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.

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?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Stuck brake caliper

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: P1000- On Board Diagnostics 2 Monitor/ Drive Cycle test not complete

Hi there. I would recommend reading this article that is highlighted in blue. The P0175 OBD-II code has multiple possible sources that can trigger the error code ranging from O2 sensors, mass air flow sensors or simply clogged fuel injectors....

Q: My brakes lock up once the car is warmed up

The brakes may not be releasing all the pressure if they are partly engaged after using them. This can be caused by a few different problems. Besides the brake calipers sticking or the brake hoses blocking pressure, you may have...

Q: Turns over but will not start and has a strong odor of gas.

Check the location of where the fuel smell is emitting from on your vehicle. If the fuel smell is coming from the fuel tank area, then the fuel pump, fuel line, fuel filter, fuel fuller neck, charcoal canister, or the...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...