Brake Repair

Common Toyota Brake Repair Instructions


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If you own a Toyota, a brake repair might an easy home project that will save you money. Front wheel disc brakes wear out more often than rear drum brakes since all the power is applied with the front wheel drive. Using a few specialized tools, this repair should only take about an hour to perform.

What You Will Need:

  • Wheel blocks or something to wedge the rear tires
  • Automobile or shop Jack
  • A pair of Jackstands
  • A syringe or turkey baster
  • Bailing or mechanic's wire
  • New brake pads
  • Lubricant for anti-squeaking
  • Torque wrench
  • Brake fluid

Step 1 – Park Car

Park your car on a hard level surface with enough room to comfortably access the wheel area. Apply the manual parking brake and wedge the rear wheels.

Step 2 – Lower Break Fluid Level

By using the syringe or turkey baster, remove brake fluid until approximately 1/3 remains. Dispose of this fluid properly since this fluid will not be reused. It is also advisable to remove the negative battery lead to disable the engine to be started during this repair.

Step 3 – Remove Front Wheels and Jack Up Vehicle

Loosen the lug nuts slightly while car before rising. Lift the car using a car jack until the wheel is loose from the surface. Place jackstands underneath the suspension cross member. Finish unscrewing the lug nuts and remove the tire/wheel assemblies.

Step 4 – Disconnect Caliper

Remove the caliper mounting bolts. Relocate the caliper unit out of the way of the disc but accessable to remove the brake pads. With the use of the mechanics wire, support the caliper assembly. Leaving loose to hang can cause damage to the brake fluid hose. If needed, applying slight pressure to compress the caliper pistons will separate the brake pads for access. Leave the caliper unit connected to the brake fluid. Inspect the disc brake routers. If needed, remove the rotor disc and have it regrounded by a qualified service center.

Step 5 – Remove and Replace Brake Pads

By depressing the brake pad clip, remove the old brake pads. Install the new brake pads in the same position as the worn out pads. An application of anti-squeak lubricant on the outside of the pads will reduce noise while breaking in. To depress the caliper piston, place a block of wood over the piston and using a C-clamp, tighten the clamp to push the piston into the caliper base. Reattach the brake pad retainer clips in their correct position. Remount the caliper unit to its original place and reinstall the bolts and tighten with the torque wrench to a pressure of 16 to 23 ft/lbs.

Step 6 – Replace Wheels and Lower Car

Remount the wheels and tighten the lug nuts with the torque wrench to 62 ft/lbs.

Step 7 – Refill Brake Fluid Reservoir

Add fresh brake fluid to the reservoir to the recommended level and replace the cap. Reattach the battery lead. Start the engine and depress and release the brake pedal three or four times until the pressure has built up. Turn off the ignition and inspect the brake fluid level. Top off the brake fluid level as needed.

Step 8 – Test Drive

It is best practice to road test the vehicle after this service to check for proper braking. First test at low speeds and then increase to moderate levels.

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