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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I usually do a brake fluid replacement every 3 years or 50,000 miles. I do it much more frequently on cars I run on road circuits. This week my TCH reached 50,000 miles so I attempted to do a fluid change. I have a bleeder with check valve so it is usually easy to do. When I opened the right rear brake bleeder valve (pressure on the brake pedal), the bleeder hose stayed attached to the valve, but fluid came out at quite high pressure.. Pumping the brakes did not push fluid through the system and the brake, ABSand check VSC lights came on the dash. No air got in the system and the fluid reservoir was not low. The brake pedal feel was normal. I drove the car to the local Toyota dealer and requested they flush the system and reset the lights. After two days, the job was completed and the bill was $535!! They did have to use scan tools and two techs to do the system flush, but at this price I have to believe that Toyota does not have brake fluid replacement in the schedule. If they do, buyer beware of the cost! Since this was "elective" I would not have had the job done if they had told me the cost. The same day I replaced the two front calipers and did a fluid change on my F250 SD with 4-wheel ABS for $90.
 

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Buyer's remorse
2007 Camry Hybrid
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125 Posts
All of the parts for this car are expensive, almost like a honda. My left wing mirror is broken so I asked Toyota how much to replace it, they quoted me $495! I could not leave the service counter quickly enough after they told me that.
 

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'07 XLE 4 cyl.
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6,123 Posts
Plan ahead....
 

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Looking through the Toyota manual to set up a spread sheet of maintenance items for my 2009 Camry Hybrid I could find no mention of an interval for brake fluid change. Nor was there any statement about not needing to change it. Does anyone have a definitve answer to this question?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Plan ahead....
I've been following this chat board for two years and joined earlier this week so I could contribute something of value (warning of Ferrari cost for TCH brake fluid change), which is preventative maintenance, not required by the maintenance schedule. Your snide comment is typical of many of your posts. In the future, why not just post when you have something of value to contribute, njerald?
 

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'07 XLE 4 cyl.
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I've been following this chat board for two years and joined earlier this week so I could contribute something of value (warning of Ferrari cost for TCH brake fluid change), which is preventative maintenance, not required by the maintenance schedule. Your snide comment is typical of many of your posts. In the future, why not just post when you have something of value to contribute, njerald?
Well, you obviously thought you could do things on the Camry hybrid like you could on a 1950 Ford....you don't need a stinking Service Manual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, you obviously thought you could do things on the Camry hybrid like you could on a 1950 Ford....you don't need a stinking Service Manual.
The whole purpose of the post was to let people know it will cost $535 for service on the TCH that costs about $100 on other vehicles that have ABS, VSC or other similar systems.
 

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2011 Camry Hybrid
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You go to a Steeler (dealer) to have an unrequired brake service done and you are complaining about the cost? $535 sounds like a complete rip-off - for that amount of money, take your chances and don't change the fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You go to a Steeler (dealer) to have an unrequired brake service done and you are complaining about the cost? $535 sounds like a complete rip-off - for that amount of money, take your chances and don't change the fluid.
Affirming the reason for the posting, I got ripped off but wanted to warn others on this board not to get shafted. As long as own this car I clearly will not have the brake fluid changed again at this cost.
 

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In Ur MOM's Pants
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2,883 Posts
Regenative brakes on the TCH. therefore they use a lot less braking power, wear out pads, rotors and fluid a lot slower than MOST cars.

This is the reason why it wont be in the scheduled maintanence and the costs are higher cause theres more involved flushing this system then ALL other cars.

50000miles on these brakes is like 25000miles on other cars.
 

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'2017 Camry XLE 4cyl.
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I see the term stealer and rip off used quite frequently on this board.
It's no different than a doctors or dentist office nowadays.
The cost of equipment and training plus the normal overhead these days
are staggering.
But most important, NOTHING is simple to work on these days. The OP found this out the hard way.
You just can't put a price on experience anymore.
I'm sorry you had to go through all that OP. I'm sure as I'm sitting here the
techs didn't want to mess with with it either unless they had to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Regenative brakes on the TCH. therefore they use a lot less braking power, wear out pads, rotors and fluid a lot slower than MOST cars.

This is the reason why it wont be in the scheduled maintanence and the costs are higher cause theres more involved flushing this system then ALL other cars.

50000miles on these brakes is like 25000miles on other cars.
The purpose of replacing brake fluid is that it absorbs up small amounts of water, which reduces its performance. Since I drive the TCH as a TCH (averaged 38+ MPG over 47K miles), the only time I would ever use most of the performance of the brakes would be in a long twisty mountain drive, which is unlikely. Even when the pads/rotors have wear left (they will go over 100K for me), it is good practice to replace brake fluid every 3 years (ditto "lifetime" antifreeze-coolant), but with the TCH it will be back to the "hope its OK" mode as this TCH has seen its last brake fluid change.
 

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By the way,

The allowed time to bleed two wheels is .9 hours and all four in 1.7 hours. Not quite your $500 plus. These are electronically actuated brakes and require scan tools and certain procedures (disabling brake control) to do the job correctly. Most of the time spent was correcting the problem caused by an improper bleeding procedure.
 

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2005 Highlander Ltd.
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Unneeded services?

Every time I go in for an oil change, the service adviser is always trying to sell me something that is not required in the manual. They want to flush this, flush that all at high cost. I just finally had the coolant replaced in my 05 Highlander for the first time with less than 50K miles on it. They want to flush the brake system to which I say "really,why?" It is a sealed system that has never been opened. They want to do an engine flush which is a total waste of money. I don't believe that most of that extra stuff is necessary for the vehicle but, only for their bottom line. I understand things are more high-tech now but how much will they try to bilk you for if you don't know where to draw the line? I feel sorry for the ones that have no idea and think the extra hundreds of dollars they are needlessly spending at the word of the service dept. are actually doing something other than deflating their wallet. My 07 Camry Hybrid has only 35K on it and already they are trying their best to get me to do extra stuff.
 

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Be careful with the brakes. Mine have lost all power assist and the controller is bad. The dealer wants 1700.00 for the part and 200.00 labor. Pay attention to how often the pump runs, you can here it from in the car. When it starts running more often have it checked. Should not have to run every 5 minutes to maintain system pressure.
 

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08 Camry
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217 Posts
The high cost of maintenance and fact that the shade tree mechanic can do little on Toyota Hybrids is the reason i traded in my Highlander Hybrid a few months ago.

With regular oil changes and tire rotations, the vehicle had performed flawlessly for the 5 years i owned it. But i have become aware of the fact that these vehicles are way too high tech for me and probably even my local toyota stealer to work on, in my opinion. I have read of Inverter failures where the only remedy is to replace the $8000 inverter. Not something the average owner wants to invest into a depreciating asset... Mind you, this is not a user serviceable part, so it's not like it fails because we don't maintain it. And you will not easily find one used, and only Toyota or a Hybrid specialist shop will even volunteer to replace it...

AC compressor $1000
Battery Pack $3000
Hybrid Transaxle $4000

As far as i know of the Braking System on these vehicles, the Hydraulic system is simply a backup for the regenerative braking system, and it requires the TechStream tool to properly actuate the master cylinder to bleed the brakes. That being said, the Highlander had 113,000miles on it and was still on the original pads, fronts 1/4 worn and rears looked new. A Testament to the Regen Braking System.

I also have a good buddy who works in a Hybrid Speciality shop who told me that unless you realize SIGNIFICANT gas savings with these vehicles, he would advise not keeping them past 100k.

Also, I would recommend changing out the ATF yearly however, since it is NOT a lifetime fluid. My friend states that most of the failures he has seen are due to moisture contamination of the fluid resulting in Inverter/Hybrid transaxle failures in Priuses.

Next to the Lienance Department, the Service Department is any stealerships biggest source of revenue...
 

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brake flush expenses?

Kings Toyoya is quoting $99.99 to flush fluid on an '07 TCH. Quoting 129 for transmission fluid change, 35 for oil change, $10.72/qt on the transmission fluid for reference. I'll probably change the tranny fluid myself to save $50, sounds like a deal on the brakes I should take them up on.
 

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Had many vehicles over the years, and routinely keep them well beyond 100,000 miles. Never flushed the brake fluid on any of them. Just squeeze the calipers back to replace the pads, and you may never have to add a drop of brake fluid during the life of the vehicle.

Since the hybrid brake pads are used so little, I would be much more concerned with them seizing up. Probably worth taking them apart on a reasonable frequency (25,000 miles), to clean and lube the sliding surfaces. Most brake pad unusual wear (uneven) is due to hangup.

Toyota consider the transaxle fluid a lifetime fill. Changing annually seems like a bit of overkill. Perhaps once halfway through your expected ownership may be more reasonable. It is a special fluid, so be sure to get the right stuff from Toyota.
 

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Kings Toyoya is quoting $99.99 to flush fluid on an '07 TCH. Quoting 129 for transmission fluid change, 35 for oil change, $10.72/qt on the transmission fluid for reference. I'll probably change the tranny fluid myself to save $50, sounds like a deal on the brakes I should take them up on.
I just flushed and filled my 07 Rav Auto trans by hand. Make sure the trans service Kings is offering is a FLUSH and fill and not just a drain and fill. When I called to freely give away my money they (Kings) said they dont flush. They just drain and fill.

Maybe it was an adviser that didn't want my money *shrug*. BTW, on a non-hybrid automatic transmission, flushing it was cake. Two quarts at a time but man is WS expensive!
 

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It's been 3 years...any word on brake fluid change recommendations? Our 2015 tch maintenance manual has no mention of brake fluid change intervals. I typically change brake fluid every 2 years regardless of mileage. At 30 k miles at 1 year old, our dealership wanted to change our brake fluid. Personally thought it was too early.
 
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