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Q: Brakes make a swoosh sound

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I am thinking about buying a Prius and I test drove one at the dealership. I noticed that whenever I pressed the brakes, I heard swoosh sound. Almost as if air was being released. Does that seem normal to you? Right now I have a 2007 Prius and it does not make that sound. The dealership say it is a normal thing for hybrids.

A: Things change as technology advances. Most ...

Things change as technology advances. Most hybrids have a regenerative braking system to charge up the hybrid battery. If Toyota has changed the design of the regenerative braking system since the year of Prius that you own, it is very possible that the noise you hear could be a normal part of its operation. I would recommend test driving one or two more newer Prius’ and see if they make the same noises. If they do, the sound must be normal. If not, you were lied to by the spokesperson at the dealership.

If and when you do decide on a new car, consider having a mobile mechanic come out to the location of the vehicle to perform a thorough pre-purchase inspection.

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