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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, 1st post here.

Well my 3 year lease is over and I've decided to buy the car out at this point. I'm at just under 34,000 miles and it looks like I need brakes all around (very surprised by that as most of the driving is EV and regen is used as much as possible. But I do believe the western NY winters limit regen causing physical braking to be used pretty often. but I digress.

I haven't found anything on here with someone discussing brake jobs. Over $900 at the dealer doesn't sit well with me since I can just do it myself. Now looking for rotors and pads i've come across almost no options. I'm probably going to go with 1 Concepts eLINE Series Rear Brake Rotors with Ceramic Pads from amazon.

My mind is blown at the lack of after market options, and 34k miles for the originals is very disappointing. Well any input would be great.

Thanks,

Tim
 

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I recently did a brake fluid exchange and, at 30k mile, I still have ~80% pad left. Other than some rust, rotors are in great shape. Cleaned them up and ready to go. Makes me wonder why your brake pad wear is much higher. The Clarity I drive is driven 70/30 EV/ICE and 80/20 local vs highway miles.

Winters here aren't as bad as NY so that's one variable for sure. Just giving you some perspective.

I'd be interested in what you find for after market parts. Will help me and others down the road when the time comes.

Good luck
 

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Hi everyone, 1st post here.

Well my 3 year lease is over and I've decided to buy the car out at this point. I'm at just under 34,000 miles and it looks like I need brakes all around (very surprised by that as most of the driving is EV and regen is used as much as possible. But I do believe the western NY winters limit regen causing physical braking to be used pretty often. but I digress.

I haven't found anything on here with someone discussing brake jobs. Over $900 at the dealer doesn't sit well with me since I can just do it myself. Now looking for rotors and pads i've come across almost no options. I'm probably going to go with 1 Concepts eLINE Series Rear Brake Rotors with Ceramic Pads from amazon.

My mind is blown at the lack of after market options, and 34k miles for the originals is very disappointing. Well any input would be great.

Thanks,

Tim
So I’m assuming you have personally inspected the pads and found them to be worn down. I wouldn’t take the dealer’s word for it or anyone else’s for that matter. Also, are you sure the rotors need to be replaced? Even on a non-hybrid car I wouldn’t expect to replace the rotors until we’ll after 100k miles. Overall, it seems very fishy to me that you would need new rotors and pads at 34k on a hybrid no less. I don’t think I’ve ever changed the pads that early on any car I’ve owned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the feedback! I actually didn't check out the brakes myself yet, so you're right I'll check them out myself today. I actually talked my sister and father into getting the lease deal 3 years ago and they both bought out their leases. My sister has over 36k miles and needed new brakes as well. I'm thinking the lack of regen at temps below 40 and the weight of the vehicle really hurts brake pad life. Winter salt doesn't help the rotors, but I'll see how they look.

Tim
 

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Me thinks you’ve experienced a dealership fishing for your wallet hoping to catch a whopper.

Folks who deal with salt can get very crusty brake components that can make the brake pads stick to the sliding pins that should allow free movement. This leads to heavy wear of the pad and rotor but for that to all occur to the extent of needing complete replacements by 3 years and 30k is a stretch.

Cars, especially hybrids, driven in those conditions should increase their brake cleaning service intervals since the brakes aren’t used as much due to regen.
 

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I've been driving EVs for over twenty years, and have never replaced any brake components on any of them. Ever.

My 2011 Volt has over 75,000 miles on it, and at 65,000 miles it still had over 80% of its pads left.

I've heard it said that the brakes on an EV should outlast the vehicle. What's special about the Clarity?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I wasn't able to get to the brakes today. Hopefully tomorrow works out. But I totally agree that this doesn't make sense to need brakes with this amount of miles, this is why I've tried to do some research. I've had 3 gen 1 insights that totaled over 500k miles and zero brake jobs. I will say my 2012 Nissan Leaf has had 2 brake jobs, 1st because of warn pads around 70k miles, 2nd because rotors rusted from lack of use, and bad parking conditions.

The only "special" thing about the clarity is it weighs almost 5,000lbs. Leaf 3,400lbs, Insight 1,800 lbs, Volt 3,500lbs. The cold weather could really add up for me meaning I could see 5 months of temps in the 40's which seem to limit regen. I'll report back tomorrow after checking the brakes myself.
 

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I question the integrity of the dealership. If this is caused by braking without regen, or because of ice or the salt on the road, then a non-regen standard car would need new brakes before 34,000 miles, too. They don't. (Are you towing an aircraft carrier with it? That would make a difference!)
Please get a second opinion before proceeding.

There is also a comment in a topic here about wheel bearing noise, in which case the owner was informed that rust had built up on the brake rotor simply from not being used enough because of the regen system. An inexperienced or greedy mechanic could easily mistake that for deterioration of the disk.Front wheel bearing issue...?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
lol. I usually use the pickup truck for the aircraft carrier, but there was the occasional weekend outing.
 

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I question the integrity of the dealership. If this is caused by braking without regen, or because of ice or the salt on the road, then a non-regen standard car would need new brakes before 34,000 miles, too. They don't. (Are you towing an aircraft carrier with it? That would make a difference!)
Please get a second opinion before proceeding.

There is also a comment in a topic here about wheel bearing noise, in which case the owner was informed that rust had built up on the brake rotor simply from not being used enough because of the regen system. An inexperienced or greedy mechanic could easily mistake that for deterioration of the disk.Front wheel bearing issue...?
Yeah, I’ve seen a thin layer of rust form on the rotors if a car sits for some days in humid weather. Although the symptoms are that it usually makes no noise until the brakes are applied whereas bearings usually make noise when the brakes are not applied. But that rust will quickly wear off when driving. In fact, I’ve assumed that the hybrids must ever so slightly engage the mechanical brakes even during regenerative braking because I’ve never noticed an inordinate problem with rust on the rotors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
First wheel off. They weren't exactly wrong when they said the pads were low. the outer pad wasn't able to float and is jammed into the rotor. Rotors usually are cheap enough that I change them with pads because of rust. This is 3 seasons of Buffalo Winters, so I'll probably do the whole brake job while I'm in here.
 

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Holy crapola Batman! That's from just three years and 34,000 miles?

That's not a Clarity issue, that's a "Buffalo in winter" issue. Gotta go with the dealer's brake guy on this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yup, salt is fun stuff. I'm going to start doing a brake clean up when I put the summer tires back on in the spring. I will say I haven't come across such a nice spring return for the pads to back off the rotors when not in use. Here are some pictures of the front.
 

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Well I wasn't able to get to the brakes today. Hopefully tomorrow works out. But I totally agree that this doesn't make sense to need brakes with this amount of miles, this is why I've tried to do some research. I've had 3 gen 1 insights that totaled over 500k miles and zero brake jobs. I will say my 2012 Nissan Leaf has had 2 brake jobs, 1st because of warn pads around 70k miles, 2nd because rotors rusted from lack of use, and bad parking conditions.

The only "special" thing about the clarity is it weighs almost 5,000lbs. Leaf 3,400lbs, Insight 1,800 lbs, Volt 3,500lbs. The cold weather could really add up for me meaning I could see 5 months of temps in the 40's which seem to limit regen. I'll report back tomorrow after checking the brakes myself.
The Clarity PHEV weighs about 4050 lbs not 5000.lbs.
 

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Wow! I'd be looking at methods to spray fresh water up on the undercarriage after driving it in snowy weather. I wonder what everything else under there looks like?

Makes the old "undercoating upsell" scam look less like a scam!
 

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First wheel off. They weren't exactly wrong when they said the pads were low. the outer pad wasn't able to float and is jammed into the rotor. Rotors usually are cheap enough that I change them with pads because of rust. This is 3 seasons of Buffalo Winters, so I'll probably do the whole brake job while I'm in here.
Yep, those Buffalo winters are nasty. I did a brake job and rack and pinion replacement on a Volvo that had spent many winters in Buffalo. I never saw so much rust on a car in my life! And, in fact, it had a similar problem to what you’re describing. One of the pistons on the caliper was fairly frozen and ended up wearing one end of the brake pad practically down to nothing.
Your rotors look terrible but the pads (at least as far as I can tell from one photo) don’t look so bad. I’m making it a point to check on the brakes on my 2018 Pacifica Hybrid before winter gets here. Don’t want any of that happening!
 

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They weren't exactly wrong when they said the pads were low. the outer pad wasn't able to float and is jammed into the rotor.
Any idea how much the pads were worn from original? Were all of the pads worn down or just one of them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I couldn't stand the heat in Az, plus who doesn't love random 7' snowfalls?

I'm not sure how thick the original pads are. It really was just the one stuck pad that was worn. The rest looked great with tons of meat on them and would easily last another 90k miles like one would expect with such good regen. I'm contemplated on just using those pads and changing the rotors, but I'll probably just spend the little extra and replace them all. Maybe keep the pads as emergency backup for some reason.
 

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Any idea how much the pads were worn from original? Were all of the pads worn down or just one of them?
From the photo, it looked like only the outer pad was severely worn, and the inner was nearly as thick as new. Pretty clearly, the caliper wasn't able to move on the slide pins, and the outer pad was doing all the braking. That's some major corrosion going on right there.
 
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