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When you own a Tacoma, you’re used to it just working. Minor maintenance and the thing just runs. Every once in a while you need a replacement and if you’ve been driving it for a while that could be your brake pads wearing thin. If you hear some grinding or notice you’re not stopping on a dime anymore, it might be time to look for a replacement. Thankfully, there are many quality offerings.
The ideal brake pads are ones that are easy to install, durable, and strong while giving you the stopping power you need.
So how do you find the perfect replacement or upgrade to your Tacoma? In this guide, we’ll take you through some options with bigger rotors down to swapping out the original for an OEM part. Do you want to upgrade your ceramic pads to carbon metallic brake pads? Those options are available for some of these as well.
Here are our reviews for the 4 Best Brake Pads and Rotors for Toyota Tacomas on the market:
Max Brakes E-Coated Rotors w/Ceramic Brake Pads
Fit: Toyota Tacoma 2005-2015
Note: If you’d like metallic brake pads over ceramic we have reviewed it below.
The Max Brakes E-Coated Rotor/Brake pads are a car lovers dream. If you’re into sleek design coupled with great performance, this is an option that will light up your eyes. The kit includes 2 front rotors and matching ceramic brake pads. They are coated with anti-rust chemicals and inspected with X-Rays. If you want a set of rotors/pads that work for a city that tends to rain a bit, the anti-rust coating is a big help. Each set has undergone QA testing to make sure you know you’re getting a quality part.
The cast iron rotors are drilled to reduce heat and increase braking performance on those close calls that we all encounter from time to time driving. They are specified to OEM parts, you’ll have no problem swapping these with your old rotors and brake pads on your Toyota Tacoma. Overall, this is one of the best replacement Rotor/Brake Pad combos for the money. Your truck will thank you for the performance and style upgrade.
Front kit OEM Brake Rotors and Ceramic Pads
The UrbanAutoParts OEM kit is a replacement that tries to replicate the original parts on your truck. These are tested for quality, balance and inspected with X-Rays to ensure you’re buying something that is going to stick with you for a long time. It includes 2 Rotors and 4 Ceramic Brake Pads.
They offer a strong warranty, 365 days against any cracking defects and 45 days against warping. You likely won’t have any issues with this and that’s why they’re proud to stand behind it.
If you’re looking for an affordable buy and swap kit, and want to keep as close to the original design as you can, then this is it. It’s also a great value price wise. Tacoma owners love the easy installation of this product.
Max Brakes Premium Slotted Rotors w/Metallic Brake Pads
This is Max Brakes second offering in the category. This kit doesn’t have the same coating to reduce rust or the black aesthetic appeal, but everything else is nearly the same. If you live in an environment with less rain and want to save a little bit, go with these.
It includes 2 Front Rotors and 4 carbon metallic disc brake pads. As with all options listed here, these undergo X-Ray testing to ensure that you’re getting a quality part. There is a 1 year warranty against cracking.
Metallic brake pads are something we generally recommend for trucks so this option gets a huge plus from us. With heavy-duty vehicles in mind, the rotors have drilled holes to let heat disperse and give you greater braking power.
It fits Toyota Tacomas from 2005-2015. If you have an earlier model of Tacoma check our review below.
Brake Rotor Pads for Tacoma 99-04
If you have an older Tacoma(99-04) and you’re looking for a performance upgrade or replacement for your breaks, this is one of the best options available. EECP brake rotor pad kit includes 2 front disc brake rotors and 4 ceramic pads.
They use drilled rotors with a slotted groove like our other examples to improve the airflow and cooling efficiency of the pads. A 1 year warranty is included with the purchase of this product. The brake pads are semi-metallic which we recommend for trucks because they tend to last longer, and the brake rotor is coated in a protective layer of zinc to reduce rust.
These pads will still need to be broken in, but they are “thermal-scorched” for an easier break-in period. They’re a good choice for any Tacoma between 99-04.
What is the best brake rotor replacement for your Toyota Tacoma?
We have 2 winners, with one for the pre 2005 Tacomas and one for the post.
If you’re Tacoma is pre-2005 we think the clear choice is the EECP brake rotor pad kit. With the warranty, rust-resistant coating and semi-metallic brake pads this is guaranteed to last a long time. And it is actually guaranteed with a warranty for a year.
For the rest of the lot, our personal favorite is the Max Brakes with metallic brake pads. For trucks, the metallic brake pads last longer and can hold up to wear and tear. Ceramic breaks are not at their best when they get hot, which is more often in a truck than a car.
If you’d like to learn more about how brakes work and why brake rotors and pads are important, have a look! This informative video does a great job of covering everything you need to know.
Tacoma Rotors Keep Warping?
If you’re having to replace your rotors frequently on your Toyota Tacoma, check that you haven’t over torqued the lug nuts. Tighten them to the specified torque your model suggests. Not torquing enough will have the same effect! When you are torquing the wheels, make sure it’s in a star pattern. Never move onto the next as this type of tightening increases probability of uneven distribution of force.
If you’re buying a cheap brand of Rotor these are notorious for warping as well.
The next thing to check is your calipers. Next time you swap out your rotors, consider a rebuild of your calipers. They could be “sticky” and causing too much friction.
I'm the owner of Beast Auto. I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I love anything automotive related, and taking road trips all across my beautiful state.