- A friend told me that by just looking at the color of the rotor, I will know if my new disc and pad are already bedded in. Is that true?
While there is no definitive answer to this, the brake rotors show some signs if the new brakes have been bedded in. Look for rotor discoloration; a used rotor usually has a bluish tint due to heat. More importantly, there should also be a grayish tint or film right on the part of the rotor that touches the pads. The said color is formed as the pad material starts to build up, so it’s the brakes way to tell you how much pad material has stuck into the rotor. If you noticed that the face of the rotor is still shiny and the pad material built up isn’t enough, then your brakes haven’t fully bedded in. Take note, however, that since pads come in different types, the material buildup on the rotor may not be the same as the buildup in the brakes of other cars. So before starting with the bed-in process, familiarize yourself first on how the rotor appears. This way, you’ll easily recognize any change on its structure and color.
- The weather is preventing me from bedding my new brakes right away. Will it have an adverse effect on my Toyota’s safety and braking performance?
If you’re using your Toyota for low-speed city driving, you won’t have any problem as the brakes will gradually bed-in by themselves over time. Just make sure that you do a few stops from moderate speeds as that will kick off the bed-in process for normal driving. As long as you drive within normal street limits and the brakes won’t overheat, you need not worry about not doing a formal bed-in.
- How will I know when it’s time to purchase a new Toyota brake disc and pad kit without personally inspecting the brakes?
The brakes on your Toyota’s front wheels will last 30,000 miles on average. But, if you are residing in a hilly place or you do frequent stop-and-go city driving, you may need to replace your front brakes earlier. The rear brakes wear out much slower—they have an average service lifespan of 50,000 to 60,000 miles on average. This lifespan, however, decreases when you frequently drive on hilly areas or often engage in stop-and-go driving. If the brakes fitted in your Toyota don’t have wear sensors, you should watch out for grinding or screeching noise or any unusual pedal feel or travel.
- My Toyota brakes come with wear sensors. How do such sensors work?
If your Toyota is fitted with modern pads that feature metallic sensors, you’ll know when it’s time for replacement if you start hearing chirping sound or if the warning light on the dashboard comes on, telling you that it’s now time to check your brakes.
- My existing brake pads produce too much dust. Can it be eliminated? If not, what type of Toyota brake disc and pad kit should I get to minimize such brake issue?
Yes, brake pads do generate dust, so the best thing you can do is to find units that produce the least possible amount of dust. There are low-dust brake pads out there, but they can also generate excessive dust if the brakes have other issues. You should stay away from brake formulas that make use of petroleum hydrocarbons in place of glues and binders. Such formula releases a gas when hot, and such gas coats the wheels with an oily, greasy film that attracts particles, making them stick onto the pads. Metallic brake pads, on the other hand, produce brake dust when they become hot as the metallic particles are magnetized from the heat and friction, giving way to a static charge that adheres to alloy wheels.
- When should I check the disc brake linings of my Toyota vehicle?
It is necessary that you check your disc brakes and the brake linings every 10,000 miles. However, you should do the checking more often if you notice that your brakes are starting to produce squealing sound or pull to one side and if the brake pedal flutters when you depress it.
- I see rust on the visible part of my brake disc. Is that a serious sign of damage?
Generally, rust is harmless. But if you haven’t driven your vehicle for a long time or if it’s obvious that the rust has built up, the brake disc may be badly scored or has worn out unevenly. If you aren’t that familiar with the brakes, ask a professional to determine if it’s possible to reground the disc. If not, then you have no choice but to have it replaced.