Best Brake Pads For Toyota Tacoma – 2021 Guide

| Last Updated: June 25, 2021

Chances are that if you are reading this it's because you have had a hard time finding the best brake pads for your beloved Toyota Tacoma.

If that is the case, we have good news for you.

In this article, we're going to review the top 5 pads currently available on the market, ranging from inexpensive street applications to brake pads designed for true speed and off-roading enthusiasts.

Comparison of the Best Brake Pads for Toyota Tacoma

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Features a high friction pad
  • Can be used on the street or race track
  • Zero fade race-developed compound
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  • Crafted from high-grade materials
  • Proven to offer long-lasting performance
  • Very easy to install
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  • Best for the Money
  • No curing or machining required
  • Reduced noise, vibration and braking harshness
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  • Chamfered slotting and edges for low noise
  • Formulated to yield low dust
  • Performs in any temperature and conditions
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  • Features bonded shims for reduced breaking noise
  • Precision cut edges for a perfect fit
  • Includes post-cured pads
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Are All Brake Pads For Toyota Tacoma The Same? 

Although physically they look the same, not all Toyota Tacoma brake pads are made equal. In this article we will review two different types of brake pads, namely:

Daily Driving Pads 

Do you use your Tacoma as your primary vehicle for commuting, go shopping, and take children to school? You are not alone. The vast majority of Tacomas are used in urban areas. For these types of applications, ceramic brake pads are ideal as they provide low noise and dust levels as well as adequate stopping power for city/highway driving.

Performance-Oriented pads 

If your driving style is more spirited or your Toyota Tacoma uses a high-end braking system, then you probably require semi-metallic brake pads or high-performance-oriented ceramic pads. These special pads are also a good choice for extreme off-roading applications.

Review of the Best Brake Pads For Toyota Tacoma 

In this section, we will review 5 brake pads for the Toyota Tacoma, ranging from economical pads for everyday use to high-performance pads for street racing/off-road applications.

Best Overall:
EBC Brakes Yellowstuff DP41657R Yellowstuff

EBC Brakes DP41657R Yellowstuff Street and Track Brake Pad

PROS

  • Outstanding performance both on the street and on the race track
  • Backed up by EBC’s Limited Lifetime warranty
  • Exclusive brake-in coating for faster bedding-in with the rotor
  • Excellent resistance to fade
  • Consistent brake bite regardless of ambient temperature

CONS

  • Quite expensive when compared to “normal” ceramic brake pads
  • Produce more brake dust than most premium pads

What Recent Buyers Report 

The unanimous opinion of Tacoma owners is that EBC's Yellowstuff brake pads offer extraordinary stopping power, regardless of the load you are hauling/towing or the road conditions. This is undoubtedly due to the unique aramid material used by EBC in these pads which gives them a solid bite even in the most extreme conditions.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The level of performance offered by EBC's Yellowstuff brake pads can only be described as exceptional. All aspects of this product are top-notch. Its OE type design to achieve a perfect fit in the caliper, its exclusive friction material with ceramic/aramid base, its high resistance to fading, or its impressive bite, make these pads an ideal choice for trucks oriented to street performance or serious off-roading.

Moreover, the low levels of vibration and noise offered by Yellowstuff brake pads also make them a good choice for everyday use, especially for drivers with a bold driving style.

Bottom Line

If what you need is one of the best performance brake pads currently available for the Toyota Tacoma then the EBC Brakes Yellowstuff DP41657R will not disappoint. These pads will dramatically improve the stopping power of your truck, especially when combined with a set of high-performance rotors.

However, if what you need are quality brake pads more focused on providing a premium driving experience than high performance then Toyota's own  0446504090 pads could be a better option.

Runner-up:
Toyota 0446504090 Front Set

PROS

  • The perfect fit that only genuine Toyota OE parts can provide
  • Unmatched longevity, both for the pads and the brake rotors
  • Available for the newest 2016-2021 Toyota Tacoma generation
  • Made with high-quality ceramic friction material
  • Very little brake dust production

CONS

  • Somewhat pricey when compared to other “OE quality” pads in our list
  • Not intended for high-performance, heavy-duty, or severe duty applications

What Recent Buyers Report

As these brake pads are a Toyota Genuine part, it is no wonder that most reviews praise their ease of installation and high quality. Another aspect that stands out among drivers who have used this product is its incredible durability, to the point that some reviews indicate up to 70,000 miles of use before being replaced.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Toyota lives up to the saying that "there's nothing like the genuine part." Toyota 0446504090 brake pads provide the Tacoma with consistent stopping power under normal driving conditions, low dust production, offer a silent ride, and above all, provide unmatched durability.

The only reason for not rating these brake pads as the best option for your Toyota Tacoma is because they are not designed for spirited driving or high-performance applications. However, if what you need is a quality product that gives you a premium driving experience then these pads are undoubtedly one of the best alternatives at your disposal.

Bottom Line

If you are the type of driver who is fully satisfied with the excellent braking experience provided by the genuine brake pads installed in the Toyota Tacoma then this product is for you. These pads give you the same level of performance that your truck had when it left the dealership. Now if you are concerned about the price of Toyota OE pads we suggest reading our ACDelco Silver pad review below.

Best for the Money:
ACDelco Silver 14D976CH Front Ceramic Set

ACDelco Silver 14D976CH Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set

PROS

  • Tacoma-specific shims are included to ensure a perfect fit and low vibration out of the box
  • Very quiet thanks to its quality ceramic friction material
  • Unbeatable value
  • OE performance and quality
  • Low dust production

CONS

  • They can suffer from squeaks if not properly bedded with the rotor
  • As with Toyota OE parts, not designed for high-performance usage

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the feedback from buyers is highly positive, especially regarding the ease of installation of ACDelco Silver brake pads as well as their excellent price. This is not surprising as all ACDelco Silver parts are manufactured following the strict quality controls used for GM Genuine Parts.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason for including these excellent brake pads on our list is simple, they offer unbeatable value. At a fraction of the cost of Toyota OE pads, ACDelco Silver 14D976CH brake pads provide virtually the same level of performance.

Their ceramic friction material gives them the advantage of offering low dust production, as well as an extremely quiet ride. While it is true that they do not have the same durability as genuine pads, their high quality guarantees an above-average useful life. All in all, an excellent option for budget-minded Tacoma owners.

Bottom Line

ACDelco Silver 14D976CH brake pads offer excellent value without sacrificing quality, which is a remarkable feat in today's global marketplace. In our opinion, these pads are a viable option for the vast majority of Tacoma owners who require a quality product that ensures their safety while driving their trucks daily.

However, since these pads "only" offer OE-level stopping power they may not be the ideal alternative for those who love speed or extreme off-roading. For that kind of application, there are other types of products such as Sparta Evolution SPP 1.0 pads.

Editor's Pick:
Sparta Evolution SPP10.0976.170

Sparta Evolution SPP 1.0 Brake Pad, 0976 shape, 17.0mm thick

PROS

  • Exclusive “low-metal” friction material
  • Excellent initial pad bite regardless of ambient temperature
  • Outstanding performance under any driving condition
  • Designed with the spirited driver in mind
  • Unbeatable working temperature range making it ideal for occasional racing or extreme off-road applications

CONS

  • They are expensive, although they are usually slightly less expensive than EBC Yellowstuff
  • Higher dust production than premium ceramic-based pads

What Recent Buyers Report

There is no doubt that the aspect most mentioned by the enthusiasts of these pads is their incredible level of performance. No wonder. The Sparta Performance Pads (SPP) 1.0 provide even greater stopping power than EBC's Yellowstuff brake pads which is a feat worthy of recognition.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Sparta brake pads were selected as our Editor's Pick for being a one-of-a-kind product. They offer a premium experience in normal driving conditions, but at the same time, they are capable of handling any type of challenge. Its exclusive friction material is designed to provide a predictable bite no matter how hard you brake.

Moreover, its amazing operating range allows you to safely modulate your brakes regardless of whether you are in the rain or snow. Overall, one of the best brake pads for daily driving and/or high-performance applications currently on the market.

Bottom Line

If you are used to the high level of performance that metallic brake pads provide but you also want to enjoy the premium experience that ceramic pads offer then this product is for you. Sparta Evolution SPP10.0976.170 brake pads combine the best of both worlds so that you can get the most out of your Tacoma, both on your daily commuting and your extreme adventure weekends.

Honorable Mention:
Beck/Arnley 085-1678 Premium

Beck Arnley 085-1678 Premium ASM Brake Pad

PROS

  • Tacoma-specific design to ensure a proper fit without modifications
  • Excellent price for a set of premium ceramic pads
  • No need to break-in the pads since they are post-cured at the factory
  • High-grade materials to provide low noise levels
  • Low dust production

CONS

  • Not as durable as other similarly priced OE-type pads
  • Only suitable for daily driving applications

What Recent Buyers Report

Reviews for the Beck/Arnley 085-1678 Premium ASM brake pads are mostly positive. There is no doubt that their low price is the most relevant factor for owners who are currently using these pads, closely followed by its ease of installation. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We have no doubt that the Beck/Arnley 085-1678 Premium ASM brake pads are a viable alternative to the expensive parts offered by Toyota. Its top-notch ceramic friction material, its precision-cut edges, its bonded shims, and its post-cured construction make it a product worthy of consideration.

Moreover, since the Beck/Arnley brand is backed by a giant in the auto parts industry such as Federal-Mogul, the high quality of these pads is something that is out of the question.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a set of quality brake pads that won't cost you a lot, then the Beck/Arnley 085-1678 Premium ASM brake pads could be a good option to keep in mind. Since they are designed to be a direct replacement for the original brake pads, this product is ideal for those DIYers planning a weekend service.

How to Choose Brake Pads For Your Tacoma

In this article, we have reviewed several brake pads for the Toyota Tacoma. The question you may be asking yourself is, how do I know which one is appropriate for my particular use case? For your convenience, we have prepared a list of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best brake pads for your Tacoma.

Type of Application

As mentioned in a previous section, not all brake pads are the same. Without a doubt, one of the most important factors in choosing the best pads for your Tacoma has to do with how you intend to use your truck. Will you be using your Tacoma as a daily driving vehicle?

In that case, both the AC Delco Silver and the Beck Arnley Premium ASM brake pads could work for you. Is your driving style aggressive? Are you planning to use your truck for off-roading? In that case, the EBC Yellowstuff or Sparta Evolution SPP 1.0 brake pads are a better option.

Noise Levels

When it comes to driving long distances, few situations are more annoying than the constant noise of squealing brake pads. If you are looking for a premium driving experience with very low noise levels then a good alternative could be any of the ceramic brake pads reviewed above. 

Dust Production

Another factor of great relevance today is the production of brake pad dust. Brake pads that use a ceramic material such as Toyota OE, EBC, or AC DELCO Silver are a great alternative to keep your wheels free of that annoying black brake dust.

Braking Performance

While noise and dust levels are important factors, so is the stopping power provided by the various brake pads. The pads with ceramic friction material offer adequate stopping power under normal driving conditions. However, if what you need is a set of brake pads capable of giving you a consistent bite when you drive more aggressively then pads with metallic friction material like the Sparta Evolution SSP 1.0 are surely a better option.

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying Brake Pads?

Ready to buy the brake pads for your Tacoma? Not so fast. There are still some things to keep in mind before making a final decision.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

The price you pay for brake pads is only part of the total cost of ownership. Buying low-quality brake pads for $15 doesn't make much sense if they only last 15,000 miles and damage your rotors. On the other hand, a high-quality product even with a higher starting price could offer you a useful life of 40,000+ miles which significantly reduces service costs.

Value

Based on the previous point, you may be inclined to buy the most expensive brake pads for your Tacoma. After all, that guarantees a lower TCO right? Well, not necessarily. You don't need to spend $100 on brake pads like the EBC Yellowstuff to guarantee a product that lasts 50,000 miles. Toyota OE or ACDelco Silver brake pads offer a similar service life for a fraction of that price. If your application does not require a high level of performance, then your best option is to find a product that gives you the best value.

Operating Temperature

As important as finding the best price/performance ratio is analyzing which brake pads are suitable for your environment. For example, the vast majority of ceramic brake pads do not provide a good bite in cold weather. On the other hand, semi-metallic brake pads offer a much greater operating range.

The bite of the brake pad is a crucial factor as it is an indication of the braking power (friction) available. Our recommendation in this regard is to prefer brake pads designed for all types of weather like the ones we have reviewed in this article.

How to Replace Brake Pads Toyota Tacoma 

Changing the brake pads of the Toyota Tacoma is not a difficult task. Here is a brief summary of the entire procedure, however, for your convenience we have also included a video at the end of the section with more details on how to perform this task.

  1. Have everything you need close at hand. Specifically for this procedure, we will use a metric socket set, a 1/2" ratchet, two flathead screwdrivers, a punch, a hammer, a needle-nose plier, and an open wrench, however, other tools may be necessary so we recommend consulting the service manual of your Tacoma and having the necessary tools handy.

  2. Lift the wheels and remove the tires. Lift your truck and secure it by placing jack stands at the recommended support points. Next, loosen the wheel lug nuts and remove the tires.

  3. Remove the brake pad retainer. Using the needle-nose plier remove the caliper clip. Next, use the punch and hammer to remove the slide pins out of the caliper. Once you do that you can safely remove the brake pad retainer.

  4. Retract the pistons. Using both screwdrivers push the brake pads against the caliper to retract its pistons as much as possible. You have to do this on both sides to free up both brake pads.

  5. Remove brake pads. Now you can remove both brake pads. Keep in mind that the internal brake pad is different from the external one, so taking a photo now to find out where to put each one could save you a lot of time later.

  6. Loosen the caliper. Remove the two caliper bolts to get the caliper off from the rotor.

  7. Remove the caliper. Once you have removed the two bolts you can remove the caliper. Put the caliper on the top of the upper control arm to prevent damaging the brake fluid line.

  8. Remove the brake rotor. Using the hammer and a piece of wood loosen the rotor and then remove it from the wheel.

  9. Prepare the brake rotor. Thoroughly clean the new rotor to get rid of any protective oil and/or coating.

  10. Install the rotor and caliper. Place the new rotor in place, you might want to use two lug nuts to keep it in place. Next, install the caliper back into position and tighten it using its two bolts.

  11. Install new brake pads. Place brake pads into the caliper ensuring that you are using the right pad for the inner and outer sides.

  12. Install the brake pad retainer. First, insert the upper slide pin into position, and then place the brake pad retainer. Now, while holding down the retainer, insert the lower slide pin into position. Don’t forget to reinstall the retainer clip.
Repeat the procedure for each wheel. Follow the same procedure for each wheel. For more detailed step-by-step instructions, please refer to the video below.

What Are Brake Pads and How Do They Work? 

Brake pads are a fundamental component of the brake system since they are responsible for stopping the vehicle by exerting a huge friction force against the rotational movement of the brake rotors. This friction force in turn transforms kinetic energy into heat, which is why brake pads are made of special materials capable of withstanding extreme temperatures. The massive force that needs to be exerted against the rotors is achieved by the hydraulic brake system and the master cylinder, which come into play each time the brake pedal is depressed.

How Do I Know If My Toyota Tacoma Brake Pads Are Worn Out?

You can know when to change Tacoma’s brake pads by paying attention to the following symptoms:

  • Noticeable squealing, especially when braking

  • Loss of stopping power (you need to exert more pressure than usual on the brake pedal)

  • Vibrations or other unusual sounds when driving

On the other hand, if your truck exhibits none of these symptoms, you may be wondering how long you can safely use the brake pads in your Tacoma. In normal city/highway driving conditions, the Tacoma's brake pads can last between 30,000 to 60,000 miles. The huge difference between these values is given by factors such as driving style, pad quality, use of the truck, material of the brake pad, and weather conditions among others. 

Needless to say, not changing your brake pads promptly can put your safety at risk, so we highly recommend replacing them if you notice any of the symptoms described above or every 50,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

Conclusion 

Throughout this article, we have explored the most significant aspects to help you choose the best brake pads for your Toyota Tacoma. We have discussed the different friction materials and their advantages depending on the type of application.

Additionally, we've included reviews of what we consider to be the top 5 brake pads currently available for the Toyota Tacoma. Now is for you to carefully analyze all this information to determine which option would best suit your needs.

People Also Ask

Do you have questions about the costs associated with servicing the brakes of your Toyota Tacoma? In this section, we will help you to have a better idea of what to expect from this type of maintenance.

How Much Does It Cost To Get Toyota Tacoma Brake Pads Changed?

On average, the labor for getting your Toyota Tacoma brake pads changed ranges from $75 to $150 depending on the auto shop. This price does not include taxes and other fees, nor does it include the necessary parts for this service (brake pads, rotors, hardware brake pads, grease, etc).

How Much Are Brake Pads For Toyota Tacoma?

When it comes to quality brake pads for your Toyota Tacoma, the price can range from $27 as is the case for the ACDelco Silver 14D976CH Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set, to around $107 for competition level pads like the EBC Brakes DP41657R Yellowstuff Street and Track Brake Pads.

Do You Have to Change Rotors When Changing Brake Pads on Tacoma?

In theory, if the thickness of the rotors is within the minimum range recommended by Toyota, then you can continue to use them although you will probably have to resurface them to do so. However, given the characteristics of the Tacoma's brake system, it is best to change the rotors along with the brake pads to guarantee braking performance and proper pedal feel.

Damaso has been in the automotive world since he was 14 years old and his father decided to bought an auto repair shop. Years later, his passion for electronics, computers, and automotive mechanics motivated him to graduate in Mechanical Engineering and venture into the sales of automotive equipment. For years Damaso worked as a technical advisor assisting car dealerships, tire shops, and even the plants of Toyota and Mitsubishi that operate in his country. He has over 25 years of experience reporting on topics ranging from DIY jobs, technological analysis, automotive news, and more. He is a wealth of information and a valued member of our team.