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Toyota RAV4 Rear Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the rear disc brake pads on a 4th generation 2013 to 2016 Toyota RAV4 with photo illustrated steps.

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2013 RAV4 Rear Wheel
Loosen Lug Nuts - Raise SUV
Pull Off Plastic Wheel Cover
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the fourth generation (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and perhaps also the updated 2017 model year) Toyota RAV4 SUV in changing the rear disc brake pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins.

Owners of other Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicles such as the Yaris, Matrix, Prius, Camry, Corolla, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, FJ Cruiser, Venza, Highlander, Avalon, Sequoia, Land Cruiser, IS 250, ES 350, GS 350, tC, xB, xD, iQ and FR-S may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools and other items needed to complete this procedure include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, a 14mm socket, a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench, a "C" or "F" clamp, and a tube of high temperature synthetic brake parts lubricant grease.


A few compatible sets of new rear brake pads with their part numbers are as follows: ACDelco 17D1212CH, Bosch BP1212, Akebono ACT1212, Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1212 Ceramic, Centric 105.1212, KFE Ultra Quiet Advanced Ceramic KFE1212-104, Bendix D1212 CQ, Monroe CX1212 and ProStop PD1212.
Hub Cap Removed
Spin Off 5 Lug Nuts
Five Lug Nuts Removed
The first two steps are to park the SUV on a level surface and make sure that the emergency / parking brake is not engaged.

Chock both sides of the front wheels to prevent the vehicle from moving while you are replacing the rear pads.

Slightly loosen the 5 lug nuts on the rear wheel in the counterclockwise direction with the tire iron.

Raise the rear of the SUV with the floor jack and securely support it with the two jack stands.

I prefer to work on one side of the car at a time to keep three wheels on the ground for extra safety.

Spin off the 5 lug nuts in the counterclockwise direction and set them aside in a safe place.

Caliper, Bracket, Rotor
Rear Brake Caliper
Loosen 14mm Clockwise
Remove the rear wheel and set it aside in a safe place.

The rear brake caliper is attached to the bracket by two bolts on the back side of the caliper with the bolt heads facing in towards the center of the SUV.

Loosen the lower caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.

Loosen Upper Caliper Bolt
Spin Out Lower 14mm Bolt
Remove Upper Caliper Bolt
Then loosen the top 14mm caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the SUV).

Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.

Two 14mm Caliper Bolts
Pull Off Rear Brake Caliper
Rest Caliper On Suspension
Carefully pull the brake caliper out of the bracket and off the old pads.

Rest the caliper on the suspension or suspend it from the spring with a bungee cord or some twine.

Remove Old Pads
Wear Bars - Bottom Both Pads
Replace Pad Abutment Clips
Remove the old brake pads from the bracket and make a mental note of where the wear indicator or "squeal" bars are located.

On this 2013 RAV4, the squeal bars were situated at the bottom of both the inner and outer brake pads.

I've always had great experiences with the Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1212 brake pads since they don't require any backing plates, shims or brake quiet gel due to the built in insulator.

If your new set of rear pads included replacement brake hardware, remove the old pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips from the top and bottom of the bracket.

Apply some brake caliper grease to the areas of the new pad abutment clips where they will come in contact with the new brake pads and the caliper bracket.

Install the new pad abutment clips in to the top and bottom of the bracket.

Pull Out Caliper Slider Pins
Lubricate & Replace Pins
Attach "C" Clamp To Caliper
In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins need to be well lubricated.

Pull the two caliper slide pins or "guide pins" out of their dust boots.

Apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease to the smooth parts of each caliper slider pin.

Push the pins back in to their rubber dust boots.

In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, you'll need to compress back the caliper piston.

Attach the "C" or "F" clamp to the caliper by using the back of an old brake pad to evenly distribute the pressure across the piston.


Twist Off Brake Fluid Cap
Compress Back Caliper Piston
Replace Brake Fluid Cap
Move to the right rear area of the engine bay and twist off the black plastic brake fluid reservoir cap in the counterclockwise direction.

Removing the reservoir cap will allow the brake fluid to more easily travel back through the system when you are compressing the caliper piston.

Slowly turn the "C" or "F" clamp handle in the clockwise direction to compress back the caliper piston.

Try to avoid pinching or otherwise damaging the rubber dust boot surrounding the caliper piston.

Repeatedly check the level in the brake fluid reservoir to make sure that it doesn't overflow.

Replace the reservoir cap as soon as possible since brake fluid is hygroscopic (readily absorbs moisture from the air).

Apply a thin layer of synthetic brake caliper grease to any area where there is metal to metal contact such as the outer lip of the caliper piston. Do not apply brake parts lubricant grease to the friction surface of the new pads or to the face of the rotor.

Thoroughly clean off the brake rotor, caliper bracket, brake caliper assembly and the lug nut studs with brake parts cleaner spray. Do not use compressed air or blow with your mouth to clean off the brake parts since breathing in brake dust can be harmful to your health. Brake dust may be carcinogenic (cancer causing) if inhaled.

If your RAV4 previously exhibited shuddering, pulsating, or vibrations in the rear end during braking, you may need to have your rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or just replace them with new rotors. If this is the car's first front brake job and the rotors appear to be in good condition, you should be able to just change the pads with great results.

To remove the existing rotors and install new ones, remove the two bolts on the rear of the caliper bracket that attach it to the steering knuckle. Then loosen the old rotor with a rubber mallet, pull it off, and slide the new one in its place. Replace the two bracket bolts and tighten them.

Install New Brake Pads
Wear Bars - Bottom Both Pads
Push Pads Against Rotor
Install the two new brake pads in to the bracket with the wear bars situated at the bottom of both pads.

Push the two new pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

Lower Caliper Over Pads
Re-Insert Caliper Bolts
Spin In Counterclockwise
Carefully lower the caliper over the new pads and in to the bracket.

If the caliper won't fit over the new pads, you might need to compress back the caliper piston a bit more.

Line up the bolt holes in the caliper with their corresponding holes in the caliper slider pins within the bracket.

Spin in the two caliper bolts a few turns by hand in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten 14mm Caliper Bolts
Torque To 20 ft-lbs
Rubber Valve Cap
Tighten the upper and lower caliper bolts in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the SUV) with the 14mm socket and ratcheting wrench to just past hand tight or about 20 to 25 ft-lbs of torque.

Double check that both caliper bolts are tight before moving on to the next steps.

If your brake pedal previously felt soft or spongy, the brake fluid may be contaminated with water or the brake lines may contain a few air bubbles.

It would be best to bleed the brake lines at this time in order to flush out the old fluid and replace it with fresh DOT3 brake fluid. For more on this topic, check out my Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With An Assistant DIY Guide or alternatively the Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With A Power Bleeder Guide.

The brake fluid bleeder valve is located underneath a rubber cap on the back side of the caliper near the upper caliper bolt.

Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
Replace Rear Wheel
Spin On 5 Lug Nuts
Replace the rear wheel and spin on the 5 lug nuts a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.
Slightly Tighten Clockwise
Lower Car - Torque To 76 ft-lbs
Tap On Plastic Wheel Cover
Slightly tighten the lug nuts in the clockwise direction with the tire iron.

Carefully lower the SUV from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

Continue progressively tightening the lug bolts in a "criss-cross" or "star" pattern to 1/4 to 1/3 turn past hand tight or about 76 ft-lbs of torque. It would be best to use a torque wrench or an impact wrench with a torque stick to properly tighten the lug nuts.

Sit in the driver's seat of the vehicle and firmly press the brake pedal a few times to restore the brake line pressure. Check the brake fluid in the reservoir and verify that it is at the proper level. If it is low, pour in some fresh DOT 3 fluid.

To break in your new rear brake pads, just drive normally for the first few hundred miles while trying to avoid any hard or "panic" stops which may glaze over the new pads and cause them to be noisy and/or not perform as well.

It's also a good idea to regularly check your driveway for drops of brake fluid which may indicate a leak, check the brake fluid level in the reservoir, and also verify that the lug nuts are still tight.

Be sure to record the brake pad change in your vehicle's service records.

For more, check out my other 2013-2016 Toyota RAV4 DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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