Toyota Highlander Rear Brake Service: Pad and Rotor Replacement (With Video)
Replacing the Rear Brake Pads and Rotors
Since the front brakes provide approximately 80% of the stopping force of a car, the rear brake pads are smaller than the fronts, and the rear rotors are thinner than the front and lack vents. For this reason, the rear pads may wear out before the fronts, and when you replace the pads you may find that the rotors are too thin for resurfacing. To save on repair costs, the pads may be replaced without resurfacing the rotors; but if you feel a vibration in the seat of the car during braking, it's probably due to uneven rotor wear, and it suggests you should replace the rotors.
This article with video provides instructions on the removal and replacement of the Toyota Highlander rear brake pads and brake rotors. The pads and rotors are interchangeable with the Lexus '04-'06 RX330, '07-'09 RX350 and the '06-'08 RX400H; therefore, the replacement procedure should be the same.
No special tools are required to perform this replacement. This is a moderately difficult repair.
A video of the entire procedure is provided below, followed by a step-by-step procedure in writing.
Video: Toyota Highlander Rear Brake Service (Pad and Rotor replacement)
The five-minute video will provide you with visual step-by-step help for completing this replacement job. The steps are also described lower down in the article.
Removing the Brake Caliper Assembly
- Unbolt the rear brake hose from the suspension strut.
- Remove the lower bolt that secures the brake caliper to the brake caliper bracket. Wiggle the brake caliper up off the brake pads and pull the brake caliper off the brake caliper bracket via the brake caliper pin.
- Remove the two (2) bolts that hold the caliper bracket to the suspension knuckle and remove the caliper bracket with the old brake pads attached.
Replacing the Old Brake Pads With New Brake Pads
- Remove the old brake pads from the brake caliper bracket.
- Remove the brake pad caliper shims or clips from the brake caliper bracket.
- Insert the new brake pad caliper shims onto the brake pad caliper bracket. If the shims are difficult to insert, large-mouth channel-lock pliers can help squeeze them in.
- Install the brake wear Indicator on the new brake pad to be mounted on the inside of the brake caliper bracket.
- Load or install the new brake pads into the brake caliper bracket. Angling the ears of the brake pads onto the caliper shims will help ease the installation.
- Remove the brake pad anti-squeal shims from each of the loaded brake pads. Apply brake grease onto each of the brake pads and re-install the shims onto the pads.
Installing the New Brake Rotors
- Remove the brake rotor from the wheel hub. If stuck, apply hammer blows between the wheel lugs until the vibration breaks them loose. If that does not work, use the 12-mm bolt that secures the brake line to the suspension strut and screw it into one of the two holes in the brake rotor. Tighten the bolt until the rotor breaks free from the wheel hub.
- Install the new brake rotor onto the wheel hub. The rotor can be held in place by screwing a lug nut on to one of the wheel lugs.
Reinstalling the Loaded Brake Caliper Assembly
- Attach the loaded brake caliper bracket to the suspension knuckle with the two (2) mounting bolts. Torque the bolts down and squeeze the new brake pads against the brake rotor.
- Lubricate the upper brake caliper pin with brake grease.
- Install the brake caliper (via the brake caliper pin) into the brake caliper bracket.
- Using either a brake caliper piston compression tool or a C-clamp, compress the brake caliper piston until recessed into the brake caliper.
- Lower the brake caliper over the brake pads.
- Align the brake caliper lower mounting hole with the brake caliper pin hole. Clean, then lubricate with brake grease. Re-insert the brake caliper pin and screw in and torque down the caliper pin bolt.
- Re-attach the brake hose to the suspension strut. Torque down the mounting bolt.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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