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Toyota Corolla Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
Pictures illustrated instructions for how to install new front brake pads on a ninth generation (2003 to 2008) Toyota Corolla.

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Wearever Ceramic $32.79
05 Corolla Front Wheel
Removing 21mm Lug Nuts

This automotive how-to guide was specifically written to assist owners of the 9th generation (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008) Toyota Corolla in replacing worn out front brake pads with new ones.

Newer Corolla models from 2009, 2010 and 2010 may have similar replacement procedures. This guide might also be useful for owners of other Toyota vehicles such as the Matrix, Camry, Yaris, Venza, Avalon, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, RAV4, 4Runner, Scion tC, xA, xB, and xD.

After 78,000 miles, I finally started to hear some squealing from the wear indicator bars on the front brake pads of our 2005 Toyota Corolla S. I purchased a set of new Wearever ceramic front brake pads for $32.79 at Advance Auto Parts.

The tools needed to complete this procedure are a 21mm lug nut wrench, a 14mm socket or wrench for the caliper bolts, a "C" clamp, a floor jack and jack stands.

Front Brake Caliper & Rotor
Remove Lower 14mm Caliper Bolt
Swing Caliper Upwards
The first step is to raise the front of the car off the ground with a floor jack and secure it with jack stands. Then take off the five 21mm lug nuts on each of the front wheels and pull the wheels off the car.
Remove Old Brake Pads
Worn Out Brake Pad
Loosen Brake Fluid Cap
Now you'll be able to see the front brake calipers, rotors and pads. Using a 14mm wrench or socket, loosen the lower of the two caliper bolts and remove it. Then swing the caliper upwards to reveal the old front brake pads. If the caliper doesn't remain raised on its own, secure it in the up position with some strong twine attached to the suspension spring. The old brake pads may come out easily using just your fingers, or you may have to gently pry them out with a flathead screwdriver.
Compress Caliper Piston
Save Old "Squeal" Bars
Slide In New Brake Pads
Once you have the old brake pads removed, be sure to pull off the old wear indicator or "squeal bar" from the top of the interior pad. My new Wearever pads came with metal backing plates attached but without new wear indicator clips.

Next, use a "C" clamp and one of the old brake pads to very slowly compress the caliper piston back until it is just about flush with the rubber dust boot. Make sure that the brake fluid reservoir cap is loosened or removed to prevent a build up of pressure in the brake lines.

One optional step is to apply some high pressure moly grease to the metal edge of the caliper piston to help avoid braking noises. You can also apply some red CRC Brake Quiet or blue Permatex Disc Brake Quiet gel onto the back of the brake pad where it comes in contact with the caliper. Wipe off the brake rotor with some brake cleaner spray if you have it handy.

Passenger Outer Pad Installed
New Pad & Old Wear Bar
Wear Indicator Bar Installed
Attach the wear indicator bar to the top of the new interior pads by clipping it on, and slide the new pads into place on either side of the rotor. Push on the backs of the new pads until they rest flush against the rotor.

Original Rotor Surface
Inner Driver Pad & Wear Bar
Driver Outer Pad Installed
Many people recommend that rotors should be "turned" (re-surfaced) or just replaced when ever you install new pads. The OEM rotors on this car still looked great, so we decided to just install the new pads. If your Corolla shakes, vibrates or shudders when applying the brakes with your old pads, you should consider having the rotors resurfaced or replaced when installing new brake pads.
Two New Pads In Place
Align Dust Boot & Caliper
Dust Boot Tab In Place
Once both new pads are securely in place against the rotor, you can lower the caliper over the new pads. If you have trouble lowering the caliper, compress the caliper piston some more with the "C" clamp. Be sure to line up the the cut out section on the caliper pin's dust boot with the tab on the caliper body. This helps prevent it from moving once the caliper bolt has been re-installed.
Inspect Rear Drum Brakes
Check Brake Fluid Level
Reduce Level To "MAX"
Since we already had the car up on the lift, we took the opportunity to rotate the tires (front to back) and inspect the rear drum brakes. The rear drum brakes on a Toyota Corolla are generally good for at least 100k miles.

Also be sure to check the level of brake fluid in the reservoir. Remove or add fluid until it reaches the "MAX" line. Don't get any brake fluid on your paint since it will eat it! Then replace the brake fluid reservoir cap and pump the brake pedal a few times until it feels firm. Finally, reattach the wheels by tightening each of the five 21mm lug nuts. We used an air impact wrench with a 100 ft. lb torque extension bar. Normally, I just tighten the lug nuts by hand with a tire iron a 1/4 to 1/2 turn past hand tight.

The break in procedure for these ceramic pads involve driving normally for a few hundred miles and avoiding hard or "panic" stops. Some people recommend performing a brake pad "bedding" by doing 10 to 20 near stops with moderate brake pedal pressure from 35-45 MPH down to 5-10 MPH with 30 seconds in between stops to allow the pads to cool.

Replace Brake Fluid Cap
100lb Ft. Torque Extension Bar
78,541 Miles
For more of my automotive how-to guides and product reviews, click on the following links: Toyota Corolla Engine Oil Change, Toyota Corolla Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement Guide, Toyota Corolla Cabin Air Filter Replacement Guide, Toyota Corolla Headlight Bulbs Replacement Guide, Toyota Corolla Tail Light Bulbs Replacement Guide, Toyota Corolla Fog Light Bulbs Replacement Guide, Toyota Corolla Dome Light Bulb Replacement Guide, Toyota Corolla Overhead Map Light Bulbs Replacement Guide, Meguiar's Headlight Buffing & Restoration Kit Review, K&N Air Filter Cleaning Guide, WeatherTech FloorLiner Interior Mats Review, Tail Light & Headlight Condensation Repair Guide, Garmin Nuvi 260W GPS Review, Buffing Old Faded Headlights, and Interior Carpet Replacement Guide.
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