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2017 Toyota RAV4 brake quality

I have gone through two sets of brake pads and rotors in 25000 miles now my back pads need to be replaced I think there’s a serious issue with the brakes on the Toyota RAV4 2017 but when you call Toyota corporate they tell you that sometimes people only get 5 to 8 thousand miles for a set of brakes on a Toyota I think the quality of Toyota has gone down and they’re riding on The Laurels of past Glory

So where do you live? Lemme guess, a large city with horrid traffic. Like LA, Atlanta or Boston, maybe? This type of driving is very hard on brakes. That said, 2 sets in 25K is horrid. How you drive may contribute to that, I don’t know, but;

You might try a higher performance set of brake pads. Something labeled as a “performance” type pad like Hawk HPS pads or Hawk Performance Ceramic if they are available for your car. These pads take hard stopping a bit better than factory pads but may be a bit noisy at times.

A lot of road salt combined with short trip driving can greatly shorten brake pad life. I have gone through 2 sets of rear pads and one front in 48,000 miles on my 2012 Camry but that is not unusual here. Rear disc brakes here have a shorter life when used as a daily commuter because the design traps the salt. It is not just Toyota, My son’s 2007 Hyundai Sonata went through the rear pads in 11000 miles, his dealer suggested he have his rear brakes disassembled, cleaned and lubricated every spring for about $120 so he did that himself and it helped some, I noticed my Toyota dealer is offering a similar service. My brakes are lasting longer now that I am not commuting to work and no longer parking on the street where the salt trucks spray it several times a day.

I did a brake job on my sons car just before he moved to FL 7 years ago and it has not needed another one yet.

Some things you have not mentioned is whether or not there is a lot of city driving involved or if you live in a hilly area.

There’s also the issue of hard braking but when asked no one on the planet admits to braking hard.

I will have to get back to you on that, only 6k on our 2017 rav4 so far. No issue yet at 6k miles

No experience myself with the 2017 Toyotas, but a friend of mine has a 2018 Corolla and has reported no problems with the brakes so far. There’s no service bulletins on the brakes for the 2017 Rav 4 as far as I can see. hmmm … well, maybe Toyota has in fact redesigned the brake systems to make room for a bigger diameter wheel size, new style lower profile tire dimensions, or something. That’s one possible explanation. So you’re getting about 12,500 miles on a set of front pads? And the dealership says even 5,000 miles is considered normal? That does seem to be unusually fast brake wear. But brake wear has a lot to do with your own driving style, and the terrain & type of traffic you deal with on a daily basis. Try this. After a typical drive (say to work), feel the temperature of the wheels. Are any of them unusually hot? Are they all uniformly very hot? That experiment may provide a clue about what is happening. I was driving behind a Rav 4 type car (not sure if it was a Rav 4 not) the other day, and I noticed the brake lights kept coming on every 10-15 seconds or so. During the 2 miles I was behind that car I never used the brakes but the brakes lights on that car in head of me came on probably 20 times. Who knows if that’s caused by a braking system defect or the driver is just hitting the brake pedal for some reason. What car did you have before the 2017 Rav 4 and how many miles did you get on front pads for that car? I tend to get about 50,000 miles on a set of medium priced aftermarket front pads on my Corolla, for reference. The rear brake shoes have never needed replacement in 200,000 miles. Next time go to an auto parts store, ask them to show you a comparison of a brake pad for a 1992 Corolla vs a 2017 Rav 4. Maybe the pads are markedly thinner on your 2017.

The cause of frequent brake replacement on a near new car is usually due to noise complaints, not wear.

What is the reason for these brake repairs?

A lot of stop and go driving and “riding the brakes” can contribute to premature pad wear. Toyota pads are reboxed Akebono,one of the best brake pads in the world.They are known for amazing stopping power and slow wear. Was the brake job done at the dealer or an independant shop?

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Analyze your braking pattern. Do you ride the brakes?

Watch the cars ahead of you and compare to your use of the brake. Do you find you are hitting the brakes when cars ahead of you do not?

Do you tailgate? that is a prime cause of brake wear. At city speeds you should have 2-3 car spacings between you and the car ahead. 6-8 at highway speeds.

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Toyota’s statement is ridiculous. Enter my ‘06 Mustang, 104,000 miles. Just had complete brake service. Original rotors still had enough meat on them to turn rather than replace. Not sure but as far as I can remember on second set of pads.
F150, 51,000 miles. Pads not even close to needing replacement.

Much of the driving is in stop&go city traffic, both vehicles sleep outside in salt air.

Quite a few years ago, a co-worker got a brand-new Volvo wagon, and on several occasions I drove in back of her for the last 3-4 miles of our morning commute. After a few days, I said, “Sue, when you take the car in for its first service, you need to ask that they check the brake light switch and its related wiring”. She asked why I said that, and I replied, “Because your brake lights keep going on and off–constantly”.

A few days later, she came to my office to thank me for “changing the way that I drive”.
It seems that she mentioned my comment to her husband, and he decided to drive in back of her in his car, at which point he noticed the same thing that I had observed. However, he then took the extra step of riding with his wife as she drove, and that was when he observed that his wife was constantly doing a two-step dance from the gas pedal to the brake pedal–even when there were no obstructions in the road, and there were no curves.

When her husband rode with her, he began saying “NO” every time that she hit the brake pedal with no reason, and this allowed her to modify her driving behavior. His behavior modification therapy definitely changed her driving style, as I no longer observed the brake lights going on and off constantly when I drove behind her.

The bottom line is that many people are unaware of how often they depress the brake pedal for no explicable reason, and until somebody points out that type of behavior to them they will likely not realize what they are doing incorrectly.


I was at a friend of mine’s house one Saturday afternoon helping him with his motorcycle. His wife came outside, kissed him the cheek, and said she was headed to the grocery store.

As she backed out of the drive he said,“Watch the brake lights”.

Two blocks down the street the brake lights were still on courtesy of riding the brakes. He said it was a habit that he couldn’t seem to get her to change and was the cause of many brake repairs.

Just as some people seem to apply the brakes for no reason whatsoever, others ride the brakes. I think that it boils down to insecurity behind the wheel, but whatever the cause it clearly leads to greatly-increased maintenance costs and to annoying other drivers.

On that topic, you might recall my nutty former boss–the one who wouldn’t ever fill his gas tank because “then they can cheat you”. :roll_eyes:

Well, one of his other oddities was that liked to talk to his passengers while he was driving, and every time that he spoke, he also looked at the passengers, rather then looking at the road. And, every time that he took his eyes off the road–which was VERY often–he would hit the brake. Then, when he looked back at the roadway, he would compensate for the loss of momentum by hitting the gas. Nobody wanted to ride with him as a result of the whiplash effect as Jerry alternated between hard braking and hard acceleration!

But, to return to the subject at hand, Jerry could never figure out why his Buick got such crappy gas mileage and he also couldn’t figure out why he needed to have his brakes relined so often.

Unconscious behavior…

My 05 4runner had a known issue with front Calipers. For the 10 years and 300k miles I owned it - I went through at least 8 sets of calipers. I think my 3rd set I bought a NAPA lifetime warranty on the calipers. So the rest of the calipers that I replaced were free.

Jump to my 2014 Highlander - I replaced all the brake pads at about 82k miles…which I think is pretty good. No problems with brake system at all.

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I appreciate all the input it seems like quite a nice community that takes the time to be involved I’ve driven for over 40 years and never in my time have I gone through brake pads in 12,000 miles ever I monitored with the dealer at 20,000 miles my brakes were over 60% when I took it in 5,000 miles later I needed new brakes and rotors there was never any no noise that warranted that I needed new rotors they were so bad the dealer would not let me leave the dealership I’m sorry but 5000 miles to lose 60% of your brakes and go to rotors is unexplained by the dealership as I said I’ve had much heavier cars BMWs mercedes’s I have never gone through brakes if I had a pattern of brake writing than that pattern would show up in the other cars I don’t like I said I appreciate all your input but my driving pattern is not one where I ride my brakes there’s obviously something defective in my brake system in my car

I assume the dealer did a thorough check of the brake system when he repaired them. Puzzling…

But there are many other '17 RAV4s out there…

I smell a boat payment. Can you see a brake pad through the wheel spokes to check the wear yourself? If no shuddering during stopping, new rotors aren’t usually needed.

You may be able to see the brake pad through the wheel spokes, but highly unlikely you’ll be able to ascertain the pads thickness. You need to pull the wheel or put it on a lift or crawl under and hopefully have a good enough view.

It is insane to a phone through a set of brakes at 12000 at 20,000 to get 60% and in 5000 miles come through the rotor I don’t know that I can see the rotor but I was charged for a new rotor I have friends that know me that think it’s a little outrageous that I’ve had to put brakes on the car as much as I have especially a car I bought new I know a lot of people say you ride your break but I know I don’t ride the break and I’ve never replaced brakes this early on so maybe it’s the way they make Toyota brakes I’m not sure but thanks for your input I appreciate it

It’s definitely possible that a defect in the brake system could cause the brakes to be slightly applied all the time. Faulty master cylinder, power booster, etc. That would cause the pads to wear out faster than normal. If that is happening it will cause the wheels to heat up more than normal, especially on fast drives where you seldom apply the brakes, like on the freeway. If you have another car to use as a baseline, drive them both on the freeway for say 5 miles, and then assess the temperature of the wheels.