Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Stuck brake caliper

asked by on

I replaced brake pads and rotors, now one caliper is sticking. No problems prior to brake pad & rotor replacement. If I open the bleeder I can push the caliper back in by hand. Is it the caliper or brake line? Or did I do something wrong?

My car has 165000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Although it is possible for a collapsed (in...

Although it is possible for a collapsed (internally and thus "invisible") rubber brake line to cause a retraction failure, by far the most common scenario is the caliper is sticking. If the calipers have more than, say, 70,000 miles on them, essentially they are not re-usable without re-building. There is an internal seal in the caliper bore and the operating conditions are extremely harsh including continuous corrosion and extreme heat.

I have learned the hard way that the only way to have any reasonable assurance that disc brakes will work properly, if they are present as "worn out', is to automatically discard the calipers and torque plates and buy loaded re-built calipers from a reputable vendor such as AC Delco or better yet, through an OEM dealer rebuild source. You may also have sticky sliding bushings in the torque plate, accounting for the stickiness you are seeing so you can check that out as well. But, again, if you have north of 70,000 miles on the calipers, just trade them in and save yourself a lot of headaches and unusual wear patterns on your brand news pads and rotors.

Have a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your location to perform a brake inspection to determine the source of any sticking and suggest repairs.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Throttle custs out for a split second then resumes.like nothin happend

You should have the vehicle computer scanned to see if there are any codes stored that may cause this problem. If there is no codes then have the computer data monitored and recorded when the problem happens to see if...

Q: Brake calipers

Hopefully your mechanic bled your brakes after he replaced the calipers. If he did, you may want to find out if he greased the outside of the brake pads to stop the excessive noise. He also should have greased the...

Q: How do I improve the fuel economy?

There are several different good driving habits that can improve the fuel economy of your vehicle. To improve the fuel economy of your vehicle, try these good driving habits. Operate the vehicle smoothly and moderately. Use steady speed. Slow...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...