How to Replace the Front Brake Pads on Toyota Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

In order to keep your Toyota car running smoothly and safely, you'll need to take proper care of the car. This includes routine brake maintenance. Check the brakes regularly, particularly the front brakes, as they have a tendency to wear down faster than rear brakes. When you begin to hear scraping, whistling, screeching or squealing from the wheels when you apply your brakes, or when you are not applying your brakes, it might be time for to replace the brakes. Most cars brakes today are designed to emit a squeal or screech when the pads are worn--it's a preventive device whose purpose is to make you aware your brakes need changing.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Front Brake Pads on a 2006 Prius

Apply the parking brake. Raise the front of the car with a hydraulic jack and place jack stands under the front frame rails. Lower the jack, placing the weight of your car solely on the jack stands.

Remove the front wheel lug nuts with a lug wrench turned in a counterclockwise direction. Lift the wheels off of the wheel hubs and roll them out of your working space. Set the lug nuts aside.

Remove the two bolts from the brake caliper with an adjustable wrench turned in a counterclockwise direction. Set the bolts aside. Pull the caliper off of the rotor and hang it onto the strut in the upper wheelwell with a bungee cord. Be careful with the caliper as the rubber brake line will still be attached to it.

Pull the two brake pads straight out of the caliper and discard them. Use a C-clamp to compress the piston back into the caliper to make room for the new thicker brake pads. Slide two new pads back into the caliper, making sure the lining of each pad faces the other. Spray brake cleaner onto the caliper, if it is dirty, before reinstalling it.

Unhook the bungee cord from the caliper. Slide the caliper over the rotor, lining up the mounting holes in the caliper with the holes in the caliper bracket. Thread the caliper holding bolts back into the holes and tighten them with an adjustable wrench in a clockwise direction.

Repeat the above steps to replace the pads on the other front wheel.

Replace the wheels and tighten the lug nuts in a clockwise direction with the lug wrench. Raise the car with the hydraulic jack and remove the jack stands from underneath. Lower the hydraulic jack until the car is on the ground.

Items you will need

  • Hydraulic jack

  • Jack stands (2)

  • Lug wrench

  • Adjustable wrench

  • C-clamp

  • Brake cleaner

  • Bungee cord

  • Replacement brake pads

 How to Replace the Front Brake Pads on a 2001 Toyota Corolla

Park your Toyota Corolla on a flat surface where you’ll be comfortable working. Turn off the ignition and pull (apply) the emergency brake. You’ll also want to open the hood and take the cap off the brake fluid master cylinder. If you don’t wish brake fluid to get on your engine, wrap an old rag around the master cylinder.

Place a block of wood or a brick behind the rear wheel, opposite the side you’ll be working on. This will help prevent the car from rolling off the jack.

Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheel, then jack the car up. Once the tire is off the ground, place your jack stand under the frame of the Corolla and lower the Corolla onto the stand. Finish removing the lugs. Then slide the wheel off the studs and place it to the side, out of your way.

Spray the Corolla’s rotor and caliper assembly with some brake cleaner. This will help clean the brakes, remove any dust, and loosen the parts you’ll need to remove.

Check the back side of the caliper. You’ll see two bolts holding it in place. Remove both of these bolts using the proper-size metric socket and ratchet. After the bolts have been taken out, remove the caliper and rest it on top of the rotor.

Remove the old, worn brake pads from the bracket on the rotor, but observe them in place before hand so you'll know exactly how they are installed. You must install the new ones in the same position. If you didn’t get shims with your new brake pads, remove the old shims and attach them to the new pads.

Clip the new pads into the caliper bracket in the correct position.

Squeeze the caliper piston back inside the caliper assembly. To do this, place an old pad against the piston and hold it place while you tighten your medium-size C-clamp against it. Tighten the clamp against the pad until you push the piston back inside the caliper.

Bolt the caliper back into its original position, making sure you tighten the bolts until they are snug.

Replace the wheel and lug nuts, remove your jack stand and lower the car. Finish tightening the lug nuts.

Install the new pads on the other side of your Corolla using the same method. Remember to move your block of wood or brick to the other back wheel. When you’re done, check the master cylinder and add brake fluid if necessary.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stand

  • Block of wood or brick

  • Tire iron

  • Proper-size metric sockets and ratchet

  • Medium-size C-clamp

  • New set of brake pads

  • Can of brake cleaner

  • Brake fluid

 How to Replace the Front Brake Pads on a Toyota Camry

Place the Camry in park and set the emergency brake. Place wheel chocks in front and behind the rear wheels to stop the car from moving. Loosen each lug nut on the front wheels, one turn with the breaker bar and socket.

Raise the car with the floor jack and secure the vehicle on jack stands.

Remove all of the lug nuts on both front wheels with the socket and ratchet. Remove each tire and store them out of the way.

Using the metric wrench, remove the upper and lower caliper bolts. Pull the caliper away from the rotor to expose the brake pads. Use a short piece of wire to hang the caliper from the suspension; this will help prevent undue stress on the rubber brake hose attached to the brake caliper.

Remove the inner and outer brake pads, pulling them perpendicular to the rotor. Lay each brake pad down under on the floor in the same direction they came from the caliper bracket. Lay the new brake pads on the floor to match the old pads. Transfer any backing plates from the old pads to the new pads.

Push the brake caliper piston to the fully retracted position with the disc brake spreader tool.

Install the new brake pads in the brake caliper bracket. Make sure to keep any retaining brackets in place when the new pads are installed. It may help to insert the bottom of the new pad in the bracket, then gently work the upper end into the bracket.

Remove the wire holding the brake caliper and dispose of the wire. Install the brake caliper over the brake pads by pressing the caliper into the brake caliper bracket. Hold the brake pads against the rotor to assist in installation of the caliper.

Align the brake caliper with the caliper bracket holes and insert the two brake caliper bolts. Tighten the bolts with a metric wrench.

Install the wheel in place on the wheel studs. Screw the lug nuts onto the wheel studs and tighten with the socket and ratchet.

Lower the Camry from the jack stands using the floor jack. Tighten each of the front lug nuts to 90 foot-pounds of torque with the torque wrench.

Remove the wheel chocks from the rear wheels. Start the vehicle and press the brake pedal six times to move the pistons and new pads into place.

Items you will need

  • Metric socket

  • Breaker bar

  • Wheel chocks

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Ratchet

  • Metric wrenches

  • Wire

  • Disc brake spreader tool

  • Torque wrench

 How to Change Front Brake Pads on a 2002 Toyota Echo

Loosen the lug nuts on the front tires. Jack up the front end of the vehicle and set the jack stands under a secure part of the Echo's frame.

Lower the car on to the jack stands. Remove the front tires.

Locate the two bolts in the rear of the brake caliper holding the brake caliper in place. Remove them using the ratchet and appropriate-sized socket.

Pull the caliper off the rotor. Suspend the caliper from the car's frame with a bungee cord or length of wire. Do not allow any of the caliper's weight to be held by the brake line, since this can cause a rupture or leakage of brake fluid.

Remove the brake pads from the caliper assembly. Do not throw away the support plates or the anti-squeal clips on the pads. You will reuse these on the new pads.

Check the rotor for any significant grooving or warping. If you notice any problems, you'll need to replace the rotor as well as the pads.

Apply brake grease to the back of the support plate, then clip it to the back of the new brake pad. Attach the anti-squeal clips and place the new pads in the caliper assembly.

Place the caliper back over the new pads and bolt it into place. Put the wheel back and tighten the lug nuts.

Jack the Echo up off the jack stands. Remove them from underneath the car and lower it to the ground. Tighten the lug nuts a second time.

Items you will need

  • Ratchet and socket set

  • Tire iron

  • Jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • Replacement brake pads

  • Brake grease

  • Bungee cord or length of wire

  • C-clamp

About the Author

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