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

More related articles

How Long Does a Throttle Return Spring Last?
Not all vehicles on the road feature an electronic throttle control (ETC), which is also called drive-by-wire. For vehicles that don't offer this system, they have a throttle cable instead that...
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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...


Related questions

Q: How do I properly wear a seat belt?

Seat belts are extremely important safety features that should be used anytime the vehicle is moving. However, it’s important to not only wear a seatbelt, but wear it correctly. Whenever you buckle your seat belt, keep these *Tipin mind: 1....

Q: How do I adjust the rear view mirror?

The rear view mirror provides added visibility out of the rear window. Before driving, you should always adjust your mirror to the ideal position, so that you have maximum visibility. To adjust the mirror, manually tilt it up or down,...

Q: Where are the safety labels located?

Your vehicle has a few different safety labels to help you understand dangers and potential hazards for your vehicle. The labels have different pieces of information, and are located in a few different spots: 1. The driver side doorjamb. 2....