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GMC Acadia Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front brake pads on a 1st generation 2007 to 2016 GMC Acadia SUV with photo illustrated steps.

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2016 Acadia Front Wheel
Slightly Loosen 5 Lug Nuts
Raise Front of Vehicle

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the first generation (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016) GMC Acadia in changing the front disc brake pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles such as the Buick Verano, Regal, LaCrosse, Cascada, Encore, Enclave, Envision, GMC Canyon, Sierra 1500, Terrain, Yukon, Denali, Savana, Spark, Sonic, Cruze, Malibu, Impala, Volt, Camaro, Corvette, SS, Trax, Equinox, Traverse, Tahoe, Suburban, Colorado, Silverado and Express may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible sets of new front brake pads with their part numbers include the following: ACDelco # 17D1169ACH, Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1169A Ceramic, Akebono ACT1169A, Raybestos PGD1169AC, Bendix D1169A CQ, Bosch BP1169A, Monroe CX1169A and Centric 300.11691.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a floor jack, two jack stands, a lug nut wrench, a 13mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench, a "C" or "F" clamp and a tube of high temperature synthetic brake parts lubricant grease.

Spin Off 6 Lug Nuts
Six Lug Nuts Removed
Rotor, Caliper & Bracket
The first two steps are to park the SUV on a level surface and then turn off the engine.

Engage the emergency / parking brake and chock both sides of the rear wheels to prevent the car from moving.

Slightly loosen the six lug nuts on the front wheel by turning them counterclockwise with the tire iron.

Raise the front of the SUV with the floor jack and securely support it with at least two jack stands.

I prefer to work on one side of the vehicle at a time to keep three wheels on the ground for extra safety.

Spin off the 6 lug nuts and set them aside in a safe place.

Remove the front wheel to reveal the caliper, bracket, rotor and suspension.

Front Brake Caliper
Loosen Lower Caliper Bolt
Loosen Top Caliper Bolt
Loosen the two caliper bolts by turning them clockwise, as seen from the outside of the SUV, with the 13mm socket and 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.
Spin Out Top Bolt
Remove Bottom Bolt
Pull Off Brake Caliper
Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.

Pull the front brake caliper out of the bracket and off the old pads.

Rest On Suspension
Two 13mm Caliper Bolts
Remove Old Inner Pad
Carefully rest the caliper on the suspension or suspend it from the spring with a bungee cord.

Pull the old inner pad out of the bracket.

Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
Remove Old Outer Pad
Replace Pad Abutment Clips
Remove the old outer brake pad.

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

On this 2016 Acadia, the wear indicator bar was situated at the top of the old inner brake pad.

I recommend buying the Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1169A ceramic front brake pads since they have great reviews on Amazon. I also love how they don't require any backing plates, shims or disc brake quiet gel due to the built in insulators.

If your new set of front brake pads included replacement brake hardware, pull the old metal pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket.

Apply some brake caliper grease to any area where the new pad abutment clips will come in contact with the bracket or the new pads.

Push the new pad abutment clips in to to the bracket.

Lubricate Caliper Slider Pins
Attach "F" Clamp To Caliper
Twist Off Brake Fluid Cap
In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins or "guide bolts" need to be well lubricated.

Pull the caliper slider pins straight out of their rubber dust boots.

Apply a thin layer of brake caliper grease to the two pins before pushing them back in to place.

In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, the two caliper pistons need to be compressed back.

Attach the "C" or "F" clamp to the caliper and use the back of an old brake pad to evenly distribute the pressure across the piston.

Move to the right rear area of the engine bay and twist off the brake fluid reservoir cap in the counterclockwise direction.

Removing the reservoir cap will allow the brake fluid to more easily travel back through the lines when you compress the caliper pistons.


Compress Caliper Pistons
Move Clamp To 2nd Piston
Replace Brake Fluid Cap
Slowly turn the "F" clamp handle in the clockwise direction to push back the piston.

Repeatedly check the level in the reservoir to make sure that it doesn't over flow. Clean up any spilled brake fluid immediately since it can easily damage painted surfaces.

You may need to re-position the "F" clamp in order to fully compress back both of the caliper pistons.

Try to avoid pinching or otherwise damaging the rubber dust boots that surround the two caliper pistons.

Replace the brake fluid reservoir cap as soon as possible since brake fluid is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture from the air) by twisting it on in the clockwise direction.

Install New Outer Pad
Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
Push Pads Against Rotor
Thoroughly clean off the brake rotor, caliper bracket, brake caliper assembly and the lug nut studs with brake parts cleaner spray. Do not use compressed air or blow with your mouth to clean off the brake parts since breathing in brake dust can be harmful to your health. Brake dust can be carcinogenic (causes cancer) if inhaled.

If your vehicle exhibits shuddering, pulsating, or vibrations during braking, you may need to have your rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or it may be easier to just replace them with brand new rotors. If this is the car's first front brake job and the rotors appear to be in excellent condition, you should be able to just replace the pads with great results.

To remove the existing rotors and install new ones, remove the Torx T30 (or "T-30") set screw and remove the two bolts on the rear of the caliper bracket that attach it to the steering knuckle. Then loosen the old rotor with a rubber mallet, pull it off, and slide the new one in its place.

Install the new brake pads in to the bracket with the wear indicator bar situated at the top of the inner brake pad.

Push the two pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

Lower Caliper Over Pads
Spin In Top Caliper Bolt
Replace Lower Caliper Bolt
Carefully lower the caliper over the new brake pads and in to the bracket.

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

Spin in the two caliper bolts a few turns by hand in the counterclockwise direction to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten Counterclockwise
Top 13mm Caliper Bolt
Rubber Valve Cap
Tighten the upper and lower caliper bolts by turning them counterclockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 13mm socket and 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench to just past hand tight or about 20 to 25 ft-lbs of torque.

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

If the brake pedal previously felt soft or spongy, the brake fluid might be contaminated with water or the brake lines may contain a few air bubbles.

It would be best to bleed the brake lines at this time in order to flush out the old fluid and replace it with fresh DOT3 brake fluid. For more on this topic, check out my Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With An Assistant DIY Guide or alternatively the Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With A Power Bleeder Guide.

The brake fluid bleeder valve is located near the upper caliper bolt and it has a black rubber cap over it.

Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
Replace Front Wheel
Spin On 6 Lug Nuts
Carefully push the front wheel back in to place on the lug studs.

Spin on the six lug nuts in the clockwise direction by hand a few turns to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts
Lower From Jack Stands
Torque To 140 lb-ft
Slightly tighten the 6 lug nuts in a "star" or "criss cross" pattern with the lug nut wrench.

Lower the vehicle from the jack stands using the floor jack.

Continue to progressively tighten the six lug nuts in a "criss cross" or "star" pattern to about 1/4 to 1/2 turn past hand tight.

It would be best to use a torque wrench or an air gun with a torque stick to tighten the lug nuts to 140 lb-ft of torque.

Sit in the driver's seat of the vehicle and pump the brake pedal a few times to restore brake line pressure. Check the brake fluid in the reservoir and verify that it is at the proper level. If it is low, add some DOT 3 fluid.

To break in your new front brake pads, just drive normally for the first several hundred miles while avoiding any hard or "panic" stops which may glaze over the new brake pads and cause them to be noisy and possibly not perform as well.

It's also a good idea to regularly check your driveway for drops of brake fluid which may indicate a leak, check the brake fluid level in the reservoir, and also check that the lug nuts are still tight.

For more, check out my other 2007-2016 GMC Acadia DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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