Can't get a brake!

My 2002 Toyota Prius has had two sets of brand new brakes in the past 1 1/2 years. Today I was told that my calipers seized up, which has caused ruin to my brakes, thus a $1400 brake job! Am I getting taken? I feel the need to get a 2nd opinion and prove my suspicions are wrong. Any advice?

Definitely get another opinion.

If you haven’t already, take it to a reputable independent shop.

Do NOT say what happened previously, let the tech figure it out on his own way.

If possible, get another opinion. This sounds fishy to me.

Seized up???

The car wouldn’t brake??? If the calipers seized up then it’s doubtful you’d ever be able to stop the car. What were the symptoms you were having that you brought it in for service???

My last brake job (new brake pads, resurfacing front rotors) was in September. By the end of January I began to experience the very same thing that brought me to Toyota in September. Whenever I would push down on the brake my front end would feel as if it were floating from side to side. It didn’t feel solid (or safe). I drove with it for over a month, but it never went away. It never got any worse either, but I new it was the brakes again. I figured I’d be covered by my warranty, but when the mechanic called me yesterday and said that my “calipers seized up and ruined your brakes. This will cost $1400”, a red flag went up in my head.

When a caliper seizes, you can always stop. The hydraulic system is capable of putting tremendous pressure on the piston to force it out, the problem is that it won’t release.

It makes sense that if the calipers are sticking, you destroyed the second set of pads in short order. Your only valid complaint would be that they failed to notice the caliper problem the first time around.

I don’t know if the regenerative braking system complicates a brake job on a Prius or not. I would not expect it to matter much at the caliper, but the other end of the hydraulics will be complicated, so bleeding that system should be done by someone who knows what he is doing.

$1400 is a lot for a brake job even if it includes rotors. Parts for that car are not all that expensive. Is that all four wheels? If it is just two wheels, I would shop around, just make sure that the shop you choose understands the braking system on that car.

Yes, the brake rotors are very expensive. They are $65 to $85 each at Auto Zone If you need them.
And, a pair of brake calipers are $148 (front), if you need those