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Toyota Prius Brake Problems

smt1smt1 Posts: 4
edited January 9 in Toyota
I own a 06 Prius. After about the 2nd week I noticed that when you apply the brakes and right before the car comes to a complete stop, you hear a noise coming from the brakes. It seemd to be a clunk or something like that. It does not always make the noise. The dealership said it is no problem. I just wanted to see if anybody here has experienced the same sound.
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Comments

  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The friction brakes don't take effect until the final 20 to 0 mph range except in an emergency or hard stop. This is what you likely heard/felt. I also notice a whirring sound as they start to apply.

    It's part of the Prius regen braking system. It likely will save wear and tear on your brakes in the long run.

    BTW they stop great in emergencies. ;)
  • smt1smt1 Posts: 4
    Thanks for that input. Beats the dealership saying that did not hear anything.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Our '06 does exactly the same thing - a "clunk" sound that occurs on strong braking just before it stops, and again just after startup from a stop - but only under certain conditions, not all the time.

    I finally concluded it had to do with the regen braking, and/or the engine cycling, and decided not to worry about it. I worry even less now that I know my car is not the only one....
  • wkoglerwkogler Posts: 7
    I have a 06 pruis, and last night it did not stop when and where i wanted it too. the road was wet, and i stopped hard so i expected it to slip a little, it always does in the rain. I have about 25000 miles on it, but the tires are not at all bald so i can only assume there is something wrong with the brakes..... and i just had it in for the 25000 mile service check. Has anyone else experienced this?
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 314
    Tires don't have to be bald to have poor braking traction in the rain. Tire traction is the problem in all these cases, not the brakes. The OEM tires were likely chosen because of their low rolling resistance, not traction.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Doesn't the Prius have anti-locking brakes? Shouldn't slide at all if it does. :lemon:
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    ABS has nothing to do with sliding. If you are going sideways on ice ABS on any vehicle is of no use, it only helps to keep the brakes from locking
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,794
    "Doesn't the Prius have anti-locking brakes? Shouldn't slide at all if it does."

    Actually, there are situations in which ABS is a disadvantage. Gravel comes to mind; a vehicle with ABS will stop slower in gravel than a vehicle without ABS.
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 314
    If tire has poor braking traction, the ABS will keep activating to prevent wheel lockup but it will not reduce stopping distance. A tire with better traction will reduce ABS use and reduce stopping distance.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    >"Doesn't the Prius have anti-locking brakes? Shouldn't slide at all if it does."

    Actually, there are situations in which ABS is a disadvantage. Gravel comes to mind; a vehicle with ABS will stop slower in gravel than a vehicle without ABS.
    ==========================
    The poster I was answering said his slid. If it is sliding then something is wrong with the anti-locking brakes. Personally I hate them as it seems when you need the brakes on any car the most they don't stop. Trucks are a real problem.
  • It has nothing to do with brakes failing or tires...You were on wet pavement, the car is light and I am willing to bet when you tried to stop The car hydroplaned on the wet road. You may have been going a bit fast for the conditions. Remember the car weighs about 1,000 pounds lighter than a normal midsize car.
  • wkoglerwkogler Posts: 7
    #539 of 541 Re: Prius Brakes issue [wkogler] by bvisailman1 May 19, 2006 (8:50 pm)

    "It has nothing to do with brakes failing or tires...You were on wet pavement, the car is light and I am willing to bet when you tried to stop The car hydroplaned on the wet road. You may have been going a bit fast for the conditions. Remember the car weighs about 1,000 pounds lighter than a normal midsize car. "

    I was driving well under the speed limit. I've had the car over a year and have driven before in the rain, it has hydroplaned before (much more than in any other car actually), but this is not what it was that day. The next time it rains, I will test it out and see if it does it again. And I'm use to light cars, I've always had a compact car. Thanks for your input.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Failing to stop when and where you want is a bit scary, but I think the other posters are correct - it's likely not the brakes. As an example, I have a Pathfinder, and the OEM tires were garbage on slippery surfaces. I didn't know this until they were replaced with Nokian WR tires. Before replacement I would "coast" through intersections with the antilock buzzing. Now the vehicle stops instantly. I thought the antilock was too sensitive - it wasn't. The tires were garbage.

    Antilock brakes will not stop you from sliding, they will allow you to control the direction you slide, but only if you are travelling in the direction of the slide. They will stop you from locking up one or more wheels (depending on how many channels of antilock they were built with - four channel is best). They work poorly on gravel as posted above and poorly in snow - you can stop much quicker on both if you cause the medium to "pile up" in front of the tire and this means you have to stop the wheel from turning. If you are exceeding the traction limit of the tires on rain or ice antilock will allow you to steer and brake at the maximum limits allowed by the traction available. If one or more wheels are above the maximum traction at the braking level you want/need antilock -on any vehicle- will reduce the braking on that wheel(s) until the wheel(s) is turning at about 70-80% full rate (this is where maximum traction takes place). It feels like a brake failure.

    I recommend better tires if you are experiencing this antilock braking reduction. I like the Nokian WR, but there are many others to choose from.
  • vancmtvancmt Posts: 22
    I've been hearing a lot of problems about wet traction issues with the Prius OEM tires: Goodyear Integrity. Seems like most people just get new tires and the wet traction/handling issues go away.
  • catt41catt41 Posts: 3
    okay, Mr. Stupid today drove almost a mile with the parking brake about 1/2-3/4 depressed..the car drove away just fine and didn't seem to be sluggish...this is a brand new 2006 prius...i noticed the red brake light on and stopped immediately, turning the parking brake off...but I felt the back drums and they were HOT...but no smoke...Any idea of any kind of major damage I may have done or not?? I wish Toyota would have made a better parking brake so you know it is being used or an audible beep or something....
    I called a service facility today and they told me not to worry unless when I took the parking brake off, and the light would stay on - but mine didn't...
    Dean
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    There was a discussion of this on another forum just last week. What you've done is properly "bed in" the rear brake shoes. One mile isn't going to do any damage or even shorten the brake life. Just think of stopping from 75 MPH. It's about the same.

    The lesson to learn here is when applying the parking brake, put it on hard so you -can't- drive away with it on.

    If you're still worried, it's a simple matter to pull the drums and inspect the brakes - parking brake is rear drums only.
  • catt41catt41 Posts: 3
    Thank you for the info...I'm trying to take care of this car - and you're exactly right, put the damn brake on hard so I can't go anywhere. Again, I was trying to "baby" it by pushing the parking brake in not all of the way.
    Another question - what does the "B" do...the engine brake...is this somthing to use if I need to stop in a hurry in addition to using the regular brake? After I'm finished with the "B"....do you just go back into "D" again?
    Thanks
    Dean
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    I don't have my Prius yet, but from what I've read and my test drive, "B" is for descending long hills. Good for mountain passes etc. You could use it when exiting a highway, but I think that might add some distraction from what's happening on the road ahead, so use with caution.

    Yes, you select "D" once you've slowed down (if you don't the car still works just fine, but your mileage will decrease a little).

    If you let up on the accel. pedal and watch the MFD energy flow screen you can make the car coast for maximum fuel efficiency. This is the "glide" part of "pulse and glide", the method the "high milers" use to get the silly MPG numbers. If you let off all the way the car will start to use the MG (motor generator) to slow itself and add power to the "traction battery". If you select "B" this slowing is slightly greater - I say slightly because it isn't ever really powerful at slowing you down.

    So now you know the "secret techniques" - I expect reports of 100 MPG soon! ;)
  • catt41catt41 Posts: 3
    Nope, never made the 100 mpg even with the glide technique...but I know if you don't run the AC and if you keep off of the cruise on hilly roads, you'll save more fuel, too. Also, just driving slower - let people pass you. You'll catch up with them as you pass them at the next fuel station. :-)
    Dean

    I tried my parking brake out today and REMEMBERED to take it off...I must not have hurt it too much because it was still working (doulbe :-) :-) )
  • My 04 prius has about 37K miles on it. About 5K miles ago, the brakes started pulsating at low speeds. with low to intermediate brake pedal pressure, the car would start jerking a little, as the brakes grab harder & softer. It has gotten worse since first noticed. The dealer checked them and found "no codes". It seems like either the regen system is not working quite right, or the friction brake controller is kicking in and out-like its out of adjustment. But the dealer couldn't help. Anybody out there ever run into this? Its starting to get bothersome...
  • The brakes on my 04 Prius have been causing me intermittent but potentially lethal problems over the last couple of months. I too have left my car into the dealer, who assured me that there was nothing wrong with the brakes, and yet sometimes, though I have my foot gently on the brake, the car manages to move forward, meaning I have to apply the brakes harder which is extremely dangerous, especially in icy conditions. Did you have any luck in sorting your problem out? I am looking for Toyota in my country to replace the car - -and am getting no where...
  • kareen1kareen1 Posts: 1
    I have also had a brake problem with my 06 Prius. On two occasions around 15,000 miles, the brakes failed to activate for 2 – 3 seconds, then they took effect. On the second occasion I started to swerve to avoid the car in front of me before the brakes took effect. On both occasions I was traveling at slow speeds ( under 30 mph), moving uphill, and braking with the intention of coming to a complete stop. There was no rain, sand or gravel, and the car was not skidding. The anti-skid light went on.

    I took the car to the dealership, they could not replicate the problem, they said they could not find anything wrong & were going to return the car to me. I insisted something be done, so they sent a mechanic to observe as I test drove the car. I was not able to get the brakes to fail, but I was able to make the anti-skid light go on when it shouldn’t. The dealership then bled the brakes & returned the car to me.

    That same day as I approached a stop light, the car did a strange, very slow anti-lock brake response. The brakes applied, then unapplied with about one to 1 ½ seconds between each application. On two occasions since then the brakes have not applied for 2 – 3 seconds after I stepped on them. The anti-skid light went on one of those times, the other time I was too busy looking at the road to notice. I was going over a rough road surface, but not a surface on which the car was skidding.

    I have noticed the anti-skid light goes on sometimes when the car is not skidding but going over a rough surface.

    I really liked the Prius before this happened, but I do not feel it is not a safe car to drive until this :lemon: is resolved.

    2 additional links that talk about brake problems are
    http://www.hybridcars.com/forums/brake-failure-2007-t1013.html and http://priuschat.com/index.php?showtopic=20093&hl=
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    It's a known condition that if you go over a bump violent enough to take a wheel off the road, it will trigger the traction control. That will delay application of the brakes. Several owners have reported this. It can happen on bumps you wouldn't think were that bad.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,794
    "It's a known condition that if you go over a bump violent enough to take a wheel off the road, it will trigger the traction control. That will delay application of the brakes. Several owners have reported this. It can happen on bumps you wouldn't think were that bad."

    Is this unique to the hybrids or the Prius? I have had antilock brakes on my last several cars and have never had this happen.
  • As has been stated relating to several braking issues, I believe the ABS activating on bumps is related to the lousy traction of the Integretys. My '06 Civic will occasionally do the same thing, but much less often, which I attribute to the better tires and additional weight of the Honda. My Integritys are wearing fast on the mountain road I drive all the time, thank goodness. I don't want to ditch them with useable tread left, but, I'll sure be happy to get them out of here when the time comes.
  • brendabeibrendabei Posts: 6
    My brakes failed yesterday in the rain. I was driving on a road that has old trolley tracks and I was only going about 20 mph and I decided to stop for a yellow light. I put the brake pedal to the floor and nothing happened. I just kept rolling downhill. No ABS nothing. If there had been something in front of me I would have hit it. After about 20 feet my brakes started to work and at that point the skid light came on. I was really lucky that this intersection has a stop 20 feet before the corner or I would have gone right through the intersection. Has anyone else had this sort of a thing happen to them? I am worried when it will happen again. I have taken to driving my honda minivan instead.
  • brendabeibrendabei Posts: 6
    I had the same problem that you did. What did you do to resolve this. I am terrified this will happen when my son is driving the car. He is only 17. So for now, we are not driving it at all.
  • sewkapsewkap Posts: 2
    I am within weeks of buying a new Prius and just heard the same thing - that the brakes fail in the rain-- and that Toyota knows this, Anybody know what Toyota is going to do about this?
  • I have a '05 Prius and have been having the same problem with brake failures in rainy conditions since more than 2 years ago, and have had 2 near misses. I've brought the car into the dealership on at least 4 occasions and each time they reported that the car is operating according to spec. If that's how the car is designed, it sounds to me like there is a design defect. Does anyone know if there is a class action law suit on this matter? I would like to join them if so. If Toyota can give us a decent credit towards trade-in of a different car (one with a brake that works), I would be satisfied.
  • I have an 05 Prius. The brakes have always been fairly sensitive. Over the last year and 1/2 I have experienced problems in the rain. The brakes lock up when the car is close to a complete stop. It is almost impossible to stop in the rain without locking up the brakes. When the car begins to move again, it is as if the brakes have gotten stuck - I can hear a clunk as they unstick and begin to move. This is also a problem first thing in the morning on humid days. I have had the brakes checked - no problems reported.
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