2003 Toyota Corolla Replace the Rear Brakes

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Keeping the rear brakes in good shape is just one aspect of taking care of your 2003 Toyota Corolla. While the rear brakes tend to wear at a slower rate than the front brakes, the rear brakes still require replacement when necessary. The following shows how to replace both rear drum shoes and rear disc pads, as lower level trims of the Corolla featured drum brakes as standard equipment, while higher level trims utilized disc brakes on all four wheels.

Tools Used[edit]

Lug wrench
Floor jack
Jack stand
Turkey baster
Needle-nose pliers
Two metric bolts, M8 x 1.25
Ratchet and socket set
Mechanic's wire
DOT 4 brake fluid

Replace the Rear Brakes[edit]

Preparing for Installation

  • Open the hood and locate the brake master cylinder. Open the reservoir and use a turkey baster to remove one-third of the fluid from the reservoir. Properly dispose of the fluid and close the reservoir.
  • Loosen the lug nuts with a lug wrench, but do not remove them from the wheel. Raise the rear of the vehicle with a floor jack and support the vehicle with jack stands.
  • Finish removing the lug nuts with the lug wrench. Remove the wheel from the axle to expose the brake drum or disc.

Replacing the Rear Drums

  • Locate the threaded holes on the face of the drum. Thread two M8 x 1.25 metric bolts into the holes and tighten them alternately with a ratchet and socket to move the drum off the brake assembly.
  • Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to disconnect the upper spring. Locate the pin holding the front shoe spring in place and turn the pin 90 degrees to remove it, along with the spring and retainer. Disconnect the lower spring and remove the front shoe.
  • Remove the adjuster bar, making sure to lay it down in the same way it was removed. Remove the rear shoe spring and retainer, along with the rear shoe itself.
  • Remove the parking brake lever connected to the rear shoe by removing the C-clip and pin linking the two together. Attach the adjusting lever to the new rear shoe by sliding the tab into the slot on the shoe. Reattach the parking brake lever by sliding the pin linking the two into the brake shoe. Attach the C-clip to the pin to secure the lever.
  • Place the rear shoe into the brake assembly and reattach the rear shoe spring, pin and retainer. Reattach the adjuster bar and place the front shoe into the brake assembly, reattaching the front shoe spring, pin and retainer.
  • Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to reattach the upper and lower springs. Slide the drum onto the brake assembly and place the wheel on the axle. Attach the lug nuts by hand and lower the vehicle after removing the jack stands. Use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts.
  • Refill the brake master cylinder reservoir to the "max" fill line with fresh DOT 4 brake fluid. Crank the car and pump the brake pedal at least five times to set the brake pads.

Replacing the Rear Discs

  • Remove the two mounting bolts from the caliper using a ratchet and socket. Lift the caliper off the rotor and suspend it in mid-air using mechanic's wire.
  • Remove the brake pads from the caliper. Place one of the old pads against the caliper piston and use a C-clamp to push the piston into the caliper.
  • Discard the old pads and place the new pads into the caliper. Place the caliper back over the rotor and reinsert the caliper mounting bolts. Tighten the bolts with a ratchet and socket.
  • Slide the wheel onto the axle and reinstall the lug nuts by hand. Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle to the ground. Tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench.
  • Refill the brake master cylinder reservoir to the "max" fill line with fresh DOT 4 brake fluid. Crank the car and pump the brake pedal at least five times to set the brake pads.

Tips & Warnings[edit]

  • Exercise caution when working underneath or around raised vehicles. Make sure the jack stands are rated to support the weight of the vehicle.