Stuck Brake Caliper - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Highlander 1st Gen - Hybrid (XU20/2005-2007) Toyota Highlander Hybrid discussion for years 2005-2007.

 
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-09-2019, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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Stuck Brake Caliper

Brought my 2006 Highlander Hybrid to the dealer for a “routine” oil and filter change and tire rotation. The vehicle has about 140,000 miles.

They tell me one of the front brake calipers is seized (stuck piston), the pads are wearing thin and the rotors are scored. They recommend replacing the front brake calipers, brake pads and resurfacing the rotors - to the tune of $890.

I’ve seen enough videos where I think I can replace the pads myself. I could probably replace the rotors as well.

As far as the caliper is concerned, couldn’t I theoretically get a caliper rebuild kit to address the stuck piston? I suppose I could also replace the caliper pistons if they are in bad shape.

If anyone has experience in this area, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-09-2019, 09:04 AM
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WARNING:
You can't bleed brakes on hybrid DIY. You need Techstream scanner connected.
So that needs to be done by dealer or equipped indy.


DIY rotor and pads is about $100 in parts. Aftermarket rotors and pads are very good quality now, it is not even worth to resurface them, just replace.
It takes me about 20 minute per side to replace rotor and pads. But I am well set for jobs like this and know what I do.


Here's my thought though. My gut tells me that you do not have seized caliper. Most probably, you have seized caliper slide pins, what results in inner pad excessive wear and rotor scoring. At that mileage, did you ever lubricate pins? Also, is rotor in question blue or dark blue in color? That will be sign of seized caliper overheating rotor.


I am not saying caliper is not seized. I am saying, simple causes are way much more common than complex ones. That being seized slide pin.



Again:


WARNING:
You can't bleed brakes on hybrid DIY. You need Techstream scanner connected.
So that needs to be done by dealer or equipped indy.


Well, truth be it, you can't bleed brakes on any drive by wire/brake by wire Toyota as you can damage brake actuator to the tune of very expensive repair. That said, even if caliper does have to be replaced, it can be

1. rebuilt to the cost of rebuild kit and some time
2. hydraulic line to it can be pinched with vise grips so that air does not go back into the system, so bleeding is not needed.
Otherwise, I replaced pads and rotors on my hybrids several times without any adverse effects. Simple squeezing caliper for new pads is no problem.



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post #3 of 6 Old 03-09-2019, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.

I did ask them if it was a stuck slide pin. They said the slide pins were okay and it was the caliper piston that was stuck. Without taking everything apart and looking for myself, I have no idea if they are right.

I do agree that something is probably seized though. I had a flat tire on the left front a while ago and couldn't remove the wheel. It had to use some WD40 and a pry bar.

I agree that replacing the rotors is probably easier than bringing them to be resurfaced - unless they are seized onto the hub...

I considered a caliper rebuild/overhaul kit and a new caliper. I did not think of a rebuilt caliper.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-09-2019, 05:09 PM
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Well, let's give people some trust and presume that it is seized caliper.
Toyota caliper is around $120 or so.
Pinch hydraulic line with flat jaws vise grip and replace it.

If rotor is stuck to the hub, which is very possible at that age, get mid size sledge hammer. Squirt a bunch of QuickLube or equivalent into the stud holes. Wait for 30 min or so, rotate hub and squirt again.
Give it some more time to soak in.
Take GOOD aim, and hit hard between the studs. Rotate, hit again. Usually, pops loose after 3-5 strokes like this. Just aim well, you do not want to hit stud.
If wheel is seized to rotor, happens too, loosen lug nuts and move vehicle back/for few feet/several times. That usually break wheel loose on the rotor hat.
You will need to bench bleed new caliper before install. Plenty of Youtube vids on that.

You didn't say if pins were ever lubricated.



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post #5 of 6 Old 06-27-2019, 07:00 PM
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I have bled hybrids, including my highlander without the scan tool. I have a launch scan pad that has the tech stream functions but didn't need it using a vacuum bleeder without touching the brake pedal.

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post #6 of 6 Old 06-28-2019, 11:21 AM
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That's fine. As they say, exempt only proves the rule and the rule is - you do not bleed brakes on hybrids without scanner with proper function. Brake actuators are very expensive to replace if they go bad after that. You have brake actuator valves to me and ABS block valves to move to do proper bleeding and scanner it is.
My job is to tell how it should be done - SAFELY. You can do at your own risk whatever you want to.



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