brake pad and rotor replacement for Toyota Camry 2014 (possibly same for similar years)

While I am not a professional mechanic, knowledge, and experience from seemingly random things could inform other things we will do later, so if you can, learn and do a little more maintenance on your car. Over time, it could save you money, but in the short term, it might not if you buy (borrow if you can) some basic tools. The biggest advantage is you are doing and learning something different – in your own time – by yourself.

Changing your motor/engine oil might be a simpler start, but this is what I have, so it is what I can share for the moment. I wrote this primarily as my guide for myself and my kids eventually, synthesizing information from multiple sources to ensure I do not miss important steps. The steps are mostly similar for the front and rear axle, but note that pads and rotors for the front and rear are different (part numbers), so make sure you have the correct parts. This is best as a video, but later.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this guide on basic automotive maintenance is intended for general knowledge and educational purposes only. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information, the instructions may not cover all possible situations or conditions.

By following these instructions, you acknowledge that automotive maintenance involves inherent risks and hazards, including but not limited to personal injury, property damage, and other unforeseen outcomes. Consult a professional mechanic or automotive technician for advice tailored to your vehicle and circumstances.

I shall not be held liable for any injury, damage, or loss that may occur due to following the instructions provided. Based on this guide, you assume full responsibility for your actions and any consequences that may arise from performing automotive maintenance. Use this information at your own risk.


  • Ensure household members know you are working on your car/garage and set expectations.
  • Dress accordingly (closed-toe shoes, pants, and long sleeves ideal, no jewelry or loose clothing)
  • Ensure there is enough lighting and ventilation (air circulation)
  • Wear personal protective equipment – gloves, mask, goggles (even with some discomfort, they are worth your safety/life – if it’s too hot, then maybe pick another time/day)
  • When raising a car using a car jack (research more if unsure about details)
    • Chock the opposing wheels accordingly.
    • Use correct/recommended jack points.
    • Ensure its contact with the car jack points is centered (and doesn’t slip)
    • Use jack stands (although you will not go under the car for brake replacement, stands are safer than relying on jacks only)
    • Once raised and on stands, push the car reasonably to confirm that it does not move or slip with a little push.
  • Read other work safety reminders applicable to any car work/garage work, including but not limited to
    • Have a first aid kit available nearby.
    • fire extinguisher in the garage (no fires expected on this task, but always a good idea)

Replacement Instructions

  • prepare materials
    • 14mm socket + ratchet
    • 8mm wrench
    • Brake bleeding bottle (zip tie at hose end to tighten if needed)
    • caliper hanger (yellow ideal for visibility)
    • silicon grease, synthetic grease, anti-seize
    • C-clamp (brake pad spreader) – although possible with clamps, cheap spreader is worth saving the struggle
    • torque wrench
    • brake pad thickness gauge
    • cleaning
      • wire brush, drill abrasives
      • cotton swab sticks, drain pan, wipes
      • Break parts cleaner
    • for wheel removal and raising the car
      • floor jack and stands
      • breaker bar, impact driver + 21mm impact socket
    • optional
      • soft mallet (to loosen)
      • cobra pliers (to grab/pull)
      • dial indicator (runout measurement)
  • wear gloves
  • Using the breaker bar, loosen the lug nuts (break the torque) slightly before raising the wheels, but keep them on. If no breaker bar is available, you need sufficient force, throw your weight or even a mallet to loosen.
  • Raise the rear axle and fully remove the wheels.
  • Wear a mask and goggles (enclosed to minimize dust and not just projectiles)
  • Before replacing, inspect first and confirm it needs replacement.
    • Measure the brake pad using a thickness gauge (if you can measure it through the caliper window); otherwise, measure it after removing the caliper below.
      • If still within recommended specs, then no replacement is needed (driving/usage conditions differ but typically check in 6 months)
    • Measure rotor thickness using a caliper – compare with the minimum thickness (engraved in the rotor – somewhere in between the hub/inner circle and outer circumference – you might need to brush a bit to see it buried in dust)
      • If still within recommended specs, it can be resurfaced later when it’s time to replace pads – rotors are relatively cheap nowadays, but it’s an option instead of disposing of – I recommend having a shop resurface rather than yourself, but research more for details.
    • If confirmed to need replacement, then proceed below.
  • Unscrew the caliper (14mm) and hang in the suspension coil
    • Gently wire brush the caliper body, but try not to get dust on the boot.
    • Clean folds of caliper piston boot gently (so buildup doesn’t go back when pushed in)
    • Ensure the boot is flat (not ballooned up); otherwise, release the bubbled air with a gentle pop and push with a small flat screwdriver.
    • Prepare drain pan, remove bleeder cover (set aside securely), attach brake bleeder and open valve (8mm)
    • Compress caliber (c-clamp + old pad or something smooth/flat, or pad spreader)
    • Close off the bleeder valve and put the back cover.
    • Apply synthetic (or sil) grease on the contact points of the caliper (boot face and other side/arm)
  • Remove bracket completely (14mm) – use breaker bar if needed.
  • Clean bracket (in open air)
    • wipe down
    • Test if the pin moves freely (baseline)
    • Remove one pin at a time – take note of upper vs lower pins (do not mix up)
    • Clean out old and thinly lube with silicone grease, and put it back.
    • Ensure pins move freely.
    • Take note of pad orientation and remove pads.
    • Remove fittings and clean the area with a wire brush (rare, but file if fittings/pads are tight or hard to put on/off)
    • Put back the fittings and gently brush them. The fittings should not be loose but also need tapping or forcing to be put in.
    • Thinly lubricate the exposed side of the fittings.
    • Transfer shims from the old pad to the new pad if applicable.
    • Please put it on the pad to test that it moves freely.
  • Release parking brake
  • Remove the rotor – do not force it (use 8 x 1.25mm bolts to push through special holes in the rotor if needed) – gently, especially at the rear, since parking brakes are there.
  • Clean hub – gently remove dirt/rust that will cause rotor runout but does not cause dents/gouges (wire brush, abrasive on the drill)
  • Clean rotor (brake cleaner and wipe down)
  • Apply anti-seize to the hub.
  • Install rotor – measure runout if you have a dial indicator
  • Install just the bracket (14mm) – torque front = 79 ft-lb, rear = 58 ft-lbs
  • Install pads on the bracket.
  • Lubricate with oil/syn grease back (outside) of pads (contacts with piston/caliper)—the inside is not accessible at this point, but ensure it does not get lubed.
  • If there are any brake pad pins (spreader), put them on (clamp the pads with your hands, then install). The pins meet in the middle. Keep holding while putting the back caliper on.
  • install caliper – torque front = 25 ft-lb, rear = 20 ft-lb
  • Remove caliper hanger
  • now fully assembled
    • Bleed brake fluid to ensure no air in brake lines – maybe twice
    • Pump the brake pedal until it engages.
  • reinstall the wheel (torque = 76 ft-lbs)
  • Repeat for other brakes/tires.
  • Review and top off brake fluid if needed.
  • very careful brake test drive – regular brake and parking brake (on incline)

parking brake rear (behind rotor)

  • if needed to remove the rotor, orient the rubber plug at the bottom, then slowly pull while twisting left
  • clean parking brake with brake cleaner if needed
  • ensure the plug hole aligns with the rotor plug hole later