1996 Buick Century Change the Rear Brakes

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The 1996 Buick Century uses rear disk brakes, that apply friction pads to a spinning rotor to stop the vehicle. They use a caliper and pads in the front brakes, but the rear brakes also employ an internal parking mechanism that has cable-driven shoes on the inside of the rotor. The average backyard mechanic can replace the rear brakes on a 1996 Century in about an hour. "However the actual rear brake system on the 1996 Buick Century consists of drums and brake shoes" but the advice above is still very good for the front brakes which ARE disk brakes.

Tools Used[edit]

Floor jack
Jack stand
Lug wrench
Socket set
Caliper bolt socket (star)

Change the Rear Brakes[edit]

  • Raise the rear wheel of the Century by placing the floor jack underneath a frame rail and pumping the jack's lever until the wheel is in the air. Place a jack stand near the jack head on the same rail for support. Remove the wheel by turning the lug nuts counterclockwise and pulling the wheel from the hub. Set the wheel aside or under the vehicle for added protection.
  • Remove the caliper by turning the twin rear mount bolts counterclockwise and sliding it from the rotor. The pads come out by prying gently at the clips with a screwdriver, and the caliper pistons should be inspected for leaks with the pads removed. Secure the caliper by tying it to the control arm with zip ties, so that it does not dangle from the brake line.
  • Remove the rotor by turning the keeper bolt counterclockwise and pulling the rotor from the hub. The rotor will slide directly away from the axle, over the parking brake shoes. Inspect the shoes for wear, and remove them if necessary by levering off the small retainer springs and center spring bolt, then pulling them away from the brake back plate. New shoes slide into place, and can be secured with the spring bolt and retainer springs. The interior surface of the rotor serves as the drum. Replace the rotor by pressing it back over the shoes and securing the keeper bolt.
  • Replace the pads onto the caliper pistons and secure the clips by hand. Slide the caliper back over the rotor and turn the rear mount bolts clockwise. Replace the wheel by pushing it onto the lug nuts and turning them clockwise in an alternating pattern. Remove the jack stand and lower the Century from the floor jack.
  • Repeat the entire process on the opposite brake.

Tips & Warnings[edit]

  • Purge the braking system if the fluid is dark or all brakes are being changed.
  • Use extreme caution when working underneath a lifted car.