Toyota Camry Brakes

bshengbsheng Member Posts: 5
I had to replace the original front and rear brake pads as well as the rear rotors at 42,000 (50-75% highway) miles. Is this what other people are getting? I was suprised that the rear pads/rotors wore out faster than the front. are the front and rear designed to wear out at the same time or are the rear ones supposed to last longer? Thanks.


  • sev6sev6 Member Posts: 26
    I think rears last longer. I saw your post on camryman too. Maybe someone else can help.
  • pumspums Member Posts: 1
    I am a prowd owner of a '98 Camry LE. However, had a bad experience this wkend when my Camry started emitting smokes from both front wheels (!) and then flames started coming from inside the right front wheel (!!!). I panicked, took it to Firestone (nearest trustworthy auto garage) and they diagnosed Brake caliper seizure, hose leakage and bearing damage. All in all, the job cost me $940 (!!!). Is such cases common...any reason that it happenned..i had purchased the car from a dealer in May end (it has 75000+ on it). nd is what i paid too much. Need guidance...also on what other checks to be done to prevent such incidents in future...
  • loucapriloucapri Member Posts: 214
    take it to the dealer and have them re-do your brake. I have a 97, took it to a cheap-o-brake shop, tried to save a buck. The brake didn't even last for a year. Took it to TOYOTA, man, it costs more but sure they did a much better job. In the long run, it pays off.
  • ben2350ben2350 Member Posts: 2
    Hi, I have a '99 Camry LE (4cyl) and my front brakes need to be changed. I have watched a mechanic change brake pads on my other car a while back but am not sure if I remember every step/tools that he used.

    Could anyone give me some advise, please?

    Thank you!
  • terrygutterrygut Member Posts: 7
    I've recently purchased Camry STD 2005. I noticed that some of 2005 STDs came with no ABS. Does anybody know how to find out whether my car has it?
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    If you're not sure what you're doing, I'd say not to risk it. It doesn't cost all that much to have a professional change the pads.

    I do a lot of my own maintenance, but I leave the brake work to the pros (except for changing out the fluid).
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    You could ask your salesman. (Just kidding!)

    When you first turn the ignition to the "on" position (don't start the engine just yet), there is a yellow warning light that goes on momentarily and says "abs." You may have to do this several times, because there are so many warning lights, and about half of them go off in a short time, including the ABS light.

    I was under the impression that ABS was standard on ALL 2005 Camrys, despite what the brochure implies.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Member Posts: 897
    The early production models did not have it as standard equipment, and they changed it about halfway through the year.

  • terrygutterrygut Member Posts: 7
    Thank you, 210delray
  • ben2350ben2350 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for replying to my post! I agree with your point of not messing with my brakes :) However, I just want to get more independent atleast on the basic repair needs of my car. I would probably take it to the mechanic and this might be the last time I get it done there...
  • lincojamlincojam Member Posts: 1
    My 97 camry sat for 6 months before my sister drove it.
    Recently I found its front driver caliper seized, and break pads totally worn. The hubcap was warped and had a hole melted through it in the center (only a cheap replacement hubcap). I assume its because of the heat generated by the brake being on while it was driven.

    I'm planning to replace the caliper, pads and rotors. Should I also replace the hub/bearing assembly? how hard is that to do? Should I also be concered about ball joints?
  • kjcho92kjcho92 Member Posts: 5
    I got a quote from Meineke for a brake job. The total amount was 450 bucks.
    It included changing brake rotors, which cost about 100 dollars each. (just the front)
    Is it really necessary to change the brake rotors? Why can't I just change the pads.
    I have a 2000 camry, with 40k miles on it. It's the first time I'm changing my brakes since I bought the car.
    I know that I have to change the rotors if there is a vibration when I apply brakes, but there is no vibration.

    I didn't think changing the brakes cost this much.
    (I thought I saw somewhere I can change each pad for around 50 bucks)
    Am I being ripped off? or should I change the rotors?

  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    Not all chain service facility store managers are as reputable as they could be since sales volume is rewarded (or penalized for lack thereof). Unless the Meineke tech dismounted one or both of your front brake rotors and demonstrated excessive lateral runout, or you are actually experiencing pedal pulsation when you brake, I find it hard to accept that store's diagnosis that your rotors have to be summarily replaced. Even if there was pulsating, virtually any rotor can accept ONE resurfacing, though the situation becomes murky for a second resurfacing. The fact that you managed 40,000 miles on the factory pads is ample testimony to your conservative driving style. (You got about 10,000 more miles than the average.) Get a second opinion - I think you're being played. If you want to try the job yourself, a full set of Raybestos "lifetime" replacement pads (a set services both front wheels) - at Pep Boys are less than $30.00. If your car came with ceramic pads, those may cost more. Sometimes the local high-school auto shop will have students do the labor for the experience if you supply the materials. (with oversight by the instructor that the kids did it right)
  • lmacmillmacmil Member Posts: 1,758
    Why not get an estimate from your dealer? He may be more likely to give you an honest assessment.
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    Oh, brother... Stealership service managers and service writers live and die (professionally speaking) by sales volume, too. Get it? Service departments are there for two reasons: sales and manufacturer requirements to obtain the franchise. From the manufacturer's perspective in order of importance: to handle warranty claims and to enhance the stealership's bottom line. From the stealership's perspective in order of importance: to enhance the stealership's bottom line and to handle warranty claims.
  • kjcho92kjcho92 Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for the reply.
    I will definitely get an second opinion.
    They try to make me believe that changing the rotors is a normal thing.
    Didn't even mention the resurfacing.
  • camryman2camryman2 Member Posts: 3
    I own a 2000 Toyota Camry XLE-V6. The front brakes squeal when applied and you can feel and hear grinding when they are applied forcefully. I had the brakes done about 8,000 miles ago. Are the squealing noise and the grinding normal? If not, what do they indicate and what should I instruct my mechanic to do? By the way, the brake job consisted of replacing the front disc pads (semi-metallic, as recommended by Toyota) and rotors and cost $330. However, the parts were aftermarket, not Toyota original parts. Should that make a difference and would aftermarket parts cause squealing and grinding? Thanks.
  • lovecdlovecd Member Posts: 50
    I can feel the steering wheel is vibrating when pressing the brake paddle on my 97 Camry, especially down the hill. I recently changed the front brake pad with the rotor turned. Can anybody advise what could be the reason for this? Many thanks!
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    If the rotors were turned past their safe thickness wear limit, they'll soon warp under the heat of brake application, and applying the brakes when negotiating downhill grades will exacerbate the situation. Once warped, the result is vibration in the steering wheel and brake pedal. You'll probably need to have both front rotors replaced with new ones, now.
  • lovecdlovecd Member Posts: 50
    Thanks! I will get it checked this weekend.
  • lmacmillmacmil Member Posts: 1,758
    Another thing that will quickly warp rotors are over-torqued or unevenly torqued lug nuts. Toyota lug nut torque is typically only about 78 ft-lbs, way lower than the typical American car which is 100 ft-lbs. If you had the brake job done at a shop that doesn't do a lot of Toyotas, they may have over-torqued the lug nuts.
  • bwong06bwong06 Member Posts: 43
    When i brake it starts squeaking. so i went to my regular mechanic who recommended me getting my pads changed in front. then i went to the toyota service guy who told me i didnt need to get my pads changed. a simple cleaning and adjusting of my brakes next time i serviced my car should be good, and he said the pads can last until around 90,000 miles if your not a hard braker, (i am not a hard braker). Anyone suggestions on what i should do?
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    Well, the brakes are self-adjusting front and rear, so there's no need to adjust the brakes manually unless something is amiss. If the pads are worn sufficiently, they should be replaced. And, there's really nothing to clean either.

    Also, the Toyota Camry's front brakes have the device that makes the brakes squeak very loudly when the pads are worn to the point of needing replacement.

    Do yours squeak loudly or not?

    There is no hard and fast rule on the number of miles you can get on a pair of brake pads. On my former '97 Camry, the front brake pads didn't require replacement until 109K miles, but my wife and I are conservative drivers.
  • bwong06bwong06 Member Posts: 43
    They squeak only when i brake very hard rarly. the main occasions this happen is when i drive in a photo camera intersection and the light turns yellow, i dont want to take any chances :)
  • typesixtypesix Member Posts: 321
    Rear brakes are self adjusting only if they are disc brakes. Rear drum brakes are adjusted on many Toyotas by regularly using parking brake.
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    I don't believe your explanation is correct. Drum brake self-adjusters operate whenever stopping a vehicle that's backing up.
  • typesixtypesix Member Posts: 321
    Not every vehicle uses that method of adjusting rear drums. As stated some Toyotas use the parking brake to adjust rear brakes. My 1989 Camry uses that method as stated in service manual.
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    Then it doesn't sound like the front pads are worn enough to activate the screeching mechanism (really just a strip of metal that contacts the brake rotor).

    But I still think you ought to get someone to tell you how much thickness you have remaining on at least your front pads (I think 1 mm is the minimum thickness).

    Regarding self-adjusting rear drum brakes, I would assume (but am not certain) they'd adjust in the manner haefr mentions (stopping while backing up). A lot of people never use the parking brake, so it seems a company would open itself up to liability suits for not providing the reversing-type self-adjusting method.
  • typesixtypesix Member Posts: 321
    Go ask a mechanic. He'll tell you there's more than one way to adjust rear drum brakes. A lot of people never use the parking brake and that's why there are stories of people getting run over by their own car. The park mechanism was never meant to be used as the primary holding device, it was meant to be used as backup to parking brake.
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    "Not every vehicle uses that method of adjusting rear drums. As stated some Toyotas use the parking brake to adjust rear brakes. My 1989 Camry uses that method as stated in service manual."

    I'll accept your interpretation of the 1990 Toyota Camry shop manual as gospel, but I would offer an additional point that is pertinent to at least some makes. My '03 Sonata has disc rear brakes, but a "top hat" style parking brake drum cast integrally with the rear rotors. When I yank the parking brake on before shifting to "Park", two shoes per rear wheel internally engage the described drum. It adjusts automatically with each application of the parking brake. As such it also doubles as somewhat of an emergency brake system in the event of total service brake failure since it's divorced from the hydraulic system - strictly mechanically activated through cabling from the parking brake lever. While those brake shoes automatically adjust as described, the cable will stretch over time slightly. The slack can be readjusted at the parking brake lever once the floor console is removed. I agree with 210delray's response #603 that too many drivers are oblivious to the presence of a parking brake handle or pedal. If any automaker depends on fastidious application of the parking brake by owners to maintain conventional rear drum-only braking adjustment, then their decision borders on felonious shortsightedness and reckless endangerment as far as I'm concerned. (not to mention the millions that could be assessed in civil class-action product liability litigation) It was drummed into me in high school drivers' ed. (1961) not to EVER depend entirely on engaging the "Park" pawl in automatic transmissions if for no other reason than to save a very expensive transmission tear-down to replace a broken parking pawl in the event your parked car is rear-ended by some moron. Unfortunately for all of us, FWD cars apply parking pawl lock to the front wheels. If our cars get creamed while parked, we may very well be on the hook for very expensive trannie work in addition to whatever body and frame damage.
  • typesixtypesix Member Posts: 321
    I also had a 1981 Dodge Omni that had no driver or auto rear drum brake slack adjusters. The rear brakes had to be manually adjusted thru the access ports in the drums.
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    Interesting. My very first new car after I graduated from optometry school (1970 Plymouth Satellite) had front discs and rear drums. The rear drums did have auto-adjusters on the rear drums that were activated with each reverse braking application. The owner's manual suggested for people who didn't routinely use reverse gear that it might be necessary to periodically have the rear shoes manually adjusted to maintain front-rear braking balance effecacy. The shop manual described how a star wheel (normally automatically ratcheted a cog at a time as needed with reverse braking), and that was accessible through an access hole in the stationary brake mounting plate covered by a plug to prevent moisture intrusion, could be manually ratcheted with a small hooked tool or bent screwdriver to take up uncompensated slack. What you described parallels very closely to what my Plymouth had.
  • wrobinsonwrobinson Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1994 Camry that needs to have its struts and rear brakes replaced. It also needs new tires. The car only has 125K miles on it, so it is well worth putting the money into the maintenance, however since I am unable to afford having all of the work done at once, I need some advice as to the order in which the work should be done. I'm told the rear brakes have 25% left, but the struts are shot. One mechanic told me to do the brakes first and that they would cost $900. Another told me to do the struts first at $1200, then the tires ($400), finally the brakes ($100 - he wanted to turn the brakes, not replace the drums).

    I'm confused and cam't seem to find someone who can really explain what needs to be done.

  • toyotabotoyotabo Member Posts: 13
    Always think safety first. brakes, tires and then struts :) turning them now is cheaper then replacment
  • rroberts1rroberts1 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 94 camry I just bought that needs all of the mentioned repairs too. What I can advise you is DO NOT let the dealer do any of this work! You will be charged more than DOUBLE what the job would cost anywhere else. Toyota wanted 300.00 to do a front brake job on my car. I got it done for 150.00 at another shop. I think maybe the mechanics are getting commission at Toyota. If so, they will always tell you you need things you do not need.
  • jodar96jodar96 Member Posts: 400
    One of the members said not to take your vehicle to Toyota dealer for these repairs. he is so right. Once your warranty runs out, for brake and strut replacement, check out Midas or Sears. It shocks me to see the dealer wants $900 for brake job, $1200 for struts, even the tires should not cost $400. You get no extra benefit by going to a Toyota Dealer. I have a 96 Camry XLE V-6. I did the front brakes myself. A PAIR of top quality Bendix rotors cost me $110, the bendix pads cost $45. I did the front brake job for $155.

    Anytime they replace struts, they must do wheel alignment. That is a necessary expense.

    Good luck
  • ejoysejoys Member Posts: 1
    Hello! Mine is a 2005 Camry LE with 20k ml. I drove to a local Firestone for an oil change. They said I better let them clean and adjust the brakes on the rear wheels. The actual description is: "Adjust & clean brakes - 2 wheels" and it'll cost $30.

    While driving, I don't feel any problem as for braking (I am not familiar with car mechanism, though.)

    My question is:
    1. Does this brakes problem commonly happen to recent camry models with around 20k mileage?
    2. I wonder if adjusting and cleaning brakes can be done under warranty. Then I'd go to a dealer for this matter.

    I'd appreciate your input :-)
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Member Posts: 2,363
    Sorry--complete waste of your time and money. There is no brake "problem" and they need neither cleaning nor adjusting at this mileage.

    READ YOUR MAINTENANCE MANUAL. Don't authorize service to be done in the absence of real symptoms, or a requirement spelled out in the manual. And no, brakes are considered wear items and are generally not covered under the warranty except under very specific conditions.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    They were most likely referring to the parking or e-brakes. These are implemented, usually, at the rear via the old style drum type braking on the inside of the disc brake rotor.

    And yes, they do need adjusting on occasion, ~50,000 miles or more, but knowing these aftermarket rip-off artists such as Firestone I very much doubt if you needed it, certainly not the cleaning "bit".

    Park your car facing uphill on a fairly steep incline and if normal application, no extra effort, on the e-brake holds the car in place there is no need for adjustment.
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    On your LE, you will have rear drum brakes, so these will also serve double duty as the emergency/parking brakes (cable-actuated of course for the latter).

    You don't need any cleaning or adjustment at this low mileage without symptoms.

    However, Toyota recommends checking front brake pads and rear brake linings for wear every 15K miles. Practically speaking, however, the rear drums typically show minimal wear for many more than 20K miles, unless you're heavy and frequent on the brakes.
  • jdoyle1jdoyle1 Member Posts: 2
    Shouldn't the rear drum brakes be self-adjusting on this car? I have seen two types, some that are actuated by braking when backing up, others that are actuated when the parking brake is applied. I think the rear brakes would only require adjusting if the self adjusting mechanism failed for some reason, which is highly unlikely at this mileage. US cars have had self-adjusting drums since the early '60s.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Yes, rear drum brakes have been self-adjusting for eons now. But the subject under discussion is the rear e-brake and as the brake shoes wear the e-brake actuator cable develops slack and must be tightened, "adjusted".
  • bocaabocaa Member Posts: 1
    My car is due for a front brake change, this is my second time to change them. The first time I did the job at the dealer and it cost a lot of money. I was wondering, if I can look outside for good parts and change them at an independent garage..
    I heard from many sources that Toyota parts are recommended and it's not a great idea to get other brands!!?
    From a quick search on the internet, I was able to get some brand names that fit my car (i.e. Brembo, EBC, Power Slot, Akebono). Some of these brands are OEM, does that make it like the original Toyota parts?! Also, some of these brands are rated performance parts, does that make them better quality part?!
  • rcole23rcole23 Member Posts: 1
    I am having two different issues with my car.

    1 - A loud noise from under the car starts around 45 mph and sometimes gets louder the faster I go. We took it to the dealer, and they said it was road noise. It can be so loud and the vibration that comes through the gas pedal is a bit unnerving. Anyone else have this problem? I thought I remembered Camry's being quiet cars.

    2 - When i go to slow down and slightly press on the brake pedal, the brakes (and steering wheel) will shake violently. It just started in the recent months and has gotten worse. Are the brakes going? I saw an earlier post where the dealer said it was a computer issue. I don't understand that. I am hoping to find the time this weekend to take it in, but my work schedule does not really permit it.

    Thanks for any and all help!
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    It sounds like your front rotors might be warped. When you start to put the brakes on, the pads start to squeeze against the rotor which if not true....will appear to you as a vibration. This will be in sequence with how fast the wheel is turning, so the vibration would slow down as you slow down.

    I'd get it to the dealer or a brake shop and have them drive it.
  • binubinu Member Posts: 81
    A friend of mine once gave me a ride on a 2001 Camry.
    For some reason, my friend had not noticed but I did notice a loud noise similar to the one you mentioned. After I mentioned this to him he agreed and we were almost sure that this was engine related.

    On diagnosis at the dealership, this turned out to be a bearing related issue on one of the wheels. The bearing was replaced and all is well since then. Approx cost, I believe, was $500.

    The second issue sounds like a warped rotor as the previous post mentioned.
  • cam2003cam2003 Member Posts: 131
    Try to rotate the tires: spare/ front to back. You may have worn out tires. The OEM tires are really bad,only 10000 miles, not much tread left.
  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    maybe an engine mount gone bad?

    anyway along the lines of previous comments, visually inspect the tires.

    tires cupping (google it) can cause great vibration. this is uneven wear that results in the tire actually bouncing and results in more wear (it just gets worse).

    bearings, an out of balance tire (lost it's balance weight perhaps or the balance weight got moved when someone hit a curb hard), worn shocks / suspension parts...a lot of factors can contribute.

    i had this happen to a Jetta I owned once. had to replace tires. once replaced with a properly balanced set, no road noise or vibration.

    when i replace tires, i get an alignment done. it's more expensive, but i think ultimately worth it to get the most tread life from the tires.
  • edmund2460edmund2460 Member Posts: 293
    How many of you change the brake fluid regularly? What intervals?
    As 210delray said, I would avoid Firestone too. Buy tires from them but go no further. Most of these shops do not have competent mechanics to do the additional services that they are trying to sell you. Plus all of them seem to be in the business of selling services you do not need. I have never taken my car in for a tire purchase/rotation without a follow up call for 'urgent maintenance' needed. My strategy after years of taking cars to various places is to stick with either the dealer (do only what the manual requires) OR use a local mechanic (not a franchise) that you may trust. My 2003 Camry goes to the dealer and my 82 VW goes to a local mechanic that has worked on it since I bought it.
  • lmacmillmacmil Member Posts: 1,758
    I would recommend a brake fluid change whenever you get a brake job. If you lease or trade every 3 years, then you'll probably never need to do it.
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