Repairing the front brakes on a Toyota Camry is done easily using a set of standard tools. Usually the problems with front brakes can be solved by properly cleaning the brake caliper and installing new brake pads. Follow these instructions to inspect and repair front brakes.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Lug wrench
- Vehicle jack
- Jack stands
- Large C-clamp
- Anti-Seize compound
- Shop rags or shop towels
- Torque wrench
- Nitrile gloves
Park the Camry on a flat surface, apply the parking brake and chock the rear wheels. This will stop the car from rolling while you raise the front end. Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels but don't remove them yet.
Place the jack under the front of the car making sure to put the jack's lifting pad under the engine frame cradle. Raise the vehicle high enough to remove the wheels. Position the jack stands under the frame cradle and lower the car onto the jack stands. Remove the lug nuts and wheels from the vehicle.
Loosen and remove the caliper bolts. Remove the caliper from the caliper mounting bracket and hang it out of the way using zip ties or mechanic's wire. Make sure that the brake line and ABS wire are slack.
Take the brake pads out of the caliper mounting bracket and look for uneven wear or metal scraping. If metal scrapings are found, the rotors may need to be machined or replaced.
Rotate and inspect the brake rotor for scraping, gouges or roughness on both sides of the rotor. If scraping, gouges, or roughness is present the rotors may need to be machined or replaced.
Pull the sliding pins out of the caliper mounting bracket. Clean them using shop towels or rags. Apply Anti-Seize compound to the pins and put them back into the caliper mounting bracket. The pins should slide smoothly in the bracket. If they don't slide smoothly, clean the bracket using a stiff brush to remove build-up from inside the bracket.
Compare the old and new pads to confirm that they are the same type. Apply Anti-Seize to the edges of the pads to help them slide smoothly into the caliper mounting bracket. Once they are in the mounting bracket, apply Anti-Seize on the backs of the pads. This will reduce noise from the caliper.
Remove the caliper from the zip tie or mechanic's wire. Place one of the old pads in the caliper and, using the C-clamp, push the caliper piston into the caliper. Some brake fluid may leak out of the master cylinder fluid reservoir, but this is normal. With the caliper piston fully in the caliper, remove the C-clamp and old pad and place the caliper on the caliper mounting bracket. Install and tighten the caliper bolts.
Put the wheels on the wheel studs and tighten the lug nuts finger tight. Raise the vehicle so the jack stands can be removed. Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle. Torque the lug nuts to the appropriate torque. If the torque specification is unknown, call the local auto parts store for the specification.
Apply the brakes several times to regain feeling in the pedal. Once the pedal feels right, remove the wheel chocks, disengage the parking brake and test drive the vehicle. Make sure the brakes are operating correctly on your test drive.
Tips and warnings
- Brake dust is very fine. Use nitrile gloves to keep the brake dust off of your hands.
- Anti-Seize helps lubricate and reduce vibration on brakes. Apply it liberally to all moving parts on the caliper mounting bracket.
- Slightly apply the brakes while test driving. This will help the new brake pads seat against the rotors.
- ABS wires are easily broken. Be careful when hanging the brake caliper.
- Tightening the bolts of the caliper is critical. If you don't tighten them, the brakes won't work properly.
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