Q: Possible causes of brakes that stick

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Can a brake master cylinder cause brakes to stick? How can I tell if it is the caliper or the master cylinder? Is there anything else that can make them stick?

A lot of things can make them stick. Brake master cylinders can make them stick. Here is how you can tell if the brake master cylinder is making them stick. Jack the car up and you’ll see if they are sticking.

Pull on the wheels and see if the wheels are sticking. Go to the brake master cylinder, and all you have to do where the brake lines are, is loosen all the lines. Then, if you go down, and the wheels spin freely, that means that master cylinder was sticking because when you open those lines that would take any pressure off the master cylinder.

Now, let’s say that you think caliper is stuck. If the caliper itself is stuck, all that you’ve got to do is go to the caliper. They have the bleeder valves. You open the bleeder valve and there--if the master cylinder made them stick when you opened the bleeder valve that would make the wheel free out. But, if you opened the bleeder valve and the wheel was still stuck that means that caliper was sticking.

Also, the brake lines themselves can make them stick if the end is mostly made of it metal and those can collapse. But the end is usually the rubber line so you can turn the wheel unflexed. If those collapse, they can make them stick. In that case, it would be a deal where you look at the rubber line of it and start free again. Then you’d know if the line collapsed and needs replacing.

These procedures can be tough, so if you need help with this, have a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, inspect your braking issue and determine what repairs are needed.

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