How to Put Electronic Parking Brake in Service Mode: GM Trucks 2021+

July 9, 2024

Servicing the braking systems on 2021 to 2023 GM and Chevrolet trucks and SUVs requires careful attention to specific procedures and information that is rapidly evolving. One crucial step in this process is understanding how to put the electronic parking brake in service mode to avoid damaging the rear calipers when performing brake work.

Why It's Important to Use Service Mode

Before you start any brake work on these vehicles, it's essential to disconnect the negative battery cable. However, before doing that, you must ensure the parking brake is in service mode. Failing to do so can cause significant damage to the rear calipers when you depress the pistons. Effectively putting the electronic parking brake in service mode is, therefore, critical to the entire brake servicing procedure.

how to put electronic parking brake in service mode
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Methods to Put the Parking Brake into Service Mode

There are three different methods available to put the parking brake system into service mode: using the vehicle’s onboard functions, employing an Autel scan tool, or utilizing a Topdon top scan tool. Each method ensures that the parking brake system is safely disengaged, allowing you to perform brake maintenance without the risk of damage.

For instance, on some GM vehicles, you can put the brake system into service mode by starting the vehicle, pressing and holding the brake pedal, and pressing and holding the parking brake button for 10 seconds until the indicator flashes. This manual method is cost-effective and can be done without specialized tools.

Steps for Brake Maintenance

Once the parking brake is in service mode and the negative battery cable is disconnected, you can proceed with brake maintenance. Compressing the caliper piston is crucial to fit new brake pads. Given the variety of methods to retract the electronic parking brake, appropriate steps must be followed based on the vehicle and tools at hand.

After completing the brake service, reconnect the negative battery cable and re-engage the parking brake system. This reactivation is vital to ensure the parking brake is calibrated correctly before you hand the vehicle back to the customer.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

One key lesson from individuals who attempted DIY maintenance is the risk of the vehicle getting stuck in service mode. Ensuring you have accurate service information and properly following each step can prevent such issues. In some cases, the wrong steps can result in costly repairs by professionals, nullifying any initial savings from DIY efforts.

How to Reactivate the Parking Brake System

Reactivating the parking brake system is as critical as putting it into service mode. This ensures proper calibration and functioning. For example, in some vehicles, you may need to hold the brake pedal and pull up on the parking brake switch to take the system out of service mode after work completion.

Carefully following these steps ensures optimal performance and safety of your vehicle’s braking system. Proper reactivation involves calibrating the system by testing the parking brake function thoroughly before you finalize the process.

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