Your brakes may be the single most important piece of safety equipment on your car. They help you control your speed, come to a complete stop and even avoid unnecessary clutch wear.
However, you need to replace your brakes from time to time because they get worn down. The good news is that anyone can perform a brake pad replacement and even rotors are relatively simple.
How Do Brakes Work?
The brakes on your Toyota Camry have three major parts: a rotor, a caliper and pads. The rotor is a disc that spins with your wheels. If you remove your wheel, it is clearly visible right behind where the wheel would sit.
The caliper is a mechanism that goes around part of the rotor and squeezes down on it to stop the rotor from spinning, causing the wheels to stop. Between the caliper and the rotor are brake pads. These friction pads help the caliper to grip the rotor and protect everything from metallic grinding.
Disc brakes, which are on Camrys and most modern cars, are very simple and highly effective. However, they do need regular maintenance. Any system that generates heat will wear down with use.
When Do Your Brakes Need Changing?
The best way to determine if you need to replace your brake pads is an inspection. In general, you should have at least three millimeters of brake pad material. However, check your owner’s manual for the specifics for your brakes.
You can also tell if you need to replace your brake pads if you hear a screeching when you brake. This is a built-in wear indicator in the pads. If you consistently hear a loud screech or squeak, you need to replace your pads. Finally, some modern Camry’s have brake wear indicator lights on the dash.
How To Replace Brake Pads and Rotors on a Toyota Camry
Replacing your brake pads and rotors is easy. Follow these simple steps.
- Park your car on a flat surface.
- Loosen the lug on the wheel so they are loose enough you can move them by hand.
- Jack up the car and place jack stands to hold it up securely.
- Remove the wheel.
- Remove the caliper, making sure to disconnect the brake line.
- If changing the rotors also, remove the current rotor from the axel.
- Install the new rotor.
- Using a C-clamp, compress the piston of the caliper until it is flush with the housing.
- Replace the brake pads in the caliper, applying some anti-squeal grease to the outside.
- Reinstall the caliper and reconnect it to the brake lines.
- Replace the wheel and make sure that everything is working as expected.
Anyone can do this at home with a few basic parts. You can potentially save a lot of money by doing your own brake jobs.
Of course, you will need new brake parts and tools to do the job. Use a VIN lookup tool at your favorite auto parts store to find pads and rotors that fit your year and trim of Toyota Camry. Once you have the replacement parts, you will be ready to replace your brakes.