Last post on Nov 07, 2013 at 7:33 AM
You are in the Toyota Highlander
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Toyota Highlander, SUV
#4539 of 5330 Brakes! How Many Miles?
Jul 09, 2009 (12:22 pm)
My 2004 Highlander has about 55,000 miles. I've just been told that I need all new brake pads and rotors at a dealer cost of about $1,000. The rotors, I was informed, are too rusted to be turned, and so must be replaced. I've had the car in for service and inspection every 5,000 miles, and it went from no problems to this. I've always been careful about getting my brake pads replaced on time, and have never needed replacement rotors (whether it was a Honda, Isuzu, or even my lemon Chrysler).
At Midas the mechanic said that this is fairly common now, Rotors are being made to wear out like exhaust systems and typically only last from 40,000 to 60,000 miles. In the past I've driven vehicles over 120,000 miles and never had to replace a rotor. He also said the typical cost is about $425 an axle, although the Highlander rotors are more expensive.
I'm wondering what other Highlander (or Toyota) owners experiences have been. If you could reply in the following format:
Make: 2004 Highlander
Miles (Before Replacing Brakes): 55,000
I'll try and collect the information and see if my experience is typical. If so, I think it's a shame that automakers have decided to use planned obsolescence in order to boost profits. If Toyota doesn't watch out, they're going to end up in the same shape as US automakers.
#4540 of 5330 Re: Brakes! How Many Miles? [nathanbrand]
Jul 09, 2009 (4:20 pm)
I have 113000 miles on a 03 HL front rotors turned twice. Rear rotors will be replaced tomorrow for 2nd time. I would not go to Midas, shop around. Good Luck
#4541 of 5330 Re: Brakes! How Many Miles? [nathanbrand]
Jul 09, 2009 (7:30 pm)
Brakes are like a air filters, they'll last forever if you never use them. For the last decade or more brake components have been made smaller for lighter weight to get better gas mileage and to make up for the smaller rotors, more aggressive disk pads are now used to get the stopping power needed. My mechanic tells me that most BMW's rotors do not last past the first set of pads. The rotors are made of a softer metal to get that good stopping distance we all expect.
Other factors are if you live in hilly or mountainous area, you'll use your brake harder than say in Florida where I live. Also, how hard or fast you drive is another factor. Maybe on your first brake pads were replaced a more aggressive pad material. Most pads today are semi metallic, that means there is metal in the pad material to get the friction up. When you see cars with very bad brake dust, most of it is metal dust sticking to the metal wheels.
As a general on the first set of pads, the rotors should be good for at least one cut and the end of life when the second set of pads wear out. A lot of repair shops will also want to replace the brake caliper because the dust boots on them can be deteriorating because of the high heat that builds up especially during hard braking. Also, the brake fluid can also be contaminated because of moisture can be absorbed into the brake fluid and the excessive heat from the pads will transfer to the brake fluid and it can boil if it gets hot enough. With anti lock brake systems, you do not want to push this old fluid back into the brake system when the brake piston is pushed back into the caliper.
Therefore, a full brake job, at least for the front wheels, could be a set of pads, two rotors, two calipers, fluid flushed, and labor. You did not mention if the brake quote was for two or four wheels. For two, $900 is very high. A repair shop should be a round $450-$500. Today, dealers will charge over $100-125 an hour for labor, and my mechanic on the corner repair shop charges $85 per hour.
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#4542 of 5330 Re: Brakes! How Many Miles? [nathanbrand]
Jul 09, 2009 (7:42 pm)
I forgot to mention, my 2003 Highlander did go about 55K on the first set of pads and I replaced them with the dustless brakes pads from Autozone. They were about $40. I did the job myself and I did not have to cut the rotors because they were in good shape. There is now 87K on the Highlander and I haven't checked them but the pads to do have wear indicators and I'm not hearing them so there is still pad material left. Looking at the rotors they do not look bad. On the next change of pads I will remove the rotors and get them measured and if there is material left I'll have them cut and reuse them. If there is not enough material left on them I'll need to buy replacements and the last time I looked they were about $90 each at Auto zone.
#4543 of 5330 Re: Radiator fans, AC and no high idle? [worthflorida]
Jul 09, 2009 (8:14 pm)
Low refrigerant charge....HEAT (condensor) raises the refrigerant pressure just enough to enable the compressor clutch circuit which is locked out with too low refrigerant pressure.
#4544 of 5330 Re: Brakes! How Many Miles? [nathanbrand]
Jul 10, 2009 (10:48 am)
Your problem is you went to Midas. My 04 HL has 50K miles and the original set of brake pads and rotors, though I do expect the pads will need to be replaced shortly. I'm with you on the rotors, they should last a couple pad changes with just turning them.
My son has an 04 Tacoma and the pads were replaced at 40K miles and the rotors were turned, total cost $200.
Jul 10, 2009 (11:23 am)
There are a lot of low quality rotors out there, Dura International is one, the thickness isn't what OEM parts are. The OEM are much more expensive than off market stuff, Call different parts store and get prices on them. ASK what the expected liftetime is. How many times can they be trued etc . See the Detroit News auto section
#4547 of 5330 Re: Brakes! How Many Miles? [nathanbrand]
Jul 10, 2009 (12:00 pm)
The service advisor at my local Toyota dealer told me that my brake pads were completely worn out at a little over 40,000 miles and needed immediate replacement. He indicated that the rotors could probably be turned rather than replaced. I did a little research (in the manual) and discovered that the Highlander has a system to warn drivers of severely worn pads -- a probe touches the turning disc and gives an audible warning. You can safely wait for the warning tone before changing pads.
Since brakes are a safety issue, I am not qualified to give advice. But the following is a quote from the "Tech Correspondence" column in the July issue of Road & Track: "While full-thickness, dead smooth brake rotors provide the most fade resistance and best pedal feel, the cost of replacing good rotors with perfect rotors has never added up to us. Unless the discs are heavily scored, warped or undersize we simply replace the brake pads."
I found a set of original equipment pads for a little over $100. Brake grease is only a couple of dollars. I am going to just change the pads when needed. I did this on my Honda Accord and the brakes worked fine. But safety is involved . . . best to decide how important it is to save a few bucks.
#4548 of 5330 Re: Brakes! How Many Miles? [tsotsi]
Jul 10, 2009 (12:46 pm)
2004 4-cylinder FWD -- My brakes and rotors (front and rear) were replaced in March at 63,000 miles. The dealer had told me when I had it in for service before that the brakes would likely need to be replaced with the next service. They did charge the upper end of what was mentioned in a previous post, so taking it to an independent repair shop could save some money. But I too would avoid the big chain shops that specialize in mufflers and brakes.
Curious thing is that I heard no sound at all when I braked, and the service rep said that the 2004 had no brake indicators. So I wouldn't expect to hear anything even though he described the wear as being basically metal on metal at that point.
One other point is that brakes on a vehicle with manual transmission tend to last longer than on a vehicle with an automatic. I had a 1994 Corolla station wagon that I traded in when I got the Highlander. It had a manual transmission, and I never had to have the brake pads or rotors replaced in 111,000 miles.