Help needed with brake booster issue on 2010 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Vincent_SBA, May 2, 2020.

  1. Vincent_SBA

    Vincent_SBA New Member

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    Hi all,

    Thanks for having me on this forum.

    I’d appreciate some advice on a brake issue with our 2010 Prius. I’ve seen a lot of posts about brake issues with Priuses online. I am aware of the 2013 recall, the recent warranty extension and the pending class action lawsuit. We’ve exhausted calling Toyota USA to get this covered. More details on the specific timeline below.

    According to the Toyota dealership, both the brake master cylinder and the brake booster pump assembly need to be replaced.

    Currently the car is not being used. If not started every day, the battery drains itself and needs to be boosted. Pressing down the brake makes a swooshing noise. The car actually seems to brake fine in dry conditions but not if wet.

    Our next step currently is to get part(s) replaced at a garage. We’ve gotten different recommendations and quotes from garages in the LA area:
    • The Toyota dealership quoted me $1,800 to replace both parts
    • A hybrid garage quoted me $750 to replace only the brake master cylinder (with a used part). He said he’s never had to change the pump assembly and would be shocked if it needed replacement.
    • Another garage in LA said he would replace both the master cylinder and pump for $1,400 with used parts and wouldn’t consider changing only either part.
    I am tempted to go with the $750 change of only the master cylinder. However, before I would want to answer the following question: Is there a way to know if the problem is only with the brake master cylinder and not the pump? The dealership has not provided me with the diagnosis codes but I know I can them from a O’Reilly or Autozone. Any other advice on how to solve this problem would be much appreciated.

    Timeline of events:
    • In beginning of March 2020 three lights came-up on the dashboard: the parking brake, the ABS and traction control.
    • The car was brought to the dealership and they recommended changing the brake master cylinder and pump assembly for $2,700.
    • We did our online research and found that there was a large precedent of brake failures with 2010 Priuses. Our car’s VIN number is not covered by the 2013 recall and the extended customer support program ended in February 2020.
    • We called repeatedly Toyota USA and they were not able to find other warranties under which could be fixed.
    • The dealership felt for us and brought the price down to $1,800.
    • We filled a complaint with the NHTSA
    • We contacted other garages to get other quotes (see above).
    • We signed up for the class action lawsuit.
    Once again, any advice or resources would be deeply appreciated!

    Cheers,

    Vincent
     
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  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Sounds like you've exhausted that avenue, especially if Toyota USA says no dice. Nothing to add, but I'm really interested, have heard odd noises off-and-on just when coming to a stop. It'd be nice if Toyota acknowledged this, extended the coverage.
     
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  3. pjksr02

    pjksr02 Active Member

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    Sorry for your "luck" of a failure beyond the extended "support."

    Do you have a good feeling about the hybrid shop? It seems odd that they say they've never changed the pump assembly. But then again, perhaps the cars they've encountered have had pumps replaced under the recall.

    You might consider the current value of the car to you. Do you want to fix it and keep it? Certainly, repairing it is cheaper than buying a new car, but what's your mileage? Have you ever had any other problems?
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    not sure that you have a serious problem with just the swoosh noise, i'd do some more research.

    you can disconnect the 12v neg when not using the car, to preserve the battery
     
  5. Vincent_SBA

    Vincent_SBA New Member

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    Thanks for your reply @Mendel Leisk. We will certainly keep you posted.

    The hybrid garage (Hybrid Fix in LA) was recommended to us by a friend. That's why we were tempted to go with them. That is a fair point though, that the cars they repaired might have fallen under the recall. The mechanic I spoke to though was very aware of both the recall and the recent extended customer support program. There is some risk of fixing only the brake master cylinder and unclear whether we can reduce it.

    This is the first serious issue with the car and it has 116K miles. It seems worth fixing.

    Thanks @pjksr02 ,

    Vincent

    Thanks for the reply @bisco . We have more than the swoosh sound I suppose. We have dashboard lights, the dealership diagnosis, the battery drainaige AND the swoosh noise ;). Thanks for the tip though. We should unplug the negative if we leave it parked.

    Vincent
     
    #5 Vincent_SBA, May 4, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2020
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  6. pjksr02

    pjksr02 Active Member

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    In this instance, I'd personally lean towards repair at the dealer, if you can have it done for $1800. They would use new parts; not that reconditioned parts are necessarily a bad thing.

    After this issue is resolved (or now), do some research here about the EGR system, which includes the EGR cooler, EGR valve, a pipe and the intake manifold. This system clogs up in our Gen-3s. Your car is at a nice mileage to clean out the EGR system before it gets too dirty. And put in a new PCV valve while the intake is off. That's why I had asked about mileage and other problems.
     
  7. ttou68

    ttou68 Member

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    One thing to consider is ... All parts carries 12 month warranty, if repairs are done at dealership..

    If replacing both parts, pricing seems comparable $1,400 vs $1,800 with the difference in new vs used parts.. of course, if other repair shop also offer warranty on the repair with used parts..

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Yeah that is a factor. I love to DIY, but sometimes, especially on the hairier jobs, the smart money is pay the extra, and let the guys with the tools and know-how shoulder the responsibility.

    Sometimes there are complications, extra parts are needed, or you get everything done and something, who knows what, is preventing it working. That's where letting the pros do it pays off.
     
  9. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    Is the battery drain related to the brake problem? If so, how?
     
  10. Vincent_SBA

    Vincent_SBA New Member

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    That is a great question @royrose . We have not been able to square that circle. The events are definitely correlated. My only (uninformed) thought was that if the pressure is leaking from the braking system, then the battery is being continuously called to keep that pressure high.
     
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