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Use brake grease caliper slide pins

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I am getting ready to assist my son-in-law with replacement of rear brake pads on a 2015 Toyota Sienna van. Since I have never worked on a Toyota braking system I wanted to find a video (if possible) that showed the process. I am interested if there is some special or quirky procedure that Toyota requires during brake pad replacement. I researched and found a YouTube video that gave a detailed presentation on the entire process. I found nothing out of the ordinary as compared to doing the same procedure on a Mopar.

However the presenter strongly suggested applying special disc brake grease to the caliper slide pins. This will ensure that the pads move freely and not wear unevenly. I have never greased slide pins during a caliper brake pad replacement on any vehicle, Mopar or other. To me applying grease will only attract dirt which willl eventually cause the pins to bind and stick. I have only applied brake grease to the interface where the caliper piston contacts the metal backing plate on the pad. This is done to eliminate chatter and noise under light brake appication.

So what are the opinions on using brake grease on caliper sliding pins? Pros and cons? Attached image shows geasing slide pins.

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· Virginia Gentleman
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The only place I have applied grease was where the brake pads slide in the pad bracket. Otherwise, I don't recall applying grease to the caliper pins. It's been a while since I actually serviced the brakes - the last few times I have had a shop do the work. I just didn't have the time to do it myself.

Please post how it goes. I have a 2016 Toyota RAV4 AWD and I suspect the front brakes will need service soon. It has over 91K miles on it now and I can feel a light vibration when braking. I suspect the rotors are slightly warped. Safety inspection is due in January, so I'll need to service it in the next month or so.

When I had it serviced (oil change/tire rotation), Firestone indicated all brake pads were at 10 mm thickness.
 

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I have always used disc brake/caliper grease on the pins; my current tube (which I've had for over five years) is CRC brand.
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In addition to applying grease upon initial installation, I perform pin cleaning and lubrication as regular preventive maintenance (usually twice per year with tire rotations). The job takes literally less than five minutes per wheel -- remove pins, wipe clean, re-grease, re-install, and torque (Gen V Chrysler vans are ~26 foot-pounds). In addition, every now & then I remove the boots and clean them out as well.

Performing this service regularly ensures smooth movement of sliding calipers and will prevent corrosion/pitting/seizure of the pins.

Each pin slides snugly into its respective rubber boot, so the possibly of grease contamination is greatly minimized and with regular service it's not an issue. If inspection reveals the boots are compromised, replacements are dirt cheap.

Now I don't disagree with any of your stated concerns if the pins are not routinely serviced. If neglected, the grease may indeed become contaminated, harden, etc. That's why I perform this service regularly on everything I own. It's cheap, easy, and quick.

BTW I only apply a light coat...not a liberal slathering as illustrated in your photo.
 

· Super Moderator
1966 Crown Coupe, 2016 200 S AWD, 1962 Lark Daytona V8.
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Use brake grease only. Regular grease will destroy the rubber boots and allow contaminants in.
New boots are often included in the hardware kit.
 

· Super Moderator
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ALWAYS lube the guide pins. Toyota dealer did not do that on my wife's car once, and within 30K miles, the pad was worn bare at one end and full at the other, because the caliper did not slide evenly/parallel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
. . . . ALWAYS lube the guide pins. Toyota dealer did not do that on my wife's car once, and within 30K miles, the pad was worn bare at one end and full at the other, because the caliper did not slide evenly/parallel. . . . .
. . . .when those slide pins rust out, they Can destroy your pads and rotors by locking up. Very much an overlooked step. . . . .
Very good points of information to remember. I am thinking that if a vehicle is subjected to heavy doses of salt during winter driving, having the caliper guide pins greased and serviced periodically is a definite must. Otherwise one can encounter irregular wear patterns on the brake pad material as outlined.

Here in Oklahoma vehilcles do not experience lots of winter road salt exposure so I have never experienced rusted guide pin bolts. So I am leaning towards making sure the guide pin bolts are clean and free of any debris and assembling without any brake grease. I will add some grease between the interface of the caliper piston and pad metal backing plate. This will help eliminate any chatter under light brake application. I will discuss these facts with my son-in-law and let him make a final decision about disc brake grease usage.

Appreciate sharing your "words of wisdom".
 

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Personally Have always removed the caliper bracket, cleaned with brake cleaner spray and wire wheeled. Remove caliper pins, wire wheel and regrease with a similar grease as posted above.

On the wife's CRV I recently did a rear pad/rotor job and it made noise after. Took it apart and reassembled twice and it didn't go away. Finally I went and got a set of new pins and it went away. This is the first car I've ever seen the pins do that. No rust on them. Hoping new pins every brake job isn't a new industry norm I haven't heard of but am experiencing....
 

· Super Moderator
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Be careful about wire-wheeling caliper slider bolts/pins, many of them have an anti-corrosive plating.
 

· Super Moderator
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I would never use anything abrasive on these. If a solvent doesn't smooth out and clean the surface, replace them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
. . . . Please post how it goes. I have a 2016 Toyota RAV4 AWD and I suspect the front brakes will need service soon. It has over 91K miles on it now and I can feel a light vibration when braking. I suspect the rotors are slightly warped. Safety inspection is due in January, so I'll need to service it in the next month or so. . . . .
Tackled the job of replacing rear brake pads on Toyota Sienna today. Riase vehicle and block securely from falling. Remove tire / wheel to gain access. Use 14 mm combination wrench to remove caliper assembly. Rotors in excellent condition so no need to replace them. Very quick and easy process to this point.

With caliper removed you see the inner and outer pads situated in stainless steel spring clips on the upper and lower caliper bracket rail. Interesting that Toyota adds additional clips to hold the pad metal backing plate to the rail. Mopar lets the pad metal packing plate tongues ride on the rail directly.

This is an area where you can get in trouble. Take pictures before you separate the metal backed pad from the rail. Pay close attention to how the spring clips are mounted. If your brake pad kit has replacement metal clips it is very easy to get confused and install them incorrectly. The brakes will probalby still function but the pads will not move in and out freely with the caliper. This will result in uneven and premature pad wearout. See attached image. Other than this potential "gotcha" this was an easy repair.

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