the new pads face down and spread the brake quiet compound supplied with the pads to the back of the pads.
- Install the new pads into the caliper mounting bracket and install the springs into the holes in the pads.
Anytime brakes are replaced the vehicle will have no brake action at all for the first three or four pumps of the brake pedal until the piston in the caliper comes out far enough to tighten up the brakes. It only moves a small amount with each pump of the brake. Do not start the car and put it into gear until the brakes are pumped several times and the brake pedal comes up to normal.
Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).