Brake Job @ 23K Miles ?!?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by JTEM, Apr 13, 2020.

Tags:
  1. JTEM

    JTEM Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2017
    55
    34
    0
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    So I had to take my 2017 Prime in because of a Check Engine Light coming up which is in a separate thread.

    As part of checking out the vehicle, they found out that the front brake pads are at 50%, and that the front rotors need to replaced. One rotor in particular is in pretty bad shape. They included picture of the rotor as well.

    The service rep did not have a very good explanation for how rotors could be so worn given the nature of a hybrid car with regenerative braking. In fact he also speculated that perhaps this was because the brakes were hardly used and some caked on salt/sand could have caused damage to the rotors.

    So my question to fellow (2017?) Prime owners. Has anybody had to replace pads and rotors at such low mileage? What was the issue? Did you try and contest this with Toyota?

    FWIW, on my Gen II Prius I replaced front brakes and rotors at ~ 90K miles. So I am not lead footed maniac.
     
  2. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    1,373
    1,011
    0
    Location:
    VA, BMW Race Car, BMW R1200R, BMW 330Ci, Ford F350
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Nope.

    Sounds EXTREMELY unrealistic...

    Your Toyota Dealer is STARVING for income right now, if there's anyway for them to generate $$ they'll do it. This means servicing parts like your brakes that normally wouldn't get touched.

    Another way to think about this is: Tell them to look for ANYTHING that would fall under free warranty work, if they want to replace things, let them.


    Rob43
     
    Pdxprimeguy and kenoarto like this.
  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    11,819
    8,537
    0
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    The brakes last practically forever with regular inspection.

    In the absence of regular inspection, any small problem undetected can lead to accelerated wear and embarrassingly early replacement. (People are too nice here to ask me how I know.)

    These days, I inspect every time I rotate tires. Doesn't need more than minutes.
     
  4. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    9,083
    5,773
    0
    Location:
    Undisclosed Location
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    But it is possible the damage and brake wear as described is real.
    What we don't know is what caused it.

    My Aunt owned a Toyota Corolla she drove for years. One day she noticed a sound, and that her wheels were hot. Come to find out the brakes were out of adjustment, probably from day one when she drove it new off the lot.
    My Aunt at that point in her life didn't drive a lot, just short trips around the neighborhood, so she didn't notice or even know there was a problem.
    This "might" only might be a similar case here. The dealership might not be lying about the damage or brake pad wear, but what might be much more nebulous is why or how it got that way so quickly.

    Kind of separately, if it was the check engine light, why were they checking the brakes? What led them to look in that area to start?

    I totally agree that especially with a Hybrid, Prius, 23K and 3 years is way, way premature for that level of damage and repair under any normal circumstance.
     
    benagi likes this.
  5. davecook89t

    davecook89t Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2016
    965
    705
    0
    Location:
    Washington State, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Four Touring
    The answer to the first question is Yes (at least if you consider that the Prime has the same mechanical braking parts as the rest of the Gen 4 lineup)

    Here are a couple of threads:

    Scoring on brake discs/rotors. | PriusChat

    Brakes already!?!? | PriusChat

    I am thankful that our Gen 4 has not suffered this problem yet.
     
    JTEM and bisco like this.
  6. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    1,373
    1,011
    0
    Location:
    VA, BMW Race Car, BMW R1200R, BMW 330Ci, Ford F350
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    I agree, it's possible... anything is possible.

    **************************************

    On a side note, I called my favorite race car shop. They of course fix lots & lots of other non-race cars, I asked "How's Business", they said it's very slow and they have more down time than work right now.



    Rob43
     
  7. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    9,083
    5,773
    0
    Location:
    Undisclosed Location
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    To the OP I would say, I'd want to see the Rotors, See the pads, have confirmation of the damage/wear.
    And the question of WHY are they so damaged and worn so quickly IS perfectly valid.

    I would just want to make sure that if I invested into repair/replacement, I wasn't putting new pads and rotors into a brake system that had some underlying problem.
    So at 23K, I think I'd want a better answer from the service department than- "not a very good explanation".

    But I don't necessarily default to the service department is lying about the need for pads or a rotor..the damage might be real.
     
    JTEM, davecook89t and Rob43 like this.
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    91,455
    41,192
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    sounds like some gen4 brakes are defective

    call toyota and ask them to cover it
     
    JTEM likes this.
  9. PiPLosAngeles

    PiPLosAngeles Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    959
    422
    0
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    LE
    My 2012 PiP has a little over 140,000 miles and at last service Toyota reported 60% front pads remaining. It's never had new brakes. Still factory. Just a data point.
     
    JTEM and kenoarto like this.
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    42,667
    30,528
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Post the picture if possible. Alternately:

    1. Solidly set the parking brake.
    2. Slightly loosen the wheel lug nuts on the problem corner, jack it up and remove the wheel.
    3. Take pictures (take lots, good light and focus) and post.
    4. Reinstally wheel, snug the lug nuts and lower the car.
    5. Torque lug nuts to 76 foot pounds in a star pattern. In the absence of a torque wrench, just give a good firm final push when tightening each lug nug nut, not your full weight, but a good solid push.
     
    JTEM likes this.
  11. PT Guy

    PT Guy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2016
    817
    579
    0
    Location:
    Washington, the state
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    "they found out that the front brake pads are at 50%, and that the front rotors need to replaced."

    I don't see how the pads can have good material remaining and the rotors severely worn. If it had been due to winter conditions, your car would not be the first they see. Get a 2nd opinion. Send photos. It is unlikely that the cast iron brake discs are defective, but anything's possible.
     
    JTEM, benagi and kenoarto like this.
  12. PianoBench

    PianoBench Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    49
    56
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    Can you include a photo of the damaged rotor? Brakes are pretty basic things. But they can go bad for a number of reasons. Repeated heavy and hard braking attempts within a short period can and do damage rotors. It will be helpful to see the rotors and also if you do a test drive both slow and at speed with the windows down. Test to hear for any rubbing or abnormal noise. Do both gentle and moderate braking to see and feel for any noise/wobbles.
     
  13. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    16,337
    7,649
    0
    Location:
    eastern Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Putting the car in neutral will disable the regen braking, so you test the friction brakes on their own.
     
  14. ETC(SS)

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

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    6,490
    5,438
    0
    Location:
    Redneck Riviera (Gulf South)
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    What caused the Check engine light?

    Either way...it really does not matter.
    Toyota does not have the best B2B warranty for new cars but they DO cover the car for more than 23,000 miles and there's no way that this level of damage on what they already admitted to you was normal use is anything other than a "them" problem.

    Personally?
    I smell un-refrigerated fish, and I would investigate this matter aggressively, but my Spidey-senses are telling me that the 'thing' that needs to be replaced is the dealer.

    You really should at least get a second opinion!
     
    benagi likes this.
  15. Pdxprimeguy

    Pdxprimeguy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2017
    78
    85
    0
    Location:
    Portland
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    Take your car to another dealership. I’ve got 104,000 miles on my 2017 Toyota Prius prime advanced. I looked at my brakes recently and I have at least 70% left. Then again I also do a lot of freeway driving but nevertheless. I never had any issues. And Toyota Corporation should do it on their dime. Or at least as a face of goodwill gesture towards you. They have done goodwill free repairs for me in the past. But you need to call them to get an approval.
     
    Rob43 likes this.
  16. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2017
    604
    935
    19
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    Well, I'm jumping into this thread about a year after the original post. I just had my 2017 Prime into the dealer for its semi-annual routine service at 3-1/2 years and only about 25,000 miles.

    Although nothing had been said about brakes at any previous service, I was told that all four rotors would need to be replaced because they are "rusted and rotted." Now I know that rotors will show a thin layer of rust just from standing still on a damp day and I confess that the weather here has not been great so the car had been inside my heated garage for two days before being driven about two miles to the dealer, so I would expect that the rotors would show some normal rust.

    The dealer said the pads were still fine but showed me some photos of the rotors showing a band of bright metal where the pads had worn of the rust. Now, I also believe that this may not be unusual given the very short drive and my normal light braking. And if the pads were not pressed hard against the rotors, I would expect that there could be some part of the disc surface which had not been in contact with the pads during my two mile drive.

    upload_2021-3-8_23-15-53.png

    When I asked why my Prime would need brakes at 25,000 miles, I was told that I did not drive it enough and that caused the brakes discs to become "rusted and rotted." I admit that I don't drive a lot, but I do drive the car almost every single day in moderate urban traffic.

    I am not experiencing any braking problems and I certainly am not excited about spending almost $1,100 on brake work which may be unnecessary.

    Does this brake issue make any sense?
     
  17. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    1,176
    767
    4
    Location:
    Foot of Pikes Peak
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Your brakes sound OK to me since the bands where the pads meet the discs are clean. But don't count on my opinion. I would get an inspection by an independent brake shop. If you do, let us know what they say.
     
  18. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    16,337
    7,649
    0
    Location:
    eastern Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Sounds normal. Rotors are iron, so rusting will happen, and surface rust isn't a problem. The term rotted, i would take to mean the rotors are rusted so bad that they are starting to disintegrate. Now the front rotors are vented. Maybe the vanes that are sandwiched between the two faces of the rotor are in bad shape, and on the verge of collapse, but I doubt that.

    If the rotors are really in that bad of a shape after 3.5 years and 25,000 miles, I'd suspect a manufacturing defect.
     
  19. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    1,486
    548
    0
    Location:
    NY
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    Firstly, it's impossible for any of us reading about a (full) break job at 25K to second guess the dealers diagnosis without actually inspecting the brakes, unfortunately......
    I had my own front brake issues at around 36K where I needed to replace both front pads and rotors and I was utterly disgusted about it for a host of reasons. Brakes - the good the bad the ugly | PriusChat

    If you can't inspect the brakes yourself or get a second opinion from a (trusted mechanic) and/or have to have the brakes done by the dealer that issued the recommended services, I'd be sure to ask what parts will be used. Somewhere buried in my thread (linked above) I mentioned my experiences calling different dealers in the area for a price quote for front brakes. The one that I was able to nail down over the phone was $400 $500 using value parts.
    Brakes - the good the bad the ugly | PriusChat

    It seems odd though, that the dealer would put such an emphasis on the rotors while saying your pads are still good (did I get that part right?) and still charge for new pads as well as new rotors. Or is that just me?
    Those (pads, shim kits and anti rattle clip kits) ain't cheap, and after market value parts are typically half the price and sometimes even less and (can be) high quality as well. Disclaimer: I'm not recommending OEM, Value or aftermarket parts.
     
    #19 vvillovv, Mar 9, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  20. ETC(SS)

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

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    6,490
    5,438
    0
    Location:
    Redneck Riviera (Gulf South)
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Makes PERFECT sense.

    You live in Massahowdoispelltherestofit.
    It's a coastal state.....hence the state's nickname.

    Lots of boats there.

    Boats are expensive.
    ....makes PERFECT sense!

    Look.
    You don't have to take the advice of an internet chucklehead.
    Take your car and the original diagnosis to a brake shop and pay them to inspect your brakes and provide a written report.
    Compare the two.
    If the inspections prove that your brakes need the work then by all means have it done, but then I would urge you to buy a more reliable car next time.

    I'm betting that the diagnoses will be *somewhat* different.
    If so, and you're into the whole justice thing, and you're a better person that I am take that report to your dealer's owner(s) or manager.
    Me?
    The earth would be orbiting a cold, dead star before I darkened their door step EVER again.

    Here's what I THINK:
    Your dealership service department has at least one crook in it. A very brazen one.

    They showed you normal surface rust that occurs on ALL disc brake rotors and are trying to rob you....thinking that you don't know much about brakes.

    Your vehicle warranty sucks.

    Here's what I KNOW:

    Iron does not 'rot'.

    Rotors are designed to last more than 3.5 years. Yes....even in Bastan.

    Disc brakes are not emerging technology. They were patented in '04....meaning 1904. The rotors are *not* the wear item, but rather the pads are. This means that the service advisor is an idiot, because he said that the ROTORS are severely rusted except for the part that was "protected" by the pads-which are still fine (and yet they still want to replace them.)

    Priuses have regenerative brakes. This means that they should last even longer than my dumb old GM brake pads and rotors, the last four of which lasted over 150,000 miles before needing new PADS all of which are still on the original un-turned rotors.

    Mass isn't the ONLY state that gets snow and ice, nor are they the only state that uses salt and sand on their roads during the winter.


    Finally....
    I would not own a car whose brake rotors lasted only 3.5 years and 25,000 miles, nor would I patronize a dealership (or an OEM) that tried to rob people this blatantly.


    Good Luck!
     
    #20 ETC(SS), Mar 9, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
    Trollbait and royrose like this.
Loading...