Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Is it Safe to Drive With a Stuck Caliper?

Stuck Caliper

The caliper is part of the brake assembly which houses the brake pads and pistons. If you have a stuck caliper, the brake pad will not completely disengage from the surface of the brake rotor. This means you will be driving with the brakes applied slightly all of the time. Driving with a stuck caliper can create stress on the transmission, causing it to fail earlier. There are a lot problems that can accompany a stuck caliper.

Here are some symptoms to look for if you feel that one or more of your brakes has a stuck caliper:

  • A major sign of a stuck caliper is if the vehicle pulls to one side when braking or while driving. While going down the road, it will feel like you have to fight the steering wheel to keep the vehicle in a straight line.

  • Another sign of a stuck caliper is heat coming off the wheels after the vehicle has been driven. If you suspect a stuck caliper, stop the vehicle, put it in park, and turn off the engine. Place your hand near the wheel, without touching it, and see if you can feel heat. If the area near your wheel is excessively hot, you may have a stuck caliper. It is important not to touch the tire rim because the heat can cause severe burns.

  • One cause for a stuck caliper is if the brake pad shims get caught, or debris builds up in between the spaces. If this happens, the pads will not be able to slide in and out correctly, causing the caliper to stick. A mechanic will be able to clean the brake pad shims, or replace the brake pads with new ones if needed.

  • Another cause for a stuck caliper is the brake hose wearing out. If the brake hose wears out, the brake fluid will not be able to return to the master cylinder causing the vehicle to stick. This problem is difficult to spot and needs to be diagnosed by a mechanic. If diagnosed, a brake hose replacement might be required.

  • To keep your calipers in good working condition, and avoid stuck calipers, have your brake pads replaced often and keep your brake fluid topped off. Calipers should last the life of your vehicle if you replace the pads on a regular basis.

Driving with a stuck brake caliper can be difficult because the brake will be slightly depressed at all times.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.

ASK A QUESTION

More related articles

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...


Related questions

Q: How do I use the rear seatbelt comfort guides?

The rear seatbelt comfort guides are designed to make the rear seats more comfortable, especially for younger and smaller occupants. They’re very easy to use: 1. Find the safety belt comfort guide in the storage pocket on the side of...

Q: What does the Engine Oil Pressure warning light on the dash mean?

The Engine Oil Pressure Warning Light on the dashboard is most commonly an indication that the engine is burning oil or that the engine is losing oil. Some other reasons that the Engine Oil Pressure Warning Light is on in...

Q: How do I pull down the sun visor?

The sun visor can help increase your visibility during extremely bright conditions. There is a sun visor in front of both the driver and the front passenger seat. To access the sun visor, simply pull it down so that it...