Rear Calipers - 2002 ES300

I have a 2002 ES 300 with 75,000 miles. While at the Lexus Dealer for the 75k maintenance, the service rep informed me that the two rear
brake calipers were frozen. He said this would cause rapid wear on the pads and I was advised to replace them ASAP. As far as I can tell, the brakes work fine.
The cost for the job is $1200. Is this appropriate? Each caliper is $357.16 (2 need to be replaced). Labor would be about $480.00. Here are my questions:
1. Can the calipers be lubricated or repaired? The dealer said the mechanism was sealed.
2. I am considering a local reputable repair shop (other than a dealer) for a second opinion if the repairs must be made. Are replacement parts other than Toyota or Lexus a viable alternative or should I specify factory parts?
3. This is the first repair (other than routine maintenance) that I have had to make on the car. All maintenance has been at the dealer. Is this the kind of repair a local and reputable repair shop can perform or should I just suck it up and have the dealer do the job?
Again, the brakes seem to work fine. Any insights would be appreciated.
Many thanks, Alan
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Sounds like the kind of thing that happens to a Mercedes! Seriously though, the brakes on the Lexus are notoriously horrible. They screech, wrinkle up, wear out, and in general stop very roughly with lots of jerking. This is a new one to me, though. I have trouble understanding how the caliper can jam, but then I don't realy understand these things. Behaviours I cited are all normal according to my dealer, and are just my experience over the last 13 years. I think the cars are made so you have to use Lexus parts. So just go ahead and pay up or else trade it for a new one. Isn't it covered by your extended warranty? You know you should never drive a car after the extended warranty runs out. Just gets too expensive even in the reliable brands like Lexus.
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I am not aware of any widespread brake complaints on Lexus. Yes, they will eventually wear out, but I am not aware of screech (other than when they are worn down to the wear indicators), wrinkles, or jerky stops.
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this newsgroup with:

Since 60% of the braking is done by the front brakes, it's not uncommon to *not* notice if the rear brakes are failing.
Having said that, your ABS system should of indicated that there was a failure since "locked" calipers would of, most likely , caused an abs sensor failure.
I seriously suggest you go to either another dealer or an indy and get a second opinion. Personally, I think you're being hoodwinked.
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graced

The OP stated that he was told that the calipers are frozen, not locked. A frozen caliper will not set an ABS warning light but it will cause premature brake lining wear.
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On Tue, 17 Oct 2006 22:30:30 -0500, "Ray O" <rokigawaATtristarassociatesDOTcom> graced this newsgroup with:>The OP stated that he was told that the calipers are frozen, not locked. A

oops..didn't catch that..thanks. You're correct a *frozen* caliper won't set off the ABS sensor but it most definitely will fry the pads.
At this point, if the calipers can be serviced, (as long as the pistons aren't rusted tight), some antisieze compound on the slides will probably fix the problem but it's highly likely that the rotors are, at a minimum, glazed and the pads are shot.
Worse case scenario is that the calipers, rotors and pads will need to be replaced and a flush of the brake fluid will need to be done.
Yes, it can get pretty expensive if all that needs to be done. Especially if you have the dealer do it.
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As long as the car stops who cares? If you don't notice a problem.. then there is no problem. Save your money. I do my own brakes and I get the pads and rotors for less than $200 at Pep Boys.
I would like to open a brake shop because of ppl that are willing to pay so much for a problem that may or may not exist.
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Brakes rarely suffer a sudden catastrophic failure. More often, there is a gradual loss of braking ability, and if the rear brakes are no longer contributing their fair share of the braking load, the vehicle could have as much as 30% or 40% less stopping power, with longer stopping distances and more susceptibility to fade.
Telling someone to ignore a brake problem is kind of like telling someone to ignore high blood pressure - "don't worry, you haven't had a heart attack or a stroke yet."
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graced this newsgroup with:

Holy crap. You're actually telling someone to *ignore* a brake problem?
Tell you what, tell you wife/daughter/SO to jump in a car and barrel down the road with half their brakes inoperative and then go to bed with a clear conscience.
That's one of the most irresponsible things I've seen posted in a long time.
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As amstaff stated, most of the braking is done by the front brakes so one may not notice reduced braking effectiveness from the rear brakes.

It depends on what is frozen in the calipers. If the piston is frozen in the bore then the calipers should be replaced. If the slides are frozen, then it may be possible to clean up and re-lube the pins and clean up the slides. Frozen slides are more common than frozen pistons in the caliper bore.

In my experience, some aftermarket brake parts are very good and some cause premature rotor wear or damage, excessive brake dust, squealing, clicking, and sticking. I personally do not care to experiment with aftermarket brake parts so I always recommend OEM (factory) parts.

Brake work is not technically difficult, and a reputable independent repair shop should be able to give you a second opinion and do the work if necessary. I would ask for OEM calipers and pads rather than aftermarket parts, and I would ask to have the brake fluid flushed, especially if the piston is frozen in the bore.
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