• Instructions for Common Toyota Brake Repair Issues

    Toyota brake repair is something that anyone with the right tools and information can perform. You don’t need any special training to repair some of the most common brake issues. You just need to have the right tools and information. This guide will list the tools required to replace the pads on front disc brakes and fix the problem of excessive pedal pressure.

    This tool list is for both types of repairs:

    • A jack and jack stands.
    • A lug wrench
    • A socket or wrench set
    • Something to compress the piston with. Special tools are available for less than $10, but a 6 inch c-clamp will work.
    • A wire brush is recommended but optional.
    • Emory cloth
    • Brake fluid
    • A suction device (an old turkey baster will work fine)
    • Denatured alcohol (MUST be denatured alcohol, not isopropyl)

     Disc Pad Replacement

    1. Loosen the lug nuts and lift the car enough to set the stands under. Lower the car onto the stands.
    2. Remove the caliper bolts and slide the calipers off the rotors. Hang them from the coils. Never allow them to hang from the hoses. Hose damage could result, causing a fluid leak and loss of brakes.
    3. Remove the old pads and compress the caliper pistons.
    4. Remove the rotors and take them with you to the parts store for measurement. Follow salesperson’s advice for replacement or resurfacing.
    5. Use Emory cloth to remove sharp edges from pads.
    6. Set pads on box and coat metal backing plate with adhesive. Also coat any shims or clips and apply to pad backs.
    7. Wire brush pad contact points on caliper to remove dust and excess rust.
    8. Place new pads in calipers and replace any clips or pins.
    9. Place calipers over rotors and secure using caliper bolts.
    10. Put the wheels back on and lift the car enough to remove stands. Lower vehicle and properly torque lug nuts.
    11. Pump brakes using progressively more pressure to set the pads properly.

    Hard Pedal

    A hard pedal is either a sign that the vacuum assist is not working, usually because the hose has come off or the lines have become clogged. Check the vacuum assist line to the brake booster. Reattach to booster if it came off. If not, then you will need to flush the brake lines with the denatured alcohol. You will need the help of a friend.

    1. Suction the old fluid out of the brake reservoir.
    2. Open all of the bleeder valves and allow to flow.
    3. Keep the reservoir filled. Close all the bleeder valves and pump the brake pedal 5 to 10 times and hold it down.
    4. At the right rear, open the bleeder valve until the pedal hits the floor. Repeat until the fluid coming out is clear.
    5. Repeat this process at all four corners. Keep the reservoir filled.
    6. Suction out the remaining denatured alcohol and fill with clean brake fluid.
    7. Repeat steps 3 through 5 until the fluid coming out at each wheel is slightly yellowish.

    If you carefully follow the listed steps for each type of repair, you will be able to successfully correct the two most common Toyota brake issues. One thing to keep in mind is to always wear safety glasses when performing these repairs.