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2012 CTS Sport Wagon Premium/Performance
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looks like it is time to replace the brakes on our 2012 wagon, but looking online there are different sizes available. My problem is, how do I find out for sure which size I have? Our wagon is a premium trim level, looking on RockAuto I see that there is a JE5 with a 315MM rotor that says Premium, but there is also a J55 with a 345MM rotor, that also says Premium. Short of taking off the wheel and measuring the existing rotor, is there a way to determine which we have?

I looked on the invoice for the car and while it calls out the FE5 wheel upgrade, it says nothing about the brakes. Visually, they look too big to be the 315mm option, but, and this is especially true if I order rotors and pads from online somewhere, I want to be certain before ordering anything. So, is there any way to confirm what they are?

Attached a couple pics, not sure they will be much help, but it is a 19" wheel so maybe it could help some.

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Locking hubs Wheel Tire Land vehicle Vehicle Automotive tire

Additionally, what are some decent options for replacement brakes? They don't need to be high performance, just reliable for a daily driver. Along with the pads and rotors, should I replace anything else on the calipers? Likely going to flush the fluid at the same time.

Thanks.
 

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Look at your SPID (RPO sticker) on the reverse side of your spare tire cover.
JE5 or J55 will be listed there.

I have had great results with OEM and Powerstop brake pads/rotors.
 

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2009 CTS 3.6 DI
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Look at your SPID (RPO sticker) on the reverse side of your spare tire cover.
JE5 or J55 will be listed there.

I have had great results with OEM and Powerstop brake pads/rotors.
Full agreement on the Powerstop. Just put my second set of rotors and pads on last week.
 

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Magoo鈥2012 Cadillac CTS Luxury, Opulent Blue, plus many more, see signature.
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I'll have to remember that sticker.
I have photos of those stickers for every GM vehicle I own (and a few I don't own) on every device I use to order parts. Very handy to have a copy of that information when ordering parts.
 
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2012 CTS Sport Wagon Premium/Performance
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238 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have photos of those stickers for every GM vehicle I own (and a few I don't own) on every device I use to order parts. Very handy to have a copy of that information when ordering parts.
That's exactly what I ended up doing, took a picture of it. Will come in really handy in future for ordering parts as they wear out and need replacement, likely next up on this car will be suspension.

Wish my damn Volvo had a similar sticker, tracking down what options are on that are nothing short of a headache.
 

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2002 F55 STS, 2014 Explorer XLT, F-150s
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You might have some luck with an online build sheet download by each vehicle's VIN.

You get 5 VIN downloads (with RPO codes) in a $5 subscription to www.compnine.com. You can do one VIN now and save the rest for later.

Here's my RPO (Regular Production Option) SPID sticker for the STS -

Rectangle Font Parallel Number Slope
 

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2012 CTS Sport Wagon Premium/Performance
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's some rotors and Powerstop pads ordered.... now, fluid flush or no? It likely needs it, but I don't have the ability to open up the ABS pump to get all the fluid out. Is it still worth doing using something like a Motive Power Bleeder (need to order one) and am I also right in that each caliper has 2 bleed screws?
 

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Only one bleed screw per caliper on JE5 & J55 calipers.
There are provisions to move the bleed screw to one side or the other depending on location (DS vs PS).
 

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2009 CTS 3.6L DI rebuilt to FE3 J55 G80 3.42:1
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Definitely bleed the brakes, just be thoughtful about it and don't let the master cylinder run dry. DOT4 low-viscosity is a good choice. Carbotech 1521 compound are great street pads with good feel and modulation, although at a premium price. I just use OEM rotors, not a believer in drilled/slotted for street use.
 

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'12 CTS Performance Sports Wagon AWD
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I use Valvoline synthetic when it is compatible. This had a much higher boiling point which is best for stop and go driving.

But because it absorbs more water it should be flushed out more often.
 

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2011 CTS Coupe FE3, 2003 Thunderbird, Gone 2013 ATS, 02 Deville
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I have bleed my Cts 3 times the old way with a little blonde hottie working the pedal and engine at idle.
 

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2011 CTS4 Performance Collection
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96 Posts
A hand-operated vacuum pump - something like this - makes the task much easier and is virtually fool proof.

Place a box wrench on the bleeder, push the vacuum hose onto the bleeder, pump up some vacuum, open the bleeder and pull the fresh brake fluid through. Been doing it this way for years and works perfectly, with no second person (and coordination with) needed to work the brake pedal.
 

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One of my first assistant mechanic duties as a youngster with my ol' man was operating the brake pedal while he worked the bleeders.
Ah, the memories.
 

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2012 CTS Sport Wagon Premium/Performance
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Pads and rotors delivered today, just waiting for the vacuum pump. That had me thinking something though, I have no way to lift all 4 wheels off the ground at once, since I don't think there is enough room to access the rear calipers with the wheels on the ground, is it OK to swap out rear pads, bleed the rears using new fluid until I see the new fluid come through, put rear wheels back on and lower the rear. Then, move to the front, swap out front pads and rotors, then bleed the fronts?

Since I'm not going to be introducing any more air to the rears once they have had new fluid pulled through, I'm guessing this will be fine, but wanted to be sure before ending up wasting my time. I picked up 2 quarts of fluid, assuming that should also be plenty.
 

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2009 CTS 3.6L DI rebuilt to FE3 J55 G80 3.42:1
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Yes, bleeding rears first is fine.
 
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2011 CTS Coupe FE3, 2003 Thunderbird, Gone 2013 ATS, 02 Deville
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naiku
did U get the Carlson brake quite clips so U don't hear the pads rattle in the caliper?
 

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2012 CTS Sport Wagon Premium/Performance
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Final questions...
did U get the Carlson brake quite clips so U don't hear the pads rattle in the caliper?
Nope, to be honest I have never heard of them. Might look into it, but I have never noticed the current ones rattling, so not sure I will worry too much about it.


Final... maybe... questions (yep, a lot, but want to make sure I don't miss anything). Looks like I can jack the rear up by using the diff to get jack stands under both sides easily enough, but what about the front? I don't see anything obvious that will let me lift both sides of the front at the same time, seems like plenty of options to lift one side, but that does not fill me with confidence on getting the other side up and onto a jack stand without that first side slipping.
 

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2009 CTS 3.6L DI rebuilt to FE3 J55 G80 3.42:1
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Don't lift using the diff.
 

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Final questions...


Nope, to be honest I have never heard of them. Might look into it, but I have never noticed the current ones rattling, so not sure I will worry too much about it.


Final... maybe... questions (yep, a lot, but want to make sure I don't miss anything). Looks like I can jack the rear up by using the diff to get jack stands under both sides easily enough, but what about the front? I don't see anything obvious that will let me lift both sides of the front at the same time, seems like plenty of options to lift one side, but that does not fill me with confidence on getting the other side up and onto a jack stand without that first side slipping.
 
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