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GM Electric Parking Brake Manual Retraction Guide
How to remove the EPB from a General Motors vehicle, turn back the ball screw and compress the caliper piston.

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2020 Chevrolet Camaro
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Rear Brake Caliper
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Electric Parking Brake
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 2020 GM Chevrolet Camaro in removing the "EPB" (electric parking brake) assembly, manually turning back the ball screw actuator rod and compressing the rear caliper piston in order to install new pads.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles from Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac such as the Malibu, Impala, Bolt, Corvette, Trailblazer, Trax, Equinox, Blazer, Traverse, Tahoe, Suburban, Silverado, Express, Encore, Envision, Enclave, Regal, Sierra, Terrain, Acadia, Yukon, Savana, XT4, XT5, XT6, Escalade, CT4, CT5, CTS and CT6 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

If you have an FCA (Fiat Chrysler America) vehicle such as a Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, Ram or Fiat, you can just use the "Uconnect" menu on the LCD screen to place the EPB system into "brake service mode".

The procedure for manually retracting the electric parking brake systems should be similar or the same for other manufacturers such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Mazda, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

If you have a Ford vehicle, please follow the instructions at the 2018 Ford Expedition Rear Brake Pads Change Guide for placing the EPB system into "maintenance mode".

The absolute safest option is to take your EPB equipped vehicle to the dealership in order to have the rear brake pads replaced since they have the specialized computer needed to retract the EPB motors into "service mode".

The next safest option is to use an OBDII Scanner (also known as an OBD2 scan tool) that specifically has the ability to retract the electric parking brake system.

Attention: Please proceed with caution and at your own risk!

The tools needed to complete this procedure on this 2020 Camaro and other GM vehicles include a 5mm hex head socket with a ratchet or a 5mm Allen key wrench and a 6mm hex head socket or a 6mm Allen key wrench.

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 is "OFF".

If the parking brake is not released, you will not be able to pull the rear caliper off the old pads and out of the bracket.

I recommend disconnecting the 12V automotive battery by removing the "-" negative terminal.

Detaching the negative battery terminal may prevent the vehicle's computer (ECU - electronic control unit) from detecting that the EPB system was manually adjusted and help avoid having a DTC (diagnostic trouble code) or error from appearing on the gauge cluster or LCD screen.



 

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Two Hex Head Bolts
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Loosen Top Caliper Bolt
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Loosen Bottom Bolt
Place wheel chocks on both sides of the front tires to help prevent the vehicle from moving.

Make sure the wheel chocks are secure by hitting them with a rubber mallet until they are firmly wedged in place.

If you just need to manually release the electronic parking brakes in order to move a disabled vehicle, you can skip past the steps for removing the rear caliper.

Loosen the top and bottom caliper bolts by turning them in the clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle).

For this 2020 Camaro, the rear brake calipers require a 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet to remove the two bolts.

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Spin Out Upper Bolt
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Remove Lower Bolt
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2 Caliper Bolts Removed
Spin out the two bolts the rest of the way by hand.

Set the caliper bolts aside in a safe place.

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Pull Off Rear Caliper
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Rear of EPB Assembly
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5mm Hex Head Bolt
Carefully pull the rear caliper off the old pads and out of the bracket.

(The caliper bracket is also referred to as the "torque member" in some service manuals.)

Rest the caliper on the rotor or suspend it from the suspension with a bungee cord or a piece of rope.

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

Attention: Please proceed with caution and at your own risk!

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Rest Caliper - Suspension
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Loosen 5mm Bolt
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Slide Out Red Lock Tab
Gently slide back the red plastic locking tab on the electrical connector away from the caliper.
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Disconnect Power Plug
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Spin Out First Bolt
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First Bolt Removed
Push in the release button on the electrical connector before sliding it straight out of the socket on the EPB housing.

Loosen the two black metal bolts on the EPB housing by turning them in the counterclockwise direction with the 5mm hex head socket and a ratchet or a 5mm Allen key wrench.

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Pry Off Harness Clip
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Wire Loom Detached
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Loosen Second Bolt
Pry out the black plastic retaining clip that secures the wire loom to the back of the EPB assembly with a flat head screwdriver or use a pop rivet removal tool.
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Spin Out 2nd Bolt
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Two Bolts Removed
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Pull Off EPB Motor
Spin out the two EPB bolts the rest of the way.

Set the two bolts aside in a safe place.

Carefully pull the EPB assembly off the back of the caliper.

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Ball Screw Mechanism
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Turn Back Ball Screw Rod
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Slowly Compress Piston
For this 2020 Camaro, I found that a 6mm hex head Allen key wrench had the best grip on the exposed spindle at the back of the caliper.

Update - The owner of a 2017 Camaro informed me that a 5mm hex wrench worked for their EPB ball screw mechanism.

(Other vehicles might require a Torx star bit socket in order to turn back the ball screw actuator rod.)

Insert the Allen wrench into the opening in the spindle and turn it in the clockwise direction to retract the ball screw rod away from the piston.

(If you turn the Allen wrench in the counterclockwise direction, you will see the ball screw rod push the caliper piston out.)

Be careful and avoid turning the spindle in the wrong direction to prevent from having the piston pop out out of the rubber gasket, cause a brake fluid leak and contaminate the line with air.

Once you are done fully turning back the ball screw actuator rod in the clockwise direction, you can attach the "F" clamp to the caliper.

Use the back of an old brake pad to evenly distribute the pressure across the piston.

Slowly turn the "F" clamp handle in the clockwise direction to compress back the caliper piston.

If you feel significant resistance, do not continue turning the "F" clamp handle.

Double check to make sure you have properly turned back the ball screw actuator rod away from the piston.

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

Check the brake fluid level in the reservoir to make sure it doesn't over flow.

Removing the reservoir cap may also be necessary to allow the brake fluid to more easily travel back through the system.

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Rear Piston Compressed
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EPB Motor Housing
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Gently Replace EPB
An optional step is to re-insert the Allen key and turn the spindle in the counterclockwise direction until you feel the ball screw actuator rod just barely press against the rear of the piston.

If you don't turn the ball screw rod back to this "home" position against the back of the piston, you will hear the EPB motors operate for a little longer than usual the first time you activate the electric parking brake

This is due to them having a longer than usual distance to travel to push the rear brake pads against the rotor.

Line up the EPB assembly with the back of the caliper.

You may need to slightly rotate the EPB housing to line up the drive gear with the spindle on the ball screw actuator rod.

Push the EPB assembly on to the back side of the caliper.

Line up the bolt holes in the black plastic assembly with the corresponding holes in the caliper.

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Spin In First Bolt
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Spin In Second Bolt
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Tighten Bolt Clockwise
If you perform any drag racing, autocross racing or off-road driving with your vehicle, I'd recommend applying a small amount of Loctite Blue (medium strength - removable with hand tools) threadlocker adhesive fluid to the two EPB bolts.

The threadlocker will help prevent the bolts from vibrating loose.

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

Tighten the two EPB bolts in the clockwise direction with the 5mm hex head socket and a ratchet or the 5mm Allen key until they are snug.

Try to avoid over tightening the bolts to prevent from cracking the plastic housing.

For example, the torque specification for the EPB housing bolts in a Honda service manual is just 5.9 lb-ft (or 8.0 N-m).

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Tighten Second Bolt
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Lower Caliper Over Pads
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Spin In Lower Caliper Bolt
Double check that the two bolts are tight before moving on to the next steps.

If you are replacing the brake pads, follow the normal procedure.

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

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

Spin in the two caliper bolts a few turns by hand in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) to make sure they don't become cross threaded.

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Replace Top Caliper Bolt
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Electrical Connector
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Push In Power Plug
Carefully push the electrical connector for the EPB back into its socket.

You should feel the power plug "click" securely into place.

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Slide In Red Lock Tab
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Push In Retaining Clip
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Wire Loom Secured
Slide the red locking tab back in towards the caliper to secure the electrical connector.

Push the black plastic retaining clip for the wire harness back into the opening on the rear of the EPB housing.

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Spin In Top Caliper Bolt
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Tighten Top Bolt
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Tighten Lower Bolt
Tighten the two caliper bolts in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet until they are tight.

If you have a torque wrench, the service manual specification for tightening the rear caliper bolts on this 2020 Chevy Camaro is 30 lb-ft (or 40 N-m).

Note: Some GM vehicles are equipped with "TTY" (Torque-To-Yield) bolts that can not be re-used and should be replaced when servicing the braking system. Please double check with your dealer to see if you need to purchase new bolts when changing the brake pads and rotors.

Replace the rear wheel and 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 and lower the vehicle from the jack stands.

Continue tightening the lug nuts in the clockwise direction to the torque specification in the owner's manual.

Sit in the driver's seat and firmly pump the brake pedal a few times to help restore the brake line pressure and move the hydraulic rear brake pistons against the pads.

Re-attach the "-" negative battery terminal.

Test the electric parking brake by placing your foot on the brake pedal and pulling up on the EPB switch.

You should hear the electric motors activate as they turn the ball screw rods out to push on the rear caliper pistons.

If you didn't move the ball screw actuator rods back to the "home" position against the rear caliper pistons, you might hear the electric motors turning the gearboxes for a few extra seconds longer than normal.

If you see a parking brake error warning or an SES / CEL (service engine soon / check engine light) due to a DTC (diagnostic trouble code) appear on the gauge cluster or the LCD screen, use an OBD2 scan tool to clear the error or disconnect the 12V battery for 15-30 minutes.

For more, please check out my 2018-2022 Chevrolet Equinox DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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