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Toyota Camry Hybrid Brake Problems



  • 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 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 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.
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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,????
  • 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?
  • Are the brakes sqealing only whenin reverse? what is the mileage on your car?
  • Hello , yes only when in reverese and when cold. 636300 miles/
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Thank you so much, I made a copy and will take the car to the dealer.
  • 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 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.
  • I called Toyota's customer assistance line. I was hung up on twice because according to the recorded message they had too many calls so I would have to call back. Then the phone went dead.. I then called again and got put on hold for 2 hours and 8 minutes. I was calling because I had just come from the dealership for the accelerator pedal and floor mat recall. They told me that my 2007 Camry with just 29,700 mile on it had bad break pads and rotors and I need to spend over $900 to have the breaks repaired. I told the dealership I need to talk with someone at Toyota. They gave me the customer assistance number to call. After I reached a representative I was told they would look into it and get back to me tomorrow. Because I did not receive a call back I went on the web and found a Toyota technical service bulletin saying that the 2007 Camry had bad break pads that would cause premature wear. It said do not tell the customers about this unless they complain. I called Toyota again; this time waited 1 hr for someone to answer. They said that the customer service bulletin T-BR007-07 was not for me but for the dealerships. I said well is says that the break pads installed in my car we defective and should be replaced, She said, that is only if you complain. I said, well I am complaining. Then I asked to talk with a supervisor. She said that was impossible today I would have to wait till Monday. I said, I have a car that is dangerous to drive, and I want to resolve the issue today. She said that is impossible. I said I will call back and ask to speak to a supervisor, she said no one will let you talk to a supervisor.

    To say I am upset is an understatement. The car company has an internal document stating that my break pads are defective, but never tells me. I was just lucky that the service technician looked at the breaks when rotating my tires and discovered the problem. I and I and my family could have been injured or killed. We could have killed others. Toyota won’t even let me talk with someone to resolve this issue. They said I could go the dealership and talk to the customer relations manager. I did that and was told he is not in, and is not expected to be in for some time.

    I am in disbelief and how reckless Toyota is with it customers. And I am very concerned about how I can drive this car. What else is wrong that they are not telling me about?? If you have any suggestions on how I can resolve this situation I will very much appreciate it.
  • tini56tini56 Posts: 1
    @ JFisher- let me know the outcome of this. I have an 07 with 21K miles on it and yesterday rear ened someone because my car failed to stop while having 10ft of distance between cars. My ABS kicked in and i have ceramic pieces of break pedals or something on my floor mat. not sure if it's pads or what.

  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Finally had an rear right wheel starting squealing badly. Dealer tells me its the squeal pads--took it apart and the rear pads were shot, and the rotors were a little torn up. My car has 70k miles--so I really can't complain.

    About $420 for new pads and resurfaced rotors. Ouch, but...its the first time I've ever had to put money in the car, other than they crappy Bridgestones that worn out at 24. (The OEM Michelins have been on ever since--I don't like them, but they've had a long life.)
  • Yes, I have had this problem wheh I bought it new. I have just a little over 30,000 miles and have had it checked numerous times and they cannot find anything wrong. It happens sporadically even when driven for a while. But mainly backing out of my driveway in the mornings. Now my warranty has expired so they will probably find the problem and I will have to pay for it to get it fixed. Go figure........
  • My car started to make some sounds like what you have but my condition is only when I press the brake pedal. My car has 101521 miles but it's in excellent
    Mechanic shape. I did noted that the brake fluid was down from the full mark
    And I have no leaks? I added to the full mark but stills the same.
    Went to the local dealer They had it for a day, the service writer told me that
    They would bleed the system to see if that would fix the issue.
    I pick up my car ! No more noise so far. Let's see if that did the job.
  • margaz3margaz3 Posts: 1
    I want to change the brake pads for my TCH, but I want to make sure that its the same will other vehicles.
  • I had a similar problem on a 2007 Camry Hybrid. It cost me over $600 to replace my rotors and brake pads. I encountered a very violent vibration while braking on a downhill mountain grade. At the time I thought the brakes would fail under the vibration (shook the entire car and felt very violent at the steering wheel). Immediately I went to a Toyota Dealership. Since the repair it brakes smoothly (please note that I understand the feel of braking on a Toyota Hybrid) and I have had no further issues... tire wear has also extended considerably. Besides having to pay for this repair the car has performed well.
  • WATCH OUT NOW!!! Toyota Camry Hybrid Anti-Lock Mechanism (computer controlled) will FAIL WITH NO WARNING!!! Toyota service people will deny hearing of this problem!! BALONEY!!! Happened to me on my 2008 and a friend with a 2007 same thing happened. Now what are the odds huh?
    Your brakes will lock up and the car will move BUT... you will have to rev the engine - the tow guy had a heck of a time! BTW, the repair is over $2000.00
    YES!!! $2000.00 because they must replace the whole unit and not the little tiny computer part inside... WOW what a scam huh? :sick:
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Troll Alert.....
  • jeffm5jeffm5 Posts: 123
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