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Old 05-18-2021, 05:34 PM #16
Dragon_EX Dragon_EX is offline
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Alright, here is the update, just for posterity so anyone else who googles this can see. As a quick spoiler, this turned into a cautionary tale against franchise mechanics more than a troubleshooting post. I just got my 4runner back today and all I have is good news. I did end up going to the dealership but I think it turned out great. Seems like I got lucky and didn't end up at a stealership. In the end I'm not exactly sure what out of what they did fixed it but the brakes are back to perfect feeling. As a refresher/clarification, the shop I had taken it to before kind of fixed it by rebuilding the rear brakes. Got it maybe halfway to perfect feeling. Then I mess with the parking brake and it goes back to feeling like garbage, and flat out unsafe to drive. Honestly still not sure if it was a screw up on my part, the shop's awful work, or something inherent.

First of all, it turns out that the axle bearing and the seals on the driver side were shot, the tech emailed me a picture of everything inside the drum dripping with grease... Not particularly surprising however, because the passenger side one failed a couple years ago and was making the drum smoke so it was only a matter of time, but I'm glad both are fixed now (what the hell did the other shop do to when they rebuilt the brakes?!). Next they did a full brake job and flush, turned the drums and got new shoes, and they ended up deciding to do a front brake job as well, but I don't feel ripped off because the last time the front pads got replaced was probably 5 years ago, my dad got cheap ones and I don't even think he got the rotors turned. So yeah, the brakes feel really great now, back to exactly how I imagine it should feel. OEM parts probably help with that too.

As you can probably guess going to the dealership was not the cheapest at $1300, those labor costs rack up, but I don't even care at this point. It's probably the most annoying problem I've had with my 4runner just because of the way it made driving feel less safe. I swear the brakes must have felt like that for several years. I thought for sure the whole time they were gonna call me back and say "yeah its the master cylinder, that'll be $4000 please", and even after they told me about doing the full brake jobs and flush I thought "oh, its just standard procedure I'm sure, I'll have to take it back for that $4000 master cylinder replacement", so I'm honestly extremely happy to have the brakes back to normal. Unfortunately I don't see this update helping many people in the future since it turned out to be a simple and obvious brake job that fixed it, so it's turned more into another cautionary tale about how typical franchise shops screw you over. So in the end I guess the moral of the story is, if you gotta take your 4runner to someone to get it fixed, make sure they know what the hell they're doing! Who would have thought? And as a funny side note, the first thing written on the paperwork is "inspect the drivers floor mat" twice. They must get a lot of those kind of people coming in...
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Old 05-19-2021, 10:58 AM #17
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Sounds like your dual master cylinder has worn into a single.

Meaning, it sounds like the MS is worn out.
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