Today the dealer found a pricey problem with the Prius

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Family' started by ALS, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    Took the Prius into the dealer for an oil change and to install the snow tires and they found me an expensive problem. $200 labor, $85 for the rear brake pad kit and with sales tax $305 :(

    I had a stuck rear caliper which wore the pads all the way down and lucky for me the rotor wasn't damaged with zero pad left.

    I bet this little problem was the one killing my fuel mileage and I thought the main culprits were my short trips and the cold weather.
  2. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Great buildup... I was expecting to hear something catastrophic like a bad battery pack.
  3. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    Wow you might have been the only one in the US with this problem on a Prius.

    To bad those odds didn't go to a lottery ticket.

    Did you notice that the car seem to not glide well or felt stiff right before moving at low speed?
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Yeah, that doesn't sound too pricey.

    Was that the first brake service, and what kind of miles on the odometer, if you don't mind?

    I've just purchased a fresh tub of Permatex's Anti-Sieze compound, and (a first for me) a tube of SylGlide (caliper pin lube). I'm thinking come spring when the snows are coming off to clean/relube pads and pins. I've heard as long as you:

    1. Disconnect battery negative terminal.
    2. Don't open driver's door. (for insurance)
    3. After re-assemble depress brake pedal multiple times, to build up pressure.

    You MAY avoid triggering warning lights.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  5. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    We had a 79 Datsun 210 sedan. Left front caliper froze up before 19K miles. One pad wore down to the metal , the opposing pad was like new. I was able to play around with a hammer , lots of WD-40 . some beer , and a lot of choice curse words. Finally got it moving freely.

    Man , that was a sorry excuse for a car.
  6. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    It has just under 37K and I've had it four years and five months. I called it pricy because all this car has cost me other than routine maintenance is a new 12V, $233 back in October. BTW the front pads look good according to the service manager. It was one of those problems that should not have occurred at this low mileage.

    You have no idea how cheap I can get. :p The one thing I'm a fanatic about is vehicle maintenance. It's far cheaper to keep up with the routine recommended maintenance over the long term than ignoring the vehicle manufactures schedule.
  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Al:

    You have to keep up with those Toyota 10,000 mile tire rotations or else!

    I wonder if the Michelin's on the Accord would have lasted to 130,000 instead of 128,000 if I had done it even once? ;)

    Glad to hear your Prius is back in business.

    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  8. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    For the first couple of years, Consumer Reports gave the 2010 Prius a bad mark for brake problems, although they showed everything else as good. I wondered whether that was due to the software glitch, or something else.
  9. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    I rotate my tires at every oil change.
  10. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    Hi Wayne,

    They get rotated every 5K and were due for rotation this month so that was taken care of with the installation of the snows. The summers will go back on the beginning of April. Tire wear is tough around here with all the low speed short trips and down hill braking.
    The factory Yoko's only lasted 32K and that was with 5K mile rotations.

    My Michelin's with 37K miles on the Volvo look almost new since the car only sees the highway.

    The excessive brake wear on the Prius was due to a sticky rear caliper.

  11. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    The easy way to check for that problem before it gets that bad is to feel each rotor immediately after stopping with minimal or no braking. If one feels significantly hotter than the other one on the same side, there's a problem.
    Mendel Leisk and xcel like this.
  12. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I have done that , but just touched the lug nut briefly. If the brakes have been dragging for a while , they can get VERY hot. Usually , one would notice the increased drag , but one time #1 daughter had her parking brake sticking and it got very hot.
    xcel likes this.
  13. NickN

    NickN New Member

    I bought a 'certified' used 2010 Prius from a dealer and the rear calipers were frozen after only 43000 miles. The repairs cost $665. If you buy a Prius you will be buying a bunch of extra trouble it seems!
    xcel likes this.
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Yeah, as I said over at Priuschat, for me at least it was misalignment of the inner pad backing plate pin with the spoke pattern on the caliper piston face. This is a poor design incorporating the parking brake mechanism, in that it's critical to get it assembled right, easy to screw up, and the result of a screw up is terrific drag. Any time you have rear brake work done, it's worthwhile to subsequently: raise the rear of the car with parking brake released, and verify the wheels are near-free spinning.
    xcel likes this.

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