How to Change Brake Rotors on a Toyota Avalon

by Jody L. CampbellUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands (2)

  • Wheel chock

  • 1/2 inch drive breaking bar

  • 1/2 inch drive metric socket set (up to 21 millimeter)

  • 1/2 inch drive ratchet

  • Turkey baster

  • DOT 3 brake fluid

  • 1/2 inch drive adjustable torque wrench

  • Bungee cord

  • Small/medium pry bar

  • Ball peen hammer

  • Safety glasses

  • Brake cleaner spray

  • Shop rags

A repair shop will charge $60 to $90 an hour to replace the rotors on your Toyota Avalon, and you'll be charged a minimum of an hour's labor per rotor even if it only takes a few minutes each to change them. With the right tools and some automotive or mechanical experience, you can do it yourself and save.

Park the Avalon on a flat paved surface. Apply the parking brake and release the hood latch. Place a wheel chock behind one rear tire, open the hood and remove half of the brake fluid from the master cylinder reservoir using the turkey baster. Discard the fluid appropriately and do not reuse. Replace the master cylinder cap securely.

Break the lug nuts loose on the front tires with the breaking bar and a 21 millimeter socket.

Lift the front of the Avalon with the floor jack and place a jack stand under the left and right front frame rails. Remove the lug nuts and wheels.

Compress the piston of the left front caliper using the pry bar wedged between the caliper porthole in the front and the rotor. Compress the piston until it bottoms out inside the caliper.

Remove the caliper bridge bolts on the left caliper using the ratchet and a socket. Pry the caliper and bridge off of the rotor as an attached unit and support it to the coil spring using a bungee cord.

Remove the rotor. If the rotor does not come off of the hub, put on the safety glasses and strike the rotor with the hammer on the flat end of the fins. Strike it both inward and outward until it breaks free from the hub.

Repeat steps 4, 5 and 6 for the right side.

Spray the new rotors with brake cleaner liberally and wipe them dry with a shop rag. Be sure to spray both side of the rotors inside the hub and everywhere.

Place the new rotor(s) onto the wheel hub and replace the caliper and bridge over the new rotor. Line up the caliper bridge bolts to the holes in the knuckle and tighten securely with the ratchet and a socket. Repeat step for the other side.

Replace the wheels and lug nuts. Tighten snug and lower the Avalon to the ground. Re-tighten the lug nuts with the adjustable torque wrench set to 80 foot pounds.

Remove the wheel chock.

Release the parking brake and pump the foot brake pedal to restore hydraulic pressure into the compressed caliper pistons. Failure to perform this step will be hazardous. Check and adjust the brake fluid level in the master cylinder only adding new DOT 3 brake fluid. Take a test drive.


The procedure would be the same if you were replacing rear rotors instead of front ones. The different steps would be to place the wheel chock in front of one of the front tires instead, obviously because you'd be lifting the rear axle and not the front. Do not apply the parking brake if you're replacing the rear rotors.


Always wear appropriate safety gear when working with tools, solvents and automotive parts.

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