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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2009 Toyota Rav4 and today the front brakes locked up for no reason. This the second time that this has happened. You can smell the brakes overheating. The dealership could not find any problem the first time. The vehicle is at the dealership now. Has anyone else had this problem and if so, was there a fix?
 

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What is your definition of "lock up"? If it's the same definition as mine, you wouldn't be able to move as the tires would be skidding.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Basically, when you take your foot off of the accelerator the RAV comes to an almost immediate stop similar to what happens when you push down on the brake pedal. It would be like trying to go forward with one foot on the accelerator and one on the brake pedal at the same time, henceforth the burning smell coming from the brake drum area.
 

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Could also be some sort of sensor issue, where the traction control sees the front wheels rotating a lot faster than the rears and so applies the brakes to try and equalize wheel speed. You'd hear lots of noise with this, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all your suggestions. The brake pedal is also very hard to push, possibly stuck in the engaged position. Really trying to find out if anyone else has seen this same problem.
The vehicle has relatively low miles. Plus if the pistons were frozen in calipers, wouldn't I see this problem more often than once every 6 months or so? Same with the sensor issue and power brake booster (not familiar with that) unless it was erratic. I would think once a sensor goes bad though, it would repeat more often.
 

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I discounted the frozen calipers, becuase it is unlikely that they would both fail at the same time to the same degree. Well, it's at the dealership now, so lets see you took it in yesterday, they will wait until 2:00 today to look at it, get it sorted by closing time at which point you will be informed that the brake booster (or what ever is needed) is not in stock but should be in by tomorrow and with luck you will have it back in only 3 days and only 300 or 400 dollars more than if you had a local shop fix it.
 

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Unintended braking problem!!!! I can smell another recall... just kidding!
 

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Octane said:
Unintended braking problem!!!! I can smell another recall... just kidding!
It could legitimately be a software glitch like previously mentioned.
Rotation sensors applying brakes like there is a loss of traction?
I wouldn't rule it out, knowing the history of quality and engineering.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Rav still at dealership. Say they still can find nothing wrong. Working with Toyota, so they say. They want to keep vehicle over weekend. Need to look into lemon law as I am sure it will happen again if they still can find nothing. You would think with all that is going on with Toyota now, they would do something but will have to wait and see. Very frustrating!!
 

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Hey Herman,

I'd like a bit more details on what was going on when the problem happened?

does it happen right after you brake, or does it kind of brake on it's own? did it start from when you started the car? are you sure it's just the front, or could it also be the back?

was there damage to the brakes from this, were the pads overheated because of this?

sorry about all the questions, I just want to understand a bit more what actually happen.. thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This last time right after I started the vehicle and backed it out of the driveway, I could tell something did not feel right so I would have applied the brakes as I put it into reverse to back out of driveway. After I had driven a few blocks and I would approach a stop sign, I would not have to apply the brakes, just take my foot off of the accelerator and the vehicle would come to a stop on its own. The more that I drive the harder it is to keep the vehicle moving as the brakes are fighting movement. I am pretty sure that it is just the front brakes and the pads do definitely get overheated as there was smoke coming out from under the wheel well and you could smell the burning odor. Also as I stated previously, the brake pedal at this point if very hard to push down for some reason. You can definitely tell the difference from what it normally feels like. Seems like by the time that the vehicle is towed to the dealership, the problem has gone away and they can't find the problem.
 

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My brakes have been "grabbing" not totally locking. I thought it might be moisuture but since I have a garge it doesn't make sense. I am going in Weds for 10,000 service and see what they say. I wouldn't know where to smell for brake heating? I have 10,500 miles - bought last August.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You can smell the brakes overheating right at tire where the brake drums are. It is a burnt smell.
 

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Do the rotors show any discoloration? Is it just one wheel or all?

As for the RAV4 (in my case,) I have to get used to 4 wheel disks, they are more sensitive then my Tacoma, but they have never locked.

Yuma,
 

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I have a 2009 Toyota Rav4 and today the front brakes locked up for no reason. This the second time that this has happened. You can smell the brakes overheating. The dealership could not find any problem the first time. The vehicle is at the dealership now. Has anyone else had this problem and if so, was there a fix?
Yes, I had a 2009 Rav4 and loved it, because it had a 4 wheel drive button and you could down shift to slow down in slush or snow or ice. Now I have a 2013 XLE with all wheel drive and it sucks. I touched my brakes yesterday in slush and my brakes locked up and slid into an intersection fortunately I had a yellow light and the traffic saw me. When I hit the pavement on the main road I had traction and was able to turn to avoid hitting a truck. It doesn't have 2 or 1 on the shift so I couldn't slow down. I called the service department and asked them if there was anything that I could have done and they said no there is nothing you can do when your brakes lock up. So now I'm looking for another vehicle.
 
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