brake actuator and solenoid failed, 2009 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Oceana, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. Oceana

    Oceana New Member

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    Hi
    I'm new to this site and have a huge issue, $2667. The dealer told me my actuator and solenoid failed. I have a 2009 and less than 60,000 miles. I believe there is something wrong with those parts and they shouldn't fail at two years old. What do you all know about this?
     
  2. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    I agree that you would expect the brake actuators and solenoids to last well beyond two years. I checked the Warranty and Maintenance Manual to see by chance if they were listed outside of the basic 36 month/36000 mile warranty. They are not listed in any of the extended warranties such as powertrain, emission or hybrid system warranties.

    I would plead with your Toyota dealer for some assistance with this. This does seem to be a premature failure of a fairly complex braking system. At 60,000 miles though you are well beyond the basic warranty.

    You are the first one that I remember seeing with this type of failure.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Oceana

    Oceana New Member

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    Another question. Does anyone know why a brake actuator would fail?
     
  4. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Failures are rare.

    Can you give us more details...is your car a salvage rebuild? What are the symptoms? Do you seem to lose all braking ability? What are the diagnostic codes?

    We have generally heard less than stellar reports regarding Austin area dealers. I think someone said that the good one was up by Round Rock/Georgetown.

    EDIT: Connectors not being water tight can cause failure.
     
  5. Oceana

    Oceana New Member

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    I'm not sure how to operate these posts. I hope this goes to the two people who answered my inquiry.

    I bought the vehicle new.
    I also thought about taking it somewhere else for a second opinion.
    The dealer is working with me about costs and asked me to call corporate and work with them as well. I have called corporate and they will call the dealership on Monday.
    I think what I am experiencing is a manufacturing malfunction,
    A friend indicated that Consumer Report has more and more brake complaints about the 2009 model this year. I went to the CR site but could not find this research.
    Does anyone know anything more about brakes and why an actuator goes out?

    Thanks!
     
  6. Oceana

    Oceana New Member

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    Sorry. Here are the details. I brought my car into the dealership for the oil change and 27 point inspection for the 60,000 deal. They told me my car was in great shape. I am not hard on my vehicles. One week later, I get into my car to drive to a meeting and I notice the red brake light on, a yellow warning sign , and the ABS light on. I look in my manual and find out what all of this means and call the dealership. They say take it out and see if the brakes work because it is probably the sensor. I take it out and the vehicle is not braking correctly. I bring it back to my carport. The following day I have a tow truck drive us into the city and that's when the dealership broke the news to me.
    I have a 2009 base model Prius.
     
  7. Oceana

    Oceana New Member

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    Please tell me more about the connectors not being water tight. Could that have happened in my inspection?
     
  8. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Not braking correctly, does this mean the pedal felt rock hard and you had to push on it with both feet to get anything?

    It is always possible that something happened during the 60K checkup.

    Problems with water getting into connectors is almost exclusively a salvage rebuild problem -- I suggest to anyone looking at a salvage Prius that they take it to a drive-thru car wash and add the undercarriage wash option. Since you bought yours new, I discount that possibility.

    Do you have the repair invoice in front of you, detailing their diagnosis? If you wouldn't mind transcribing the service advisor notes for us here, that would be helpful.
     
  9. vertex

    vertex Active Member

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    I will put my 2 cents in on this one. I had the failure, I of course have a salvage I rebuilt, and had water get in the connector from the undercarriage car wash. The interesting thing about that is that the actuator has only selenoids and a motor. You would think getting water into the connector would cause an issue with the computer driving the actuator, not the actuator. On my unit, the motor circuit opened. Actually, I am guessing that it shorted, which blew the fuses, and opened after I replaced the fuse.
    Anyway, the point I wanted to make to Oceana is that the list price of the actuator is about $1600. I purchased the one I got used to repair my car from www.alsautoparts.com Cindy was very helpful in locating a good actuator, (from a 2009) for only $175. The rest of your cost is labor. It took me 8 hours, but I would guess the dealer should do it quicker.
     
  10. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Sorry vertex, I really wasn't picking on you, as connector/wiring problems also apply to the transaxle, engine room fuse box, and A/C compressor. Quite frankly, apart from you and Oceana, I only recall seeing one other person complaining about an actuator failure in the past year.

    I also see an actuator on ebay right now out of Eugene OR from a 2008 for $125, $20 shipping, and no bids. There are surely others out there that would come with some kind of warranty. The trick would be getting someone to install it. Somehow Texas is devoid of good independent hybrids shops.
     
  11. Oceana

    Oceana New Member

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    I'm nervous about this transaction because it doesn't make sense. I brought the car in on Nov. 3 for it's 60,000 mile oil change and inspection, though I just have 57,330 miles on it.

    I don't have my manual. It's in my car at the dealership. They performed a 27 point inspection and told me my car was in A+condition. A week later these lights come on.

    When I test drove it to see if the brakes were out or just the sensor, the brakes did not stick. I drive on gravel for three miles till I get to a paved road. While on the gravel, I would eventually stop but it took a long time and I would jerk. I recall a funny sound when I shut my car down in the carport.

    I still don't understand why the actuator and solenoid would fail. Please explain. Is there a way that I can make sure they're not jerking me around?
     
  12. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Ugh...that's a definite problem.

    We really need to see what the dealership is telling you. The estimate will have something like (and yes, it is all caps because they like yelling) "CUST REPORTS NO BRAKE FUNCTION. FOUND CODE C1256 ACCUMULATOR LOW PRESSURE. REPLACE BRAKE ACTUATOR." But, if there are more codes, then that could point to something other than the actuator.

    When it comes to problems in these cars, I do not believe in coincidence. Could they have done something with the brakes to introduce air into the actuator? I don't know.
     
  13. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    I feel your fustration with this expensive failure. I have an online account with Consumer's Report and checked on the 2009 Prius. The 2009 actually has a Better (highest) rating for brakes. I checked some of the reviews and there were one or two that listed grabby brakes in reverse as a CON but nothing about brake actuator failures. So, your friend is giving you some bad info.

    The 2010 Prius has only a GOOD rating and that was due to an earlier issue with the brake transition delay from regen to friction braking when one of the front tires loses traction when going over a bump, etc. Toyota issued an ASB that updated the braking software. Maybe this is what your friend is referring to. This did not include the 2009.

    As Seilerts explained, you are one of the few unlucky Prius owners with the brake actuator failure. I would try to get the answers that Seilerts is requesting and see if he can help. I would call the dealership and ask for this info.

    Since you have notified Toyota I would wait and see what their response is. Since this is not a normal wear-and-tear type failure "maybe" they will be generous and offer you at least some assistance.
     
  14. 1966nova

    1966nova New Member

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    You did not state whether you had brake work done on the car or not however this was my experience. I had the brake actuator fail after my mechanic tried to vacuam bleed the brake system. This occurred after I had the first set of brakes replaced at 129,000 miles which then caused a wheel cylinder to start leaking. After he replaced the wheel cylinder, his efforts to bleed the brakes the traditional way apparently locked up the actuator as it must be connected to a computer and pressure bled. I do recommend that you have this procedure performed by an authorized Toyota dealer as they do not share the procedure with your local auto shops. My Prius then had to be towed to the dealership to be repaired correctly. I was very fortunate that my mechanic had insurance and covered the cost of the $2800 repair. I would say that the actuator did not fail, the procedure caused the failure.
     
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  15. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    All you need is the factory service manual and a factory level scan tool, such as Techstream, Snap-Op w/Toyota, AutoEnginuity w/Toyota. The procedure is well documented.

    Thank you very much for sharing your story! This is the first that I have heard of a failure caused simply by failure to bleed correctly. This may shed some light on Oceana's plight.
     
  16. vertex

    vertex Active Member

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    I did not think you were picking on me. I know that water in the connector causes the problem, and that I had been suffering with that. It happened several times before, but he actuator never failed, and when the water dried out, all worked fine. Replacing the broken connector is a major undertaking, so I potted it with silicone adhesive instead. I hope that cures it. Any mechanic can change the actuator (I know since I did it myself), but you need a specialist to bleed the brakes. By the way, since you say the procdure is well doucmented, I am looking for documentation on bleeding using Autoengniuity, which does not follow what is in the 2006 shop manual. I would be interested if you or anyone else has the document. I feel for Oceana, and hope she finds an affordable solution.
     
  17. rusqtsi

    rusqtsi New Member

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    I have a 2009 with 41k miles. Same problem. Dealer quoted $2950 to fix it.

    I bought it new, kept up with all the services. Car has never given me a single problem until now.. of course the car is out of warranty.

    Stealer claims electronic actuator is bad. $2950 installed.

    Toyota, come get your POS.

    I used to love Toyota.. Now I HATE it.

    I will stick to the old ones. 2 year old car.. :mad::mad::mad:
     
  18. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    So, don't go to a dealer. Where are you? Maybe someone here can point you to a good shop, that can (1) verify that this is the problem and (2) install a salvage component for a few hundred $$$
     
  19. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    You could also try to see if Toyota is willing to cover part of the cost since your car isn't that old.
     
  20. rusqtsi

    rusqtsi New Member

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    Thanks for everyone's responses. I have a feeling the cost of the part is not $50 nor $100.
    I am not willing to repair it.
    I only post it so that others were made aware of problems. Love the car, now I have changed my whole view on these Hybrid cars.

    I hope to help someone else not get into one of these cars. I know my next car will be gas only.

    My prius was babied, not even a scratch. Serviced on time. If I had driven this car 100K+ miles then maybe I could see paying to fix it.

    I hope this doesnt happen to anyone.

    Thanks again for your help.
     
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