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Discussion Starter #1
I was doing my tire rotation on the PacHy this evening and I took a look at the front disk brake pads while I had the wheels off. At almost 15,000 miles from what I can see there is very minimal wear. In the photo below (taken through one of the slots in the top of the caliper) you can see the brake pad with yellow coloration on the edge. Just to the left of it is the rotor. Anyone familiar with brakes can see that these pads are in practically new condition. While normal cars/vans will go through a set of pads maybe once every 40-50,000 miles, these will likely last well beyond 120,000 miles. All due to the fact that the majority of braking is done, not by the brakes, but by the motor in the transmission acting as a generator.
 

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I was doing my tire rotation on the PacHy this evening and I took a look at the front disk brake pads while I had the wheels off. At almost 15,000 miles from what I can see there is very minimal wear. In the photo below (taken through one of the slots in the top of the caliper) you can see the brake pad with yellow coloration on the edge. Just to the left of it is the rotor. Anyone familiar with brakes can see that these pads are in practically new condition. While normal cars/vans will go through a set of pads maybe once every 40-50,000 miles, these will likely last well beyond 120,000 miles. All due to the fact that the majority of braking is done, not by the brakes, but by the motor in the transmission acting as a generator.
Didn't know all of that! Good to know and even worth considering when purchasing since that probably saves $5-10/month on brake maintenance costs over the course of 5 yrs, if true.
 

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I’ve “enjoyed” doing my own brake work. When I hit however many miles it’ll take to require replacement, I dread it. I can’t imagine any of it coming apart easily after that much time.
 

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When my LEAF was about five years old, a mechanic said the brakes were 20% used. I use regen very aggressively, but I didn't expect it to be that good. I doubt I'll keep the car 20 years, so probably I'll never change the brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I’ve “enjoyed” doing my own brake work. When I hit however many miles it’ll take to require replacement, I dread it. I can’t imagine any of it coming apart easily after that much time.
Haha! I enjoy doing my own work on cars too. I’m guessing you may not own your PacHy long enough to have to change the pads. Another thing to remember is that part of the problem of why the brakes don’t come apart easily is because of the heating/cooling cycles they experience and the condensation/moisture that settles around them causing so much rust. I imagine that will be much reduced with the PacHy. Although there’s still the problem of living in an area where it snows every winter and the municipalities put salt on the roads....uggh!
 

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I’ve “enjoyed” doing my own brake work. When I hit however many miles it’ll take to require replacement, I dread it. I can’t imagine any of it coming apart easily after that much time.
If they're regularly serviced they should come apart no problem for pad replacement when needed.
 

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I have a 2 year old PacHy, 60K km roughly, and 80% of all driving is electric only and regen used for deceleration whenever possible. Dealer is pushing for some brake work - brake fluid flush and service. Brakes seem to be in fine condition, but how often should we worry about service and brake fluid on a hybrid when they're not used as often as a traditional vehicle? Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have a 2 year old PacHy, 60K km roughly, and 80% of all driving is electric only and regen used for deceleration whenever possible. Dealer is pushing for some brake work - brake fluid flush and service. Brakes seem to be in fine condition, but how often should we worry about service and brake fluid on a hybrid when they're not used as often as a traditional vehicle? Thoughts?
Personally, I think the dealer is just trying to get you to spend some money. If you’re driving the van the way you are saying, the brakes are getting very little usage. The hydraulic system is a closed system. The only way the brake fluid gets contaminated is by contaminants working their way in past the seals on the pistons in the brake calipers. I have looked at brake fluid on cars with 100k+ miles and it was still clean. I personally do not believe that brake fluid ever needs to be flushed unless there is an issue with the pistons in the caliper where you see leakage of fluid. If that happens you will notice the fluid level in the reservoir decreasing abnormally. And actually, the fluid in the reservoir will decrease a little bit just due to wear on the pads. Worn brake pads require that more of the fluid from the reservoir be pushed out to the cylinders to compensate.

I personally would not even think of flushing the fluid before your first pad replacement and my guess is that you are far from that. My PacHy has roughly 30k km (18,000 miles) and the brake pads appear to have virtually no wear on them. My guess is that I won’t even have to think about putting my first set of brake pads on the car until at least 150k miles (240k km). And, then, only if I were to see evidence of fluid leakage would I even be inclined to think about flushing the brake fluid. My old 2002 Honda Odyssey with 313k miles has never had the brake fluid flushed and never shown signs of leakage.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Personally, I think the dealer is just trying to get you to spend some money. If you’re driving the van the way you are saying, the brakes are getting very little usage. The hydraulic system is a closed system. The only way the brake fluid gets contaminated is by contaminants working their way in past the seals on the pistons in the brake calipers. I have looked at brake fluid on cars with 100k+ miles and it was still clean. I personally do not believe that brake fluid ever needs to be flushed unless there is an issue with the pistons in the caliper where you see leakage of fluid. If that happens you will notice the fluid level in the reservoir decreasing abnormally. And actually, the fluid in the reservoir will decrease a little bit just due to wear on the pads. Worn brake pads require that more of the fluid from the reservoir be pushed out to the cylinders to compensate.

I personally would not even think of flushing the fluid before your first pad replacement and my guess is that you are far from that. My PacHy has roughly 30k km (18,000 miles) and the brake pads appear to have virtually no wear on them. My guess is that I won’t even have to think about putting my first set of brake pads on the car until at least 150k miles (240k km). And, then, only if I were to see evidence of fluid leakage would I even be inclined to think about flushing the brake fluid. My old 2002 Honda Odyssey with 313k miles has never had the brake fluid flushed and never shown signs of leakage.
And just an additional thought that I personally have regarding the need to flush your radiator fluid. The coolant system on your vehicle is also essentially a closed system that allows for thermal expansion into an overflow reservoir. The excess fluid that goes into that reservoir when the engine heats up should be sucked back into the system when the engine cools down.

There are certain properties of the coolant that ‘wear out’ over time and they are the the ability to lubricate the water pump and the ability to prevent corrosion. About once every two years I add a bottle of, you guessed it, Radiator Anti-Rust & Water Pump Lube to my coolant. I believe this essentially renovates the fluid so that there is less need for flushing. If a dealer or mechanic tells you that you should flush your radiator fluid ask them for the technical reason why. I believe that if you visually examine a sample of your fluid every year and check its specific gravity (with one of those little testers that looks like a miniature turkey baster with the balls floating in it) and it looks clean and you add the additive in every couple of years then you are good to go.
 

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Personally, I think the dealer is just trying to get you to spend some money. If you’re driving the van the way you are saying, the brakes are getting very little usage. The hydraulic system is a closed system. The only way the brake fluid gets contaminated is by contaminants working their way in past the seals on the pistons in the brake calipers. I have looked at brake fluid on cars with 100k+ miles and it was still clean. I personally do not believe that brake fluid ever needs to be flushed unless there is an issue with the pistons in the caliper where you see leakage of fluid. If that happens you will notice the fluid level in the reservoir decreasing abnormally. And actually, the fluid in the reservoir will decrease a little bit just due to wear on the pads. Worn brake pads require that more of the fluid from the reservoir be pushed out to the cylinders to compensate.

I personally would not even think of flushing the fluid before your first pad replacement and my guess is that you are far from that. My PacHy has roughly 30k km (18,000 miles) and the brake pads appear to have virtually no wear on them. My guess is that I won’t even have to think about putting my first set of brake pads on the car until at least 150k miles (240k km). And, then, only if I were to see evidence of fluid leakage would I even be inclined to think about flushing the brake fluid. My old 2002 Honda Odyssey with 313k miles has never had the brake fluid flushed and never shown signs of leakage.
And just an additional thought that I personally have regarding the need to flush your radiator fluid. The coolant system on your vehicle is also essentially a closed system that allows for thermal expansion into an overflow reservoir. The excess fluid that goes into that reservoir when the engine heats up should be sucked back into the system when the engine cools down.

There are certain properties of the coolant that ‘wear out’ over time and they are the the ability to lubricate the water pump and the ability to prevent corrosion. About once every two years I add a bottle of, you guessed it, Radiator Anti-Rust & Water Pump Lube to my coolant. I believe this essentially renovates the fluid so that there is less need for flushing. If a dealer or mechanic tells you that you should flush your radiator fluid ask them for the technical reason why. I believe that if you visually examine a sample of your fluid every year and check its specific gravity (with one of those little testers that looks like a miniature turkey baster with the balls floating in it) and it looks clean and you add the additive in every couple of years then you are good to go.
Thank you for all the feedback - seriously appreciated.

The one gentleman at the dealer is such a nice guy and have spoken with him many times. Been there a handful for the odd tire change, recall or minor warranty need. They always lose their minds though about my mileage and oil changes. I can't recall exactly what it was for, but I was there during the second year and it had been 20,000km since my last oil change. I told him it wasn't needed, and he kept pushing. I had to explain, its been 8-9 months since the last oil change, and the gas engine has only actually run for 4000km, but they really didn't understand it. I think they rarely ever see any hybrids at this location.
 

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My old 2002 Honda Odyssey with 313k miles has never had the brake fluid flushed and never shown signs of leakage.
Disclaimer: PacDave is a trained professional and knows his vehicle, but do not follow his advice. Have your brake fluid checked by a trusted mechanic every 3 years. :)
 
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