Brake failure @ 57k???

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Daryl K, May 31, 2016.

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  1. Daryl K

    Daryl K Member

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    OK, so my daughter and I are driving back from Cedar Point and I notice a loud screeching from the rear brakes or my 2012 Prius. Took it into a shop and they said the pins are seized and the pads worn down to metal - the latter not surprising since it was near midnight Friday night and I had no choice but to drive the 70 miles home.

    Now I am out $400+ to replace the rear brakes, discs and pads, on a car with less than 60,000 miles on it. In my near-40 years of driving I've never had a major brake failure so soon on a car, and to say I am disappointed is a huge understatement.

    Has anyone had luck contacting Toyota on quality issues such as this?
     
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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    not sure, but it's worth a try. the problem is, when you take it in for the every 5k services, toyota dealership is supposed to look at those pins and advise accordingly. i don't think they all do, and definitely not in your case.
     
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  3. booke02

    booke02 Active Member

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    Perhaps the car was driven with the parking brake on at some stage in its life?
     
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  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Any work done on the rear brakes before? They can be misaligned during reassembly, leading to increased drag, premature brake wear out. They're complicated by the parking brake mechanism.
     
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  5. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Not to rub salt in your wounds, but you did have a choice.
    As soon as you heard the screeching, you should have had the vehicle towed.
    The (?) $100 you saved in towing will probably now be spend on new rotors.

    I'm pretty harsh on dealerships (they deserve it, generally) but one of the things that they do (or don't do) during the normal vehicle maintenance checks is to check the brakes for normal ops, and sometimes they even lubricate the pins.
    Checking calipers for normal operation is something that the dealer should have done before 60K, but there is also some burden on the owner/operator for detecting the fact that pad are rubbing before you get down to the chirpers.

    If your vehicle is "dealer maintained", then you can lean on them about why the rear calipers failed at 60K......BUT.....
    I'd delete this thread first if you think that they are PC-ers though.
    Just saying....
     
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  6. Daryl K

    Daryl K Member

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    The car was never driven with the parking brake on (who could miss that light or the beeping?), and no work was ever done to the rear brakes before. Not pads, not anything. I did have new tires a few weeks back, but I doubt Costco would have sabotaged my brakes.

    I called the Toyota Customer Experience and they politely gave me the middle finger. So much for that route.

    Very disappointing.

    No way I could have it towed from that far out for $100, and that late. I called a 24-hour tow service once before and had a 50-miles tow and it was almost $200, and that was 20 years ago!
     
    #6 Daryl K, May 31, 2016
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  7. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    When I saw the thread title, I thought it was bad actuator or something else hybrid but this issue can happen on any vehicle equipped with disc brakes. Carefully checking the brakes during tire rotations should catch gunk buildup on the pins.
     
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  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    What he said.
     
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  9. Daryl K

    Daryl K Member

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    Absolutely true. I realize this is nothing unique or special to the Prius, but this is my first Toyota, and the earliest disc brake failure I've ever experienced in 20+ cars. Hence my disappointment.
     
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  10. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Fair enough.
    West coast pricing, I guess.

    You can still ding the dealership for not detecting the seized pins, and threaten to become their social media nightmare.
    I do not think that this is a Q/A problem with Toyota as much as it's a problem with the dealerships gun-decking the maintenance checks.
    There's probably also some reluctance to touch the breaks because everybody thinks that regenerative brakes should not be touched by anybody but Toyota technicians in white lab coats.

    Going forward:
    Monitor the front breaks for premature wear.
    Make sure that the rear brakes are free and operative after the dealership is finished with the repairs....especially if they're the ones who did(didn't) maintain the car before your brakes failed.

    Oh yeah....and start checking your oil level every other fill-up, especially if you're going to be keeping the car for the kid to drive.
    Good Luck!
     
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  11. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

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    You pins got stuck. They need to be lubricated every 25,000 miles. Once they freeze, pads wear faster. Braking system is more active on hybrid cars and if pins freeze up, pads over heat, thus literally welding caliber in one position. I am going to do as much repairs on my car myself to avoid overlooked things by mechanics.
     
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  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    there haven't been a lot of reports here, but there have been some. you're right, it shouldn't happen at all. i don't know if it's a design defect, or manufacturing. seems mostly associated with road salt. i'm at 40k, and should probably take a look.
     
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  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Fifteen~twenty years back, with Honda, a periodic 4-wheel brake inspection would set me back around $400. No new parts, just dissemble, inspection and lube. This would be roughly bi-yearly. Seems like nowadays owners put up a lot of resistance to these sort of costs, so dealerships cut the charge AND what they're doing.
     
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  14. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Well, you're disappointed because you know the experience you have isn't typical.

    Do you have your regular maintenance done at the dealership? Mine always gives me a "inspection" even when just bringing it in for the routine oil change and tire rotations. They always provide me with a "important" looking sheet that supposedly tells me where they think the brake pad wear is at...

    As suggested above, it may of been the singular failure of one thing...exacerbated by 70 miles of driving once that failed.
    You'll probably never really know.

    If I had my maintenance done routinely at a Toyota Dealership, I think I would politely ask why they think the failure occurred. Part of the reason I think we use the dealership is support when you have a sudden cascade failure.
    They might not be able to get it covered under warranty, but they should be able to have an idea why you would need disks and pads with less than 60,000 miles conceivably without any warning.
    You'd think if they were "naturally" that close to failure, you would of been told at a routine maintenance point, or maybe YES even when Costco changed your tires.

    Having driven 70 miles on your brakes once they obviously failed however changes the evaluation equation.
     
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  15. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    It's pretty easy to combine a basic look at the brakes and wiggle of the slide pins with a tire rotation. If you usually prefer to pay for rotations for the convenience, it might not hurt to just do one yourself now and then (every third one maybe), it's not complicated, kind of relaxing, and makes sure you remember where the jack is, and find out if some tech is leaving the lug nuts so tight you can't move them.

    And while each wheel is off, it's really easy to flip the caliper up (two small bolts), wiggle it back and forth a few times on the slide pins (you'll feel them go from sticky to freely moving within about two wiggles), flip them back down after noticing whether either pad looks funny for any reason, and retighten the two bolts.

    The only complication (for Gen 2 and later) is making sure the car doesn't decide to do its little brake pressure self test right when you have a caliper flipped up.

    The paradox of Prius brakes is that they are so easy on the pads, and normally wear so slowly, that it is easy to grow complacent and not check them at all, which is how non-sliding pins and unexpected, accelerated wear can sneak in.

    -Chap
     
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  16. FuelMiser

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    I DIY my oil changes, therefore don't take to the dealer routinely; but since both our '13 and '14 are around 30K miles, I think it would be wise to schedule a brake inspection on these rear rotors. Apparently this is a weak link in the Gen III Prius.
     
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  17. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    First of all, I don't ever set my parking brake (the foot brake). I think it's pretty useless in holding the car in nose up inclines. It seems to be okay in nose down situations, though.

    But even so, I'm not sure I've ever heard a warning beep if I try to drive off with the parking brake set. I will have to try this. I know for a fact that the Gen II did not beep Just a red warning light on the dash indicating "BRAKE". And I've moved that car a little bit because my wife sometimes sets the parking brake, before I realize its on. Never driven more than a few feet with the parking brake set.
     
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  18. booke02

    booke02 Active Member

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    No beep in my Gen 3 - just a red light
     
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  19. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Easy to overlook the light also. For two years I was not even aware of it, until I read about the indicator light here on PC. ;)
     
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  20. ETP

    ETP 2021 Prime(Limit),Highlander HYB Plat,B52-D,G,F,H

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    That would never happen.:LOL:

    Yep the dealer normally takes off all 4 wheels during an oil change to check the brakes and fills the spare tire with air.

    Unfortunately no spare on my new ones.

    9 hybrids with no brake failure yet. Wonder if the salt got to it?
     
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