Rusting Brakes are killing me financially - any ideas?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Oma, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. Oma

    Oma New Member

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    I have a 2010 Prius II, not a Two as it is a 2010. I live in a small costal town and get severe rust on by brakes. I have just under 25000 miles on my car. For the last 3 year, I have had to have 3 break jobs done with less than a year between them due to the rust. I am having trouble justifying keeping the car due to the cost, although I love it and have had very few other problems. I have taken it to the dealer each time and they insist there is nothing else they can do. They just keep putting on new factory brakes. Is there anything you can suggest (other than moving to a dryer climate) that I might do to keep me from having to get yearly break jobs? Are they any other types of breaks, calibers, etc. that I can put on the car that are more rust resistant? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I live in the Pacific Northwest...inland. Plenty of rain and moisture yearly. And I haven't experienced any brake rust problems, with The Prius or any vehicle I have owned.

    So I suspect your problem comes from being coastal and exposed to salt and sea air. Not really sure what you do about that. Seems somewhat counter intuitive but perhaps just being more aggressive about cleaning off your wheels and brake area with fresh water to keep salt away as much as possible. Because my experience is the wheels can get wet...a lot...and not rust.

    Have you talked to neighbors and asked if they have similar problems? And/Or what remedies they might be employing?
     
  3. Indy John

    Indy John Member

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    If I understand your post, it's the rotors that are rusting excessively. One extreme would be to source stainless steel rotors. I know of only one person here in Indiana who went to that extreme (wasn't a Prius). The other suggestion I've seen here multiple times is to occasionally put the car in neutral (to disable regen. braking) and stop once or twice from some reasonable speed so that the brake pads clean the rust off the rotor surfaces. I purchased a can of zinc oxide spray from an Eastwood (car fabrication/repair products) catalog and sprayed the calipers and the rotor edges. That seems to help somewhat on Indiana's salted winter roads. I would guess that at least one daily stop in neutral would help significantly. The other poster's idea of a frequent water rinse would probably help as well.
     
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  4. sillylilwabbit

    sillylilwabbit Active Member

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    When we (west coasters) have rust on our brakes, all we do is brake when we drive and the rust disappears.

    I don't know if that is any different where you are at: snow, salt, etc.


    Se
     
  5. Eclipse1701d

    Eclipse1701d Prius Enthusiast

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    One would think that with normal use, when the friction brakes kick in, the rust would be removed. Where is the car parked? On a pier, right at the water line, exposed to salt spray? Can you park it in a garage. I know quite a few people that live on salt water canals in Florida, and I have never heard of this...
     
  6. E46Prius

    E46Prius Active Member

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    I imagine what you are talking about is just surface rust on the surface of your rotors. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that and it's completely normal. The rust will disappear after braking one or two times under normal use. Not at all a reason to change your brakes. Though I'm sure your dealer will happily change your brakes for you. These rotors and pads can't cost much anyway. They're super dinky and super cheap if you shop around I'm sure. So not sure how this is causing a financial burden. The brakes on my BMW are 13" (stock) and are almost as big as the entire stock wheel of a Prius. So a Prius can't be THAT much. My BMW rotors aren't that much money if you shop around online. About $150 for the pair. Dealer? Around $600 for the pair. I can't see a front pair of Prius rotors for going much more than $50

    Hahaha I checked online and Prius rotors are anywhere between $7 and $20 each @ Rockauto depending on generic or quality aftermarket. For this application, it's not going to really matter. The pads are $10 a pair.

    As far as I know, the Prius calipers are cast aluminum? So it can't be those that are rusting. I'm new to Prius so don't quote me on that fact.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    can you post the repair tickets, or at least the descriptions of parts and labor and cost?

    2010's seem to be most susceptible to brake problems, especially rear.
     
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  8. rcf@eventide.com

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    Only partially surprised to hear of the rust problem. Partially surprised because I had a 2005 Prius and a 2008 Ford Escape hybrid parked next to each other for several years in New Jersey but not near the shore. Results:

    The Prius went 120k miles before trade-in, and the dealer told me right before then that I MIGHT want to CONSIDER replacing the front brake pads at the next maintenance interval.

    The Ford required TWO brake rotor replacements in the first 35,000 miles, at ruinous expense. I whined at Ford to no avail, and, as usual, committed premeditated blog, complete with photos, about this outrageous oxidation. Read it,
    Feud With Ford,
    weep, and be thankful that you have a Prius and not a Ford.

    Richard
     
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  9. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Like a lot of people, I impulsively bought my first Prius before discovering PriusChat. But I found these forums very shortly after, and what makes this such a great community is that before I had even had the car a week, just by reading here, I had already learned:
    • about the way the brakes get surface rust in wet weather and sound horrible, and all it takes is to get going to 20 or 30 MPH, shift into neutral and moderately brake a couple of times and they're perfectly fine again,
    • about the way the brakes glitch for an instant if driving over a bump while braking, and how I could go out and try it myself on a quiet road and get used to what that feels like so it wouldn't surprise me later,
    • about various sounds to get used to and half a dozen other useful things.
    The surface rust business still does amaze me. I can park my Prius overnight and, if it's a soggy night, in the morning the brakes will make horrible scraping and screeching sounds and feel grabby and rough and uneven as if the car's on its last legs, and I'll just shift into N before each of the first two stop signs in my neighborhood and by the time I come to the turn it will be silent and feel like a new car again. (I saw another poster saying you had to run up to 50 MPH and make a violent stop, but no, it's not like that at all.) The key point is to shift into N so the car actually has to use the brakes instead of just mostly regen.

    I'm depressed at the thought of any dealer actually accepting your money to replace the brakes over and over just because you didn't know that. :mad:

    -Chap
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Like Bisco said, please post pics of the invoices, or at least type out the job description. Could just be communication: seems very odd to have 3 new sets of pads in 25000 miles. Hopefully a detailed description of what's on the invoices will clarify this.

    BTW: you're seriously "13 year old female from Texas"??
     
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  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it's texas.
     
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  12. qdllc

    qdllc Senior Member

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    Sadly, I think the dealer has been taking advantage of you.

    The rust accumulation is NOT surprising given where you live, but every time your pads touch the rotors, the rust is scrapped off. No way you should have needed new pads or rotors even ONCE in 25K miles....unless there is something wrong with the rotors on your car (unusually susceptible to rust where the metal is coming off in big flakes...which OEM rotors should never do).

    As a preventative measure, all you can do is regularly spray down your wheels (and get in to soak the rotors) with fresh water to remove as much salt as possible, but it's in the air, so it'll only do so much.
     
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  13. Oma

    Oma New Member

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    I have not checked with my neighbors - good idea. Thanks,


    Thanks.

    I was told both the rotors and calibers were very rusted and that the rust on the calibers was causing it to stick to lock up.

    Thanks for you comments.


    The dealer said the rotor, pads and calibers were all too rusty. For replacing these they quoted me over $950 for the parts with a total of over $1400 for both parts and labor. Thanks for the info.


    Thank you.

    I think I will try that before getting the brakes done again. Thanks so much.
     
    #13 Oma, Aug 13, 2015
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  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    The calipers themselves are aluminum, and are not going to rust, at least not in the traditional rusty steel sense. The brake pads in the calipers have steel shims, and they can rust up.

    Rusted up rotors are often caused by a car sitting for protracted period, for example: sitting on a dealership lot.

    Anyway, please: type out some of your invoice job description text, that'll help.
     
  15. Oma

    Oma New Member

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    So far they have just given me a verbal quote over the phone and then haven't returned my call for a day. I can ask for an invoice. All I was told that to do a complete brake job on the rear brakes (Because all parts were rusty) the parts alone would be $950 and the total with labor would be over $1400.

    PS - I must have hit something wrong when entering my age. I am so far over 13 I can't even remember what 13 was like. I am very close to retirement which is why this consistent expense really worries me. I will try to get the administrator to change my age. Thanks so much.


    So far they have just given me a verbal quote over the phone and then haven't returned my call for a day. I can ask for an invoice. All I was told that to do a complete brake job on the rear brakes (Because all parts were rusty including the caliber were rusty) the parts alone would be $950 and the total with labor would be over $1400.

    As far as the car sitting. I drive it to work at least 4 days a week every week. It may sit without using over a weekend or if I am on an out of town trip, but that is infrequent.

    Thanks so much.
     
    #15 Oma, Aug 13, 2015
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  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Oh dear, I think they're taking advantage. I replaced rear pads on ours about a year back, didn't replace the rotors (and that worked out fine *), just the pads AND shims. These are my costs, through a local dealership parts department.

    PAD SET, BRAKE P/N: 04466-76012: $99.69
    SHIM KIT, BRAKE P/N: 04946-47070: $16.77

    Those are Canadian prices, typically higher than the States. I didn't get any discount. I did shop around: our nearby dealership (as usual) was about $10 higher for the pads.

    The rotors actually looked pretty bad, due to misalignment of pads after previous brake assembly. About 50% of inside face of rotor, both sides of car, was all rusty due to improper contact. After the install of new pads, and just a light scouring of the rotors, it sounds pretty nasty every time the brakes were applied. But I hung in there, the noise dissipated over the following weeks, and the rotors kept looking better and better. Often this "terminal" rust is JUST surface corrosion, and CAN heal, with good pads installed right, and a bit of time.
     
    #16 Mendel Leisk, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
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  17. qdllc

    qdllc Senior Member

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    Is this a Toyota dealership doing the work? I'd run it by another mechanic, and it turns out they're overcharging for work that's not needed, I'd take it up with Toyota corporate or even small claims court. Normally, brakes are a wear and tear item, but if they've actually needed replacement 3 times in 25,000 miles, they are clearly defective and it should be a warranty issue. If you've paid out of pocket for unnecessary work, they've been robbing you blind. :mad:
     
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  18. solrunner

    solrunner Member

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    Not sure what part is rusting for you, but I do notice after rainy or humid nights here in Northern Virginia, it is very visible that my brakes are brown and rusty behind the wheels. At first this concerned me but then I realized after I drive the car and get out they are silver again. Using the brakes removes the rust that developed overnight on the brake. I highly doubt it is of any concern.
    Maybe take a pic and post here so we know exactly what part you're talking about?
    Also that seems odd you had to replace them three times. You are under warranty. I doubt everyone who lives on the coast has to replace their brakes so frequently.

    In the winter when the roads are covered in salt to melt the snow, I make sure to frequently wash the underside and wheel wells of the car at a car wash with high pressure hot water to remove the salt.
     
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  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    what did the first 2 brake jobs cost? i would try to find a good independent shoppe to work on them, and have them show you the problems. what symptoms do you have that lead you to believe you constantly need brake work?
     
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  20. sdtundra

    sdtundra Senior Member

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    Sounds like you have an unethical crook of a dealer. We have customers that park their cars in Lake Tahoe during winter and others with dedicated plow trucks that sit unused during summer that have rust on the brakes and it just comes off at the first good brake. Makes a strange noise until you hit the brakes but normal after that. Unless it looks like the image I attached i'd say a couple of good stops will get rid of it.
     

    Attached Files:

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