Question about 2004 Pontiac Bonneville

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Unable to compress rear brake caliper is this caliper shot?

I am trying to replace the rear brake pads on a 2004 Bonneville and am unable to compress the cylinder in the caliper is this caliper shot or is this one that is threaded and has to be screwed in or out to compress?

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Use a pair of needle-nose vise grips and twist the piston into the cylinder clockwise. It will take a few turns but it should retract enough to clear the rotor.

Posted on Jun 21, 2009

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There is a tool that you can buy or rent at the parts house that you can connect to a hand tool EG: 3/8 rachet to use with a tool to compress the caliper while you turn the rachet. You will see some raised teeth on the calliper piston for the tool to bite on. Since the rear brake is used to lock the parking brake it has to have a self adjust to compensate for the brake pad wear. EG: Old school drum brakes adjust when you back up depressing the brakes and letting off while the vehicle is rolling allows for the adjuster to reset the brake shoe clearance.

Posted on Jun 01, 2009

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Open the bleeder line, then using a C-clamp, compress the piston in the cylinder.

Posted on Jun 01, 2009

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HOW DO YOU REPLACE REAR BRAKE PADS ON A 2004 SATURN L300 WAGON


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Procedure for changing front and rear brake pads on a 2004 Amanti



Removal & Installation

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
  2. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Front wheel Caliper mounting bolt Suspend the caliper from a wire Pads from the caliper support Pad retainers, if necessary

To install:
  1. Install or connect the following:

    Pad retainers, if removed Pads onto the pad retainers
  2. Compress the caliper piston using a C-clamp. Rotate the caliper downward and install the mounting bolt. Tighten to 16-24 ft. lbs. (22-32 Nm).
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Removal & Installation

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
  2. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Rear wheel Caliper mounting bolt Suspend the caliper from a wire Pads from the caliper support Pad retainers, if necessary

To install:
  1. Install or connect the following:

    Pad retainers, if removed Pads onto the pad retainers
  2. Compress the caliper piston using a C-clamp. Rotate the caliper downward and install the mounting bolt. Tighten to 16-24 ft. lbs. (22-32 Nm).
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Can't compress rear piston on 2000 Bonneville. Replaced front rotors and pads, no problem with piston. Replaced R-rear rotor and pads but piston is frozen.???


  1. To retract the caliper piston into the caliper bore use a spanner type wrench to turn the piston. You can also rent the correct tool from a local parts store or you may use a pair of channel lock pliers and apply slight pressure with a C clamp. You must be very careful not to damage rubber boot or piston. Turn the piston clockwise until it bottoms out fully in the caliper.
  2. Align the cutouts in the caliper piston to the alignment pins on the back of the brake pads.
Watch this quick video for help. http://www.professionalfleet.com/videos/view/10-replace-rear-disc-brakes

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The brake tool can be obtained from most auto part stores, and it is usually square with protrusions sticking out from the sides in different patterns to fit various caliper pistons, and it usually attaches to a 3/8" drive extension and ratchet.

Do not compress this type of caliper piston because the caliper can damaged.

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There are two stlyes of calipers for the rears. One is ratcheting so the piston has to be turned back to colaspe. The other type compresses with a C clamp. If a large retaining spring is on the inner part of the caliper you have the ratcheting type. A brake cable will attach to the spring as well. If not it will compress instead

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Rear disc brakes


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Disconnect the caliper bolts and remove the brake caliper. Use mechanic's wire to fasten the caliper to your truck's side rail. Take out the outer disc brake pads followed by the inner pads.
Compress the brake piston into the caliper bore using a C-clamp. Replace the inner brake pads followed by the outer brake pads. Remove the C-clamp.
Remove the mechanic's wire from the caliper. Lay the caliper over the pads, fasten it down and tighten the caliper bolts with the torque wrench to 26 ft. lb.
Replace the wheels and lower the vehicle to the ground. Bleed the brakes if necessary and check the brake performance during a short test drive.
Good luck and hope this helps.


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Unable to compress caliper piston to replace brake pads


If the problem is with the front caliper replace it. If the problem is with the rear caliper you need a tool that will compress the piston back into the caliper by turning it. Most auto parts stores will have a caliper tool for this.

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