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Discussion Starter #1
My pads were getting thin so I replaced them with Wagner ceramic ThermoQuiet. A little hassle getting the pads to seat but not the hardest swap I've done. Although this is the first time for a Toyota. Drove around the block, testing the brakes, no prob. Got onto the highway and at 60mph the steering wheel starts to vibrate and gets worse the faster I go. Braking is even with no shudder, nothing in the pedal. Pulled over several times off the highway and the disks were hot and had darkened some. I've put the car into neutral while coasting at slow speeds to see if the pads were sticking and it coasts just fine with no pull to either side. No pull when braking either. Any ideas???
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Remove both front wheels, turn them to the next lug position and replace them. Tighten the lug nuts to 76 lb/ft evenly in a star pattern. The nuts may have been replaced too tight and with uneven torque.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wheels have been dismounted and rotated and balanced at the dealer. Vibration in the steering wheel only now in the 70mph range and not all the time (68-78mph). Front drivers strut boot torn and has been making noise with bumps. I have 174k on this and am wondering if I should just be looking for a newer one at this point.

ALSO, AT that is boggy/shaky shifting from first to second and is boggy downshifting as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm getting where I want to crash the damn Rav... Highway driving is miserable. I'm constantly speeding up and slowing down to find that "sweet spot" where this thing does not vibrate. Again, any ideas anyone? New ceramic pads that seemed to start the whole thing but braking is smooth. Rotors maybe? Struts? Stabilization bar? AARRRGGGHHH!!!:surprise
 

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Centric Premium Rotors at Rockauto are very good. Had it in my previous car 05 RAV4. Part #12044121

I used HAWK LTS pads which are semi metallic high performance brake pads for SUV. Amazing grip like no other pads. The harder you stop the better the pad grips. Slight noise gripping the rotor but stops very well.

Wish I have these Hawk pads as the RAV I got now with the V6 has so much power. Too bad the car came with new pads on all 4.
 

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Rotors thesedays are throw away. Most machine shops will not turn rotors anymore since there isn't enough material to do so.

As a general rule of thumb when you do pads or rotors you need to do them both.

What happened in your case is you had old pads that were worn down, the rotor is worn down as well. When heat and multiple applications of the brakes, the rotors that are thin will warp slightly. The reason you dont notice this is with everything being worn the clearances are much greater than if the pads and rotors are new. Allowing more imperfections before the driver notices. When you change just the pads, your tolerances are much tighter, and the driver will noticed the imperfections much sooner. Solution swap out your rotors, go drive down the road, and mesh, burn, meet, pair, etc (people call it tons of things) your pads to your rotors. If you dont know how to do it. You can google your rotor manufacturer to get the correct procedure.Or generally you can run the car from 45mph to 5 mph 7 to 10 times, and do it from 75 to 35 3 to 5 times. The brakes with get hot enough to seat the pads to the rotors, and mate them. Remember when doing this do not stop the car and hold on the brake pedal, coast as much as possible so the brakes cool down evenly. If you dont let them cool down evenly, it will create a hot spot and start to warp on you.

Hope this helps good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the info, that makes great sense. Should I keep the pads still when I put new rotors on or get brand new pads? I've got about 3k miles on the newer pads now.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Another question. I need to replace the front struts as well. I have yet to fully inspect the assembly but as long as it looks good, do I only need to replace the pistons?
 

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Since you have quite a few miles on the pads, it would be hard to get them to mate to the new rotors. I know it sucks but I would change the pads as well with new rotors. If you had fewer miles on them it would be ok.

As long as the caliper pistons are not seized, stuck, or leaking. Just push them in with a caliper tool or big pliers and you will be fine. Before you drive dont forget to press the brake pedal a few times to bring the pads closer to the rotor so it your pedal doesnt go to the floor the first time you need them.

If you are changing the struts dont forget to get an alignment after, its always a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Pistons are working fine. Pulled the left rotor off, the inside surface has corrosion creeping into the surface from the inner edge and had started gouging the new pad. New pads and rotors on the way, going to change them both out Thursday. thanks for your help.

Now for the struts....
 

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As long as the corrosion hasn't made it to the sealing area and past it. You should be good. Glad I could help. I would wait tell you do the struts that way you can do it all at once. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
New rotors and pads, vibration is gone. Thanks all! I'll never replace the pads without thoroughly checking the rotors as well.
 
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