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Toyota Camry Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to replace the front brake pads on a 2007 to 2011 Toyota Camry sedan with picture illustrated DIY instructions.

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2010 Camry Front Wheel
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Loosen Five Lug Nuts
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Floor Jack & Jack Stands

This automotive maintenance "how-to" guide was specifically written to assist owners of the XV40 generation 2007 to 2011 Toyota Camry sedan in replacing the front brake pads.

Owners of other Toyota or Lexus vehicles such as the Corolla, Matrix, Yaris, Avalon, Venza, RAV4, FJ Cruiser, Highlander, 4Runner, Sequoia, Land Cruiser, Tacoma, Sienna, IS 250, IS 350, ES 350, GS 350, LS 460, and the Aurion (Australia) may also find this front brake job guide to be helpful.

To complete this front brake job, the following items are required: a floor jack, jack stands, a 14mm socket with ratcheting wrench, a 17mm spanner wrench or crescent wrench, twine or rope, a lug nut wrench and new brake pads.

New front brake pads for the 07-11 Toyota Camry range in price from $40 for "economy" semi-metallic pads to about $70 for ceramic pads which are quieter, emit less dust and stop better.


A few of the aftermarket front brake pads compatible with the 2007-2011 Toyota Camry include the following with their respective part numbers: Wearever Ceramic CNAD 1293 (Advance Auto Parts), Wagner # QC1293, Bendix D1293, Monroe CX1293, Akebono Ultra Premium # ACT1222, ACDelco 17D1222CH, Raybestos PGD1222C and Beck/Arnley 089-1758.
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Brake Rotor, Caliper, Pads
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Brake Caliper & Bracket
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Loosen Lower Caliper Bolt
The first steps are to engage the parking brake, chock the rear wheels, and loosen the five lug nuts on the front wheels. Then raise the front of the vehicle with a floor jack and secure it with at least two jack stands.

Spin off the lug nuts the rest of the way and set them aside in a safe place. Carefully pull off the front wheel to reveal the front brake rotor, caliper, bracket, and pads.

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Wrench On Caliper Pin
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Caliper Bolt Removed
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Swing Caliper Upwards
Use a 14mm socket attached to a ratcheting wrench to loosen and remove the lower caliper bolt by turning it counter clockwise. If the caliper slider pin spins around when you attempt to loosen the caliper bolt, hold it in place with a thin 17mm spanner wrench. You may also be able to use an adjustable crescent wrench or a pair of needle nose pliers.

Swing the brake caliper upwards away from the rotor and off the pads using the upper slider pin as a pivot point. Secure the caliper to the suspension spring with a piece of twine or rope. This will prevent it from crashing down on your fingers or the rotor while you are replacing the pads.

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Caliper Tied To Shock
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Brake Pad "V" Springs
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Remove Brake Pad Springs
Gently remove the two metal "V" springs installed on the front brake pads that help keep them off the rotor when the vehicle is not braking and set them aside in a safe place.
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Front Brake Pad Springs
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Remove Front Brake Pads
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Wear (Squeal) Bar
Remove the old brake pads by pulling them away from the rotor and out of the caliper bracket. Make a mental note of how the wear or "squeal" bars are orientated on the old pads. On this 2010 Camry SE, there was a wear bar located at the top of both the inner and outer brake pads.
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Top Of Inner & Outer Pads
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Front Brake Caliper Piston
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Brake Fluid Reservoir
In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, the brake caliper piston will need to be compressed backwards using a "C" clamp.

First remove the cap on the brake fluid reservoir in the engine bay to allow the brake fluid to more easily move backwards through the system.



 

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Remove Reservoir Cap
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Slowly Compress Piston
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Brake Parts Cleaner Spray
Place one of the old brake pads over the caliper piston to help evenly distribute the force and attach the "C" clamp. Very slowly tighten the "C" clamp to compress the piston. Only compress the piston as far back as the rubber dust boot.

Repeatedly check the level of brake fluid in the reservoir while compressing the piston to ensure that it does not overflow. Brake fluid is extremely corrosive and can easily damage any painted surface.

Use some brake parts cleaner spray and a shop rag to thoroughly clean the brake rotor, caliper and bracket.

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

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CRC Disc Brake Quiet Gel
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Pull Out Caliper Slider Pin
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Lubricate Caliper Pins
Carefully pull the lower caliper pin out of the bracket while trying to avoid damaging the rubber dust boot. If the lower caliper pin is adequately lubricated, re-insert it and also check that the upper caliper pin moves freely by oscillating the caliper back and forth a few times.

If the lower caliper pin wasn't well lubricated, apply a generous coating of high pressure moly grease or silicone "caliper pin grease" to it and also remove the upper caliper pin to lubricate it as well.

To help prevent braking noise, an optional step is to apply some CRC "Disc Brake Quiet" gel or a similar product to the rear of the brake pads where they come in contact with the caliper. Do not apply anything to the friction surface of the new pads.

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Caliper Pin In Rubber Boot
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Install New Brake Pads
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Push Pads Against Rotor
If your set of new front brake pads came with new metal anti-rattle clips, remove the old ones from the caliper bracket and install the new ones in their place.

Slide the new brake pads into the caliper bracket and push them flush against the brake rotor. Re-attach the two "V" springs to the new pads. Keep one hand on the pads to prevent the springs from popping them out of the bracket.

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Install "V" Springs On Pads
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Cut Twine Holding Caliper
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Lower Caliper Over Pads
Use your other hand to cut the twine supporting the caliper. Carefully swing the caliper downwards and over the new brake pads. If the caliper won't fit, you may need to compress the piston back a bit more with the "C" clamp.
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Insert Lower Caliper Bolt
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17mm Wrench Holding Pin
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Bleeder Valve Cover
Line up the hole in the caliper with the slider pin in the bracket and insert the lower caliper bolt by hand. Tighten the lower caliper bolt snugly to just past hand tight or about 25-30 ft lbs of torque. If necessary, use the 17mm spanner wrench to keep the caliper pin from spinning when you tighten the caliper bolt.

Double check that both the upper and lower caliper bolts are tightened properly before continuing.

If your brake pedal previously felt mushy or spongy, the brake fluid may be contaminated with water or the brake lines may contain 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 new DOT3 brake fluid. For more on this topic, check out my Brake Line Fluid Bleeding DIY Guide.

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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
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Spin On Five Lug Nuts
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Lower Car From Jack
Replace the front wheel and spin on the five lug nuts by hand to prevent cross threading them and tighten them a bit with the tire iron.

Use the floor jack to remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle until the front wheel holds some of the vehicle's weight. Tighten the lug nuts the rest of the way in a progressive "star" or "criss cross" pattern.  It would be best to use a torque wrench or an air gun with a torque stick to tighten the lug  nuts to about 100 ft lbs.

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Tighten Lug Nuts
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Check Brake Fluid Level
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Replace Reservoir Cap

Get into the driver's seat and pump the brake pedal several times to restore the brake line pressure. Then check the brake fluid level in the reservoir and verify that it is at the "MAX" (maximum) line. Once the brake fluid level is correct, replace the brake fluid reservoir cap by twisting it on clockwise.

To break in your new brake pads, just drive normally for the first several hundred miles while trying to avoid any hard or "panic" stops which may glaze the new brake pads and cause them to be noisy and perform poorly.

It's also a good idea to regularly examine your driveway for drops of brake fluid which may indicate a leak, check the brake fluid level in the reservoir, and also check that the lug nuts are still properly tightened. 

For more, check out my Toyota Camry Repair & Maintenance Guides page.
 

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