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I changed brake pads on my Toyota Sienna LE 2009. I used these pads https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/carquest-wearever-platinum-professional-ceramic-brake-pads-front-4-pad-set-pxd906ah/10866511-P I had hard time fitting the new pads into the caliper bracket. When I insert one end, the other end would pop out. It as still possible to fit both ends in, but it took some effort. After the pads would not slide all the way to the rotor by hand. I was still able to fit the caliper on the bracket with new pads. After pushing brakes, the piston and caliper did squeeze pads to rotors of course. I took the car for a test drive, and of course got the rims overheated. I suspect the pads do retract well. Nothing horrible happened from 3 miles drive, just hot rims and smell, but it is not good.

I was surprised to see this situation. It must be the right fit. At least that is what Advance Autoparts says. I changed brake pads a few times and at least one on this vehicle but never experienced something like this.

I was looking online, some folks say that the most reason for this is rust buildup on the caliper bracket, so need to clean it. Well, the bracket is rusty to an extent but I do not think there enough rust to add substantially to thickness.

What if pads of this model of pads or just a batch are just a bit longer. It is a matter of just one millimeter really. I guess I can try to return the pads, get a different kind and try to fit them. Not sure the store will take back after they have been installed already. Or should I try to sand off half a millimeter on each end of pads? Do those ends have some protective coating which should not be sanded? Should I sand and clean the caliper brackets?

Thanks!

  • Clean the calipers first. – Solar Mike Sep 18 at 5:30
  • Do not take anything a distributor says as gospel, just because they say it's right doesn't mean it's true. You have one strong datum which says they don't fit right. – GdD Sep 18 at 7:09
  • I have had similar issues. I clean the pad mounts first. Then file the paint off the pad ends. On some of the premium pads the paint is really thick. – mikes Sep 18 at 22:06
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The bracket should be cleaned thoroughly. Use a wire wheel and if necessary the edge of a cut off wheel just enough to get all rust off. Clean everywhere the clips make contact. If no clips are required, then everywhere the pad ends make contact. Use brake grease on these contact points. Use new clips if required. If they are still too tight, inspect the ends of the pads. I've seen burrs and lips from when the press that punches them out can leave a lip. File deformities out enough to allow them to slide.

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  • Thank you! Yes, these ones have clips, they came with pads, and replaced them. And there was grease in the package as well, I applied to the clips and brackets. I will wire brush or sane caliper bracket. I doubt it will help. the rust layer seems pretty thin and I do not want to go down into metal. I did not see any burrs or lips, but I was not checking for them too thoroughly. I think I will end up filing off ends pads a bit. – schimmeljager Sep 18 at 15:07
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I own a repair shop here in Brazil, and this kind of thing is relatively usual, because we have a lot of brands that make low quality pads that we have to use anyway, as we have no other option. And, when the pads are bigger than the caliper, we always sand them to fit. I start to worry when the pads are (very) smaller! Happened one time or two.

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  • Thank you! I guess this is it. I did not know QA would let it happen. – schimmeljager Sep 18 at 15:12
  • Happens more than we can imagine. Brake pads are simple parts, and since everything looks fit, it should work properly. But when is too tight, they usually don't come back and completely release the disc, causing excessive heating, lowering the life of the system, and the worst part, compromising your (and others) safety. Make sure you sand enough to have no difficult whatsoever to fit the pad inside the caliper and you're done! – Fausto Sep 18 at 15:20
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    I would expect better from "Platinum" :) But OK. – schimmeljager Sep 18 at 15:36
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It turned out that Jupiter was right. I cleaned the rust from the pad holding trough on the bracket, and that was enough to pads to slide in without much. I did not need to do anything with the pads themselves. I used an oscillating multitool with metal saw blade for most of rust removal (just needed to keep a gentle touch) and a bit of sanding with sand paper by hand. I put everything, went for test drive on the same route as yesterday. No overheating this time.

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