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Toyota RAV4 Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a fifth generation 2019 to 2023 Toyota RAV4 SUV.

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2019 RAV4 Front Wheel
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Loosen Lug Nuts
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Raise Front of SUV
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the fifth generation (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and the updated 2023 model year) Toyota RAV4 SUV in changing the front disc brake pads. Plus directions for replacing the rotors if necessary.

Owners of other Toyota and Lexus vehicles such as the Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Prius, Avalon, C-HR, GR86, Venza, Sienna, Sequoia, 4Runner, IS 250, IS 300, IS 350, ES 350, GS 350 and GX 460 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement sets of new front brake pads with their part numbers are as follows: Power Stop 16-2076 Z16, Raybestos Element3, KFE KFE2076-104, Dynamic Friction ‎1310-2076-00 and ACDelco Silver 14D2076CH.

The tools and other items needed to complete the procedure include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, a 14mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratchet, a 17mm wrench, an "F" clamp and a tube of brake caliper grease.

The first few steps are to drive the SUV on to a level surface, shift the transmission into "P" (Park) and turn off the ignition.

Engage the emergency / parking brake and place wheel chocks on both sides of the rear tires to help prevent the vehicle from moving.

Slightly loosen the five lug nuts on the front wheel by turning them 1/4 to 1/2 turn in the counterclockwise direction with the tire iron.

Carefully raise the front of the vehicle with the scissor jack (provided in the cargo area on top of the spare tire) placed under the jack point. Securely support the SUV with at least two jack stands placed under the frame rail.

I prefer to only work on one side of the vehicle at a time to keep three tires on the ground for extra safety.



 

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Support With Jack Stands
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Spin Off Five Lug Nuts
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5 Lug Nuts Removed

Spin off the five lug nuts and set them aside in a safe place.

Carefully pull off the front wheel and tire.

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Rotor, Bracket, Caliper
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Front Brake Caliper
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Loosen Top Caliper Bolt
Once the front wheel and tire are out of the way, you'll be able to see the rotor, bracket, caliper and suspension.

The front brake caliper is held in place by two bolts located on the rear side of the caliper. The two bolt heads face in towards the engine bay.

Loosen the top caliper bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the car) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

Then loosen the bottom caliper bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

If you click on the pictures, I have arrows indicating the correct direction to rotate the ratchet when loosening the caliper bolts.

Note - If you slide under the engine bay of the vehicle and look at the back side of the caliper bolts, you would loosen them in the "normal" counterclockwise direction ("Lefty Loosey"). Since we are looking at the vehicle from the outside as shown in these pictures, it appears as if you are loosening the bolts in the "opposite" clockwise direction.

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Loosen Bottom Bolt
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Spin Out Lower Bolt
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Remove Upper Bolt
Spin out the two caliper bolts.

Set them aside in a safe place.

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Caliper Bolts Removed
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Rest Caliper On Rotor
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Remove Old Inner Pad
Carefully pull the caliper out of the bracket and off the old brake pads.

Gently rest the caliper on the rotor or suspend it from the suspension spring with a bungee cord or rope.

Try to avoid bending, kinking or stressing the rubber brake fluid hose.

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Wear Bars - Top Both
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Pad Abutment Clips
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Lubricate Slide Pins
Pull the old inner and outer brake pads out of the bracket.

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

On this 2019 RAV4, the wear indicator bars were located at the top of both the inner and outer brake pads.

If your new set of front pads includes a bag of replacement brake hardware, remove the old pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket.

Clean off the lug nut studs, rotor, caliper and bracket with some brake parts cleaner spray.

Apply a thin layer of brake caliper grease to the new pad abutment clips where they will come in contact with the bracket or the ends of the new pads.

Push the new pad abutment clips into the top and bottom of the bracket.

Make sure that the clips are fully seated into the bracket.

In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins or "guide bolts" need to be well lubricated.

Do NOT mix up the upper and lower caliper slide pins.

Pull out one pin at a time, apply a small amount of brake parts lubricant grease to the smooth part of the pin.

Push the caliper slider pin back into its rubber dust boot.

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Do Not Mix Up Pins
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Attach "F" Clamp
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Brake Fluid Reservoir
Repeat the process to lubricate the other slide pin.

In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new front brake pads, the caliper piston needs to be compressed back.

Attach the "F" clamp to the caliper and use the back of an old brake pad to evenly distribute the pressure across the piston.

Move to the right rear area of the engine bay (close to the windshield near the driver's seat).

The brake fluid reservoir tank is located just behind the 12 volt automotive battery.

Gently twist off the reservoir cap in the counterclockwise direction and set it aside in a safe place. Removing the reservoir cap will allow the brake fluid to more easily travel back through the system when you compress the caliper piston.

(Do NOT "crack open the bleeder screws" unless you plan on also bleeding the brake line system to remove any air bubbles.)

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Remove Reservoir Cap
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Compress Caliper Piston
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Replace Brake Fluid Cap

Slowly turn the "F" clamp handle in the clockwise direction to compress back the caliper piston.

Repeatedly check the fluid level in the reservoir to make sure it doesn't over flow.

Continue compressing the caliper piston until it is just about flush with the rubber dust boot surrounding it.

Try to avoid pinching or damaging the rubber dust boot with the old brake pad or the "F" clamp.

As soon as you have completed compressing the caliper piston, immediately replace the reservoir cap by twisting it on the clockwise direction.

Brake fluid is hygroscopic (readily absorbs moisture from the air) so the reservoir cap shouldn't be left off for any longer than necessary. Especially in humid environments.

If your RAV4 has been exhibiting vibrations, shaking or shuddering in the front end during braking, you might need to replace the old rotors.

To replace the rotors, remove the two 17mm bolts on the back side of the bracket, slide off the old rotor and slide the new rotor into place.

If you have trouble loosening an old rusted on rotor, hit it with a rubber mallet or thread in a 12mm bolt into one of the two holes on the face of the rotor such as the from the radiator bracket.

Re-attach the two 17mm bracket bolts and tighten them to the service manual specification of 79 lb-ft of torque.

A few compatible replacement front brake rotors with their part numbers are as follows: Power Stop JBR1763, ‎Raybestos Element3 982292FZN and DuraGo BR900340 (Japan Built Models).

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Wear Indicator Bar Top
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Install New Inner Pad
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Wear Bar Top Outer Pad

Install the new inner and outer brake pads into the bracket.

The wear indicator bars or "squeal bars" should be situated at the top of both pads.

 

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Install New Outer Pad
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Push Pads Against Rotor
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Lower Caliper Over Pads

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

Carefully lower the caliper over the new pads and into the bracket.

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

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

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Spin In Top Caliper Bolt
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Replace Bottom Bolt
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Tighten Upper Caliper Bolt
Spin in the two caliper bolts a few turns by hand in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the car) to help prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

You may need a 17mm wrench to hold the slide pins in place when you tighten the caliper bolts.

Tighten the two caliper bolts in the counterclockwise direction with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet to just past hand tight.

If you click on the pictures, I have arrows indicating the correct direction to rotate the ratchet when tightening the caliper bolts.

The torque specification for the front 14mm caliper bolts in the shop manual is 25 lb-ft (or about 34 N*m).

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Tighten Bottom Bolt
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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
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Rubber Valve Cap

If your brake pedal has been feeling very soft or "spongy", you probably need to bleed the brake lines in order to remove any air bubbles or moisture.

Check out my Acura MDX Brake Fluid Bleeding Guide for some general information on this procedure.

The brake fluid bleeder valve is located just below the top caliper bolt. You'll need an 8mm wrench to open and close the bleeder valve.

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

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Push On Front Wheel
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Spin On Five Lug Nuts
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Slightly Tighten Clockwise
Carefully replace the front wheel and tire over the lug studs.

Spin on the five lug nuts in the clockwise direction a few turns by hand to help prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Slightly tighten the lug nuts in the clockwise direction in a "star" or a "criss-cross" pattern with the lug nut wrench.

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Lower SUV From Stands
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Torque Lug Nuts
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Front Brake Job Done!
Carefully lower the car from the two jack stands by using the floor jack.

Continue progressively tightening the lug nuts in a star or criss-cross pattern to about 1/4 turn past hand tight.

The owner's manual specification for the lug nuts is 76 lb-ft (103 Nm) of torque. It would be best to use a torque wrench to properly tighten the lug nuts.

Check the brake fluid level in the reservoir and slowly add more DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid if necessary until the level reaches the "MAX" (maximum) line.

Sit in the driver's seat and firmly pump the brake pedal a few times to restore the brake line pressure.

Be sure to write down the brake pad change in your vehicle's service records.

It would be a good idea to check your driveway, garage or parking spot for fresh drops of brake fluid during the next few days which indicate a leak from the reservoir or a bleeder valve.

I also recommend verifying that your lug nuts are still properly tightened after your next trip.

For more, please check out all of my 2019-2023 Toyota RAV4 DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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