Prius C $2,902 brake dealer job

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by アレン・スピクタロン, Feb 16, 2021.

  1. アレン・スピクタロン

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    My 2012 Prius C lost brakes about 3 days ago, the 4 brake lights were on in the dash, and the brake accumulator was running every 3 to 4 seconds, until it stopped running and brakes were no more. I think that the brake booster was leaking internally losing pressure, making the accumulator to run constantly to keep up the pressure until the accumulator motor burnt, now i have to pieces to replace. The brake accumulator the dealer said is about $905, and the brake booster about $1,398 + 500 of labor.

    I don't know what to do now, i got this vehicle for $6,500 and such repair cost is kind of close to half of what i paid for it, and i don't have good income, i can't really sell the car either, used parts could help but if these 2 parts have a defect [they probably do] which Toyota fixed later on newer models, buying used means that i will have to remove the inverter, wipers and more to dig all the way down again to replace them once they start dying again.
     
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  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    You could try contacting Toyota corporate, see if they can do some goodwill compensation, say 50%? Dealership might be able to contact them too, more direct.
     
  3. PriusII&C

    PriusII&C Member

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    Sorry to hear that. Is this a common problem for 2012 Prius C?

    How many miles do you have on your car?
     
  4. アレン・スピクタロン

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    It has over 116,664 miles, i have searched online to see if there was some kind of recall on the Prius C actuator but so far i have not been able to find anything, looks like such thing is rare on the C, i only found 1 thread here on PriusChat. I already ordered the actuator from the dealer, $1,009 with 87 cents and will arrive tomorrow, i will install it too and everything back again, add brake fluid and try to bleed it myself before taking it to the dealer to have them bleed it. When i got it scanned the code said that it was an abnormal leak in the brake actuator, so i hope it is actually the actuator, because if it is the brake booster, that will be around $1,500, meaning my Prius C will be stranded for a long time. Here some pictures
     

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  5. アレン・スピクタロン

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    We asked them if they could lower the price, of if there was a recall or something that could be done to lower the price but they said that they can{t, so me and my mom ended up paying $1,009 with 87 cents.
     
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  6. Classic Car Guy

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    Try to find a place that can rebuilt that the manifold assy. with a warranty especially where you are or even here in the states. Depending on the condition of yours but you might wanna use that core for you know the history of it. Not like an exchange, sometimes the housing are loose or out of specs.
    Shouldn't cost that much to ship it. That's actually in the back of my mind too which will be a possibility to happen along the way. This company rotex, I brought in hundreds of alternators, starters, power steering, hydro boost since the 80's. That's what they do and they have been an expert since. If they cant do yours, they will guide you to he right place to get it done the right way.
    [​IMG]
     
    #6 Classic Car Guy, Feb 16, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
  7. アレン・スピクタロン

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    I see, thank you very much for the information, i will take a look at that then.
     
  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    If you look closely at that fortune cookie, it says "Abnormal Leak of ACC PRESS", and of course 'actuator' does not have two 'C's, so you know it is talking about the ACCumulator.

    On the other hand, when accumulator pressure does not hold, the fluid can be escaping through paths either in the accumulator or the actuator, so the code's fortune cookie just doesn't really give you any help deciding which component has the problem. If you are a gambling sort, there are more valves inside the actuator, so that might be your first bet.

    The part names trip people up all the time anyway. Which of these did you actually replace? (This illustration came from Gen 3 liftback docs, but I think the c is similar.)

    [​IMG]

    The thing on top is also called the actuator. And also the master cylinder. And also the Skid ECU.

    The thing on the bottom is the "accumulator" or the "booster pump". It isn't the "booster"; that's again one of the names for the thing on top.
     
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  9. アレン・スピクタロン

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    I see, i stand corrected then, and the one i bought today to replace was the brake accumulator, since that's what the dealer told me based on the code.
     
  10. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    So you bought the one on the bottom in the picture, that looks like two horizontal cylinders?
     
  11. アレン・スピクタロン

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    Yes, the accumulator as i can see in the image. I guess that's the one that tends to be more problematic?
     
  12. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I'm not sure. There are more valves contained in the actuator (the upper part, a/k/a booster), so I might suspect that gives it more ways to go flaky. But we'll see.
     
  13. アレン・スピクタロン

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    I have read that inside the brake accumulator there is a cylinder with hydrogen to help pressurize the system when brake power is needed fast, there is a metal bellow inside it to separate the gas from the fluid, but that bellow tends to crack because it hits the walls when the car is moving. When the bellow cracks the gas will mix with the fluid, making it more difficult for the pump to pressurize the fluid again, thus maybe causing a leak too. But indeed, we will see when i install the new accumulator.
     
  14. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Nitrogen is the gas used, and there was indeed a recall involving cracks in the metal bellows, for 82,000 Gen 3 liftbacks from model year 2010 in the US. Those were made with accumulators having the metal bellows slightly undersize, so that road vibrations caused the metal bellows to vibrate vertically and strike the insides of the accumulator and develop fatigue cracks, allowing the nitrogen to leak out. Those accumulators could be recognized by the position of their labels:

    [​IMG]

    Now, just the fact that some tens of thousands of early accumulators had a defect, where they developed cracks early, doesn't necessarily mean that other non-undersized bellows can never develop cracks at all. Nothing is forever and even properly built things will wear out someday, so it is a possibility that can't be ruled out.

    At the same time, the Gen 3 liftbacks have another, separate, ongoing concern with the brakes, campaign ZJB, where some valve in the actuator may wear and fail to seal completely, so there is a small leak of pressurized fluid from the accumulator back to the reservoir, and the accumulator cannot hold pressure. There is an open NHTSA investigation trying to find out if there is some reason those hydraulic valves are getting worn out or stuck sooner than expected.

    Note that in that failure, what is 'leaking' is brake fluid, not nitrogen gas. You end up with the same observable symptom: the pump runs to fill the accumulator with fluid under pressure, but the fluid slowly leaks through a valve back to the reservoir, and the accumulator pressure drops, and the pump has to run again. But what is 'leaking' is different, and the problem is in a different component.

    You also run into a lot of PriusChat posts where people mix up these two issues, which do have the word 'leak' in common, but are otherwise completely different, all the way down to what is 'leaking'.

    Some of the threads where the confusion seems to be worst are put up by posters who may or may not be, but act a lot like, plaintiffs' attorneys trolling for people to join lawsuits, and they write a lot of rubbish where they either genuinely fail to grasp the difference between the two issues, or deliberately muddle them together anyway in a lawyerly effort to stick spaghetti to the wall.
     
  15. アレン・スピクタロン

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    I see, well, when the brake lights came on, i opened the hood and took a look at the brake fluid reservoir, when the pump turned on to pressurize the system the level went down, but as son as the pump turned off the fluid level went back up again in 3 to 4 seconds, so the pump had to turn on again. It lasted like that for 2 and a half months i think, until the pump did not turned on again and i lost brakes completely.

    And yeah i have been confusing the names for a long time, but i think i understand it now. The piece with the 2 cylinders, the smaller cylinder is the electric pump, and the bigger one is the accumulator? and the other piece is the brake booster? the one in the image above, ''brake booster assembly''.

    Even though i tried to search for these common problems like the gen 3 Prius had in the brakes, but in the Prius C, it seems like the Prius C barely suffers from such thing, maybe i bought a lemon, one of the few that got a bad accumulator. I think i only found 1 person complaining about the Prius C brakes.
     
  16. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I've always thought it likely that with a leakage rate that high, it should be pretty easy just using a mechanic's stethoscope to pin down where that leak is. I haven't had a chance to try it though.

    In the absence of a problem, you get very bored waiting to see that pressure leak down.

    Right. The names are confusing because each assembly has multiple things in it, and even the Toyota literature can call them by different names. The thing on the bottom with two cylinders has the "booster pump" and the "accumulator" and it can be called both of those things, but not the "booster" (that's in the thing on top).

    The thing on top has the "master cylinder" and "booster" and "actuator" and "skid ECU" and can be called any of those things depending on where you are in the manual, but again the "booster" is not the "booster pump" (which is in the bottom thing). And the "actuator" and "accumulator" are easy to confuse because of the ac-, but one is in the top thing and the other isn't.

    Every time I write all that I tend to hear Bud Abbott in my head saying "oh, that's our shortstop."
     
    #16 ChapmanF, Feb 17, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    That’s interesting.

    With mine (assuming it’s normal), if I raise hood first thing in the morning, level is high. Open drivers door to trigger pump, level drops, and stays down.

    It must be gradually climbing back up, but not over the 10~15 minutes I watched.
     
  18. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Sounds like yours is holding the way it's supposed to.
     
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  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Yeah knock on wood; it makes the occasional sound. Dealership mentioned a software tweak, which I believe you’ve had done??

    B907B37A-CEBE-4E61-B1B8-CCBE3C33D2D3.jpeg
    I brought it in for them to hear, check it over. They charged $80~ for that inspection, told me all ok, but they could do the software update, but that would be extra. :confused:

    Worthwhile?

    (Appreciate I’m hijacking thread, sorry.)​
     
    #19 Mendel Leisk, Feb 17, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
  20. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I didn't like the honk, so I paid them ~ an hour of shop time to flash the update, and it made me happy.

    Worthwhile?
     
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