How to Replace Brake Pads on a Toyota Tacoma
Whether you use your Toyota Tacoma pickup truck for hauling and towing or rush-hour commuting, braking plays an important role. Properly maintaining the anti-lock braking system includes regular replacement of the brake pads. You can have an auto mechanic replace your Tacoma's brake pads, or you can do it yourself and save the cost of labor.
- Tire blocks
- Tire iron
- Lifting jack
- Jack stands
- 13 mm socket and ratchet
- Vise-grip pliers
Park your Toyota Tacoma in an area that allows enough room to work on both sides. Put the transmission in "park" and engage the parking brake. Place tire blocks behind the rear tires.
Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels of the Tacoma with a tire iron. Start loosening the lug nuts while the truck is still on the ground, so the vehicle's weight will keep the wheels from turning.
Raise the Tacoma with a lifting jack until the wheels are off of the ground. Lift one side, place a jack stand, then lift the other side before placing the second jack stand. The jack stands should support the truck near the front corners.
Finish removing the lug nuts and remove the wheels.
Remove the brake calipers. The calipers with the brake pads fit around the rotors. Use a 13 mm socket and ratchet to remove the caliper bolts. The bolts are located at the top and bottom of the caliper on the side closest to the engine compartment. Pull the caliper from the rotor.
Remove the brake pads from the caliper. The pads are connected by metal clips and can be slid from the calipers by hand. If the brakes are rusted, you will need to pry the clips from the caliper with a flat screwdriver.
Open the caliper piston fully. The piston is the ring on the inner wall of the caliper. The piston moves to help the brake pad meet the surface of the rotor. You need to squeeze it open -- toward the wall from which it protrudes -- to reset it to accommodate a new brake pad. Use vise-grip pliers to open the piston.
Install the new brake pads. Slide the pads onto either side of the caliper. The pad side will be facing inward, toward each other; the metal clips will fit onto the walls of the caliper. Make sure the brake pads arc in the same direction as the calipers. This will ensure that you aren't installing the pads upside down.
Place the caliper around the rotor. Replace the caliper bolts using the 13 mm socket and ratchet.
Replace the wheels and their lug nuts. Lift the Tacoma to remove the jack stands, then lower it to the ground. Finish tightening the lug nuts.
Apply the brake. The brake pedal will initially feel loose. Press it two more times to restore the normal response pressure.