Wednesday, December 5, 2018

An Exciting Camry Update: Brakes!

Thanks for helping in the shop!

Hey, did ya notice I used the words "exciting" and "Camry" in the same headline today? Hah! You can't find super high quality creative journalism like that anywhere else! As much as I make fun of the Camry, the Toyota cars are just about indestructible from our experience. In other words, like you've probably read about the danger of buying a fancy bird as a pet is that they might outlive you, so I'm thinking that Toyotas should come with the same warning. "WARNING: Before you buy this fine Toyota product, be sure you are in good health, and will be able to take care of your Toyota, take it for walks, and perform regular maintenance so this thing will outlast you!"

Brakes, however, are a normal wear and tear item, so replacing them when needed is literally a lifesaver! The Camry brakes have felt a little soft to me, and with over 120,000 miles in 8 years, I figure the safe thing to do is to check the brakes and replace anything that looks like it needs it, and besides, I need more fun car stuff to work on once in a while too.

Brake Pads Delivered from ROCKAUTO.COM

Like a lot of auto parts, we've had good experience ordering on line from RockAuto, and can recommend that whenever you spend money on parts that you at least price compare with I'd like to say that they just gave me twenty pounds of 100 dollar bills for that endorsement, but to be honest, well, I don't think anyone has ever given me any money for endorsing anything. We are willing to try it though!

One other fun part of getting parts on line is hitting that FEDEX tracking number and seeing where in the world your package is at any given time, so as you might guess I'm easily amused too. Imagine what a ball of yarn would do for my recess time! Once the brakes arrived I just needed a day to put the car on the lift and get the work done. I figured one of the upcoming Saturday's would be good, since I'd be off work, and I could get this done before driving over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house for Christmas.

Well, I'd like to recognize and thanks President George H. W. Bush for his service to our country, and thanks to today being a federal holiday, I had the day off and headed to the shop.

Front brake pads replaced, rotors looked good. Once I had the car on the lift and the right tools available, this was not too hard. Plus, amazingly enough, the 2nd wheel I did was easier than the 1st once I got the hang of it. Imagine that!

Rear pads weren't worn as much, and probably would have lasted another 80,000 miles by the looks of things. While this might be amazing after seeing my FIAT go through the original pads in about 55,000 miles, the difference is that the Camry gets driven much more gently, no autocross, no track days, no laps at Martinsville, VIR, CMP, or Charlotte Motor Speedway. In other words, your average Toyota with stock brakes will probably out live you! Regardless, since we were there and had the wheels off, we replaced the rear pads too, kept the original rotors on as well.

Special thanks to the two guys in the shop that offered to help, and did the rear wheels in the time it took Julie and I to do the 2nd one up front. I might point out that they are younger and smarter than me, and that they used the air gun instead of the old fashioned breaker bar on the lug nuts like the front end team, but, nah, they were awesome. Thanks!

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