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Brake Maintenance

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubles' started by 72fordgts, Apr 1, 2012.

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  1. 72fordgts

    72fordgts Junior Member

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    I am overdo for service the brakes on our Prius according to the service guide. I have serviced many brakes in the past, is there anything unique about the Prius brakes that I need to know before I attempt the job?

    If I want to flush the brake fluid, is the a DIY job, or does it require any special equipment on a Prius?
  2. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Brake work NOT involving brake fluid can be DIY. The dealer needs a Techstream computer to allow the brakes to be bled.
    Between Regenerative braking, Engine braking, and Friction breaking, there is a lot of computer involvement and just a lot of brake fluid.
  3. 72fordgts

    72fordgts Junior Member

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    Thanks, that was my suspicion about bleeding the brakes. I guess I will have to take it to Toyota for that part. As in servicing the brakes, I meant clearning up the pads, rotors, lubing the calipers. At least I can do that part....
  4. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Disconnecting the 12V negative is strongly recommended if you are pulling calipers, else you may find pistons shooting out if you e.g. open the door. Slide pin lubrication is likely the only area that needs attention.

    You do NOT need to have anything done to your fluid for the first 10 years of ownership. Trust me.
  5. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    As an alternative, can't you pull a couple of relays instead?
  6. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Probably, but the manual says remove the 12V negative.
  7. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    There is also a fuse that you could remove to idle the brake pump.

    JeffD
  8. cossie1600

    cossie1600 Active Member

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    brake fluid absorbs moisture....
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I'm speculating that anything that would increase brake pedal travel might upset the computer, causing it to indicate a fault. Brake pad replacement, for example: if you push the caliper piston back to create clearance for the new, thicker pad, then the first time you depress the brake post-install there's likely to be excessive pedal travel.


    OTOH, just taking off the lower caliper bolt, rotating it up and pulling out the pads for assesment/cleaning might be ok. As long as you don't open the drivers door and actuate brake pressurizing, LOL.


    Having to disconnect the 12 volt to disable this is frustrating overkill: the car will lose various settings.


    With the two issues:

    1. Possibility of the brake system trying to pressurize with the caliper opened up.

    2. The computer detecting low fluid pressure or excessive pedal travel.

    I'm tempted to hand it over to the dealership, just to be on the safe side.
  10. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Prius brakes are virtually maintenance free, for most people. Severe use, like a cab or mail carrier, sure, you will need to do a brake job from time to time. In salty areas, the caliper slide pins and rotors tend to rust, so those may need attention too.

    I have NEVER seen a Prius with fluid having that mossy-green-tea-espresso appearance. The fluid in my '04 still appears virgin. The fluid itself never heats up and so much of the problems with moisture absorption and corrosion do not occur. For 99.9% of Gen IIIs on the road, the fluid is not broken, it does not need to be fixed, and any service may cause other problems.
    1 person likes this.
  11. 72fordgts

    72fordgts Junior Member

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    Wow, thanks for all the input. That's good advice about the 12 V battery. When I changed the wheels the brake rotors and calipers could use a clean up. We live in a salty area, plus I am picky about keeping the slides nice an lubed and the brake pads glaze free.

    Has anyone on here worked on their brakes before?

    Will disconnecting the batter reset all the fuel economy and trip odometer data?

    Toyota recommends the fluid replacement at 65,000 kms (or something like that). We are alread at 80,000, so I figure it's cheap insurance. I have always tried to keep mine fresh in other vehicles to prevent moisture build-up and bleeders from seizing.
  12. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    Yes as well as the radio presets and perhaps the settings for the auto up/down windows.

    That is why the Fuse and Relay suggestions were made. I would just pull the 12v battery.

    JeffD
  13. 72fordgts

    72fordgts Junior Member

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    Will the fuse work for sure? Which fuse do you pull? I don't want to mess up the brakes on the car. I can pull the batter but I prefer not to loose all the settings if possible.

    Has anyone on here actually done brake work that can offer input?

    I just called Toyota - $150 to flush the brakes, $216 to service front and rear brakes! A little pricey for jobs that would cost me less than $20 to do at home.
  14. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    Follow this link
    Brake service
  15. 72fordgts

    72fordgts Junior Member

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    Thanks, very helpful. Will this all apply to a GEN III as well?
  16. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    I believe the relays are laid out very similarly. The Gen III have disk brakes in the rear instead of drums.

    I highly recommend a subscription to Alldatadiy.com for service manual info. I've used it for a couple of my other cars for several years.

    I have no relationship with Alldatadiy. Just a satisfied customer.

    - Chris
  17. 72fordgts

    72fordgts Junior Member

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    Thanks, I may have to look into that. I am not worried about diassemble the brakes, that I am very familar with. I just want to make sure I disable the brakes properly first. I was hoping someone one here would have done some sort of brake work on a GEN III, but I guess brake work on a Prius is rare....
  18. cossie1600

    cossie1600 Active Member

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    You are right that it might not be needed for a lot of drivers, the same with transaxle oil change. Yet it isn't a bad idea given brake fluid absorbs moisture and can lead to decrease in brake performance and rusty brake system. I am planning to do mine as soon as I get a new cap for my one man bleeder. My pedal is getting softer as I put more years and miles on it.
  19. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Change your transaxle fluid at 30K,90K,150K, ... miles. I am just as strident about doing that as NOT doing brake fluid. Problem is, if a fluid exchange + bleed is done wrong, the actuator can be ruined. Very few people out there can DIY this at home. Save that fluid bleed for when it has become significantly contaminated, or when pads have been worn down to nothing, and have a hybrid shop or dealership do it, unless you have the proper tools and knowledge.

    Cossie, since you live in CT, you should pay attention to slide pins, as that is the biggest problem in salty/damp areas.
  20. cossie1600

    cossie1600 Active Member

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    What for? It's not needed for most drivers by your standard. The sliding pin has grease and a rubber booty to protect it, it should never rust through for most drivers......
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