2007 Prius Brake Maintenance Intervals

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by pc95, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. pc95

    pc95 Junior Member

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    Hello, I bought a 2007 Prius from parents of a friend last year (Feb 2018) in good condition. It now has approx 83000 miles on the odometer at year 12. I was reading through the maintenance schedule and noticed many brake inspection directives but no actual change-out orders even after 144 months. I'm assuming the brakes have not been changed out before on the car, but will inquire.

    Is it a good time to pre-emptively initiate the service, or should I wait another 10k-20k miles (another year or 2 of commuting)? It is worth the premium cost to initiate the service with a Toyota Dealership rather than a 3rd party autoshop? I'm expecting a $350-$500 cost. Perhaps taking the vehicle in for a new brake inspection will suffice?

    Thanks for your responses.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you don't need to change brake pads or rotors preemptively

    do the inspections at suggested intervals

    lube the caliper slide pins as needed.

    learn the pad thickness spec and keep an eye on them.

    consider a more aggressive brake fluid change interval

    any good shop can work on prius brakes, but you have to be sure they're good. if they just tackle them like chevy brakes, you'll have issues.
     
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  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Inspect the brake front disc pads and rear drum shoes so that you do not have to guess about their condition. The minimum spec is 1 mm thickness; a new brake pad has 11 mm thickness while a new brake shoe has 4 mm thickness.

    I would not trust brake repair to an independent unless it specialized in Toyota hybrids, since, for example, it is necessary to have access to Toyota Techstream software to flush brake fluid.
     
  4. pc95

    pc95 Junior Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Aside from changing out air/cabin filters/signal bulbs I do not do own maintenance - but assuming to inspect the pad thickness you need to take off the wheels/tires? I had found a "Japanese Car Masters" shop in the city I'm in, should I be asking if they have Toyota Techstream software? Sounds like an inspection may be warranted, and go from there.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    any conscientious mech can measure the pad thickness, but you might as well have a talk with them to find out what they can do in the future as well.
     
  6. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    You can see the front axle outside pads by looking through the holes in the wheels. For a complete inspection it is necessary to remove the front tires, then the front axle inside pads can be inspected via the hole in the caliper.

    The rear brake inspection requires removing the tires and the brake drums must be removed. Then you can see the brake shoes.

    My 2007 has 134K miles on the odometer and I have not done any work on the brake system. The brake pads still have around 40% thickness left.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Obtuse Angler

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    If I'm not mistaken, US second gen is same as third:

    Visual inspection every 5k miles or 6 months

    Full inspection every 30k miles or tri-yearly.
     
  8. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Member

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    Is that strictly necessary? I just pulled the rubber plug off the rear of the drum, a handy little trick I just learned about.
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Obtuse Angler

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    You want to pull the drum. My cheap/quick maintenance with drum brakes, after removing drum, was take the hold down clips off the shoes, then pull them away from the backing plate and put a dab of high-temp grease at the (3 per shoe) contact points. Clearance is limited so you need to be careful, avoid getting grease on the shoe face.

    Also blow out the dust and check drum and shoe dims against specs.

    M8x1.25 bolts are good to coax a stuck drum off: there's threaded holes in the drum for these.
     
    #9 Mendel Leisk, Jul 21, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  10. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    If you are happy with that method, then peace. I do not see how you can inspect the lining on both brake shoes via looking through a tiny hole. It is quite easy to remove the brake drum, worst case is to use two bolts as Mendel suggested to push the drum off the backing plate.
     
  11. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    Toyota makes a special lube for the drums. Forget the number though. The front pin slide grease is 08887-01206.
     
  12. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Member

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    So I'm curious. If the hole isn't designed for inspection, what is it designed for? Why do mechanics (who I know to be good mechanics) use it for this purpose? If the brakes are self-adjusting, shouldn't one small spot be enough to see the shoe wear?
     
  13. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The hole will allow you to see one brake shoe lining at one spot.

    A professional mechanic is typically interested in performing a job as quickly as possible to maximize his income.

    You can see the wear on one shoe. You cannot see the wear on the other shoe via that hole. So you have to assume that the shoes are wearing evenly.

    If you took the trouble to remove the brake drum then you might learn that assumption is invalid. Or you might see that the wheel cylinder is starting to leak brake fluid. Or maybe you would see that the inside of the drum shows abnormal wear.

    If you are a conscientious DIYer then maybe you might be willing to invest another 15 minutes per wheel to learn that information since you have accepted responsibility for the vehicle maintenance and you are entrusting the safety of your family to your observations and the quality of your work.

    Similarly, with the front disc brakes, you can inspect the thickness of the outer pad via a wheel hole. However you cannot determine the thickness of the inner pad unless you remove the wheel.

    You could assume that both pads are wearing evenly. But if you took the trouble to remove the wheel you might see that the inner pad is wearing faster because the caliper slide pins are sticking, thus the caliper piston is exerting more braking force on the inner pad. Or your assumption of even pad wear might be confirmed via the visual inspection.
     
    #13 Patrick Wong, Jul 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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