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Toyota Corolla Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on an 11th generation 2014 to 2018 Toyota Corolla with the part numbers.

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2014 Corolla Front Wheel
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Pull Off Plastic Wheel Cover
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Hub Cap Removed

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the eleventh generation (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018) Toyota Corolla in changing the front disc brake pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins.

Owners of other Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicles such as the Yaris, Matrix, Prius, Camry, RAV4, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, FJ Cruiser, Venza, Highlander, Avalon, Sequoia, Land Cruiser, IS 250, ES 350, GS 350, tC, xB, xD, iQ and FR-S may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The items needed to complete this procedure include a floor jack, two jack stands, a lug nut wrench, a 14mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench, a "C" clamp, a set of new front brake pads, brake parts cleaner spray and a tube of high temperature synthetic brake caliper grease.

Some compatible front brake pads with their part numbers are as follows: Wagner QC1210 (North America built models - VIN starts with 1 or 2), Wagner QC1211 (Japan built - VIN starts with "J"), Akebono ACT1210, Raybestos PGD1210C, ACDelco 14D1210CH, Bendix, D1210, Bosch BP1210,  Monroe CX1210, KFE KFE1210-104 Dura International BP1210MS, Power Stop 16-1210 and Centric # 105.0945.

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Slightly Loosen Lug Nuts
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Raise Front of Car
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Spin Off 5 Lug Nuts
The first two steps are to engage the emergency / parking brake and chock both sides of the rear wheels to prevent the vehicle from moving.

Gently pull the plastic wheel cover or "hub cap" straight off the front wheel.

Slightly loosen the five lug nuts on the front wheel with the tire iron by turning them counterclockwise.

Raise the front of the vehicle with the floor jack and securely support it with two jack stands. The jack point is a metal loop under the car near the center of the engine bay.

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Five Lug Nuts Removed
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Rotor, Bracket & Caliper
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Front Brake Caliper
Spin off the 5 lug nuts, set them aside in a safe place and remove the front wheel.
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Loosen Upper Caliper Bolt
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Loosen Bottom Caliper Bolt
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Spin Out Top Caliper Bolt
Loosen the upper and lower caliper bolts on the back side of the caliper by turning them clockwise (as seen from the outside of the car) with the 14mm socket and the 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.
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Remove Lower Bolt
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Two 14mm Caliper Bolts
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Pull Caliper Off Pads
Set the two caliper bolts aside in a safe place.

Lift the caliper off the old pads and out of the bracket.

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Rest Caliper On Suspension
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Remove Old Outer Pad
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Wear Bars - Both Pads
Carefully rest the caliper on top of the suspension or suspend it from the spring with a bungee cord.

Pull the old inner and outer brake pads out of the bracket.

I've always had good experiences with the Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1210 brake pads and they have excellent reviews on Amazon. I also like that they don't require any backing plates, shims or brake quiet gel due to the built in insulator.

Make a mental note of where the wear indicator or "squeal" bars are situated on the old brake pads.

On this 2014 Corolla LE, the wear bars were situated at the top of both the inner and outer brake pads.

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Replace Pad Abutment Clips
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Pull Out Caliper Slider Pins
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Lubricate & Replace Pins
If your new set of front brake pads included replacement brake hardware, pull the old metal pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket.

Apply some caliper grease to the pad abutment clips where they will come in contact with the brake pads or the bracket. Do not apply grease to the friction surface of the new pads or the rotor.

Install the new pad abutment clips in to the top and bottom of the bracket.

In order for the brake caliper to work properly, the two caliper slider pins or "guide bolts" need to be well lubricated.

Carefully pull the upper and lower caliper slider pins out of their rubber dust boots.

Apply a thin layer of high temperature brake caliper lubricant grease to the smooth part of each pin before pushing them back in to their rubber dust boots.

Thoroughly clean off the brake rotor, caliper bracket, brake caliper assembly and the lug nut studs with brake parts cleaner spray. Do not use compressed air or blow with your mouth to clean off the brake parts since breathing in brake dust can be harmful to your health. Brake dust can be carcinogenic (causes cancer) if inhaled.

If your Corolla exhibits shuddering, pulsating, or vibrations during braking, you may need to have your rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or just replace them with brand new rotors. If this is the car's first front brake job and the rotors appear to be in excellent condition, you should be able to just replace the pads with great results.

To remove the existing rotors and install new ones, just remove the two bolts on the rear of the caliper bracket that attach it to the steering knuckle. Then loosen the old rotor with a rubber mallet, pull it off and slide the new one in its place.



 

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Attach "C" Clamp To Caliper
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Brake Fluid Access Cover
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Push In Tabs To Release
In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new pads, the caliper piston needs to be compressed backwards.

Attach the "C" clamp to the caliper using the back of an old brake pad to evenly distribute the force across the piston.

Move to the right rear area of the engine bay and open the brake fluid reservoir access panel.

Press in the two release tabs before pulling off the cover.

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Remove Access Panel
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Twist Off Brake Fluid Cap
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Compress Caliper Piston
Twist off the brake fluid reservoir cap in the counterclockwise direction.

Removing the brake fluid reservoir cap will allow the brake fluid to more easily travel back through the lines when you compress the caliper piston.

Slowly turn the "C" clamp handle in the clockwise direction to compress back the piston. Try to avoid pinching or otherwise damaging the rubber dust boot that surrounds the caliper piston.

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Replace Reservoir Cap
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Replace Access Cover
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Install New Outer Pad
Replace the brake fluid reservoir cap as soon as possible since brake fluid is hygroscopic (easily absorbs moisture from the air). Twist it on in the clockwise direction.

Push the plastic access cover back in to place on the cowl.

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Insert New Inner Pad
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Push Pads Against Rotor
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Lower Caliper Over Pads
Install the new inner and outer brake pads in to the bracket with the wear bars situated at the top of both brake pads.

Push the two pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

Lower the brake caliper in to the bracket and over the new brake pads.

If the caliper won't fit over the new brake pads, you may need to compress the piston back a bit further.

Line up the two bolt holes in the caliper with the holes in the caliper slider pins within the bracket.

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Spin In Top Caliper Bolt
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Spin In Bottom 14mm Bolt
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Tighten Counterclockwise
Spin in the two caliper bolts by hand in the counterclockwise direction to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the upper and lower caliper bolts with the 14mm socket and ratcheting wrench by turning them counterclockwise (as seen from the outside of the car) to just past hand tight or about 20-25 ft lbs of torque.

Double check that both caliper bolts are tight before moving on to the next steps.

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Rubber Valve Cap
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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
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Push On Front Wheel
If your brake pedal previously felt soft, mushy or spongy, the brake fluid might be contaminated with water or the brake lines may contain a few air bubbles.

It would be best to bleed the brake lines at this time in order to flush out the old fluid and replace it with fresh DOT 3 brake fluid. For more on this topic, check out my Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With An Assistant DIY Guide or alternatively the Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With A Power Bleeder Guide.

Push on the front wheel.

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Spin On 5 Lug Nuts
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Slightly Tighten - Lower Car
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Torque To 76 ft-lb
Spin on the five lug nuts in the clockwise direction by hand a few turns to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Slightly tighten the lug nuts in the clockwise direction with the lug nut wrench.

Carefully lower the vehicle from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

Progressively tighten the lug nuts in a "criss cross" or "star" pattern to about 1/4 to 1/3 turn past hand tight. It would be best to use a torque wrench or an air gun with a torque stick to tighten the lug nuts to about 76 ft lbs of torque.

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Push On Hub Cap
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Firmly Tap On Wheel Cover
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Front Brake Pads Replaced
Sit in the driver's seat of the car and firmly pump the brake pedal a few times to restore the brake line pressure. Check the brake fluid in the reservoir and verify that it is at the proper level. If it is low, add some DOT 3 fluid.

To break in your new front brake pads, just drive normally for the first several hundred miles while trying to avoid any hard or "panic" stops which may glaze over the new pads and cause them to be noisy or not perform as well.

It's also a good idea to regularly check your driveway, parking spot or garage for drops of brake fluid which may indicate a leak, check the brake fluid level in the reservoir, and also verify that the lug nuts are still tight.

For more, check out my other 2014-2018 Toyota Corolla DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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