Tech Feature: 2010 Buick LaCrosse Brake Service

Tech Feature: 2010 Buick LaCrosse Brake Service

The 2010 Buick LaCrosse is built on the Epsilon II platform that is shared with the Saab 9-5 and other soon-to-be-named vehicles. While you may not see this vehicle in your bays for a while, it is a great example of how the common brake job will stay the same and how it will change in the future.

It is not that often I get a chance to examine a brake system that has less than 3,000 miles on it. On the lift, it is easy to see that the engineers put a lot of time and effort into the design of the suspension and undercar components. The brake system is very serviceable, except for the ABS modulator that is mounted behind and below the engine.

The LaCrosse is equipped with an electric parking brake. The switch is in the center console. The switch will only work if your foot is on the brake pedal. By not having a handle, e-brake turns are now impossible, but it does save space. The good news is that it adjusts itself.

The Buick LaCrosse has an electric parking brake control module that is mounted in the left rear wheel well. The unit has an electric motor, apply actuator, release actuator and temperature sensor. The electric parking brake control module also contains the electronic controls for applying and releasing the parking brake when commanded by the electric parking brake switch. 

the front brakes on the lacrosse use single-piston calipers. gm has been using a high-quality plating so their calipers look better over time.

the guide pin bolts on the front brakes have a torque spec of 27 n·m (20 ft/lbs). gm advises that impact tools should not be used to remove these bolts. the flats on the pins use a 17 mm open-ended wrench. some wrenches might not fit.

the front brake pads have a single clip-on shim on the inside pad to prevent noise and to create a heat barrier. the shim is made of a brass-like material. it is recommended that it is replaced during pad replacement.

the front and rear pistons are steel. to reset the pistons, gm recommends to have the the engine off and gradually apply the brake pedal to approximately 2/3 of its travel distance. slowly release the brake pedal and wait 15 seconds, then repeat until a firm pedal is achieved.

the front wheel-speed sensors are located in the knuckles. they are active sensors.

the rear calipers have the parking brake mechanism built-in. the inspection hole for the inboard pad shows only the last 4 mm of friction material.

to release the parking brake, turn the ignition switch to on, press the brake pedal, and push down momentarily on the electric parking brake switch. when the parking brake is released, the red brake light turns off. if the red park brake light is flashing on the dash, the electric parking brake may be only partially applied or released, or there is a problem with the electric parking brake. the center display will read “service park brake.” the system on the lacrosse does not automatically engage when the vehicle is parked.

turn the rear brake piston to retract the piston. go the opposite way the parking park lever pulls. the torque spec for the caliper pin bolts is a torque spec of 27 n·m (20 ft/lbs).

in case of insufficient electrical power, the electric parking brake cannot be applied or released. if a vehicle is dropped off to your shop with a dead battery and the parking brake on, you might have to disengage the rear cables.

the lacrosse comes with a keyless ignition system. it is a good idea to keep the key away from the vehicle while servicing the brakes or any underhood work.

TPMS? YES! This is the new-style valve stem mounted sensor. The valve stem looks like a normal non-TPMS stem, but the sensor is attached to the backside of the stem with a self-tapping screw.


































You May Also Like

Locking Hubs and Axles

The leading cause of IWE failure is water finding its way into the vacuum lines under the hood and in the wheel well.

Ford’s Integrated Wheel End (IWE) first hit the market in 2004 on the F-150, Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. An IWE allows the front wheels to rotate while the front axles do not move and turn the front differential. This helps to improve fuel economy. 

Compared to the older vacuum actuated locking hubs, IWEs operate in reverse. When in 2WD mode, a vacuum is applied to the IWE unit. This pulls a splined collar called the clutch ring back that disconnects the axle from the hub unit and front wheels. When the vacuum is not present like in 4WD mode, the splined clutch ring connects the axle to the hub unit. The system is designed to allow for 4WD operation as a default, even if the solenoid is not working or is leaking.

How Regenerative Brakes Operate

Regenerative braking is a hybrid’s first choice for braking.

Spotting Brake System Failures

The main culprit of friction material separation is typically corrosion.

10 Tips For Servicing Hydroboost Brake Units

Hydroboost brake systems are self-bleeding if there is no other problem in the system.

Brake Pad Errors and Mismatches

In order to make the right selection, you must do your homework while still remaining skeptical.

Other Posts

Diagnosing ABS/ESC False Activation Notices

As vehicles age, diagnosing false activation with ABS and stability control systems has become more common.

Understanding ADAS: Blindspot Detection Systems

With the right tools and service information, it is possible to resolve a customer’s complaint. 

Axle Torque Procedures

Guessing the correct torque setting is a bad idea.

What Do The Marketing Messages Mean?

Certain messages mean certain things – or not. When selecting automotive components, do your homework.