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Toyota RAV4 Brake Components Explained

The brake system in a Toyota RAV4 makes it possible to safely slow and stop this compact sport utility vehicle. Depending on the year model, a RAV 4 may have rear drum brakes or an all-disc brake system. Find out more about how the components in the brake system of this vehicle work, which Toyota RAV4 parts you will need to complete a brake job and how to tell if you need new brakes.

Toyota RAV4

How Do Toyota RAV4 Brakes Work?

Most Toyota RAV4 models have all-disc brake systems. Disc brakes consist of calipers that contain pistons, rotors mounted to hubs and brake pads. When you push the brake pedal, a piston in the master cylinder pressures and pushes hydraulic fluid through brake lines to each brake. The pistons on each brake fill with brake fluid and engage the calipers which press the pads against the rotor to create friction and slow and stop the

A few submodels of the 1997 model year are equipped with front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. A RAV4 that has rear drum brakes will have hydraulic wheel cylinders, brake drums and brake shoes on the rear wheels. When the brake pedal is pushed, hydraulic pressure causes wheel cylinders to apply the curved brake shoes to the inner surface of the brake drum. The resulting friction slows and stops the rear wheels.

What Parts Do You Need for a Brake Job?

The parts needed for brake maintenance depend on whether a RAV4 has all-disc brakes or front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. Most RAV4 models released from 1997 through the current model year have disc brakes.

A brake job on a disc brake system will require Toyota RAV4 brake pads. Rotors may require resurfacing on a brake lathe or replacement. Vehicles with rear drum brakes call for new brake shoes and drum maintenance or replacement. If repairs on either type of system require you to bleed hydraulic fluid, brake fluid may also be necessary.

How Do You Maintain RAV4 Brakes?

Regular brake system maintenance is necessary for a Toyota RAV4 with all-disc or front disc and rear drum brakes. Always check the level of brake fluid during oil changes. Try to leave the cap intact to limit the exposure of hydraulic components to air and moisture unless fluid requires replacement. Brake pads on front and rear disc brakes typically need to be changed every 50,000 miles. Brake shoes last around 35,000 miles.

If you hear squealing or grinding noises while driving a RAV4, inspect the condition of brake components. The brake warning light may illuminate due to flow brake fluid levels caused by a leak or a loss of hydraulic pressure. Take the time to carefully check brake components for signs of wear or damage.

Whether a RAV4 has all-disc brakes or front disc and rear drum brakes, it is important to maintain and regularly service the brake system. Replacing pads or shoes and ensuring that rotors or drums are in good condition can ensure that these critical safety components continue to work reliably.

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