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I recently purchased a used 2002 Toyota Sienna XLE that had brake issues. I replaced the master cylinder, put in new pads, pins, rubber boots, and checked the rear drum brakes, which had almost no wear on them. I did clean them with brake cleaner anyway. I then followed the test in my Haynes Manual to check the brake booster, which is working properly, according to the test.

All the previous braking issues, stuck brake calipers, spongy brakes, brakes not working at times on turns, etc were all resolved. However, it seems like I'm still getting more pedal travel than on other cars I've driven before the brakes engage.

Is more brake pedal travel normal for a Toyota or is there something else I should be checking for?

  • 1
    did you adjust the rear brakes? – Ben Jan 19 '17 at 13:38
  • Yes, I adjusted the rear brakes. – James Drinkard Jan 20 '17 at 3:38
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Different vehicles have different pedal feels. There's not much to be done to adjust it. You may want to bleed the brakes again, just to make sure there isn't any air trapped in the system.

  • I had a local automotive shop bleed them already as I couldn't do it by myself. – James Drinkard Jan 20 '17 at 3:39
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I'm leaving the accepted answer as it was correct. However, in my case after the brakes were bleed a second time they finally got all the air out.

In conjunction with this though was the drum brakes. They had almost all the pad showing, but when I backed them off to remove the drums, I didn't tighten them back all the way, thinking the self-adjuster would take care of it. The other mechanic I took it to said that for Toyota's, he normally adjusts the rear brakes to where they don't fit, then backs it off about 1/8 of a turn to get them back on. If it's much more than that they don't seem to adjust back, which is what happened to me.

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Because I can't comment yet, I will just leave it here.

  • Pedal feel is always softer until the pads have bedded into the rotors properly. [1]

  • Caution: Immediately after installing new pads, rotors or a big brake kit, the first few applications of the brakes will result in very little braking power. [2]

  • So if you change your own brake pads, you'll want to be very careful when breaking them in, because your stopping power will be diminished at first. [3]

  • If you don’t [bed-in], driving under normal conditions will result in an extremely uncomfortable braking experience and a severely limited braking performance. [4]

~

I researched all of that because I had a nasty surprise when I needed a emergency braking after getting my brand new rotors, pads, fluid installed. Luckily I had enough space in front of me but I came very close to rear-ending the guy in front. The wheels never locked even with full force on the pedal. Scary experience.

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