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Toyota Corolla Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a 12th generation 2020, 2021 and 2022 Toyota Corolla sedan.

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2020 Corolla Front Wheel
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Pry Off Wheel Cover
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"Hub Cap" Removed
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the twelfth generation (2019 hatchback, 2020, 2021, 2022 and probably also the 2023, 2024 & 2025 sedan) Toyota Corolla in changing the front disc pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins. (Plus directions for replacing the rotors if necessary.)

Owners of other Toyota and Lexus vehicles such as the Camry, C-HR, Venza, Avalon, 86, Sienna, Tacoma, RAV4, Highlander, 4Runner, Sequoia, IS 350, RX 350, UX 200, GS 350, IS 300 and ES 350 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

Attention: Please verify the correct replacement parts for your vehicle by using the Amazon Part Finder website. The correct part numbers might vary depending on your vehicle's model year, trim level and whether it was built in North America or Japan.

A few compatible sets of new front brake pads with their part numbers are as follows: Toyota 04465-02460, TRW TPC1184A, Wagner ZD1184, Bendix SBC2176 and Power Stop 162176.

The tools and other items needed to complete this procedure include a plastic pry bar tool, a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, a 14mm socket, a 3/8" drive ratchet, an "F" clamp and a tube of brake caliper grease.

The first few steps are to drive the car on to a level surface, shift the transmission into "Park" and turn off the ignition.

Engage the emergency / parking brake and place wheel chocks on both sides of the rear tires to help prevent the vehicle from moving.

If your Corolla is equipped with plastic wheel covers (or "hub caps"), gently pry off the cover with the plastic pry bar tool and set it aside in a safe place.



 

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Set Aside Wheel Cover
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Slightly Loosen Lug Nuts
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Raise Front of Vehicle
Slightly loosen the five lug nuts by turning them about 1/4 to 1/2 of a turn in the counterclockwise direction with the lug nut wrench.

Carefully raise the front of the car with the floor jack and securely support it with at least two jack stands placed under the frame rail.

I prefer to only work on one side of the vehicle at a time to keep three tires on the ground for extra safety.

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Spin Off Five Lug Nuts
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5 Lug Nuts Removed
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Rotor, Bracket, Caliper
Spin off the five lug nuts and set them aside in a safe place.

Carefully remove the front wheel to reveal the rotor, bracket, caliper and suspension.

Set the wheel and tire aside in a safe place.

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Front Brake Caliper
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Loosen Top Caliper Bolt
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Loosen Bottom Bolt
The front brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts situated on the back side of the caliper with their bolt heads facing in towards the engine bay.

Loosen the top caliper bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

Then loosen the bottom caliper bolt by also turning it in the clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the car) with the 14mm socket and the 3/8" drive ratchet.

Note - If you slide under the vehicle and look at the back side of the rotor, you would loosen the caliper bolts in the "normal" counterclockwise direction. Since we are viewing the caliper from the outside of the vehicle, the orientation of the bolts are reversed so the ratchet should be turned in the "opposite" clockwise direction to loosen the bolts.

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Spin Out Upper Bolt
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Spin Out Lower Bolt
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Caliper Bolts Removed
Spin out the two caliper bolts the last few turns by hand.

Set the two bolts aside in a safe place.

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Lift Caliper Off Pads
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Rest Caliper On Rotor
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Remove Old Inner Pad
Carefully lift the caliper off the old pads and out of the bracket.

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

Try to avoid pulling, stressing, kinking or bending the rubber brake fluid hose.

Pull the old inner brake pad out of the bracket.

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Pull Out Old Outer Pad
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Wear Bars - Top of Pads
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Pad Abutment Clips
Pull the old outer pad out of the bracket.

Make a mental note of where the wear indicator bars (or "squeal" bars) are situated on the old brake pads.

On this 2020 Corolla LE, the wear indicator bars were located at the top of both the inner and outer brake pads.

If your new set of front brake pads includes a bag of replacement brake hardware, pull the old pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket.

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Replace Abutment Clips
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Caliper Slider Pins
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Remove & Lubricate
Clean off the rotor, lug studs and caliper with brake parts cleaner spray.

Try to avoid breathing in the cleaning spray or the brake dust since they could be carcinogenic (cancer causing).

Apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease to the top and bottom of the new pad abutment clips.

Push the new pad abutment clips into the top and bottom of the bracket.

Make sure the new clips are fully seated in the bracket.

In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins should be well lubricated.

Do NOT mix up the top and bottom caliper slider pins since they are slightly different.

Pull the upper pin out of the bracket and apply a thin layer of brake caliper grease to the smooth part.

Push the pin back into its rubber dust boot.

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Do Not Mix Up Pins
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Attach "F" Clamp
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Pull Off Access Cover
Repeat the process to lubricate the lower caliper slider pin.

In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, the caliper piston will need to be compressed (or "retracted") back.

Attach the "F" clamp to the caliper and use the back of an old brake pad to evenly distribute the pressure across the piston.

Move to the right rear area of the engine bay and remove the access cover for the brake fluid reservoir tank.

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Reservoir Access Cover
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Brake Fluid Reservoir
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Twist Off Reservoir Cap
Set the access cover aside in a safe place.

Twist off the reservoir cap by turning it in the counterclockwise direction.

Set the cap aside in a safe place.

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

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Compress Caliper Piston
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Replace Reservoir Cap
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Install New Outer Pad
Slowly turn the "F" clamp handle in the clockwise direction to compress back the caliper piston.

Make sure the piston is going straight back and not at an angle.

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

Continue compressing back the piston until it is just about flush with the rubber dust boot that surrounds it.

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

Replace the reservoir cap ASAP (as soon as possible) since brake fluid is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture from the air) by twisting it on in the clockwise direction.

Please make sure you verify the correct part numbers for your Corolla before you buy new pads. The correct part numbers may vary depending on the trim level, model year and whether your car was assembled in North America or in Japan.

According to several Toyota parts websites, the OEM compatible brake pads for this North American built 2020 Corolla LE are part number Toyota 04465-02460 (also known as 0446502460).

(If you have a Japanese built Corolla, the VIN number should start with the letter "J".)


Rotor Replacement Instructions

If your vehicle has been exhibiting shuddering, vibrations or shaking in the front end while braking, you may need to replace the OEM front brake rotors.

A few compatible replacement front brake rotors with their part numbers are as follows: Toyota 43512-02370 (or 4351202370), DuraGo BR901758 and Power Stop JBR1780EVC.

Please verify the correct replacement part numbers for your vehicle! They might vary depending on the model year, trim level and whether it was built in Japan or North America.

Remove the two 17mm bolts on the back side of the bracket, remove the bracket and slide the old rotor off the lug studs. If the old rotor is stuck or "frozen" in place, try hitting it with a rubber mallet to loosen the rust or debris.

Clean off the lug studs and wheel hub with brake parts cleaner spray.

Slide the new rotor into place, re-attach the bracket and tighten the two 17mm bracket bolts.

I don't have the service manual for the 2020+ Corolla but the shop manual for the 2009 to 2013 Corolla has a bracket bolt torque specification of 79 lb-ft (106.8 N-m). Please verify the correct torque value for your vehicle.


Install the new inner and outer brake pads into the bracket with the wear indicator bars situated at the top of both pads.

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Wear Bar, Top Both Pads
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Push Pads Against Rotor
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Lower Caliper Over Pads
Push the two pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

Carefully lower the caliper over the new pads and into the bracket.

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

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

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Spin In Top Caliper Bolt
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Spin In Bottom Bolt
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Tighten Top Caliper Bolt
Spin in the two caliper bolts a few turns by hand in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the car).

Note - If you were to slide under the engine bay and look at the back side of the rotor and caliper, you would tighten the bolts in the "normal" clockwise direction. Since we are looking at the outer face of the rotor and caliper, the bolts orientation is reversed.

Tighten the two caliper bolts by turning them in the counterclockwise direction with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet until they are snug.

I don't have the service manual for the 2020, 2021 & 2022 Corolla but the shop manual for the 2009 to 2013 Corolla has a torque specification of 25 lb-ft (or 34 N*m) for the 14mm front brake caliper bolts.

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Torque Lower Bolt
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Rubber Valve Cap
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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve

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

If your brake pedal has been feeling soft, mushy or spongy, the brake fluid might be contaminated with some water or 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 DOT 3 or DOT 4 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 covered by a rubber cap and located just below the top caliper bolt.

The 2009-2013 Corolla service manual specification for tightening the 8mm bleeder screws is 73 in-lb (or 8.3 N*m).

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Replace Front Wheel
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Spin On 5 Lug Nuts
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Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts
Carefully push the front wheel and tire into place over the lug studs.

Spin on the five lug nuts a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Slightly tighten the lug nuts in a criss-cross or star pattern with the tire iron.

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Lower Car From Stands
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Torque Lug Nuts
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Line Up Hub Cap
Carefully lower the vehicle from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

Continue tightening the lug nuts in a criss-cross or star pattern until they are snug.

It would be best to use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts to the owner's manual specification of 76 lb-ft (or 103 N-m).

Line up the wheel cover or "hub cap" with the steel wheel.

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Line Up Valve Cutout
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Firmly Tap On Cover
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Front Pads Replaced
Make sure the cut out section for the tire valve is in the correct position.

Firmly but carefully tap the wheel cover into place. Double check that the hub cap is securely attached.

Sit in the driver's seat of the car and firmly push on the brake pedal a few times to help 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, add some DOT 3 or DOT 4 fluid

Please check your owner's manual for the correct brake fluid type. The reservoir cap in this 2020 Corolla specified that either DOT3 or DOT 4 could be used.

To break in your new front brake pads, just drive normally for the first several 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, parking spot or garage for drops of brake fluid which may indicate a leak from the bleeder valves or the reservoir. You should also check the brake fluid level in the reservoir, and also verify that the lug nuts are still tight.

Be sure to write down the procedure in your vehicle's service records.

Please check out all of my 2020 Toyota Corolla DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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