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Recap-About 5 months ago, my brakes locked making it impossible to drive. My husband, driving at the time, couldn't get the car to move, but within 1/2 hour, it started to move again. Yesterday, the check engine light went on and what he described months ago, happened to me while I drove. The brakes were clamping on making it difficult to drive.

Today, my husband unplugged the battery and everything seems to be back to normal. We have to drive it around to see when will it return.

In the 4 year period, we had two brake jobs. The first one at Toyota on the car's 2nd year - Toyota OEM brakes and resurfacing. Then last summer- Toyota OEM brakes and re-surfacing in a family friend's shop. About a month ago, since we were getting sick of the squeaking, we went to a shop that we used to go to, back to that family friend and another friend (who works for Toyota) to look at the brakes and they all said that the brake pads still had lots of life in them.

The vehicle has about 45k miles. I don't know if they ever greased the caliper pin, but I will ask. The problem is not in the pads or rotor, it's someplace else. We already had plans to replace the rotors and brake pads again with the highly recommended set from tirerack.com, but now we're holding off on purchasing the rotor because I don't want this caliper problem damaging a new rotor when it locks in again.

A few questions:
Will I still be able to get an error code now that the battery was taken off and the check light reset? (somehow I doubt it)

Is the caliper part of the drive train? There is a 60 month drivetrain warranty and I need to decide whether Toyota is responsible or can my extended warranty cover it.

I did see the recall in Japan and my vehicle was manufactured over there in June 2001, which is the time frame. Anyone else with this problem?

I have the Chilton repair book and will look into the pin greasing area and tell my dh about it.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Thanks for responding. I'm familiar with the recall. I'm still checking to see if something was amiss (like the anti-sieze compound) during the brake change a long time ago or if there is something else going on. I'm hoping it's just a simple fix and not really a mechanical breakdown. If it is, then I have to do other followups.
 
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case solved

It was a dry caliper pin. Thanks for Rav4Don for pointing that out. I looked it up in my book and told my dh all about it.

So we're getting a replacement caliper because it's seized, regreasing both pins and getting new ceramic pads since the other pad is almost worn because it took the brunt of the braking. I'd still like to get new rotors, but that'll have to wait for now.

I just love this board.

Thanks again.
 
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Well we got the caliper replaced, pins regreased and new ceramic pads and guess what? It's still seizing!!! DH is in the shop, again. I'm guessing it's the sensor, cylinder or something else. At this point, this is a mechanical breakdown beyond a bad brake job.

Any other suggestions? Is there a fuse? I don't have the book w/ me. DH has it.
 

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There is only a handful of conditions that would cause the caliper to seize. Aside from the computer controlled ABS systems, brakes are fairly simple mechanical devices.

Are you taking it to a reputable shop? Is the ABS light on the dash? Have the fluid lines been flushed and fresh fluid added? Warped rotor? Did they mic the rotor? I have seen a rubber brake line hose collapse internally with no external indication of the failure. Did they replace the lines? A blocked line will create problems like not allowing pressure to be released quickly, or reducing line pressure resulting in poor braking.
 
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Are you taking it to a reputable shop? " Yes. They knew what they were doing for the most part.

"Is the ABS light on the dash?" No.

"Have the fluid lines been flushed and fresh fluid added?" Not yet, but they did see something wrong with the way it's working.

"Warped rotor?" They checked it and said it was fine.

"Did they mic the rotor?" Don't understand what mic means, but it has been shaved before. We haven't changed it yet, but are considering it.

"Did they replace the lines?" We haven't gotten to that point yet, but I have discussed it w/ my husband.

They're checking for possible problems w/ the module or if people have been asking for parts to be replaced quite often to determine if there's a problem with that particular area.

Thanks for your help.
 
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