Step by step guide for replacing the front brakes and rotors on a Camry or Lexus. I go through all of the steps in a quick and concise fashion.

The vehicle shown in this guide is a 2002 Lexus ES300 v6.

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Applicable Vehicles

  • Toyota Camry – 2005, 2006

  • Lexus ES300 – 2002, 2003

  • Lexus ES330 – 2004, 2005, 2006

  • Toyota Avalon – 2005, 2006, 2007

  • Toyota Sienna – 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

  • Toyota Solara – 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

The Tools and Supplies Needed:

How to Change Front Brakes on a Lexus ES300 or Toyota Camry

The first step is to jack up the car, secure it with chocks on the rear wheels, set the parking brake, and put jackstands under the car to secure it.

Then, remove the lug nuts and remove the tire from the vehicle.

Then use a 17mm socket to remove the brake caliper bracket.

Remove the two bolts, one from the top and one from the bottom.

Then slide the caliper and bracket off of the brake rotor.

Don’t put stress on the brake line. Hang the caliper from a caliper hook going up to the strut or set it on something. I used a log from the wood pile.

2002 Camry Lexus ES300

Usually, the rotor is rusted onto the hub. If it doesn’t come off with a few love-taps from a rubber mallet, use a metric bolt from the brake line retainer. Tighten the bolt into one of the 2 holes on the rotor to force the rotor off of the hub.

With the old rotor removed, remove the old brake pads.

removing brake pads from a Lexus ES300

Before removing the brake pad closest to the break cylinder, use a large C-clamp to compress the cylinder. This will make it easier to fit the new thicker brake pads on.

trick for compressing a camry brake cylinder, use a c-clamp

Once the cylinder is compressed, remove the other old brake pad.

I ordered a new set of brake pads and rotors made by Goodyear. I’m not sponsored by them; I just think these are really good pads and rotors and I highly recommend them. These ceramic brake pads really reduce the amount of brake dust produced from the brake pads.

Next, separate the caliper from the caliper bracket using a 14mm socket. Remove the 2 bolts. If the caliper pin just spins, use a 17mm wrench to hold it secure while removing the 14mm bolts.

Once the bolts are removed, pull the caliper off of the bracket.

Often the slide pins are nearly seized. It’s a good idea to remove, clean and lubricate the pins. To do this, pull the pin out of the boot.

old caliper pin removal

Note: the pin with the rubber bushing goes on the bottom hole of the caliper bracket.

Clean the old grease and crud off of the caliper pin and apply some caliper grease to it. Then re-insert the pin.

2002 camry caliper pin new

It should glide freely.

Repeat these steps for the other caliper pin.

When reinstalling the caliper pins, make sure the rubber boot fits over the lip.

Next, remove the old slide support clips.

Clean out the grooves with a wire brush, then install the new clips that came with the new brake pads.

install new brake pad slide clips supports

Repeat for the top clip as well.

Once the slide clips are installed, apply a small amount of caliper grease to the slides.

slide clips brakes camry 2002

Now you can install the new rotor.

2002 Lexus ES300 brakes

It helps to put on 1 or 2 lug nuts to hold the new rotor in place while you install the caliper bracket.

Reinstall the caliper bracket using the two 17mm bolts.

One on the top and the other on the bottom.

Tighten both of the caliper bracket 17mm bolts to 79 ft-lbf.

Note: On a 2002 Lexus ES300, the 17mm caliper bracket bolts should be torqued to 79 ft-lbf.

torque caliper bracket on a 2002 Lexus ES300 to 79 ft-lbf 17mm bolts

Next, install the wear indicator clip onto the groove in the new brake pad.

Note: Toyota recommends installing the break wear indicator clip on the top of the inner pad.

2002 camry

From here, you’re ready to install the brake pad. It works well to start with the bottom ear and then fit in the top. Press it into place.

Installing new ceramic brake pads on a 2002 Lexus ES300

Put the inner brake pad on as well, starting with the bottom then pressing in the top.

Next, apply a bit of caliper grease to the outside of the 2 brake pads to limit squeaking.

Now, fit the caliper back into place, and reinstall the two 14mm bolts, top and bottom.

2002 Lexus install caliper bracket

Torque these bolts to 25 ft-lbf.

Note: On a 2002 Lexus ES300, the 14mm caliper bolts should be torqued to 25 ft-lbf.

25 ft-lbf on a 2002 Lexus ES300

With the caliper and bracket installed, go ahead and remove the 2 lug nuts holding the rotor on.

Also, if you removed the 10mm brake line bolt earlier to force off the old rotor, make sure you don’t forget to reinstall that.

Put the tire back on.

Tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern to 76 ft-lbf.

Note: On a 2002 Lexus ES300, the lug nuts should be torqued to 76 ft-lbf.

Remove the chocks and jackstands and lower the vehicle.

Please remember to perform this last vital step!

Go inside the car and pump the brakes several times until you feel resistance. This ensures that the brake piston is extended.

And that’s it! I hope this article was helpful! If it was, share it with a friend!

The Tools and Supplies Used: