My 2004 Toyota Highlander with 84K miles has been diagnosed with a seized front driver side brake caliper with worn brake pad (1/32). I had recall work done a few days ago at the dealership and this was discovered afterward during the “complimentary” multi-point check-up. - You know, the long laundry list of recommended work they try to sell you on. Of course the brake work is actually necessary. The dealership estimate for this repair included only the one (LF) brake caliper, front brake pads, and machining the rotors to the tune of $535.
Since the vehicle was just inspected 2 months ago at our local shop, my husband suggested I take it back there to verify the diagnosis and see what that mechanic would recommend. That mechanic confirmed and showed me the seized caliper/worn pad, which, by the way, was functioning well in mid January at inspection, and measured 7/32. This mechanic recommends replacing both calipers, pads, turning rotors for supposedly discounted $598 and a “half-price” brake flush at $45, coming to a total of $643 plus PA sales tax. He said doing just the one caliper would save me about $140. There was no indication of a problem with the RF caliper, but he says it’s just a good idea to replace it so we would avoid having another problem in the future.
I want to ask everyone’s opinion regarding replacement of just the bad caliper vs. both. Are we getting ripped off as far as the estimate and is the flush necessary? Also, is this issue typical in the first place, and what causes a brake caliper to seize? We’ve had several other vehicles driven many more miles than my Highlander and never experienced a seized caliper.
We’re hoping there’s no relationship between this issue and the recent vehicle inspection, as we’ve come to trust this mechanic’s work.
Thanks in advance for any advice you might provide! ~ Judy