How to Replace Emergency Brakes in a Toyota Highlander

by Editorial Team

The original purpose of emergency brakes was to stop your vehicle in an emergency. Fortunately, the brakes on a Toyota Highlander rarely fail, and the emergency brakes are most commonly used to keep the vehicle from moving while parked. The most likely type of failure for emergency brakes is when the brake cable rusts and seizes after being unused for a long period.

Step 1

Determine which type of emergency brakes your Toyota Highlander will need. Emergency brakes typically function by activating the regular braking system on the driving wheels. The emergency brakes for all versions of the Toyota Highlander use the disc brakes on the rear wheels.

Step 2

Remove the rear wheel and tire assemblies with a socket wrench. Unbolt the rear brake caliper without disconnecting the brake line. Suspend the caliper with mechanic's wire so it does not pull on the brake line.

Step 3

Release the parking brake completely and remove the rear brake disc with a socket wrench. Disconnect both parking brake shoe return tension springs with needle-nose pliers. Remove the parking brake shoe strut and its compression spring.

Step 4

Disconnect the brake shoe hold down spring and return spring so you can remove the brake shoe assembly with a socket wrench. Use a standard screwdriver to remove the brake shoe adjusting screw from the brake shoe assembly. Disconnect the parking brake cable with needle-nose pliers.

Step 5

Separate the rear speed sensor, rear axle shaft nut, rear axle hub and bearing assembly and brake shoe hold down spring pin if your vehicle has all-wheel drive. Remove the brake shoe C-washer with a standard screwdriver so you can disconnect the shim and parking brake lever from the parking brake shoe.

Step 6

Install the new parking brake shoe by reversing the removal procedure. Apply high-temperature grease to the contact points of the backing plate, brake shoe adjusting bolt and return tension spring, but ensure there is no grease on the friction surface of the shoe lining and disc. Use a torque wrench to tighten the rear wheel and tire assembly to 76 foot/pounds.

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