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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in VT and due to the heavy use of road salt in winter my rotors are in really bad shape. Just failed inspection because of it. I had it inspected at a Jeep Dealer and they told me you need special tools / knowledge to work on them due to the regenerative braking and referred me to a couple Chevy dealers in the area (which I would only use as a last resort). I have replaced pads and rotors on my other cars. Is it really not possible to do the work myself? Or at least could I take it to a competent local mechanic rather than a dealer?

Eric
 

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Perhaps someone else can confirm, but I'm pretty sure the rotors / pads are just like any other vehicle; you don't need any special knowledge or tools to work on them. The regenerative braking happens at the motor, not the wheels. Seems to me like they just wanted to get a quick $ for diagnosing but didn't want the hassle of actually doing any more work.
 
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I live in VT and due to the heavy use of road salt in winter my rotors are in really bad shape. Just failed inspection because of it. I had it inspected at a Jeep Dealer and they told me you need special tools / knowledge to work on them due to the regenerative braking and referred me to a couple Chevy dealers in the area (which I would only use as a last resort). I have replaced pads and rotors on my other cars. Is it really not possible to do the work myself? Or at least could I take it to a competent local mechanic rather than a dealer?

Eric
rotor and pad replacement requires no different skill set than on any other disk brake vehicle. Jeep dealer was clueless or blowing smoke.

all the regenerative tech is further in the drive train and that’s only if it’s your front rotors that need replaced.
can You provide pictures of your rotors? They are treated with a different material and the Jeep,dealer may have been thrown off by their Appearance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Perhaps someone else can confirm, but I'm pretty sure the rotors / pads are just like any other vehicle; you don't need any special knowledge or tools to work on them. The regenerative braking happens at the motor, not the wheels. Seems to me like they just wanted to get a quick $ for diagnosing but didn't want the hassle of actually doing any more work.
Yeah, I was suspicious of if I even really needed to have the work done. Like maybe the dealers now are all conspiring against EVs to force us to spend money on unecessary repairs. I had never heard of failing for rust. But apparently a few years ago VT revised it's inspection standards and rather than just testing that the car stops in a reasonable distance now they have to physically inspect the brake system. And you can't just have the discs recut now. They are very strict about how much surface is remaining. I double-checked with another mechanic and he said that anybody who inspected the car would have to fail it for brakes in that condition. It all seems like overkill to me.
 

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I have replaced pads and rotors on my other cars. Is it really not possible to do the work myself? Or at least could I take it to a competent local mechanic rather than a dealer?
If you are competent to do pads and rotors on a standard car, then you can do the work, yourself. Any decent auto tech could also handle it.

Review jacking points, wheel torques and this thread has some useful info Changing Brake Discs - how to and info
 

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Nothing special about the Bolt, but if you're doing it yourself, make sure you're also lubricating the caliper slide pins. Since the brakes don't get actuated much in the Bolt, they will start to stick.
 

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I live in VT and due to the heavy use of road salt in winter my rotors are in really bad shape. Just failed inspection because of it. I had it inspected at a Jeep Dealer and they told me you need special tools / knowledge to work on them due to the regenerative braking and referred me to a couple Chevy dealers in the area (which I would only use as a last resort). I have replaced pads and rotors on my other cars. Is it really not possible to do the work myself? Or at least could I take it to a competent local mechanic rather than a dealer?

Eric
For two years I used regen almost exclusively. Now, I've committed to using brakes avidly to polish off the pits in my rotors, especially the rears. Because I hypermile and do a lot of coasting, I use the brakes less than most others. This will take quite a while to resolve. I'm in NE Ohio, road salt capital of the country. We even have salt mines under Lake Erie.
 

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I have had all 4 of my rotors off. It is a fairly straight forward job.

NOTE: If you are installing new REAR pads and you need to retract the rear caliper pistons, the process is a little different because of the Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) that is attached to the rear caliper (see yellow arrow below). This is my 2020 Bolt rear caliper removed from the car (brake line still attached)...

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If you retract the caliper pistons, I think you have to go through some sort of calibration process when you re-connect the caliper to the car. You basically need to tell the car's computer "hey...I moved the caliper pistons." (edit - Go down to post #15 for more info on this) I did not have to do this in my case because I just put my original rotors back on with the original brake pads. I didn't have to touch the caliper pistons.

Check THIS post for a quick lesson on how to disconnect the EPB connector from each rear caliper. It's simple...but this might save you a little frustration if you haven't done it before. You absolutely have to disconnect the EPB connector to remove each rear caliper.

I have a few more tips I will post in a little bit. I gotta start looking like I'm working. :)
 

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We in the NE salt belt who are gentle, low speed suburban drivers have learned about stuck corroded pistons and brake cylinders, something else to deal with doing thorough brake jobs.
 

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More Bolt brake ramblings... :)


Use New Caliper Bracket Mounting Bolts(?)

On many newer GM vehicles (Bolt included), the service manual says to replace the caliper bracket mounting bolts any time you remove them. Why? It’s hard to find a straight answer. The bolts may stretch when torqued and won’t maintain their clamping force if reused. The replacement bolts may come pre-treated with special thread locker. If you surf around the web, you can find pages of discussion of this topic on GM forums but no clear answer.

Purchasing new caliper bolts isn’t expensive…IF you plan and buy them before you need them! When I needed these bolts in a hurry, I was unable to find an aftermarket source for them locally. If you’re in a hurry and need to get these from a dealer, be aware of the following…

1. The dealer may not have them in stock. My local Chevy dealer didn’t have the front or rear bolts available when I checked. It took them 1 day to get rear bolts, and a couple of days to get the fronts. Brake service is common…I assumed the dealer would have plenty of these bolts available :unsure: , but I was wrong.

2. These bolts are expensive at the dealer if you have to pay full list price for them. The rear bolts aren’t too bad (about $7/each), but the front bolts were $25 EACH when I bought them! You will spend $100 replacing the 4 bolts on the front calipers alone if you have to buy them at the dealership! :oops:

Here are what the bolts look like with the part numbers...

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Here are the caliper mount bolts I removed from my car compared to the new bolts I purchased from the dealer. The only difference I noticed was that the rear factory bolts have red thread locker. The replacement bolts do not have any thread locker...

FRONT
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REAR
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Do you really need to replace the caliper mount bolts? :unsure: I'm not sure I would do it again...especially since I spent $130 on friggin' bolts just to remove/replace my rotors!?! I wonder if dealers actually do this (it makes me wonder since my local dealer doesn't even stock these bolts?) It would certainly make a brake job more expensive if they did.
 

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Knowing that most dealerships are, in general, untrustworthy, they probably charge you MSRP for the bolts and reuse the old ones. Easy money in the pocket. This all stems from the fact that almost everyone in a dealership works on commission, from the techs and writers to the front office, not to mention the sales teams. That is how it worked at the dealerships I worked at, another lifetime ago.
 

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Servicing Rear Calipers that use Electronic Parking Brakes

If you need to retract the rear caliper pistons as part of your brake servicing, you will have to use the EPB service mode.

THIS video explains the general concept of what the EPB service mode does.

THIS is a link to the instructions for how to do this in a GM car.

THIS video shows someone doing this process in a Bolt.

Again...I didn't have to do this on my car because I didn't have to touch the rear caliper pistons.
 

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I have had all 4 of my rotors off. It is a fairly straight forward job.

NOTE: If you are installing new REAR pads and you need to retract the rear caliper pistons, the process is a little different because of the Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) that is attached to the rear caliper (see yellow arrow below). This is my 2020 Bolt rear caliper removed from the car (brake line still attached)...

View attachment 43708

If you retract the caliper pistons, I think you have to go through some sort of calibration process when you re-connect the caliper to the car. You basically need to tell the car's computer "hey...I moved the caliper pistons." (edit - Go down to post #15 for more info on this) I did not have to do this in my case because I just put my original rotors back on with the original brake pads. I didn't have to touch the caliper pistons.

Check THIS post for a quick lesson on how to disconnect the EPB connector from each rear caliper. It's simple...but this might save you a little frustration if you haven't done it before. You absolutely have to disconnect the EPB connector to remove each rear caliper.

I have a few more tips I will post in a little bit. I gotta start looking like I'm working. :)
I made a quick video on how to retract the parking brake and put the car into the parking brake service mode. No special tools or programmers required.
 

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If you decide to replace the caliper bracket bolts, definitely plan ahead and get them from somewhere other than your local dealer. I screwed up so you guys don't have to. ;)

Looks like Rockauto may carry the front bolts. This may be the cheapest OEM ones I have seen...
Rectangle Font Parallel Magenta Logo
 
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