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Front and Rear Brake Pad and Disk Replacement

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Technical Discussion' started by culp, Apr 20, 2009.

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  1. culp

    culp Junior Member

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    Hi,

    I'm a newbie here. I've just had my car serviced (40,000 miles) and the dealer has advised me it needs new pads and disks front and rear and they want £500 ($750) to do the work!:eek: The rear disks do look corroded, so I was expecting this although not at the price.

    The car is just out of its 3 year warranty and I consider myself a competent mechanic and have worked on a number of cars in my time. Is it possible to do the work yourself or am I fooling myself? I'd appreciate any advice you can offer.

    Regards

    Culp
  2. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    It's very surprising to hear of a Prius with only 40,000 miles needing brakes/rotors. If you search the site, it's suggested - in a safe area of course - to bring the car up to about 40 mph, shift into N, and firmly brake. This "cleans" the corrosion off the rotors. You may have to repeat this process a few times

    I would be leery of an independent servicing the brakes, as they cannot be bled the "old fashioned" way.

    http://priuschat.com/forums/prius-t...em-rear-brakes-no-pressure-when-bleeding.html

    http://priuschat.com/forums/attachm...n-bleeding-prius-brake-bleeding-procedure.pdf

    Hope this helps
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  3. gussom1

    gussom1 New Member

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    hi,

    You might also check the level of the brake fluid, if it is done to the min. then you probably need new pads. The reason this works is that the brake system is a closed system and the wearing of the pads makes for more volume thus lowering of the fluid in the master cylinder

    The brakes should be good for over 75k as the car is not that heavy.







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  4. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    I suggest you download the relevant repair manual info, then you can decide for yourself whether you can replace the front and rear discs and pads, or not.
    Toyota Service Information

    If you are careful not to introduce air into the brake line plumbing, I think it should be possible for you to replace the discs and pads without special tools required. As NA (and JDM) vehicles do not have rear discs, I haven't seen what's involved.

    The NA repair manual makes a point that you need to wait two minutes after making the car IG-OFF to replace pads etc so that you don't have to worry about brake control prohibition (which requires pulling some relays, etc.)
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  5. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Do the UK market Priuses have rear disc brakes? Though not an owner yet, my understanding is that in North America, everything (before the 2010 model) has drum brakes in the rear.
  6. halpos4

    halpos4 "Taxi"!

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    I find it hard to believe that with just 40,000mls your car needs discs front and back,i replaced the front discs on my Prius Taxi at 195,000klm[122,000mls]and the rear pads[not discs]at the same time,that was the first set of rear pads.
    If indeed they do need replacing it is possible to replace them yourself but just as other posters have said not to bleed them as only a Toyota dealer with a scantool can do that.
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  7. culp

    culp Junior Member

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    Ours is 2006 and does have rear disk brakes
  8. Syclone

    Syclone Member

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    It's easy enough to take a peek at the pads. Just remove the wheel and take a look. if there is less than 1/8" they need to be replaced. I your case the rears, being disks as well, get the same treatment. I would be very surprised if either set shows more than minimal wear.

    I wonder if the service person even looked at the brakes, but using "standard" wear estimates decided that you should get new pads.

    You can see that I have "trust" issues.

    My Prius has 32K miles and neither the front pads or the rear shoes show anything other than a little surface rust.
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  9. ruralrt1

    ruralrt1 New Member

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    my brakes lasted over 40k and i run a mail route check the fluid level as suggested earlier. at 123k i replaced the rear drums because they were a bit rusted along with the pads. just a c clamp to push the caliper back in works for me to change the brakes. watch out for the rear brake cyl. it likes to push out and pop the dust boots when you remove the springs
  10. halpos4

    halpos4 "Taxi"!

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    All G2 in Europe have rear discs.
  11. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Ditto, besides the other stories here and elsewhere about very long brake life (plenty of life left on the front pads at 100K miles), I spoke to a stopped Prius taxi driver last week. I asked him how many miles he had and he said 74K miles (on his 05) and that he'd not changed the brakes yet. He mentioned he had friend w/a 140K mile Prius which hadn't had needed new brakes yet.
  12. Simtronic

    Simtronic Member

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    My 2005 has discs all round as I believe all uk gen 2 models do
  13. Mike Dimmick

    Mike Dimmick Active Member

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    Standard new pad thickness on front brakes is 11mm. The US service manual says the minimum thickness is 1.0mm. The disc's standard thickness is 22mm with a minimum of 20mm. Ask the dealer how much pad material is remaining.

    Corrosion is a problem on the discs due to regenerative braking. If you brake smoothly and moderately, all braking is regenerative until you hit 6-7mph and the HV ECU switches to creep - at that point you can feel the friction brakes bite. I figure that if you continue braking to a stop, the car covers less than two metres, and therefore less than one revolution of the wheels (which are 1,950mm in nominal rolling circumference). That's barely enough to wipe the surface of the disc.

    It's possible that the disc is warped, but you should have detected that - a warped rotor causes horrible vibrations.
  14. EZW1

    EZW1 Active Member

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    Hey Culp, before I begin I want you to understand what I'm about to say is not intended as a personal stab. Are you a heavy-footed braker? My cousin works in an auto repair shop and you wouldn't believe how many cars come in for brake pad replacement and rotor repair. The problem is cars these days are made lighter and cheaper (not necessarily quality cheaper). Manufacturers cut costs wherever they can. One of the areas is the brake rotor, then brake pads. The result: people who drive fast, brake at the last second, and brake hard create an incredible amount of brake heat. This heat will surely warp the rotors and send the pads into premature wear.

    Now, the nature of the Prius design is such that brake wear is greatly reduced due to the regenerative braking ability. If your pads are gone and your rotors are warped, then I would seriously rethink and re-evaluate how you brake. And it is common knowledge that the front wheels due 70% to 80% of the work to stop the car.

    These manufacturing pratices are not Toyota-specific... all the manufacturers are doing it. My cousin sees a bunch of it and every time I drop by to visit him he's doing a brake job.
  15. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    This is just one of the reasons North America has the cheapest Prius in the world, the rest of the world have discs on the rear and height adjustable drivers seat!

    I'd suggest to the OP to grab a torch and have a look through the wheel at the disc pads, you can see them easy enough especially if you pull off the trim rings.
  16. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Of course, readers in the US and Canada may think Pat is talking about an oxyacetylene torch

    Using an oxyacetylene torch

    But he is really referring to what we call a flashlight.

    Do *not* spark a torch (Get it? Spark?) and apply it to your wheel
  17. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    If you do decide to replace the pads yourself do be aware that the brake booster (electric) can fire off at any time. A relay/fuse should be pulled to prevent this, as if it happens when the pads are out the slave cylinder pistons will also leave the caliper. This is not a "good thing", and would cost some money as you would have to have the car towed to a Toyota dealer to refill and bleed the lines/calipers. Even the dealer techs hate doing this! It isn't easy or fun.

    So "some care must be taken doing a brake job" on a Prius!
  18. Mike Dimmick

    Mike Dimmick Active Member

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    The rear pad is for some reason 10mm thick when new; again the minimum is 1mm. The rear discs are solid, not ventilated, so are only 9.5mm thick when new, minimum spec is 7mm.
  19. culp

    culp Junior Member

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    I think it's corrosion that's the problem.

    I'm a fairly gentle (manly) driver and dont tend to "stand on the anchors" as my dad used to put it. We do about 13k miles a year so it's not a high mileage machine. The disks are rusty for about 1/6 of their diameter in from the inner and outer circumference. The rears are affected on their outer side the fronts on their inner sides. The rears are worse than the front brakes.
  20. yardman 49

    yardman 49 Active Member

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    :) This gave me a good laugh. I couldn't figure out what a person's manhood had to do with stepping on the brakes. How would a "girly" driver do it differently? Then I realized that it was a typo, and you meant "mainly" (I think).

    Best wishes,
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