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Chevrolet Malibu Rear Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the rear disc brake pads on a 9th generation 2016 to 2023 GM Chevrolet Malibu with the part numbers.

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2020 Malibu Rear Wheel
Slightly Loosen Lug Nuts
Raise Rear of Vehicle
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the ninth generation 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 GM Chevrolet Malibu in changing the rear disc brake pads, lubricating the caliper slider pins and replacing the rear rotors if necessary.

The 9th generation Malibu was supposed to undergo a "facelift" in 2022 or 2023 and the refreshed vehicle may have continued being produced into the 2024 and 2025 model years but it will now apparently be discontinued after the 2023 model year.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles from Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, GMC and Holden such as the Impala, Corvette, Bolt, Sonic, Spark, Express, Trax, TrailBlazer, Equinox, Traverse, Blazer, Tahoe, Suburban, Colorado, Silverado, Cruze, Volt, Camaro, Encore, Envision, Enclave, Regal, LaCrosse, Canyon, Sierra, Terrain, Acadia, Yukon, Savana, XT4, XT5, XT6, Escalade, CT4, CT5, CT6 and Commodore may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement sets of new rear brake pads for Malibu models equipped with the manual foot pedal operated parking brake with their part numbers include the following: ACDelco 17D1921CH, Power Stop Z23-1921, Raybestos MGD1921CH, ACDelco 14D1921CH and Wagner ZD1921.

If your Malibu is equipped with the "EPB" (electric parking brake) the compatible replacement rear brake pads with their part numbers are as follows: ACDelco 14D1915CH, Raybestos MGD1915CH and Power Stop 16-1857.

The correct brake pads for your vehicle may vary depending on the model year, trim level, transmission type (FWD or AWD) and whether it has the manual foot pedal operating parking brake or the EPB (electronic parking brake).

Please verify the correct replacement brake pads for your Malibu by using the Amazon Part Finder website before you purchase new parts.

The tools and other items needed to complete this rear brake job include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, wheel chocks, a 14mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratchet, a Lisle 28600 disc brake piston tool and a tube of brake caliper grease.

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

Make sure the emergency / parking brake has been released. If the parking brake is engaged, you will not be able to pull the rear caliper off the old pads.

Place wheel chocks on both sides of the front tires to help prevent the car from moving.

Slightly loosen the five lug nuts on the rear wheel by turning them 1/4 to 1/2 turn in the counterclockwise direction with the tire iron.

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!

I prefer to only work on one side of the car at a time to keep three tires on the ground for extra safety.


Spin Off 5 Lug Nuts
Five Lug Nuts Removed
Rotor, Bracket, Caliper
Spin off the five lug nuts and set them aside in a safe place.

Carefully pull off the rear wheel and tire to reveal the rotor, bracket, caliper and suspension.

Rear Brake Caliper
Loosen Lower Bolt
Loosen Top Caliper Bolt
Note - This 2020 Malibu LT is equipped with the standard manual foot pedal operated parking brake.

The rear brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts on the back side of the caliper with the bolt heads facing in towards the center of the trunk.

Loosen the bottom caliper bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

Then loosen the top caliper bolt by also turning it in the clockwise direction (when viewed from the outside of the car) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

If you have trouble getting your 14mm socket and ratchet over the top caliper bolt due to the metal brake fluid pipe being in the way, you can instead use a standard 14mm wrench.

Spin Out Upper Bolt
Remove Bottom Bolt
2 Caliper Bolts Removed
Spin out the top and bottom caliper bolts the rest of the way by hand.

Set the two caliper bolts aside in a safe place.

Pull Off Brake Caliper
Rest On Suspension
Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
Carefully pull the rear brake caliper off the old pads and out of the bracket.

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

Pull the old inner brake pad out of the bracket.

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

On this 2020 Malibu LT, the wear indicator bar was situated at the top of the inner brake pad.

Remove Old Outer Pad
Pad Abutment Clip
Replace Abutment Clips
Pull the old outer brake pad out of the bracket.

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

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

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

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

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

Make sure the new pad abutment clips are fully seated.

Caliper Slider Pins
Lubricate & Replace Pins
Disc Brake Piston Tool
In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins or "slide bolts" need to be well lubricated.

Do NOT mix up the top and bottom caliper slider pins since they are slightly different.

Pull out one of the slider pins from its rubber dust boot, apply a thin layer of grease to it and push the pin back into place.

Repeat the process to lubricate the second caliper slider pin.

This 2020 Malibu LT with the manual parking brake is equipped with "screw-in" type rear caliper pistons.

Attention: If your Malibu is equipped with the EPB (electric parking brake), please take a look at my General Motors Electric Parking Brake Manual Retraction Guide for instructions on how to safely retract the caliper piston with out damaging the EPB actuator.

For Malibu models with the manual parking brake, find the side of the Lisle 28600 disc brake piston tool that has the best grip on the piston.

Turn Back Caliper Piston
Install New Outer Pad
Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
Attach the disc brake piston tool to a short extension bar and the 3/8" drive ratchet.

Slowly turn back the screw-in type caliper piston by turning the ratchet in the clockwise direction.

If you encounter any resistance, make sure the manual parking brake was actually released.

It may also be helpful to remove the brake fluid reservoir cap to allow the brake fluid to more easily travel back through the system.

If you see the piston moving OUT away from the caliper, STOP and make sure you are turning the tool in the correct clockwise direction.

You may need to push in while turning the tool to get the piston to retract. Make sure the piston is going back in straight.

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

If your Malibu has been exhibiting shuddering, shaking or vibrations in the rear end while braking, the OEM rotors might be worn out or warped and should be replaced.

The OEM rear brake rotor part numbers are ACDelco 177-1179 or ACDelco 18A81999.

Two compatible replacement aftermarket rear brake rotors with their part numbers are as follows: Raybestos 581999R and Centric 320.62145 GCX.

To replace the rotors, first remove the two 18mm bolts on the back side of the bracket or "torque member" that secure it to the wheel hub. Set the bracket aside in a safe place.

New GM vehicles are equipped with torque-to-yield (or "TTY") caliper bracket bolts that should not be re-used. Consult with your dealership to purchase new bracket bolts.

Then remove the set screw on the outer face of the rotor by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with a Torx T30 star bit screwdriver.

Slide the old rotor off the wheel hub and lug studs.

Slide the new rotor over the lug studs and replace the Torx T30 set screw by turning it in the clockwise direction.

The torque specification for the rear rotor set screw is 89 lb-in (or 10 N.m).

Re-attach the caliper bracket with the two 18mm bolts and tighten them in the clockwise direction until they are snug.

The service manual specification for tightening the torque-to-yield 18mm rear caliper bracket bolts is 74 lb-ft plus another 60 degrees.

An optional step is to apply some Loctite Blue (medium strength - removable with hand tools) or Loctite Red (high strength - heat required for removal) threadlocking adhesive to the bracket bolts.

Double check that the bracket bolts are tight before moving on to the next steps.

Note - The torque specifications were obtained from the service manuals for the 2011 To 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, 2013 to 2016 Buick LaCrosse and the 2014 to 2017 Buick Regal. All of these vehicles along with the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain have the same front brake caliper and bracket part numbers. Please verify the torque specifications for your vehicle.

Orientate the wear indicator bar at the top of the new inner brake pad.

Slide the new inner brake pad into the bracket.

Install the new outer brake pad into the bracket.

Install New Inner Pad
Push Pads Against Rotor
Lower Caliper Over Pads
Push the two pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

Carefully lower the caliper over the new pads and into the bracket.

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

Spin In Bottom Bolt
Replace Top Bolt
Tighten Top Bolt
Spin in the two caliper bolts a few turns by hand in the counterclockwise direction (as viewed from the outside of the vehicle) to help prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the top caliper bolt by turning it in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the car) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet until it is snug.

If you have a torque wrench, the service manual specification for tightening the rear caliper bolts is 20 lb-ft (or 27 N.m).

Tighten Bottom Bolt
Rubber Valve Cap
Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
Tighten the bottom caliper bolt by turning it in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet to 20 lb-ft of torque.

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 might contain some air bubbles or moisture.

It would be a good idea to bleed the brake lines and flush out the old fluid with fresh new DOT 3 brake fluid.

I highly recommend using the Allstar Performance Bleeder Bottle to bleed the brake lines. It makes this procedure an easy one-person job compared to having an assistant pump the brake pedal for you over and over again.

The brake fluid bleeder valve is located on the back side of the caliper just below the top bolt. To open and close the valve, you'll need a 10mm wrench.

In general, the brake line bleeding order for most vehicles is to start at the caliper furthest from the brake fluid reservoir and work your way to the closest caliper. So the order should be as follows: right rear, right left, front right and front left.

Push On Rear Wheel
Spin On Five Lug Nuts
Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts
Push 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 by turning them 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 car from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

Continue tightening the lug nuts in the clockwise direction in a criss-cross or "star" pattern to just past hand tight.

It would be best to use a torque wrench to properly tighten the lug nuts to the owner's manual specification of 100 lb-ft.

Please double check your owner's manual for the correct lug nut torque specification for your vehicle.

Check the brake fluid level in the reservoir and if necessary, pour in some new DOT 3 brake fluid until the level reaches the "MAX" (maximum) line.

It would be a good idea to check your garage floor, driveway or parking spot for drops of fresh brake fluid during the next few days which could indicate a leak from the bleeder valve or the reservoir in the engine bay.

I also recommend that you check that the lug nuts are still tight after your next trip.

Be sure to write down the rear brake pad and/or rotor change in your vehicle's service records.

Please check out all of the 2016-2023 GM Chevrolet Malibu DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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