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Toyota Tundra Brake Pads

Identifying Common Culprits of Your Toyota Tundra's Brake Pad Problems

Your brakes, one of the most important parts of your car, generally controls the motion of your vehicle. If you have braking system problems, you'd better hope not crash into the nearest tree, post, or person. Your Toyota Tundra brake pads are an essential component of your braking system; if you encounter a problem with them, you need to troubleshoot it and repair it as soon as possible.

Brake noise

Brake noise is caused by friction between the pads and drum or rotor when the brakes are applied. Occasional squeal is normal and not a functional problem and it does not indicate the loss of braking effectiveness. When the brake noise occurs all the time, check the lining condition; if it is glazed, the lining should be replaced or cleaned using emery cloth.

Squeal can be caused by a weak hold down spring or return spring as well as missing, damaged, or improperly-installed anti-squeal shims. Anti-squeal shims help dampen the vibration, which occurs when the brake pads make contact with the disc. Anti-rattle springs, on the other hand, are used to position and hold the pad as rigidly as possible to reduce pad movement in the caliper assembly. Overall, this reduces the noise caused by vibration, so make sure that both components are positioned properly.

When assembling brake pads to the caliper assembly, inspect the shims and fitting components for deformation, burrs, cracks, wear, or rust. Anti-squeal springs and support plates may be reused if they are in good condition.

Brake pad wear

Generally, the front pads will wear long before the rear pads since 75 percent of the braking effort is handled by the front. And generally, all of the four front pads (two on each side) are likely to show the same amount of wear. Inner pad wear usually occurs when the piston can't retract properly as it may be binding in a scored cylinder or the piston seal may be distorted. The brake pad may also be binding on a corroded caliper bracket.

Outer pads will wear prematurely if the caliper bracket or (more likely) the caliper pins are corroded or if lubricated with the wrong lubricant. They should also be cleaned with emery cloth and lubricated with brake lubricant.

The occurrence of both pads on one side getting thinner than pads on the opposite side is generally caused by a hydraulic problem, although it may also be caused by a sticky piston. It's also possible that there's a hydraulic restriction higher up the line than the brake hose on the side with the brake pad wear. For example, a faulty antilock braking system (ABS) modulator may not allow the release (return) of pressure on that side.

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  • Knowing How to Maximize the Shelf-life of Your Toyota Tundra Brake Pads

    As the brakes are applied repeatedly over thousands of miles, the brake pads gradually wear down, reducing their ability to control the car and make it stop. Here are some tips to help you get the best out of your Toyota Tundra brake pads.

    • Have a wear indicator attached to your brake pads.
    • A wear indicator is a small piece of metal attached to the brake pad that makes contact with the rotor when the pad material has worn down to a certain level. Upon grinding against the rotor, it makes a squealing noise as you apply the brakes. If you hear that sound when you apply the brakes in your vehicle, have them checked as soon as possible.
    • Check your brake rotors for deformity.
    • If the pad is severely worn down, it can leave deep, circular-shaped marks and grooves in the rotor. Scores, as those marks are called, look a lot like the grooves on a record and are a sign that the pads need to be replaced. If the grooves don't run too deep into the surface of the rotor, you can opt to have them turned to give the rotor a new, smooth surface. Turning a set of rotors costs less than replacing it.
    • Watch out for leaks.
    • If there is a fault (or leak) in any of the brake lines, you could experience a loss in pressure and your brakes won't work properly-they may even completely fail. Don't forget to take a good look at the fittings, too. The brake pads are supposed to be sealed at this end of the system; you shouldn't see a drop of brake fluid anywhere near the wheel. You can either fix the leak yourself or have it repaired by professionals in an auto shop. Either way, it's best to have it repaired as soon as possible for even a small leak in a hydraulic brake system can be very dangerous.
    Other remindersAlways wear a dust mask, safety glasses, and gloves whenever you're tinkering around with your pads to prevent yourself from breathing in brake dust, protect your eyes from flying metal pieces and/or fluids during the actual brake work, and protect your hands from the chemicals and dirt that you'll encounter during the procedure, respectively.