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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Prius Brakes Do Last 100,000 Miles

I had a coupon for a reduced cost oil change at the dealer I use.

I wanted the oil changed and tire rotation.

While waiting for them to finish, the service representative came over and said he wanted to show me something in my car.

He andvthe mechanic slowed me that my brakes were getting thin.  3-4 mm of pad was left.  Nothing that required immediate attention, but good to know.  He said I’ll save you some money by turning the discs.  I said thanks.

I asked what the cost was knowing that I do my own brakes.

He came back saying that the front brakes would be $333 and the rear $364.  (They are disc brakes all around).  Then he said the engine air filter needed to be replaced for $48 and the cabin air filter too for 58.

I just smiled and said I wouldn’t be able to spend the additional $800 today.  I explained that Toyota was right that Prius brakes last 100,000 miles as my Prius has 98,500 miles.

They were right that in the near future I would need new brakes.  I decided to just do it this pm since it was going to rain and I could do it in the garage.

PS: (8/13/18) My friend David, who has much more knowledge about Prius maintenance than I do, wrote to me after my original post.

He cautions that some people who have changed their own brake pads have had problems doing it.  I checked online and did find some postings about getting error codes and one where the brake system activated pressure from sensing the fob.  Although I didn’t remove the 12 volt battery power before performing my work and I have not seen any codes or problems, it is good practice to remove 12 v power as the Prius is a sophisticated computer system and we know not what it all does.

End of PS

The rotors were in very good shape withvery little rust and heat disapating vanes are clear.  Turning wouldn’t hurt the but it wasn’t necessary.

I bought the disc pads for all 4 brakes.  It cost $120.
I took the calipers apart and checked the pins to make sure they moved freely.  I then replaced the front pads.

I then moved to the rear brakes.  I use a “C” clamp to push in the caliper piston on all other disc changes in the past, but in the rear this didn’t work.

I went to YouTube for direction to find that the rear pistons need to to turned back into themselves.  Below is the tool that is needed to put in my 3/8” drive socket wrench.

This tool cost $13.00 (below)

The tool is designed to adjust 6 different type of calipers as each side has a set of different placement and type of pins.

I used the tool and finishedvthecrear brakes.

I then checked the filters and both were in good shape and nothing that my airhose couldn’t address to clean them.

In the end I paid.

$120 for brake parts
  $13 for brake tool
$133 totalnpaid for about a $800 quote

The tools used are 
- lug wrench
- jack
- jack stand
- 14mm socket for 3/8” wrench below
- torque wrench
- bladed screwdriver (remove / replace brake pad guides)
- caliper piston adjuster
- 3/8” socket wrench and 3” extension 
- large “C” clamp
- possibly a hammer to loosen bolts

Prius dwellers have a choice in maintaining their vehicles.  Even if a small show was 1/2 the price you can save by learning g how to do it yourself.

Although, I have done brakes manybtime in many vehicles I have had my Prius since 8,000 miles and I knew that around 100,000 miles I would need to do them.

Always consult proper technical information before attempting repairs on your vehicle.  Ensure you have and use appropriate safety equipment.  When in doubt bring your vehicle to a trained mechanic.


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