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Toyota Camry Hybrid Brake Problems

jacqo711jacqo711 Member Posts: 3
I've owned Toyotas for 16 yrs; still drive a 2000 Camry. Since the day we got the TCH, the brakes seemed 'different,' overly sensitive. On slowly backing down my driveway, they almost felt grabby. Anyone else had that problem? Or is it just MY car may need an adjustment? BTW, love the car, despite center-console squeak. These both are minor and will be addressed.


  • berg32berg32 Member Posts: 56
    Today's NY Times (6-18-06, Auto Section, p18), says Road & Track ranks the TCH among worst for stopping distance from 60 mph. A rare negative report for the TCH. The TCH stopping distance is 136 ft, compared with 110 ft for Maxda RX-8, among the best. No mention of the non-hybrid Camry; did R&T test one? Can one shorten the TCH's stopping distance with different tires?
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    ranks the TCH among worst for stopping distance from 60 mph

    Granted that is 6 feet further than the 07 Escalade. However considering how much ground you're covering at 60 mph (88 feet per second), for my concern, the reaction time of the driver is much more critical than the 10 yards (about 1/3 of a second) difference in panic stopping distances.
  • bmgoodmanbmgoodman Member Posts: 102
    I can't find this R&T article or the NYT article yet online. Do you have a link?

    I'd like to see how the TCH did compared to the Camry LE, Honda Accord, Honda Accord Hybrid, etc. I wonder if the regenerative braking causes the longer stopping distances?

    Well, I'm at least glad the NHTSA tests showed the TCH at 5-stars for front and side impact tests for all passengers. That will help offset some concern over stopping distances. And, though not possible in all cases, sometimes you can brake and steer around things, which is where ABS & VDIM come into play.
  • gampagampa Member Posts: 78
    Not only would tires make a difference but also other factors... for example... the size of the disc and pads( more to grip)... profile of the tires( more road surface contact)... just to mention a few.

    also comparing a TCH and RX-8 is like apples and oranges

  • tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    136 ft is a reasonable stopping distance for a family sedan. If you look at numbers of family sedans (even performance ones) the stopping distances range from the high 120s to 130s.

    Of course sports cars have shorter stopping distances- they have bigger brakes, larger tires, and stiffer suspensions.

    If you want to see long- the Prius took 154' to stop from 60mph.

    AFAIK, R&T tested a preproduction model.

    The tires on the TCH are reasonable all season tires. Yes, you can improve the stopping distance with higher performance tires, but your trade off is a harsher ride and more noise.

  • berg32berg32 Member Posts: 56
    Sorry, I don't have a link to the NYTimes or to Road & Track. I don't know if R&T tested the non-hybrid Camry. Does Toyota's hybrid technology reduce braking performance? Can I improve braking performance with different tires? Do larger wheels improve braking performance?
  • berg32berg32 Member Posts: 56
    According to April '06 Motor Trend, Camry Hybrid 60-0 braking distance is 126 ft, much shorter than Road & Track's test of 136 ft. Same Motor Trend says Prius braking distance is 124 ft.
  • gc77584gc77584 Member Posts: 65
    Today's NY Times (6-18-06, Auto Section, p18), says Road & Track ranks the TCH among worst for stopping distance from 60 mph.



    June 18, 2006
    Stopping Short
    In its tests of new cars, Road & Track magazine routinely measures stopping distances from 60 miles an hour. The following lists include the best and worst results reported within the last four years in the magazine's Road Test Summary. All of the cars had antilock braking systems.

    Modern passenger cars have such powerful brake systems that in a panic stop, when the driver slams on the brake pedal, there are two possible outcomes:

    In a car without antilock brakes, the wheels will lock up. From a cruising speed of 60 m.p.h., a car with locked brakes will slide nearly 200 feet. An aware and skilled driver can avoid lock-up and modulate brake pressure to achieve distances closer to 150 feet.

    In a car with antilock brakes, the distance can usually be shortened to 130 feet or less. When the antilock system is activated, a modern car's stopping distance has more to do with the tires than with the size of the brake rotors. Sedans with all-season tires do not stop as well as sports cars with high-performance tires that provide more grip.

    When it was tested 21 years ago, a Honda Civic without antilock brakes stopped in 166 feet from 60 m.p.h. And while a more recent Civic EX (with an antilock system) had one of the worst performances in Road & Track tests over the last two years, it still managed, at 133 feet, an impressive 20 percent improvement over the old Honda.

    It is also noteworthy that a Mazda RX-8 stops nearly as well as some superexotic sports cars. The Mazda's braking benefits from sticky tires, antilock technology and a lightweight chassis. SHAUN BAILEY

    Aston Martin V-8 Vantage 107 ft.
    Ferrari F430 Spider 107 ft.
    Lotus Exige 107 ft.
    Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 107 ft.
    Porsche Boxster S 107 ft.
    Porsche 911 Carrera S 108 ft.
    Ferrari Enzo 109 ft.
    Chevrolet Corvette Z06 109 ft.
    Maserati Quattroporte 109 ft.
    Mazda RX-8 110 ft.

    Ford Escape XLT 145 ft.
    Volkswagon Passat 3.6 138 ft.
    Volvo S60 T5 138 ft.
    Cadillac CTS 138 ft.
    Audi A3 2.0 T. 138 ft.
    Mitsuibishi Eclipse GT 137 ft.
    Toyota Camry Hybrid 136 ft.
    Subaru Legacy GT Limited 135 ft.
    Scion xB 134 ft.
    Honda Civic EX 133 ft.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    It appears to me that being in the "worst" category simply means you're in the non sporting class of cars. The list of other cars in this category is impressive. I'm not sure I would intrepret this "worst" rating as bad.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    The HSD system runs the braking system through the central computer, which works out the needs of regernerative braking vs. stopping distance. I think Toyota needs to revamp their system to increase braking in panic stops.

    On a conventional car, the braking system is independent of everything except the brake petal and the antilock braking systems.

    In essense, the HSD has two functions to braking, while conventional cars just, well, brake.
  • spiff72spiff72 Member Posts: 179
    I posted a similar message at greenhybrid.com but I was questioning the final couple of feet as I come to a stop when driving on public roads.

    Mine seem to grab at the last possible moment as you come to a complete stop. I tried unsuccessfully to duplicate it for a technician when I had it in for other reasons. They said that they were behaving normally.

    You have to keep in mind that the brakes at slow speed can be grabby, since you are braking "by wire" - there is no mechanical connection between the brake calipers and brake pedal. It is done electronically. At higher speeds (abouve 12mph from what I have heard), braking is done by using the resitance of the "generator" and this is used to recharge the batteries. In a panic stop, the mechanical/hydraulic brakes are engaged.
  • pbouillonpbouillon Member Posts: 2
    I experienced center-console sqeaks. My dealer finally corrected the problem but it needed numerous visits to the
    service center. And yes the brakes are very sensitive but I
    feel secure with them. Overall it is to this day the best car I ever owned.
  • lessachslessachs Member Posts: 44
    I have a slight brake noise during my first couple of stops in my TCH. I contacted the dealer. They said Toyota recgognizes this as a problem. The dealer is installing a company supplied fix tomorrow. FYI.
  • lungdoc63lungdoc63 Member Posts: 55
    Did you get the fix? What was it? I am noting noise also, esp after rain or snow. Since I have already had the car in to fix the center console noise, replace the transmission (at 2600 mi.) I am getting tired of taking the car in for all these things. I wonder if Toyota is going to publicize the "fix" for the brakes.
  • lessachslessachs Member Posts: 44
    I got the fix. The dealer said my brake squeak problem
    was well known by Toyota. They installed some sort of manufacture supplied fix kit. Only problem? Brakes still squeak..worse than before. So its back to the dealer again
  • lessachslessachs Member Posts: 44
    I went back to the dealer. Toyota told them to replace all my brakes pads. So, it's back again in the near future to try this fix.
  • dmhltd1dmhltd1 Member Posts: 31
    I have a noise when backing out of my garage each morning (that's about the only time I back up). I hesitate to call it a whine or squeal because the pitch is lower than that but higher than a groan. I have 8K on the car and just had it in for an oil change but forgot to ask about it. I'm going to email the service department and ask about it.
  • lzclzc Member Posts: 483
    I've got it too. It's definitely not a brake squeal sound. It'll be brought up later this month at service time. Unfortunately, it's intermittent, which sometimes makes diagnosis difficult.
  • lessachslessachs Member Posts: 44
    I have a 2007 TCH with 3900 miles. My brakes squeak. Its been to the dealer twice. Last time, they said they replaced the brake components. Still squeaks. The service department now tells me this is typical.
    They say the brake pads have metal in their composition which rusts and causes the brakes to squeak for the first few times I brake and especially during wet weather. I've had several Camrys and have never had this irritating problem. This my first TCH. What do you all think?>
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    22,000 miles and I've not heard it. Then again I don't hear high frequencies well ;)
  • plknjplknj Member Posts: 121
    It has happened in the cold weather, usually at start-up and quickly goes away. Have not heard the sound recently as it has gotten warmer... I have 10,000 miles on my TCH.
  • mrpatmrpat Member Posts: 24
    I hear a brake squeak or squeal at low apeeds, parking lot, garage etc..

    Ive seen refernce to a technical service bulletin but i dont know where to find them.

    Going in for the first service appointment tomorrow, will check back in the morning.

    I also want to get fog lights and a block heater for winter FE.

    average 35 mpg so far, 22 with my Volvo
  • plknjplknj Member Posts: 121
    Please tell us what they say about fog lights as I have never gotten a plausible answer. Thanks.. Peter
  • mrpatmrpat Member Posts: 24
    I dont want them any more I just posted a reply to someone who got the zenon headlights installed instead. I will try to get them installed.

    Dealer said fog lights would cost about 900.00
    Definitely not worth it unless done at the factory.
  • thaipthaip Member Posts: 32
    Hi all,

    I just picked up my TCH and everything is good so far except for the break. When I am breaking to stop the car or simply slowing down the car, it makes some kind of noise like wind blowing noise or hail noise.

    Does anyone expriencing this problem? please share!

  • lzclzc Member Posts: 483
    What you describe sounds normal to me. Both the hybrid system and regenerative brakes make distinct sounds, most noticeable when braking or slowing down. Some people call it a whine.
  • thaipthaip Member Posts: 32
    Hi All,

    I am in the process learning all about the TCH. If anyone exprience the below situation please share! When the car stop at a traffic light or at park or when just started, the fuel consumption gauge at E, now you step on the gas pedal to get the car rolling, the car is not rolling smoothly like a regular gasoline engine car would. If I step on the gas pedal very slowly then the car rolling smoothly. I don't know if because it is in the transition stage from electric to gasoline so the car is hesitating?

    The ECO button, is it o.k to use it all the time? Does it really help with the MPG? My first tank, I averaged 32 miles and I put on 480 miles. Will I get better MPG?


  • lzclzc Member Posts: 483
    From a standing stop, it's normal to feel a slight shudder when the engine starts up. Once up to speed, the back and forth switching of the hybrid system should be hard to detect.

    If the ECO mode saves gas, I haven't noticed it. On hot days I think it reduces the cooling output of the AC too much.

    Your mileage will vary greatly based on how and where you drive, length of trips, outside temperature (cold weather hurts hybrid mileage), and I'm sure a few other factors.

    The best test is probably to take a long freeway drive. At 70 mph I'd be surprised if you didn't get 38-40 mpg (assuming it wasn't mostly uphill!).
  • thaipthaip Member Posts: 32
    "From a standing stop" you mean at when the car just started, at a full stop sign, and at a traffic light right? I didn't feel anything once the car is rolling at a very slow speed like 2-5 miles and during transition from this low speed to higher speed. The car only shuddering when I step on the gas pedal after the car is at full stop. Is the above situation you exprienced?

    I also noticed that when I had the ECO button on the AC reduced the cold air. I read the manual and it says that the ECO can help to improve MPG but will reduce cold air or heat, take longer to cool or heat up.


  • mrpatmrpat Member Posts: 24
    I havent noticed the eco problem, I want to have my dealer set eco up to be always on.

    I normally start out gently and hardly feel the shudder, now that I have 2500 miles I sometimes accelerate fast when the situation calls for it; it takes off like a v6 and no shudder at all.

    I looked up toyota canada and im going to try to have the back up assist, a canadian spoiler and a block heater installed there, should be about 2 500 mile tanks of fuel and a nice ride.

    Toyota canada has a better customizing web site if you choose the xle model. they dont show much for our hybrids
  • thornythorny Member Posts: 1
    I've owned a TCH for 5 months. Today I noticed a couple of odd noises that concerned me. I'm not the primary driver, but my partner and I heard them for the first time today, and I wonder if this sounds familiar to anyone here.

    1) a rumbling/clunking sound like something stuck on one of the wheels, because of how it cycled, coming from under the body of the car. We noticed it pulling out of a parking lot; it was very audible at low speed. We checked all four tires and under the car, and didn't see any obstructions.

    2) Eventually, the first sound stopped, but shortly after it started, we started to hear a vibrating sound coming from the engine. Vibration lasted about 5 seconds, and repeated every few seconds -- almost like a broken DVD player trying to read a disc. We pulled over, opened the hood, and saw that a unit in the brake system (in left front of engine, next to wiper fluid container) was vibrating every few seconds. The sound continued through the rest of our drive - about 20 minutes.

    We never went over 30mph, and no indicator lights or messages appeared on the console. Brake fluid was full. Brakes themselves were as responsive as usual. After we parked the car, we opened the hood again, and the vibrating persisted for about 5 minutes after the vehicle was turned off.

    My partner drives the car daily, and we have had no problems with it before now. Dealership maintenance dept. is closed for the holiday, so I thought I would ask if anyone has experienced something like this. I am a novice at autos, so maybe I'm missing something simple, but it seemed abnormal.

    Sorry for the long post, and thanks for any suggestions.
  • ixi26cixi26c Member Posts: 1
    This is normal; when you press gently on the gas pedal you can probably still stay in E mode, which means your gas engine is completely off and you're only using the electric motor. But when you "give it some gas," the gasoline kicks in, causing a jolt. You'll also feel a jolt when you stop and the gas engine turns off.

    Sure you can use the Eco mode; it's just for the cabin thermostat. Sounds like you could accelerate a little slower and get better gas mileage; I get 38-42. The THC doesn't have the power of a regular gas car which can be difficult to adjust to, I think, for some people.
  • acco20acco20 Member Posts: 211
    Not exactly right. The hybrid although not as fast as the 6 cylinder, is actually faster than the 4 cylinder. The test was done by one of the car magazines, and the hybrid left the 4 cylinder behind. Seems that most hybrid owners concentrate on mpg and forget how to DRIVE. The 2007 camry hybrid, and all camry hybrids since, have been favorably compared to earlier 6 cylinder models.I hope you find this information helpful.
  • schmeerschmeer Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 TCH with 44,000 miles on it. I have never changed any of the brake pads, front or rear. Suddenly I can hear the rear brake calipers grinding the rotors. By just looking it appears the rear pads are at 0% pad left while the front are probably 80% or more. I have never had a car where the front pads didn't wear way faster, not the other way around. My Toyota dealership tells me it's because it's a Hybrid. Can anybody verify that?

    Another question: Can anybody think of a reason I should pay $239 at the Toyota dealership for rear pads and machine rotors as opposed to $89 at Just Brakes.
  • lzclzc Member Posts: 483
    This is a question not a problem. I'm about to take the car in for its 3-yr service and I was expecting to have to the brake fluid changed. But the maintenance schedule doesn't suggest it, nor even mention changing the brake fluid through 10 yrs or 120K miles.

    I thought changing the brake fluid every 3 yrs had become standard maintenance. Why not with the TCH? Thanks.
  • cdn_tchcdn_tch Member Posts: 194
    The rear break pads will wear more since the regenerative braking is only on the front and the car uses the standard brakes on the back.
  • imjcleckeyimjcleckey Member Posts: 7
    I have an 07 TCH with about 85000 miles. About 3 months ago, I had to do an emergency stop from about 40 mph to avoid a dog (succesfully). I did not notice the problem before. After the car is warmed up (10+ miles) and particularly at highway speeds, I hear a high pitched squeal - it sounds like the metal break wear indicators. Occasionally, you can hear the squeal at around town speeds. It changes when you hit the brakes - sometimes worse, sometimes it goes away. If you gently steer right / left on the highway the noise changes as well.

    I took it to the dealer and asked them to look at the brakes. They said everying is fine - 10 mm left on front, 8 mm left on back. They cleaned the brakes and said that should take care of it - but it didn't. When I stop the car, then feel the brake rotors - generally the fronts are cold, and the backs are warm with the drivers side back being warmer than the passenger side.

    Is it possible that I cracked a brake pad, and they didn't see it when they did the brake inspection? Is it possible that one brake pad is worn out and they didn't notice? Braking performance seems to be fine. Coincidentally, the mileage is worse than normal (33 on this tank) but it always gets worse at this time of year with the colder weather. The tires I put on this spring didn't appear to help either - General Altimax RT - T rated. They appear to have lost 2+ MPG.

    Any other possibilities? Should I just get the rear pads replaced and see if that helps? Could a caliper be frozen? Could there be a computer problem in controlling the brakes? Any ideas are appreciated!

  • lzclzc Member Posts: 483
    No, I wouldn't start replacing brake parts just "to see if that helps."

    I'd take the car back to the dealer and make sure the tech knows exactly what noise you're talking about. If it occurs even when you're not braking, it may be something else. The dealer may have looked no farther than the brakes.
  • dmb7011dmb7011 Member Posts: 1
    I have an "air" hissing sound coming from the ABS controller (pump) located between the wiper fluid tank and the radiator overflow tank at right front under the hood. Number on top is 44510-30270 TOYOTA 1QB02 - 106. The "pump" cycles on about every 5 seconds, runs about 5-7 seconds but the hissing sound continues. When I push on the brake pedal, the hissing sound becomes muted but the pump continues to cycle... Any ideas
  • imjcleckeyimjcleckey Member Posts: 7
    Thanks for the reply. In the end, I took it to a different brake shop. They found that the dealer had done a poor job looking at the brakes, and that on the passenger rear, one of the brake pads had 8 mm left, and the other only had 5 mm left. One brake pad had rusted into the anchors and was stuck. They reported that this was common with Camry's of this vintage. I may have gotten taken to the cleaners a little bit - they replaced the rotors and pads, and bled the brakes for ~ $450. It's hard to believe that it wouldn't have worked to pull it apart and clean things out.

    The good news: no more squealing, mileage is back to normal. I suppose that $450 in repairs in 3.5 years / 85,000 miles is not so bad.
  • snaab93se1snaab93se1 Member Posts: 69
    2008 Camry Hybrid with 30100 miles. The brakes have started to squeal only when backing up when the car has been sitting for a while. There is no noise upon braking when the car is in drive. Anyone have any idea what is wrong?
  • camacho574camacho574 Member Posts: 3
    As I back up from the house I hear a noise coming from under the car. Once I stop and drive on the noise goes away and will not come back until the next day. Anyone have an idea of what it is,????
  • camryhybrid_oycamryhybrid_oy Member Posts: 1
    I received my 2010 TCH in October - I immediately sensed the lag problem with the brakes. Really uncomfortable about coming within a few inches of car ahead....

    Are the 201o TCH and PRIUS sharing the same software/firmware and/or braking system?

    If so, why not recall all at same time and get it over with?
  • snaab93se1snaab93se1 Member Posts: 69
    Are the brakes sqealing only whenin reverse? what is the mileage on your car?
  • camacho574camacho574 Member Posts: 3
    Hello , yes only when in reverese and when cold. 636300 miles/
  • snaab93se1snaab93se1 Member Posts: 69
    Just had the same problem....have dealer check TSB 0385-08. The brake pads were replaced, shim kit installed and I think the calipers were replaced. Noise is now gone.
  • mike42648mike42648 Member Posts: 1
    I have 2007 Camry Hybrid and I also sensed the lag problem with the brakes as well.

    My brake do not always engage immediately when I press the brake pedal, and the brake have an inconsistent feel as well.

    Should I be concerned about this?
  • camacho574camacho574 Member Posts: 3
    Thank you so much, I made a copy and will take the car to the dealer.
  • hybdcmrydriverhybdcmrydriver Member Posts: 1
    My 2007 has funny feeling brakes. I always have to hit them twice before they seem to work. I have spoken to family members about this, but not to Toyota directly yet. As far as I can tell there is no recall for this problem for a 2007 Hybrid Camry.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    edited February 2010
    I have almost 60,000 miles on my 2007 TCH and have experienced nothing like that.

    The requirement of "hitting them twice" seems like a serious problem. You need to get to a dealer.

    I have not noticed anything different on my car than any other car.
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