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Parking brake left on when replacing brake pads

How bad is it if rear disc brakes got changed while the parking brake was left on?

The brake pedal depresses farther than i feel it should, but my brake fluid isnt dropping, i have no sounds or smells or performance issues. But i havent driven terribly far yet, maybe 20 miles.

Does the parking brake work normally?

I take it a RAV4’s e-brake uses the disk? Some cars, like Subarus, have separate drums inside the rotor to take care of the e-brake function.

If it uses the disk, you may have worn your pads and rotors a bit more than you normally would in 20 miles. The entire assembly probably got hot like a two dollar pistol but may not have done damage.
Maybe pop the wheel off and have a peek to make sure everything is okay.

I don’t know how you’d manage to get the caliper off the rotor with the parking brake on if it uses the disc, unless you got a big hammer and wailed away on it. I figure it’s either a drum-based parking brake, or they DID beat on it and damaged something.

Oops. I see now that I misread the question:
The brake job was done with the parking brake on, besides it having been driven for 20 miles.
At first I assumed that the car was driven with the ebrake on, after a brake job was done. The two are significantly different.

Sheeshs, along with @shadowfax’ comment, I sure hope it is a drum based parking brake with the e-brake drum being part of the disk…
If it is a disk based e-brake, they must have pried that caliper off, using considerable violence. That can’t be good for the rotor. Also, usually the pistons for the rear often have to be -not pushed in- but turned in because of the e-brake ratcheting mechanism. If it is a disk based e-brake, it couldn’t have been turned in correctly with that brake on. In that case, I’d have them redo it.
How in the world did they even get the pads back on with the e-brake on?? A BFH?

What a bunch of bonehead mechanics of late… screwed up brake jobs, battery fires… what’s going on with these clowns??

Not familiar with the RAV4 setup…But if it’s like my 4runner…then leaving the parking brake on makes no difference what-so-ever.

They are two completely different systems. The rear is a Rotor/Drum combo. They are one piece. The parking brakes sit inside the drum portion. Then the caliper and pads are mounted on the Rotor part. You Replace the pads like you do any other disk brake. In the 4runners case you remove one bolt and then lift up the caliper and remove and replace the pads. If you want to service the parking brakes you then have to remove the caliper and then remove the Rotor/Drum…and you’ll find standard shoe brakes which are the parking brakes.

Here’s a link (for the 4runner) that shows what it looks like.

That’s kinda how the modern Subarus are as well. If that’s what the RAV4 has, there shouldn’t be an issue.

Mike, you’re thinking the same way I am. Which begs the question; were the rotors also changed or just the pads?

Changing the pads only would be simple with the P-brake on. It would be impossibel to change the rotors with the P-brake on unless the P-brake wasn’t working properly. The drums would hold the disc solid.

Allow me to suggest an alternative scenerio. It’s common when completing a vehicle to leave it in the lot awaiting the customer with the parking brake engaged. Perhaps the shop did the brakes, left it in the lot with the P-brake on, the customer drove it away and after going some miles discovered that the P-brake was engaged, then assumed the brakes had been changed that way…and is now wondering about damage.

If I made that mistake I’d definitely want to check the P-brake pads, as well as the discs for signs of overheating (purply-black diacoloration). Some might argue that it isn’t necessary because the brakes should only be used for parking, but I like to keep the system in good shape just incase I ever need it as a backup. The owner’s manual calls it a “parking brake”, but if I ever put my foot down and the pedal goes to the floor it’s going to become an “EMERGENCY brake”.

You didn’t drive it with the P-brake on , did yiu? All should be well then.

Seems like a non issue but what am I missing with all the talk about hammering the pads off. The normal procedure should be to loosen the bleed screw, then retract the caliper. It wouldn’t make any difference if the pads were engaged or not once the bleed screw is opened up.

Bing, The parking brake doesn’t work off the hydraulic brake system, does it? I know that an International Pickup about 1950 did tho. When you set the p brake it used the hydraulic system.
If you never drove it with the brake on, forget about it.

I just did a little research…the newer Rav4’s have the same setup as the 4runner. So the Brakes (disc) and the Parking brake (shoes) are completely different systems and there is no problem what so ever in leaving the parking brake on.

Elly is correct- the parking brake bypasses the hydraulic system and locks the caliper with a cable. So opening the bleed screw won’t do any good.