Maintenance Tips for the Toyota Tundra Brake Disc and Pad Kit
The brake disc and brake pad are among the most important brake parts of the Toyota Tundra, so it is only right that it must be properly maintained. In this guide, we'll share key tips on how to maintain the Toyota Tundra brake disc and pad kit.
- Do not use the brake pads beyond their recommended service life.
Because of their abrasive nature, the brake pads will inevitably wear out over time. When this time comes, however, is variable, but most brake pads sold nowadays come with a built-in wear indicator. Once the brake pad's friction material becomes too thin, it exposes the wear indicator and causes it to rub against the brake disc, resulting in an audible screeching sound.
Once you hear noises coming out of your brakes, check both the brake pads and the disc for wear. Do not under any circumstances continue using worn brake pads, as this will start to damage the rotor surface.
- Refill and replace brake fluid regularly.
Brake fluid levels tend to drop as the brake discs and brake pads wear over time, and when it falls too low it will cause the brake disc to heat up and get damaged. So once the fluid levels inside the brake fluid reservoir hits the ADD mark, refill to recommended levels with brake fluid specified in the filler cap.
In addition, it is also recommended to "bleed" out and replace the brake fluid in your truck every two years, regardless of whether it is full or not. This is because brake fluid tends to absorb moisture through exposure to air as well as through microscopic pores in the rubber hose. And as the concentration of moisture increases, it causes the fluid's boiling point to drop and make it more prone to overheating. In addition, water-laden brake fluid can also become the source of corrosion and pitting in the brake caliper pistons and bores.
- Resurface the disc if there's only minimal damage.
Constant exposure to friction will eventually leave grooves or pits in the brake rotor surface, resulting in a noticeable drop in braking performance as well as jarring vibrations every time you step on the brake pedal. If the damage to the surface is minimal, the disc can still be saved by having it resurfaced. Resurfacing involves grinding down the rotors with a lathe to return it to its smooth state. This process can give your brake rotors additional mileage, although this can only be done once per rotor.
Helpful Installation Tips for the Toyota Tundra Brake Disc and Pad Kit
Replacing the brake disc and pads of your Toyota Tundra can be complicated, tiring, and exhausting overall, but it's a task that must be done if you want to drive your truck again. This is the reason why installation of a Toyota Tundra brake disc and pad kit is best performed by a licensed mechanic, but if you are confident enough of your skills and you have the required tools on hand you can also install it yourself.
If you will be replacing the brake disc and pads in your Toyota Tundra, here are some tips you should consider:
Tip #1: Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels before raising the truck.
Loosening the lug nuts wheels while it's still on the ground will give you better resistance to work against with the socket wrench, whereas if you tried it with the wheels in the air it will simply follow the movement of the wrench.
Tip #2: Don't let the brake caliper dangle freely from the brake hose.
The brake caliper can be quite heavy and letting it dangle from the brake hose might cause tears which, in turn, lead to leaks. So when removing the brake rotor, tie the hose on the undercarriage with a piece of string or place the hose on an elevated crate or box. Make sure to have a clean oil pan under the brake caliper to catch any brake fluid leaking out.
Tip #3: Replace the brake fluid.
Even if you've refilled the brake fluid recently, we still recommend replacing it when changing brake discs. Aside from the likelihood that your old, worn pads might have contaminated the brake lines with dirt and rust particles, replacing the brake rotors will inevitably cause a lot of brake fluid to leak out.
Tip #4: Make sure to "break in" the new brake pads.
Breaking in is a necessary rite with newly installed brake pads, as not only will this remove its protective coating but also helps you adjust to the new braking characteristics. Brake pads have their own respective breaking in procedure depending on the brand, so make sure to check the instruction manual that came with the kit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the common complaints about the Toyota Tundra brakes?
Admittedly, most Toyota-certified mechanics do not have time to check all parts of a vehicle like the Toyota Tundra, which is why basic auto diagnostics are the primary responsibility of the owner. Based on such diagnosis, the most common complaints that Tundra customers have about the brakes are related to the brake disc and pads. Some examples are about front brakes wearing out too quickly, excessive production of brake dust on front wheels, poor or inconsistent sudden braking, and many more.
How many miles does the Toyota Tundra brake disc and pad kit last before it needs replacing?
The lifespan of the Toyota Tundra brake disc and pads depend on a number of factors, including the brand of the kit purchased, the type of pads and disc, and the owner's driving style. On average, however, brake pads could last from 30,000 to 70,000 miles before they need to be replaced. Meanwhile, brake discs can last up to three times longer, but this depends on driving conditions and brake system maintenance.
How can brake pads be inspected?
Because brake pads are designed to wear out, they must be inspected regularly. There is no fixed schedule of inspection because it's fairly easy to watch out for signs of brake pad wear. One way to check is to look at the brake pads themselves--if it's much thinner than when it was brand new, this shows that the parts are almost used up. If the Tundra's pads have a slot in the center that also serves as a wear indicator, check how much of it is left. If the slot is almost gone, then it's time to buy new pads.
When should the Toyota Tundra brake discs be "turned"?
"Turning" is the process in which the brake discs are put onto a lathe and have a small amount of their braking surface shaved off. This is necessary because the discs can wear unevenly or become slightly warped over time, which could compromise the Tundra's braking performance. It is recommended that the brake discs be turned whenever the brake system is serviced or whenever the pads are replaced. While turning the discs will ensure better pad wear and improved braking performance, this process could also shorten the brake disc's lifespan. Additionally, turned brake discs are also more prone to overheating and brake fade.