Brake caliper stuck?

Suspension, brakes, chassis, subframe, more

Brake caliper stuck?

Postby Chief_Brody - November 7th, 2016, 11:59 am

A few months ago I replaced the rotors and pads all around on my '05. The fronts were warped and the left rear had gone down to metal on metal. The job went without a hitch. Now, for the past few weeks, every once in a while I smell the sweet smell of brakes when I'm outside the car after a drive. Also, if I'm letting off the brake from a stop, I sometimes hear a groan or a creak noise from the left rear... As if it's reluctantly releasing pressure so I can move forward. It's gotten me thinking that the L/R caliper is gripping the rotor when it's not supposed to. This would also explain why the pad material was gone when I did the big brake job. The piston did freely move, and I greased the pins.

What's my next step here? I've heard of calipers frozen and not braking at all, but this is a new one for me. Thanks.
-Steve
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Re: Brake caliper stuck?

Postby Mike Dee - November 7th, 2016, 8:38 pm

The system rusts on the inside as well, a little bit of rust can easily jam a piston, preventing it from sliding back easily when the brakes are released.
Brake fluid sucks up moisture every time you open the reservoir, so dont do it, you should be able to see the level and shouldnt ever need to add more unless there is a leak. The level will go down as the brakes wear and go back up when new pads/shoes are added.

If thats the original fluid then it is well used and time for a flush. You can also flush it every few years as you notice it go darker. An excellent way is the "one man flush", its fairly quick and easy...as long as your bleeders open, and only needs a bottle, bit of used brake fluid and a few feet of hose.
If you are lucky you can pick up some quality cheap calipers from a closeout from a place like rockauto.
To see if its sticking, put it in neutral on a slight grade, see if it rolls. Get out and check the rim temperature and compare it to the other rims, sometimes a sticking brake can get hot enough to blister a finger lol, so do it quick.
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Re: Brake caliper stuck?

Postby Chief_Brody - November 14th, 2016, 12:41 pm

Thanks for the answer - sorry for the late reply. As of yesterday, the pedal's become very mushy.
A friend suggested my caliper is shot, so now I'm thinking I need to replace that and do a complete fluid flush asap. Not fun.
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Re: Brake caliper stuck?

Postby Chief_Brody - November 17th, 2016, 1:06 pm

Can anyone tell me what the symptoms are of a failing master cylinder? My brake pedal is mushy but it cannot be pumped back up. If there was just air in the lines, I believe this wouldn't be the case.
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Re: Brake caliper stuck?

Postby Squirrel - December 14th, 2016, 2:41 am

Hard to say. Generally speaking, air will allow you to pump back up. Bad Master will not. So, as you can see, hard to say. :hyst:

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Re: Brake caliper stuck?

Postby 14theRoad - December 15th, 2016, 3:34 pm

Chief_Brody wrote:Can anyone tell me what the symptoms are of a failing master cylinder? My brake pedal is mushy but it cannot be pumped back up. If there was just air in the lines, I believe this wouldn't be the case.


Did you bleed your brakes before or after you worked on your system? If you worked on all four corners and you bled them after, you probably contaminated the Master cylinder and/or abs by pushing all the nasty fluid back up into them.

Do a complete brake flush, then see if how the brakes works. Go from there.
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