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.

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!
  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: Can't move car

Hi. The vehicle's suspension system will have to thoroughly inspected and repaired, a vehicle alignment will also have to be performed after repairs. You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic to inspect the suspension and access the...

Q: Can I powder coat calipers that are already powder coated?

You can put on a second powder coat on your calipers as long as the powder coat is the same product. The original powder coat will have to be sanded down to create a rough surface to allow the second...

Q: What does the Charging System Light mean?

There are numerous lights that will light up on your dashboard if the indicated part begins to malfunction. The Charging System Light will illuminate if the battery is not charging properly. To understand the Charging System Light. The Charging...

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...
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...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.