2004 Toyota Prius: First Brake Job at 86K Miles
November 29, 2010
I was replacing the front brake pads on the 2004 Toyota Pruis when my son walked by and said, "I'm not good at mechanical things." That set me off. I told him to put on a pair of gloves and help me. Our arrangement was simple: I drank coffee and told him what to do; he did all the bending, lifting and tightening. It was a beautiful relationship.
The brake job was a piece of cake, especially after I read Dan Edmunds' excellent DIY piece about changing the pads on the 2009 Ford Flex. When we got the old pads out I took a picture to show that there was still some life in them. The guy at the Toyota dealership said he had seen some Prius owners doing brakes after 90k miles. The regenerative braking system saves wear on the braking system and this translates to cost savings for the owner.
Here's a not very good shot of the new and old brake pads. The old pad was worn down to within about an eighth of an inch of the pad wear indicator.
We ran into a small problem when the two shims fell off the back of the old brake pads and we couldn't figure out how to put them on the new ones. My son suggested we look at the wear marks from the old pads and line it up that way. Good idea.
Also, the spring clips dropped down so it was hard to slide the pads in on one side. My son asked me what to do now. "Futz with it." He asked what that meant. I said it just means you have to work with it until it slides in the right way and everything fits the way it was supposed to.
Time to do the brake job: 1 hour.
Cost: $64 for OEM brake pads.
Time spent with my son: Priceless.
Philip Reed, Edmunds Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 86,475 miles