How to Adjust Toyota Echo Rear Brakes

by Rex Molder

On Toyota Echo models equipped with drum type rear brakes, it's occasionally necessary for owners to adjust the brake shoes. The system consists of a complex series of springs and levers that automatically adjust the brakes as you drive the car, but sometimes the brakes fall too far out of adjustment for the self-adjusting feature to work properly. An example might be if you replace the shoes entirely. Afterwards, you will need to set the initial adjustment. Fortunately this is a fairly easy task.

Raise the rear of the car using the automotive jack. Securely support both sides of the car with jack stands.

Ensure the parking brake is released.

Locate the inspection port on the inside of the brake drum and wheel assembly. The drum is protected by a backing plate, and the inspection hole is located towards the bottom of the plate.

Spin the rear wheel with moderate force, and count the number of revolutions. If the wheel spins more than 3 times, the brakes are too loose and the shoes need to be expanded. If the wheel spins less than 3 times, the brakes are too tight and need to be contracted.

Expand the brake shoes to tighten them by inserting a flat-blade screwdriver into the inspection hole. Use the tip of the screwdriver to press against the top of the star wheel adjuster. By pressing forward on the top portion of the wheel, you will rotate the adjuster in the proper direction to expand the brake shoes. Check the wheel rotation after every few clicks of the adjuster to see how many revolutions it spins. When the wheel spins for about 3 revolutions, the adjustment is complete. Make sure not to over-tighten the shoes.

Contract the brake shoes by inserting a flat-blade screwdriver into the inspection hole. Use the tip of the screwdriver to press against the bottom of the star wheel adjuster. By pressing forward on the bottom portion of the wheel, you will rotate the adjuster in the proper direction to retract the brake shoes. Check the wheel rotation after every few clicks of the adjuster to see how many revolutions it spins. When the wheel spins for about 3 revolutions, the adjustment is complete. Repeat the procedure on the opposite wheel.

Lower the vehicle from the jack stands. Locate an area where you can safely drive the car while making frequent stops. Drive the car in reverse for a few feet and press hard on the brake pedal to bring it to a complete stop. Repeat the braking maneuver while driving forward. Repeat the entire process several times to ensure the self-adjusters are working properly.

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About the Author

Rex Molder began writing professionally in 1999 and specializes in automotive, technology and travel articles. His articles have appeared at iPad- and SEO-related websites. Rex holds a Bachelor of Arts in Asian studies from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.