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Brake Pads

By FjB, February 21, 2015

I need to replace my brake pads. Does anyone know what the pros and cons are of going with TRD pads?

Thanks in advance

i am only replying because the experts like fish are busy...

so I must ask

1. Why do you want to upgrade the pads ??

2. Will the upgrade make any real difference in performance and longevity when other

components of braking and stopping like tires are already at maximum efficiency ??

I don't see any TRD brake pads listed for 2004 Corolla... You can pay more for performance pads, although I'm quite satisfied with my $24 ceramic pads (Canada, shipping included):

EBC Yellowstuff, Hawk HPS:

For under $32, PowerStop Z23 Evolution Sport Carbon Fiber/Ceramic pads look pretty interesting:,carcode,1432915,parttype,1684


I have heard that Hawk HPS brake pads are really good but I have never used them. Are they a good pad for every day driving on my 05 Corolla

I also heard that toyota OEM green pads are good. That is all my friend used.

Another really good pad I heard was the Akebono ProAct.

What do you think of these pads. Next time I need front brakes I will try one of these with either brembo or centric premium rotors.


Basically, I was asking for recommendations. Since I have to change them anyway, I was wondering if the OEM pads were good?

Brake Pads, Shoes, and Rotors:

Not all brakes are created equal. Rotor quality and pad quality can mean the difference between squeaks or brake fade in emergencies or stop and go driving. OEM pads are low dust ceramic in the front. I highly recommend using the OEM hardware when doing a brake job.

Pads and Shoes:

OEM Toyota: The OEM pads and shoes equipped on your vehicle. These are very high quality low dust pad made by either Advics or Akebono. I currently have 120K miles on my OEM Toyota pads.


CE/LE/S and Base/XR - 04465-02070 (Mark NAC PN529H)

XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT - 04465-02080 (Mark AK PA533)


CE/LE/S North American Built - 04495-02050 (Mark NAC LN521)

CE/LE/S Japan Built - 04495-52040 (Mark NBK LN521)

FWD Matrix and Vibe - 04495-01040 (Mark NAC LN521)

AWD Matrix and Vibe - 04495-63011 (Mark AKB LA509A)

XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT - 04466-20090 (Mark AK PA544)

Akebono ProAct: Very high quality replacement pads. Akebono makes OEM pads for Toyota and other manufacturers. The hardware is generic and I prefer OEM hardware. I have used these several times with great results.


All 2003-2008 - Akebono ACT923


XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT - ACT823

ADVICS: Another high quality OEM pad maker for Toyota and others.


All 2003-2008 - AD0923


XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT - AD0823

Centric: Centric offers 3 Ceramic pad lines. One Posi-Quiet premium in house line ,another OEM line where they rebox OEM pads, and a high performance StopTech line.

Posi-Quiet Premium:


All 2003-2008 Models - 10509230


XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT - 10508230

OE Formula Pads:


All 2003-2008 Models - 10009230


XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT - 10008230

StopTech High Performance:


All 2003-2008 Models - 30909230


XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT - 30908230

Brembo: Brembo is leading name in brake performance and technology. They also have an OEM line which may be a rebox of other pads.

Front - P83061N

Hawk: Comparable to StopTech these High Performance pads are raved about for their performance and driveability.

HPS Street Pads:


All 2003-2008 Models - HB441F.661


XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT - HB329F.543

Wagner: Thermoquiet are the premium Wagner line. Good overall reviews online as well. Apparently they are the number one global pad manufacturer.


All 2003-2008 Models - QC923 (with hardware) PD923 (without hardware)


CE/LE/S North American Built - PAB801

CE/LE/S Japan Built - PAB832

FWD Matrix and Vibe: PAB785

AWD Matrix and Vibe - PAB790

XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT - QC823 (with hardware) PD823 (without hardware)

Wearever: Another very commonly used brake pad. Available in 4 lines I will touch only on the Gold and Ceramic lines for pads and Silver for shoes:

Silver: Economical bonded brake shoes in the silver line.


CE/LE/S North American Built - NB801

CE/LE/S Japan Built - NB832

FWD Matrix and Vibe: NB785

AWD Matrix and Vibe - NB790

Gold: High quality ceramic pad that does not include hardware. Lifetime warranty


All 2003-2008 Models - GNAD923


XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT - GNAD823

Platinum: High quality ceramic pad that includes hardware and moly brake lube. I have used these with great results.


All 2003-2008 Models - PNAD923


XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT - PNAD823

There are several other manufacturers of brake pads and shoes including: Bendix, Beck/Arnley, Monroe, Midas, Raybestos, etc., that are either reboxes or similar quality. This list is not all inclusive but should provide a guide for good quality pads and shoes.

Brake Rotors:

OEM Toyota: High quality rotors that can be expected from an OEM manufacturer.

Front: 43512-02111

Rear: XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT - 42431-47030

Centric: Centric offers many different rotors from a standard all the way to a drilled and slotted StopTech rotor. Higher models feature a corossion resistant E-coating. These are my preferred choice when OEM are too much.

C-TEK Standard: Standard Rotor

Front: 12144114

Rear: XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT -1214415


Front: 12044114 without cryogenically treated 12044114CRY with cryogenically treated

Rear: XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT -12044115 without cryogenically treated 12044115CRY with cryogenically treated

High Carbon Alloy:

Front: 12544114

Rear: XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT -1254415


Front: 12844114L 12844114R (drilled) 12744114L 12744114R (drilled and slotted)

Rear: XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT -12844115L 12844115R (drilled) 12744115L 12744115R (drilled and slotted)

Duralast: Autozone rotors. I have used them for years with no issues.

Front: 31270

Rear: XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT - 31269

Wagner: Pretty standard Rotor

Front: BD126017 or 126017

Rear: XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT - BD12606 or 126016

Wearever: Another pretty standard rotor

Front: YH145294

Rear: XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT - YH145293

Brembo: Brembo blanks are the only choice for some owners. High quality Brembo blanks are comparable to OEM quality. Watch out for fakes.

Front: 09.9559.20/09.9559.21 (5 Digit Part Number 25564)

Rear: XRS Models and Pontiac Vibe GT - 08.A273.20 (5 Digit Part Number 25565)

Wow, thanks a lot, man

Much of it also depends on your driving situation. Some cases, there is no reason to go with anything beyond OEM or OEM like pads. In most cases, the OEM pad is already a ceramic composite material - so good life, low noise, low dusting right from the start.

If you are looking at a more aggressive pad material - something that can take more heat, have more initial bite, or have some particular characteristic you are after - then there are a TON of aftermarket pads available.

Myself - I have a mixed set of pads on my vehicles. My 8th gen get Hawk HPS pads, as I like the initial bite and higher brake torque - can through some people off, make the brakes feel "grabby" to some - but since I track the car once in a blue moon - the pads make for a great compromise for street/auto-x pad. The Rav4 and Matrix have ceramic composite pads now - Rav4 is running PowerStop ceramics - very similar to OEM but just a tad bit more aggressive bite and torque. Since they drive like OEM - won't throw you off too much, in brake pedal application. Matrix is running Centric ceramic - almost identical to OEM, just a lot cheaper.

If you want to experiment with different pads - the easiest way to go about that is to throw them on and try them out. Some pads that others might love - you might hate. Example - I love my Hawk HPS pads on my Corolla - but my wife hates them. I can modulate the brakes to the point of stopping literally inside a foot of where I'm aiming at - my wife, she has already ran my car into a curb, because she wasn't use to the braking characteristics.

fish , when did you get the RAV4 ??

how does the reliability, durability compare to corollas ??


Got it almost two years ago? Was a very lightly used one - been looking for a little bit larger vehicle than our Matrix and have been actively checking out the Rav4, Highlander, CRV, Tiguan, RDX, Q5, and Forester. All boiled down what felt the most comfortable to drive for my wife and was reasonably well rounded (good fuel economy, reliable, holds value well, etc.)

Eventually was looking at the Rav4 and the Forester - the Rav4 ended up being that vehicle.

Reliability - so far has been great, no complaints from me. Durability - that is a harder question to answer - as the nature of the vehicle, the Rav4 could be put in places where the Corolla couldn't go. That said - I've taken the Rav4 on some soft trails, this winter weather proved a non-issue for the Rav4 so far, handled everything we've asked of it and it always delivered.

Just keeping up with the maintenance - I have no doubt that I could get this to run 200K+ miles, no sweat. Since we've got it - we've put about 50K miles on it - zero issues, other than flat tires from picking up screws/nails from construction nearby.

The big kicker - even though it has a the frontal area of the small barn and heavier than the Matrix (weight and AWD powertrain it has to drag around) - it gets atleast 20-25% better fuel economy than our Matrix. Wife was able to get the Matrix MPG done into the teens on her commute - with the Rav4, mid 20's is as low as she can get them.

Hi all, sorry to bump a year old thread. I'm new to this forum but I found you all through a Google search of brake pads for my 05 XRS. I'm in a bit of a conundrum after upgrading my front brake rotors and pads 2.5 weeks ago and could use your advice, hoping I can revive this thread a little bit. My car has about 104,000 miles on it. So far I love the rotors, but the pads are not fitting my driving style and I need something else or a way to make it fit my needs.

My Corolla this fall started developing a slight brake wobble, I had to apply more and more pressure to get a confident stop and the pedal was starting to creak and moan getting toward the end of its travel, I could tell the pads were at the end of their life. I had my shop look at them while fixing some other things and they confirmed that the front rotors were original and lightly scored. They would need to be refinished and the pads were also original and were in their last 10% or so (rears are around 20%). I spent a couple weeks here and there researching, asking around and reading through posts on brakes in general (like the amazing post from Toyotanation with all the aftermarket parts listed above). I decided to replace just the front rotors and pads entirely (will get the rears replaced after the fronts are sorted). I ended up choosing Centric because I've heard a lot of good things about them from various places online and off. I live in the Northwest where I'm constantly going up and down hills and on top of it it's rainy often. So for rotors I went from the standard Centric line to their high end line StopTech and bought their very nicely cast and machined slotted (Power Slot 126.44114S) rotors which are incredibly well made I think after hands on inspection. I was going to purchase Centric's basic front pads to go with these but again after researching more I decided on StopTech's front "Street Performance Front Brake Pad" (StopTech 309.09230) because I figured sometimes I like to drive spiritedly on these hills and I want lots of bite and the ability to go up and down the hills without brake fade.

Fast forward to today after these were installed the 2.5 weeks ago along with a brake flush and fresh fluid and here is my conundrum. So far it's been about 400 miles on this front setup and I am not enjoying these pads much and feeling like I just lost a lot of money on them and the combined shop labor. What I want is to pivot my right foot onto the brake and use the weight of my foot to brake the car in traffic, hills, daily driving etc. A nice grippy, smooth slow down with relative ease and the ability to put my foot into it for extra confidence during spirited driving or just city driving. What I have now is next to nothing with the weight of my foot although there is soft contact and some braking, then a linear slowing down in the middle if I put my foot into it a bit, and then a really confident and secure stop if I push down past roughly the halfway (to the point where I can easily lock up ABS I've found if I'm just securely putting my foot into it). Pedal still creaks because it's going past what feels like 1/2 way of travel and is only firming up and getting more solid/confident at that point.

The afternoon I picked my car up from the installation my shop said just to drive the car regularly and not be too concerned about bedding the pads although they did say it would take a few days to burn off any initial rotor and pad coatings. So as far as break in for the first few days I took it easy on braking. Then I read through StopTech's bedding procedure for these pads which is 2-3 sets of ten 60-10mph stops back to back to heat the rotors and pads up to burn off resins and transfer some pad material to the rotors. It's not easy to find a safe/legal place to do this but I found a strip of road in an industrial area and was able to get to 60mph and laid into the brakes just enough to where they weren't locking up but getting a firm and aggressive slow down, then letting off at 10mph and coasting before turning around and doing it again in the opposite direction. I did this the prescribed 10 times and then let the car rest for a bit to cool down before heading home. The next day I returned and performed the second set of 10. This made a pretty nice difference and certainly made things better, although as said my brake pedal is now somewhere between mushy/casual then hard, and initial bite isn't terrible but it's just not going to bring the car to stop and to do so requires a bit of effort to achieve. Given that these pads are designed for some spirited and potential occasional track day here and there I suppose this makes sense. I guess I thought that would translate into a daily driver with more confidence and initial bite but I was wrong.

Suggestions? I could try to do the bedding procedure one more time to see if that helps any (the instructions say a third isn't needed but in some situations can be helpful). I could write Centric and ask them what they would recommend. I am considering adding metal braided brake lines when the rear brakes are done in order to help firm things up but I'm not sure how much that will really make a difference versus "cool" factor. Lastly I could just accept that I have to reinstall a different brand and type of pad that will be better for my daily driving.


Assuming that you got OEM sized (diameter) rotors on there. Part of the issues you are seeing is caused by the slotted rotors. One thing they will do is constantly shave / refresh that pad surface and can help a bit with overall brake cooling and water shedding. The drawback - all that work you put into transferring that friction material - is fight in futility, as the rotor is working hard to clean off the nicely bed-in pad. Also hot spots forming on the slot's edges, preventing a clean transfer layer from forming evenly on the rotor face.

For a car driven a bit harder than usual - most people won't notice much difference. You pound the brakes - car slows down. But if you try and drive "smoothly", or try and finesse it a bit (heel and toe, etc) - that's where these sort of issues will pop up.

Won't hurt the overall braking or safety of the car - as you've already noticed, it is harder to judge pedal force to a specific braking force, trail-braking is also compromised, as you can't feel that slight transition between rolling and locking up the tires (right when ABS kicks in).

Don't bother trying to bed them in again - at this point, the resin is already cured, if you keep going, you'll just grind down the pad - wear it out faster. Also run a risk of overheating the pads - where you actually cook out some of the binder, that will cause the pad to really wear down fast / possible fail. Easiest way to tell - you'll notice bluing of the rotor face - right where the pads touch the rotor, you find a blue color banding, meaning it was run way too hot.

What can you do right now:

0) Simple stuff - break the wheel down and make sure they lubricated the caliper pins, certain contact points, shims are on there, etc. If the install was messed up, it could explain many of the issues you are seeing.

1) Leave it - as the rotor and pads wear in, it will come to an equilibrium point where the braking performance and feel will not change that much. Probably won't have the smoothness of a plain rotor/sport pad combination - but it won't prevent you from braking effectively - just have to get used to the new braking feel.

2) Swap the pads. This part is more trial and error - as every one's driving style varies from situation to situation. On my former 2003 Matrix XRS - it actually didn't like the Hawk HPS pads that my Corolla seemed to do well with. After some experimenting, I found that it tended to like Porterfield street pads. Hawks had more bite intially, but tended to wear down very quickly with the heavy weight of the Matrix. Porterfields were more forgiving and gave me more of a linear braking response. OEM "green painted" pads are actually quite good - they are a ceramic composite pad that has a pretty decent bite and good heat rejection. But coupled with a slotted or drilled rotor - all those bets are off. Might have to even step up to something like a Hawk Blue pad (more of a competition pad than street pad - LOTS of squealing and dusting with this pad) or something from EBC pads (Yellowstuff or Redstuff - would be a lot more aggressive than the StopTechs you have now). This option has the potential of having the widest range of cost to you, depending on how many different sets/brands you need to run through.

3) Swap to a plain rotor. There isn't much braking difference between a slotted vs plain vented - some cases, it is more advantageous to run a plain rotor vs one that is slotted or drilled (stress factures). This will also give you the most flexibility in pad choices, no self-cleaning function means you get to see what each pad brings to overall braking feel. This will likely the most costly option, as you've already dropped money on new slotted rotors. Depending on where you got the rotors, might be able to work out an exchange with the vendor. I was able to do that on Tirerack - bought some EBC pads that didn't brake well (greasy feeling - had to stand on the pedal to slow/stop) - they were able to credit me the whole cost to some Hawk HPS pads, which I still run to the day on my Corolla.

4) Might considered checking/replacing the brake lines - see if the flex lines are excessively worn or damaged. With this age of car and mileage, not uncommon for the lines to soften - as you apply pressure to the brakes, the lines will swell slightly before actuating the brake calipers. By upgrading to flexlines to braided stainless steel or even new OEM rubber flex lines - you could restore some brake feel. Be warned though - this doesn't "fix" anything, just removes one possible variable out of a number of possibilities. You could very well make the problem worse by going with this mod. Best to check out the pads and rotors first - then go to this to really tighten up the brakes.

Firstly I just wanted to take a second and say thank you for such a quick and thoughtful response, this is really helpful.

After thinking about this for a bit I'm still at a standstill. I bought the rotors from a vendor in California through Amazon, I might be able to exchange them although the cost to ship them back, the time it would take to get the new ones, the cost to replace the rotors, it all sounds like it would be too much work and loss of time, loss of income, loss of my daily driver for a few days. I know that the stuff I was reading before I bought these kept noting that if drilled rotors (and slotted sometimes mentioned in this) were really that helpful or useful manufacturers like Mercedes would include them on their expensive sports sedans and such, but they don't, because plain rotors are still the overall best option. Especially after so many car guys go to extremes by purchasing drilled rotors which definitely get stress fractures and aren't useful in almost all cases except for just the look it delivers. I knew after my initial research that slotted had some disadvantages but I guess I figured manufacturers are just trying to deliver the overall best option for any climate their cars might be bought where as for me in Portland it might help a lot with all hills and the wet driving we get for 6 months out of the year. Now I'm realizing all your points are probably spot on and I just feel like a fool who shot myself in the foot in a major way trying to go against the flow. Being that as it is, I guess there is a positive in that they do clear water away from the friction surface, and do help to keep the pads deglazed. My last car was a heavy fully loaded Outback wagon and I ended up glazing two sets of "oem replacement" pads because I am a "smoother" breaker and only use the weight of my foot, I don't really lay into brake pedals. On that car I eventually had to switch pads again to a much more expensive Subaru OE supplied pads and that made a huge difference as opposed to the others which were designed to handle more of the weight and thus required more of a heavy braking style to keep them deglazed and bedded.

I think my thought right now is that I need to replace the rear pads anyway, so I am considering purchasing braided lines to go in at the same time. I can replace the pads up front altogether but what I worry about is that I'll run into the same problem (but maybe not, I learned that with my Subaru that pads can make a massive difference after a quick swap). If I do the lines, I know that the pedal will firm up from what others have said, and that it will probably make the braking more responsive as more force is applied to the pads and more quickly. This might mean that the pads I have now would be okay because they would take up much quicker and also have more bite from the reinforced pressure. The worry here is that if I were to replace the lines to firm ones that don't flex and braking still weren't biting easily or quickly, then replacing the pads to something with more initial bite could be awful if the pedal was more "on/off" as opposed to having some flex and give with the old rubber oem hoses.

Not including any labor-

The cost for braided lines are about $115, which may improve the whole system and pedal feel for the pads I have.

The cost for a set of front pads with improved bite as far as I can see is something like Hawks which are around $80.

The cost for plain Centric rotors are about $85.

One thing is for sure either way is that I will probably try a different shop just as a double check and have a tech look at the front calipers and do a full inspection at the same time the rears are replaced.

Sounds like a great plan of action to me. While most of the braking is done by the front wheels, the rear's still contribute a sizeable amount to the overall braking effort. Getting those replaced might make all the different for you (ie, complementary friction characteristics).

If this was my car, that's exactly what I'd do. Replace and install rear brakes and rotors, give the front rotors and pads a good lookover to make sure everything looks OK, bed in the brakes again and see how it brakes. If everything works to your liking - then I'd think about replacing the brake fluid if you haven't already replaced it. Fresh fluid will help prevent line corrosion and reduce the likelyhood of fade/weird braking behavior. Since they are looking at the brakes, they will have easy access to all the corners.

But If the braking performance is still not acceptable - then I'd be more inclined to add in new brake lines. Regardless of what you do down the road - these will still be useful a useful addition to the car. You'll also get fresh fluid to boot. Since you will lose some brake fluid in the process, most shops will flush out the brakes at the same time - all part of the process.

My only concern would be making sure the shop is competent enough to do good work. More often than not - I've seen these line swaps quickly go sideways because someone forgot to or poorly bleed the brakes or missed / damaged the washer during install. Fortunately, less so now, as these line manufacturers are making these more DIY friendly - if a shop messed it up, I would be quite upset.

Some brake setups just take some time to fully break in and work like they should. But if it isn't working like you like it and you have the time and money - try experimenting a bit. Not every combination of rotor/pad works for everyone. Some owners might welcome more inital bite, where as someone else will hate it. Just have to find that sweet spot.

Good Luck.

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