Just how bad are the brakes? 2006 base - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 12:35 PM
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Just how bad are the brakes? 2006 base

I purchased a 2006 base model 4WD with 90,000 miles on it in October. The dealer I purchased it from indicated the pads and rotors had just been replaced, front and rear. The brakes are very spongy, a hard stop pushes the pedal nearly to the floor fairly easily. Brake fluid is good, no obvious leaks, pedal cannot be pumped up while it's running so I do not suspect air in the lines. It seems to stop reasonably well, but the brakes are not what I think of as confidence-inspiring.
Yes, I used the search feature and found others with similar issues. Just how bad are the brakes, really? Granted, I was used to the very firm pedal feel of a Mazda 6, but my wife's XTerra has a nice firm brake pedal as well. Any suggestion of what may be wrong, if there is something? Thanks.
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 01:29 PM
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I think the whole mechanism in the 4.3 has too much give or flex, even when working correctly. When we first got our 2011 base, I took it back because of the soft brake feel. The mechanic said it was fine and let me drive a couple of other examples and they were all the same. I've since learned the car will stop just fine, and road tests of the Rav4 show acceptable stopping distances, but there's not much feel and the give in the system makes it numb feeling wise. Such a system would never fly on a performance car where you want a firm pedal.

I think it's just the nature of the beast unfortunately

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#3 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 07:14 PM
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Both of our '08 models have what I would call a "soft" brake pedal. They seem to go down quite a bit before you feel any purchase on the brakes. Your dealer could have blown smoke up your shorts or it could be normal. The '08 V-6 stopped from 60 to 0 in 125 feet. In days past that would have been Corvette territory. The brake pedal does seem to have a long travel but both of our's stop well once you get used to the pedal.

If indeed your's is going to the floor then there is a problem.

Old Bird......sometimes wise
2008 Base V-6 front wheel drive
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 07:47 PM
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I had a V6 06 base and now have a V6 10 Limited. The brakes feel and felt soft on both but I have never had any problem stopping in a hurry.

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2013 LIMITED

Old Age isn't so bad when you consider the alternative. (Chinese proverb)
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 09:28 PM
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2008 Base I4. I would say that my brake pedal travels a lot too. Brakes and rotors were replaced only a year ago by dealer. Once you get used to it, you will stop thinking about it.

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#6 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 12:35 AM
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When I first bought my rav I noticed the oh snap I am not going to stop feeling .... I think it just takes some time to get use to.... Or just don't wait so long to stop
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 02:56 AM
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The reason for the softer brake pedal is because of the OEM ceramic pads. Ceramic materials tend to be more compressible than organic or semi-metallic pad materials, and also have a lower coefficient of friction, so it takes more pedal pressure which compresses the pad material more.

I still sometimes have that "ohmygawdi'mnotgunnastop" feeling, and only in the Rav despite all five of our vehicles running on ceramic pads.

2010 Rav4 AWD V6 - Wife's
2007 Civic LX - Daughter's
1996 BMW 328i - Son's
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 05:42 AM
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Interesting thoughts in this thread since I just test drove both engines in a Rav4 and a CRV. Drove the Honda first and thought I was going to chip a tooth on the steering wheel right in the lot because the brakes were extremely touchy. I recall the Rav4s' brakes feeling pretty good.

You want a soft brake pedal, try driving a piece of junk GM.
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#9 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 09:14 AM
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I do miss my Honda CR-V gen 2.5 and it's brakes. Very responsive, light tough gets plenty of stopping power. The RAV (09, V6) is OK after getting used to it. At about 40K I replaced the pads all the way around with regular, middle-grade semi-metallic from Auto Zone. It's not as touchy as what I'd had in the other car by comparison, though it's definitely more grabby and responsive than the OEM and at a very fair price.

The only down side is that it's dirtier than the OEM on the wheels, and, they're eating the heck out of my rotors. Nothing's free...

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#10 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 11:45 AM
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It stops reasonably well, I guess it's just I'm used to the hard brake pedal coming from sport sedans, but my wife's XTerra has a nice firm pedal as well. I think I also tend to drive it like I did my Mazda 6, probably faster on the backroads than I should.
My wife hates driving my RAV due to the soft brake pedal. I'm OK with that...
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