How to Replace the Brake Pads in a Lexus RX330

Written by grace mclain
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How to Replace the Brake Pads in a Lexus RX330
Replace the brake pads on your Lexus RX330 before they wear down to the wear indicators. (brake calipers image by Tom Oliveira from

The Lexus RX330 has disc brake pads on all four wheels of the vehicle. The disc brake pads are designed to stop the Lexus by applying friction to the brake rotor. The friction of the brake pads against the brake rotors stops the Lexus RX330. Replace the brake pads before they wear down to the wear indicators built into each pad. Once the pads wear down to the wear indicators, the worn pads can significantly damage the brake rotors.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tire tool
  • Hydraulic jack
  • Safety stands
  • Pry bar
  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet
  • Metric socket kit
  • Mechanic's wire
  • C-clamp
  • New pads

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  1. 1

    Park the Lexus RX330 on a level surface, and turn the engine off.

  2. 2

    Loosen the lug nuts from the front wheels by turning each lug nut counterclockwise with the tire tool that came with the Lexus RX330 or a basic lug wrench that fits the lug nuts.

  3. 3

    Slide the hydraulic jack under the front of the Lexus RX330, and jack the car up from a safe jacking point. Once the Lexus is high enough off of the ground, slide the safety stands in place under the side rails of the car. Make sure to position the safety stands as close to the front wheel compartments as possible so the stands can securely hold the weight of the vehicle. Lower the hydraulic jack until the car is sitting on the stands. Stop the jack and leave it in the upright position.

  4. 4

    Remove the lug nuts from the front wheels, then pull the wheels off. Place the wheels aside in a flat position to prevent rolling.

  5. 5

    Locate the driver's side front brake caliper mounted to the side of the brake rotor. The caliper is the component housing the brake pads. Insert the pry bar into the hole on the side of the brake caliper and pry the outboard brake pad against the caliper cylinder until the cylinder is fully inside of the caliper. Remove the pry bar from the brake caliper.

  6. 6

    Locate the slide pin bolts on the back of the brake caliper. There is a upper and lower slide pin bolt that connects the brake caliper to the caliper mounting bracket. Loosen and remove the two bolts with the ratchet and a metric socket.

  7. 7

    Pull the caliper off of the rotor. Wrap a piece of mechanic's wire around the brake caliper and hang it on the steering knuckle behind the wheel hub assembly. Inspect the front and back of the brake rotor for wear and excessive grooves. Have the rotors machine-turned by a machine shop if necessary or have the rotors replaced if there is excessive wear present.

  8. 8

    Pull the inboard brake pad out of the metal clip inside of the brake caliper. Lower the C-clamp onto the brake caliper. Slowly turn the C-clamp clockwise to push the caliper cylinder inside of the caliper housing. Once the caliper cylinder is flush with the outside of the caliper housing, unscrew the C-clamp, and remove it from the caliper.

  9. 9

    Pull the outboard brake pad out of the metal clip inside of the brake caliper. Position the two new pads inside of each metal clip. Remove the wire from the caliper, and mount the caliper back onto the rotor with the two slide pin bolts. Tighten both bolts tight with the ratchet and metric socket. Secure the wheel back to the wheel hub with the lug nuts, and tighten the lug nuts with the tire tool.

  10. 10

    Repeat the same steps to replace the brake pads on the other three wheels. After the brake pads have been replaced, jack the Lexus RX330 up and remove the safety stands. Lower the hydraulic jack until the car is back on the surface.

  11. 11

    Crank the Lexus RX330 and give the brake pedal a few pushes in and out to fit the new pads to the brake rotor. Then turn the engine off.

Tips and warnings

  • The brake caliper can be hung on any of the steering components to prevent the caliper from hanging by the brake line during repair.
  • Most all vehicle manufacturers will highly recommend that the brake rotors either be turned or replaced each time the brake pads are replaced to prevent uneven braking. Uneven braking can be very dangerous.

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