Category Archives: Brakes

How to recalibrate VSC system on 2001 Toyota 4Runner

VSC TRACOver the past few weeks my 4Runner will occasionally behave weirdly when pressing on its gas pedal. When it happens, it is usually when at a standstill and then pressing the gas pedal to move forward doesn’t do anything, not even rev the engine up. The vehicle just idles forward, which is very dangerous if you are in an intersection and can’t move anywhere! (Note that the 4Runner starts and idles just fine.) This can be due to two possible problems. Either the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system needs to be recalibrated (described in this post), or the throttle body is dirty and is sticking shut (I describe how to clean it in a different post). Continue reading How to recalibrate VSC system on 2001 Toyota 4Runner

How to bleed brake lines

Normally you don’t need to bleed the brakes after simply replacing the brake pads or shoes. The exception is if while changing the brakes somehow you let air into the brake lines (like if the brake hose detaches from the brake assembly) – in that case you would need to bleed them. Many people also suggest that you should periodically (once every few years) bleed your brakes to help get new, clean fluid into the system. Continue reading How to bleed brake lines

How to change brake shoes / drum brakes

I just finished changing the rear brake shoes on my 2001 Toyota 4Runner (3rd gen). Changing the brake shoes (drum brakes) was challenging at first, at least when compared to how easy it is to change brake pads (disc brakes). Each model of vehicle may have slightly different approaches to how the brakes are changed. I had to change my brake shoes earlier than expected because my axle seals had leaked gear oil into the brake assemblies, causing the rear brakes to lock up occasionally in the winter. This problem can occur when the rear differential breather valve gets clogged and so built-up pressure has to escape through the axle seals. Hopefully this post will help you in changing your brake shoes. Continue reading How to change brake shoes / drum brakes