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93 Previa LE 312K, 2010 Sienna LE 85K
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About two weeks ago, the brakes felt soft. Kept driving. Then, on my last long drive, about 150 miles round trip, the back rear wheel smelled the garage up with the semi braking hard odor -burning asbestos smell, you know the one. Smelled all the wheels and it was only the right rear. Still had to drive another time or two, the smell less intense, but the trips shorter.So I have to deal with it.

Question is: Does this happen because of a stuck caliper or just a bad pad? Is there a parking brake element on the rear right? Trying to figure out what I am looking for. Have replaced pads and calipers on my 93 Previa, but I'm figuring that was easier than a 17 year newer vehicle.

Anyone have experience with brake jobs, or the odor, or anything relevant to the issue? Hate to need to bring it to a shop, especially if its just a pad -but can't see why one pad would be wearing on the rotor and the other side not.

Thanks!
2010 LE Sienna with about 103K
 

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2009 le awd
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484 Posts
Could be either but in my case it was the caliper not releasing. If you smell pad and that corner is heating up it probably is the caliper. I just rebuilt mine but most would just get a new or rebuilt one from the autoparts store.
 

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93 Previa LE 312K, 2010 Sienna LE 85K
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Could be either but in my case it was the caliper not releasing. If you smell pad and that corner is heating up it probably is the caliper. I just rebuilt mine but most would just get a new or rebuilt one from the autoparts store.
Thanks for this. How easy on this Gen to redo the caliper, or replace it? And where do you jack up this machine for rear wheel? Was way easier on the previa.
 

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2020 Sienna LE
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441 Posts
I had 1 sticky pad when we had our 06. It wasnt the caliper at all. It was just a build up of shit behind the metal clip that clips onto the caliper. Its where the pad slides along. It had built up so much the pad couldnt float anymore and burned off in like 3 months from new.
Take it apart and just give it the once over first, remove those metal clips, clean the hell out of the caliper bracket, like wire brush, sander, dremel, you name it, grease everything good, make sure everything works as it should, then put it back together and monitor.
 

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2009 le awd
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484 Posts
Thanks for this. How easy on this Gen to redo the caliper, or replace it? And where do you jack up this machine for rear wheel? Was way easier on the previa.
I use the bottom of the spring cup to jack it up. Calipers are easy to rebuild, you just need the rebuild kit. The kits are like 5 bucks. If you choose to go this route look at a few youtube video's first.
Just getting a rebuilt one won't break the bank and really is way easier. You should find out the cause first. It could just need cleaned up good like Therbi mentioned.
 

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Caliper replacement is trivial. Vice grips on the brake hose hose, 2 bolts, disconnect the brake line, clean and grease the slide pins with a quality brake grease, reverse the removal process, bleed the brakes and you're done if all went perfectly. There are a few caveats, though. I have drums, but I think the rear discs are the same; master cylinder to long "hard line" to brake hose to short "hard line" to caliper. That last smaller hard line often rusts up, fusing the end fitting to the line. When you try to remove it, the hard line breaks off. The end of the long hard line can do the same thing, but replacement of the whole thing is a PAIN. If it breaks, you end up needing a double-flare tool and the right connectors to splice a section of new hard line in there. Back in the day, the standard rule was if you replace a wheel cylinder or a caliper, you always replace the brake hose. The final catch is that, if the caliper is frozen tight severely, you sometimes CAN'T get it off the rotor. It's uncommon and often happens when someone seizes a caliper, keeps driving it until it makes horrible noises, then parks it until they "figure it out." It fuses itself in place. Alternately, it can happen when the caliper clamps down, they keep driving it, heats the rotor cherry red just before the point of igniting the tire and it welds the caliper to the rotor. The common thread is that the driver KEEPS DRIVING with a stuck caliper, so try not to do that. As I was typing, there is one other thing that popped into my head. My front brakes needed to be done. The caliper bracket threads basically disintegrated when I removed the bolts.

Oh, and, unless you've had pads/rotors done within the last say 25k miles, I'd probably plan to slap some new pads on there. If you stick your head under there, you can see the condition of the rotor and pads. If the rotors are even a little scored, I'd probably plan to replace them too. You'll want probably 2 cans of brake cleaner and a bottle of brake fluid to complete the job.
 

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93 Previa LE 312K, 2010 Sienna LE 85K
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had 1 sticky pad when we had our 06. It wasnt the caliper at all. It was just a build up of shit behind the metal clip that clips onto the caliper. Its where the pad slides along. It had built up so much the pad couldnt float anymore and burned off in like 3 months from new.
Take it apart and just give it the once over first, remove those metal clips, clean the hell out of the caliper bracket, like wire brush, sander, dremel, you name it, grease everything good, make sure everything works as it should, then put it back together and monitor.
Interesting. We live on a gravel road. It's winter. There could be crud in there. Especially because this happened around the time it unfroze and rained on top of the frozen stuff, then refroze.
 

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93 Previa LE 312K, 2010 Sienna LE 85K
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I use the bottom of the spring cup to jack it up. Calipers are easy to rebuild, you just need the rebuild kit. The kits are like 5 bucks. If you choose to go this route look at a few youtube video's first.
Just getting a rebuilt one won't break the bank and really is way easier. You should find out the cause first. It could just need cleaned up good like Therbi mentioned.
Hope so. Bought it at 80K in 2021 October. It's now over 100K, so a brake job is not out of the question. I'll have to get it in the garage asap and lift. I did the rears on my previa last year and it was not too complex.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Caliper replacement is trivial. Vice grips on the brake hose hose, 2 bolts, disconnect the brake line, clean and grease the slide pins with a quality brake grease, reverse the removal process, bleed the brakes and you're done if all went perfectly. There are a few caveats, though. I have drums, but I think the rear discs are the same; master cylinder to long "hard line" to brake hose to short "hard line" to caliper. That last smaller hard line often rusts up, fusing the end fitting to the line. When you try to remove it, the hard line breaks off. The end of the long hard line can do the same thing, but replacement of the whole thing is a PAIN. If it breaks, you end up needing a double-flare tool and the right connectors to splice a section of new hard line in there. Back in the day, the standard rule was if you replace a wheel cylinder or a caliper, you always replace the brake hose. The final catch is that, if the caliper is frozen tight severely, you sometimes CAN'T get it off the rotor. It's uncommon and often happens when someone seizes a caliper, keeps driving it until it makes horrible noises, then parks it until they "figure it out." It fuses itself in place. Alternately, it can happen when the caliper clamps down, they keep driving it, heats the rotor cherry red just before the point of igniting the tire and it welds the caliper to the rotor. The common thread is that the driver KEEPS DRIVING with a stuck caliper, so try not to do that. As I was typing, there is one other thing that popped into my head. My front brakes needed to be done. The caliper bracket threads basically disintegrated when I removed the bolts.

Oh, and, unless you've had pads/rotors done within the last say 25k miles, I'd probably plan to slap some new pads on there. If you stick your head under there, you can see the condition of the rotor and pads. If the rotors are even a little scored, I'd probably plan to replace them too. You'll want probably 2 cans of brake cleaner and a bottle of brake fluid to complete the job.
Ok, caveat complexicat! That's fake latin for complicating considerations. That brake cleaner is nasty stuff -wish it wasn't winter and be in the garage. I've driven 3 times, the first the long drive upon return I noticed the problem. Seems the first thing to do is get that wheel off and see what's going on. I'll keep the post going with pics.
 

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Ok, caveat complexicat! That's fake latin for complicating considerations. That brake cleaner is nasty stuff -wish it wasn't winter and be in the garage. I've driven 3 times, the first the long drive upon return I noticed the problem. Seems the first thing to do is get that wheel off and see what's going on. I'll keep the post going with pics.
It's less nasty than it used to be. I find that, if I throw down a cardboard box, it catches all the solids and oils and leaves no mess.
 

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2009 le awd
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There's one other thing to consider. And believe me this is quite rare, but I have had the rubber brake line be the problem one time. The inside caves in or whatever and the fluid will not pass back the other direction letting the caliper release. This happened to me on a sable I had a few years back.
 

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93 Previa LE 312K, 2010 Sienna LE 85K
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Can’t you tell by looking through the slots in the wheels or under the van?

Sixto
‘04 LE FWD 207K miles
Sure. Been busy all day, but tomorrow when its light, I can check that way. But the wheel still coming off when I get it in the garage.
 

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93 Previa LE 312K, 2010 Sienna LE 85K
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Caliper replacement is trivial. Vice grips on the brake hose hose, 2 bolts, disconnect the brake line, clean and grease the slide pins with a quality brake grease, reverse the removal process, bleed the brakes and you're done if all went perfectly. There are a few caveats, though. I have drums, but I think the rear discs are the same; master cylinder to long "hard line" to brake hose to short "hard line" to caliper. That last smaller hard line often rusts up, fusing the end fitting to the line. When you try to remove it, the hard line breaks off. The end of the long hard line can do the same thing, but replacement of the whole thing is a PAIN. If it breaks, you end up needing a double-flare tool and the right connectors to splice a section of new hard line in there. Back in the day, the standard rule was if you replace a wheel cylinder or a caliper, you always replace the brake hose. The final catch is that, if the caliper is frozen tight severely, you sometimes CAN'T get it off the rotor. It's uncommon and often happens when someone seizes a caliper, keeps driving it until it makes horrible noises, then parks it until they "figure it out." It fuses itself in place. Alternately, it can happen when the caliper clamps down, they keep driving it, heats the rotor cherry red just before the point of igniting the tire and it welds the caliper to the rotor. The common thread is that the driver KEEPS DRIVING with a stuck caliper, so try not to do that. As I was typing, there is one other thing that popped into my head. My front brakes needed to be done. The caliper bracket threads basically disintegrated when I removed the bolts.

Oh, and, unless you've had pads/rotors done within the last say 25k miles, I'd probably plan to slap some new pads on there. If you stick your head under there, you can see the condition of the rotor and pads. If the rotors are even a little scored, I'd probably plan to replace them too. You'll want probably 2 cans of brake cleaner and a bottle of brake fluid to complete the job.
Got the wheel off and had my neighbor drive me to my appointment today so no more driving. The disc caliper was holding pretty tight to the rotor, although I could spin it with some manual force on the bolts. Took the top pin out piece of cake, but the bottom pin seemed stuck, eventually removed and it was free of rust and still had a bit of grease. The rubber boots seem ok. Before I left, had trouble getting the other two bolts out, the 17mm ones that hold the caliper bracket on. Figured I should clean the whole deal. The rotor looks ok, I see some lines, but do not feel the lines, but probably best to replace them if that is what people tend to do (that's what mechanics always offer up). The pads were weird red, like brick color, and both ends could be disintegrated with a screw driver scrape. They were not fused to anything.

I'm thinking I can clean up the caliper, possibly replace rotor if must be, and will buy Akebono ACT995a at Napa -although the price are better at RockAuto, which I prefer, I won't get them until next week if I pay standard. So, same price napa or rock to get it done this weekend. Thoughts on good rotors? Cleaning up caliper to reuse. I'd rather not have to bleed brake lines if I don't have to.
 

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Got the wheel off and had my neighbor drive me to my appointment today so no more driving. The disc caliper was holding pretty tight to the rotor, although I could spin it with some manual force on the bolts. Took the top pin out piece of cake, but the bottom pin seemed stuck, eventually removed and it was free of rust and still had a bit of grease. The rubber boots seem ok. Before I left, had trouble getting the other two bolts out, the 17mm ones that hold the caliper bracket on. Figured I should clean the whole deal. The rotor looks ok, I see some lines, but do not feel the lines, but probably best to replace them if that is what people tend to do (that's what mechanics always offer up). The pads were weird red, like brick color, and both ends could be disintegrated with a screw driver scrape. They were not fused to anything.

I'm thinking I can clean up the caliper, possibly replace rotor if must be, and will buy Akebono ACT995a at Napa -although the price are better at RockAuto, which I prefer, I won't get them until next week if I pay standard. So, same price napa or rock to get it done this weekend. Thoughts on good rotors? Cleaning up caliper to reuse. I'd rather not have to bleed brake lines if I don't have to.
If you replace the caliper, I'm an old-school firm believer that you should bleed all 4 corners to get all the air and old fluid out. No sense in having a water/rust filled fluid pumped into your fresh, new caliper. Some people seem to think you can just clamp the hose, swap the caliper, then open the bleeder and let it gravity bleed until fluid comes out. I'm not one of those people.

Personally, if you have a stuck caliper that got so hot that it turned the pads red, you should 100% replace the rotor. It'll be so heat-warped that you've have a persistent vibration (not a huge deal on the back) from the out-of-round rotor. If you really want, you can just replace the rotor on the stuck side (along with pads on both sides) to save yourself the $100(ish).
 
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