I replaced the pads and rotors on my 1989 toyota camry yesterday. Took it out for a test drive and all appeared to be OK. I did not bleed the brakes, but did have to remove a small amount of brake fluid after installing everything.

On my way into work this morning there was quite a bit of grinding noise coming from the brakes. The noise was not consistent, happening both while brakes were depressed and also when not in use. It also would go away after a few minutes and didn’t always happen while braking.

I’m thinking the piston may be locking up at times, but don’t know. I’ll also throw out there that this is my first brake job. I did follow my Haynes manual and don’t think I did anything wrong.

Any ideas or advice?

After Replacing Brake Pads (And Retracting The Piston) It’s Not Unheard Of To Need To Replace A Caliper Because It’s Sticking. A Dragging Brake Pad Won’t Last Long And Can Damage The Rotor, Too.

You’ll need to see if it’s just one side or both. The sticking brake will create extra noise, heat, and brake dust.


If you suspect one side sticking, you mat be able to verify it by kacking up the corners and spinning the wheels by hand.

I’ll add that it’s always a good idea to lube the slides when doing a brake job. I’ll also add that checking the wear indicators is a good idea as well. And the stamped tin dust guards can often get easily bent and rub on the disc. I’ve had that happen before.

Thanks for the advice.

If I check and the caliper(s) is sticking, will lubing the slides resolve or should I plan on just going ahead and replacing?

On a car that age I’d replace both sides. The elastomers that form the seals are probably pretty well aged by now, and the slides may even have begun to corrode. You may even want to consider replacing the flexable lines at the calipers while you’re there.

The Toyota brakes of this vintage used bushings for the calipers to float on. It is critical when you reinstall the caliper after replacing the pads, that you torque the mounting bolts to the correct spec. If you overtorque them, the bushings will distort and the caliper will not float properly.

Keith, do you know if new bushings come with the caliper assembly? If not, it might be a good idea to replace the old ones when changing the calipers.

I don’t know if they come with a new caliper, but they are available separately. these are what we usually call caliper pins, but Toyota calls them Bushings. That is probably accurate as the mounting bolts go through them and the caliper slides on the outside of them.

My thinking is that on a buggy this old wear and corrosion might be a factor in the intermitttantly sticking caliper.