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How to Replace Rear Disc Brakes in a Toyota Highlander

by ContributorUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Car jack

  • Torque wrench

  • Vacuum hose plug

  • Silicone based grease

  • Disc brake grease

  • 2 Rear disc brake pads

  • 2 New shims

  • Pad wear indicators

How to Replace Rear Disc Brakes in a Toyota Highlander. Unlike most vehicles, the Toyota Highlander is only available with rear disc brakes. This is due to the efficient stopping power that rear disc brakes have compared to rear drum brakes. Read further to learn how easy it is to replace the rear disc brakes on your Highlander.

Raise your vehicle from the ground just high enough to remove the rear wheels. Use a torque wrench to loosen the lug nuts and remove the wheels. Set the wheels aside, face up, to prevent scratching them.

Remove the brake line from the caliper. Plug the brake line with a rubber vacuum hose plug, available at most auto parts stores.

Loosen the caliper mounting bolts with a torque wrench. Remove them and take off the caliper.

Take out the pads and shims. Remove the pad wear indicators from the brake pads.

Lubricate the caliper slides and mounting bolts with a silicone based lubricant. Grease the shims with disc brake grease.

Attach the pad wear indicators to the new rear disc brake pads. Install the pads assembly and shims to the caliper support.

Lay the caliper over the pads and install the caliper mounting bolts. Torque the bolts to 32 ft. lb. Replace the wheels and lower the vehicle.


Before attempting to replace the rear disc brakes on your Highlander make sure to wipe down all brake parts with a spray bottle and a damp cloth. This prevents the spread of asbestos containing dust that accumulates with the regular use of your brakes. Asbestos is known by the Environmental Protection Agency to cause cancer.

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