Brake Actuator Failed (am I making the right decision?)

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by kcorb88, Mar 22, 2021.

  1. kcorb88

    kcorb88 Junior Member

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    Hey Prius Chat,

    I purchased a used 2009 Prius over four years ago from a sweet lady, sole owner, and with immaculate maintenance records. I purchased cash so I have never had a car payment, which has been nice. The car now has 130,500 miles on it, and beyond regular maintenance, I've only had to replace the mechanical engine water pump (about $350). Well... my brake actuator just failed this weekend, I was kind of expecting it soon as it had been making noise more frequently. I guess I'm looking for justification from people with more knowledge than myself; the dealer I always go to quoted me $2950 for parts and labor for a new brake actuator, which I felt wasn't a bad deal. I was expecting $3300 or more. Anyway, my question is, is fixing the best idea as opposed to a new to me, gently used Prius? I take very good care of the car, transmission fluid is changed at the appropriate intervals, 5,000 mile oil changes, other necessary maintenance items to prolong the car are done that I feel are reasonable and I have researched on here to make sure I'm not being scammed with needles maintenance by a dealer. The taxes, title, and license alone on a new to me gently used Prius would be around 2,500 - 3,000 (I live in LA county, high tax rate). So, I feel that authorizing the repair was probably the best idea, assuming the car gives me another three to four years of problematic driving; however, I assume the hybrid battery will need to be replaced within the next two years or so given that I am running on the original and the car is 12 years old now. Suggestions are greatly appreciated, they had to order the part so the car won't be fixed until tomorrow.

    Thank you,
    -Brock
     
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  2. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Well 2 strikes against you I'm afraid one is the hybrid battery is coming soon especially since you dont drive much the other and a real pia is the cat theft epidemic. Thats quite a hassle as the parts are back ordered.

    To get you up to speed go on youtube and search

    Prius Stolen

    If it was me I would sell it and get another car. Its low miles and probably in good shape and even if it needs an abs is still probably worth i don't know in that market maybe $4000?
     
  3. kcorb88

    kcorb88 Junior Member

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    Yes, the cat theft in Long Beach is rampant, luckily I have 100 dollar deductible for comprehensive and my insurance company said that that is a covered item. KBB says the private resale value is around $6,000, so $2,900 is approaching 1/2 the vehicle value. Thanks for your input!
     
  4. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    For starters, Where is LA county? Is that a California or Louisiana? OR something else?



    The more clear we are on where you live the more we can directly help you with someone who lives near you... Secondly, going to Toyota Stealership to repair a 12 year old car with brand new expensive parts and ridiculous labor charges is going to doom your interest in spending more money on repairs in the future.

    But, If you or a friend like to learn repairs skills, this website has everything you need to know to make this fix for less than $500 with a used actuator that's same age as your car. Same with taking care of your hybrid battery when you need it.

    Alternatively, if you or friend isn't DIY minded you can find a reputable non-dealership mechanic who will do this work with a used actuator for less than $1200.
     
    #4 PriusCamper, Mar 22, 2021
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2021
  5. kcorb88

    kcorb88 Junior Member

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    So it's Los Angeles County (Long Beach, CA). I called a reputable hybrid repair shop I've used, and they quoted me $3,300 which is more than the dealer. I could source a used actuator from ebay and see if they will install it for me, which would drop the price by around $1500-ish. I don't think I, or any friends I know, are equipped to do this type of repair. The bleeding and techstream use is intimidating. Thanks for the info!
     
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  6. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Toyota Stealerships won't install a used part unless it's the whole engine/transmission... You need to find a hybrid mechanic who is honest and honorable and specializes in customer loyalty via keeping repair costs down.
     
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  7. Sanchan

    Sanchan Junior Member

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    Hi Brock! I have a very similar milage car(2007 with 140k miles). I have been saving $$$ for possible/probable problems like you face. My wife and I love this car(we bough a brand new...), we are going to spend thousands dollars(hopfully around $8000 or less!?) to purchase/repair ABS brakes+Hybrid Battery+Inverter+etc...when/if we need to do so. It is a part emotional decision combined with my "subjective" observation of used car market(descent Gen 2/3 is still too expensive IMHO) and buying a brand new Gen 4 in not much of option. So, may I humbly suggest that you fix the brake and keep riding it? As you might know, there are tons of Prius owners whose cars have twice(or three times)more milage than ours still having originals equipments so I am very optimistic about our Gen 2! Good luck!
     
  8. kcorb88

    kcorb88 Junior Member

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    I really do love the car, we've been through so much together. So many fun road trips with friends. I contemplated getting a new Prius Prime; however, I have decided to fix the brake actuator and keep driving the 2009. It's honestly been a fantastic car, and the money won't stress me financially, so maybe I'll get another four years out of it! Even if I have to replace the hybrid battery in two years, it's still far cheaper than tax, title, license, monthly payments, etc... Good luck with yours!
     
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  9. Sanchan

    Sanchan Junior Member

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    I am glad to hear! I just called my regular repear shop(Yelp 5 star rating, Lake Forest, CA)about brake actuator and they gonna get back to me with their estimate. I will let you know if they have more reasonable(?) estimate...
     
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  10. waheed Habib

    waheed Habib New Member

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    Hi. most of the time, brakes pads need's to be check at least every third oil change to see how the pads and shoes are, cause when you press brake pads daily base like my taxi driver obviously calliper pumping a extra air with brake fluid circulation in the system and it damage brake solenoids including actuator or brake pump. if you have the right tool and you know how to work on go for other than that take it over the right technician to fix it "Cause it's brake job".
    Technician know how to zero down the prake function and replacing the pump and recalibrate.
    wish you good luck
     
  11. Sanchan

    Sanchan Junior Member

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    Brock, PM sent!
     
  12. Rph74

    Rph74 Active Member

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    I would’ve probably done the repair as well. I love my 06 Prius, the best car I’ve ever owned. As long as you have the $$$$ to spare and aren’t putting on a credit card, I’m ok with it.
     
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  13. kcorb88

    kcorb88 Junior Member

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    Just curious, how many miles do you have on the 06 and what repairs beyond regular maintenance have you completed?
     
  14. Rph74

    Rph74 Active Member

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    I did the HV battery (preventatively) in 2016. Had it done by Matt at Texas Hybrid Batteries, I coordinated it with a trip I was already taking to Dallas that summer. At the time, $2500 was a smoking deal for a new OEM battery, and as this was our primary family road trip car I wanted the peace of mind of the new battery.

    List of other repairs since purchasing 10/2013 at 92,500 miles:

    Climate control actuator-it’s the motor that changes from vent to floor to defrost.

    1 ignition coil

    Front strut assembly
    Rear strut assembly (including coil springs)

    Stabilizer bar links
    4 TPMS sensors

    Inverter water pump (also done preventatively by Matt at Texas Hybrid Batteries)

    I’m now at 240,000 miles and it still drives the same as it did when I got it. Simply an amazing car.

    Now I just need to find the right set of cushions and lumbar supports for long trips. The older I get, the less tolerant I am of the poorly designed seats. I’ve been using my Tundra Crewmax Limited lately for road trips and want to go back to the Prius since gas prices are back up.
     
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  15. kcorb88

    kcorb88 Junior Member

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    Thanks for the info, I had a Toyota dealer quote me $2,600 for a new hybrid battery in the surrounding Long Beach, CA area, so I’m going with that when it fails. Hoping to drive the car for a long time!
     
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  16. kcorb88

    kcorb88 Junior Member

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    Just a final update, the Prius is back, running well, and the brakes seem much more responsive. I can’t hear the actuator making noise anymore, which had been happening for quite a while, so it was definitely on its final stretch. I like how the car warned me with ABS, VSC, and brake lights before actual failure, which could have been dangerous. Hopefully this is the only major repair for a good while. Thanks for all of the tips and input everyone!
     
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  17. Rph74

    Rph74 Active Member

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    Can you describe the symptoms you were having? I’ve always been able to hear he actuator on mine....was your old one buzzing over and over?

    I reached out to my Prius repair guy in Dallas (Texas Hybrid Batteries) and he said he can do the brake actuator for $1600 out the door for an OEM new part, fluid and everything. He also stated that this repair and the HV battery are likely the only 2 common big repairs that the Gen 2’s will ever face.
     
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  18. Sanchan

    Sanchan Junior Member

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    Mu guy quoted me $1700 parts plus labor=$2400! so $1600 including installation is a super good deal!
     
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  19. kcorb88

    kcorb88 Junior Member

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    I wish I got that price, lol. Symptoms I noticed were the buzzing happening more frequently and slightly louder over time. Also, when I would brake below 10mph, the braking felt slightly jerky. I thought this may have been warped rotors; however, when I put new brake pads on last year, the tech said my rotors were fine. The new actuator took that away, and no more buzzing.
     
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