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Auto Mechs: 2003 Lexus es300 brake issue
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Auto Mechs: 2003 Lexus es300 brake issue - April 16, 2012, 03:40 PM

Hey does anyone on here know about Lexus brake issues? Someone I know is having a hell of a time with a 2003 es300 going through brake rotors. Seems like the pads are dragging, heating and warping the rotors. I don't have access to the car myself so I related to the owner that the first thing to do is make sure the fluid is at proper level in the brake reservoir. After that, I don't really know much about these cars. Anyone know whether this is a common issue and what the issue actually is? THANKS!


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April 16, 2012, 03:46 PM

I can not comment to if it is a common issue or not.

I have seen on some older cars that some "junk" gets caught in behind the pistons of the calipers which keeps it from retracting properly and causes the brakes to drag. To have that happen on both sides at the same time might be a stretch. If it was my car I would flush the fluid to start with and and maybe extend the piston carefully to loosen and junk that may be caught. Some will not recommend that because there is a chance the piston will come all the way out causing a big mess. I have done it in the past by leaving the pads in but Remington the caliper from the rotor.

There could also be a restriction in the line someplace which is keeping the pads from retracting properly.





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April 16, 2012, 03:49 PM

Thanks Dan. There is definitely something forcing the caliper pistons out and not letting them retract because once new rotors were fitted on the front, the pads dragged something fierce. I just wonder whether there could be any problems with the power assist or whether the problems are at the calipers. I agree, for both to be dragging up front seems to suggest a more "central" issue.


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April 16, 2012, 03:54 PM

i remember my honda in the 90's had this reputation, maybe it's still an issue?

How Does an Over-Torque Warp a Brake Rotor? | eHow.com

How Over-Torquing Warps Rotors

  • Wheel lugs flex under duress. Wheels nuts that are over-tightened or not tightened in the proper sequence can cause uneven tightening against the hub surface of the rotor. This is most often caused by mechanics who tighten lug nuts improperly using a pneumatic gun without the use of a torque stick or a do-it-yourself mechanic tightening them out of sequence with a lug wrench. Because one or more of the wheel nuts is not as tight as the other(s), the particular tightening balance off-centers the rotor. Once a rotor warps, it is difficult to undo.



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April 16, 2012, 03:59 PM

Hmmm, I would have never thought of that. However, I think we can rule out in this case. The rotors were replaced at home, and the brakes dragged right away upon test drive, so much so that they burned.


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April 16, 2012, 04:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeShirtDude View Post
Hmmm, I would have never thought of that. However, I think we can rule out in this case. The rotors were replaced at home, and the brakes dragged right away upon test drive, so much so that they burned.
Sounds like something gummin up the calipers. That's what it was on my Malibu. Some shit was jammed in between the body of the caliper and the piston, and it didn't fully retract. drug for a bit. Didn't smoke though. Was just enough to cause uneven wear and that's it.


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April 16, 2012, 04:05 PM

I'm not an expert on Lexus, but I know some of the newer luxury cars have braking systems with moisture sensors that will minutely drag the brakes to "sweep" water off the rotors to keep them dry to enhance wet braking performance.

If the sensor is broken or malfunctioning I could image it would continually keep dragging the brake pads.



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April 16, 2012, 04:08 PM

Additionally, has the person had a a caliper rebuild? Perhaps they should. It's not very expensive and the new seals and cleanout/inspection of the holes where the pistons side would make it absolutely certain this was not the cause.



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April 16, 2012, 04:25 PM

make sure wheels are properly torqued, bet they aren't....
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April 16, 2012, 04:43 PM

Did some digging. Some people suggest that the right front calipers on the Lexus 300s are notorious for seizing. Problems seem to ease with caliper rebuilds or replacement with remanufactured calipers.


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April 16, 2012, 04:51 PM

Did the person who did the job check the caliper guide pins to make sure they move freely? Did they remove and lubricate them? If they are frozen, the caliper is 'stuck' at that position. Put new pads on it and they could be under instant constant pressure. Hard to say without actually looking at the car.


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April 16, 2012, 05:29 PM

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Did some digging. Some people suggest that the right front calipers on the Lexus 300s are notorious for seizing. Problems seem to ease with caliper rebuilds or replacement with remanufactured calipers.
Bingo. Caliper rebuilds usually ease woes like these.



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April 17, 2012, 06:51 AM

Already been identified but seized calipers are very common.

Rebuild or replace with new unit. Make sure all the slides (if equip) are lubricated and flush the braking system prior to re-assembly.
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April 17, 2012, 07:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeShirtDude View Post
Did some digging. Some people suggest that the right front calipers on the Lexus 300s are notorious for seizing. Problems seem to ease with caliper rebuilds or replacement with remanufactured calipers.
I swapped mine fairly easily. Lexus does a nice job of keeping things accessible.

Even if only one is seizing, best to swap both when you are at it. Ceramic pads and voila...


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April 17, 2012, 09:22 AM

Very accessible. They might even be swappable with Camry calipers since they're based on the same platform.



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