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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Holy crap. You're actually telling someone to *ignore* a brake
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
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
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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