There are two main concerns when figuring out the underlying cause for a newly installed brake caliper. If your new caliper is sticking and the old caliper which was replaced wasn’t sticking, it may be due to a faulty new caliper or improper installation.
But if the old caliper was replaced because of sticking and the new one acts the same way, there can be many reasons, including a faulty rubber brake hose.
If the first scenario of a faulty caliper is not applicable, one of the following may be the cause.
Table of Contents
- Causes Of New Brake Calipers Sticking.
- Bad Brake Caliper Symptoms.
- How to Avoid a Seized Brake Caliper?
- How Do You Fix a Sticking Brake Caliper?
Causes Of New Brake Calipers Sticking.
Brake Caliper Piston
If the rubber boot surrounding the piston is torn, then debris or rust can form inside the caliper, and it may cause the calipers to stick due to a lack of smooth sliding. The sticking can also be caused by the piston itself if it is not adequately lubricated.
Brake Caliper Mounting Bracket
If the brake caliper mounting bracket is bent or warped, it can cause the calipers to stick. The calipers need to be able to slide freely to work correctly, and a bent or warped bracket can prevent that from happening.
A cracked or broken brake hose may cause brake fluid to flow onto the pistons. This will slow down the vehicle, thus making it difficult for the fluid to return to the master cylinder, causing calipers to stick.
Brake Caliper Slides
Corrosion or debris built up in the grooves or on the brake pads will lead to calipers sticking because of the inability of the brake pads to slide out.
Brake Caliper Bolts
Worn-out or torn rubber layers around the caliper bolts may lead to dry or rusted bolts. This will affect the smooth sliding, which will result in frozen calipers.
The other possible causes for calipers sticking are rusty & stuck brake pads, dirty caliper Guide Pin, Parking Brake Steel Cables, and dirty or old brake fluid.
Bad Brake Caliper Symptoms.
Vehicles Pull To One Side
If your vehicle is pulling to one side or the other, it could signify that your brake calipers are not functioning correctly. This problem is often caused by a build-up of rust on the caliper piston.
The piston is what pushes the brake pads against the rotor, and if it is stuck in place, it can cause the vehicle to pull to one side. You can use vinegar or a commercial brake cleaner to clean the piston. If this does not fix the problem, you may need to replace the caliper.
Brake Pedal Feels Spongy
If your brake pedal feels spongy when you press it, it could signify a leak in the brake system. This problem is usually caused by a leak in the master cylinder.
The master cylinder contains fluid used to apply pressure to the brake pads. If there is a leak, the fluid will escape and cause the pedal to feel spongy. You will need to have the master cylinder repaired or replaced to fix this problem.
Car Slows Down By Itself
One of the most common symptoms is that the car will start to slow down by itself. This is usually caused by rust and debris in the caliper, which prevents it from moving freely.
High Fuel Consumption
A seized brake caliper will make your engine work more complicated because of the unnecessary braking, leading to high fuel consumption.
Excess Heat from The Wheels
Brake pads will be constantly pressured by a sticky brake caliper generating constant friction with the rotor, eventually generating a lot of heat.
How to Avoid a Seized Brake Caliper?
Seized brake calipers can be a significant inconvenience, suddenly causing your brakes to fail. In some cases, the caliper may even become stuck in the “on” position, resulting in a loss of braking power.
There are a few simple steps you can take to avoid this problem. First, make sure to clean your calipers regularly.
A build-up of dirt and grime can cause the calipers to stick. You can use vinegar to clean the calipers and help prevent rust. Second, be sure to lubricate the caliper pistons with silicone grease. This will help keep them moving freely.
Finally, check the caliper bolts regularly and make sure they are tight. Loose bolts can cause the caliper to move around, making it more likely to seize up. You can avoid seized brake calipers and keep your car running smoothly by following these simple tips.
How Do You Fix a Sticking Brake Caliper?
If your brake caliper is sticking, it’s essential to fix it as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could end up in a dangerous situation while driving.
Here’s how to fix a sticking brake caliper:
- First, check the caliper for any apparent problems. If something is blocking the caliper from moving freely, remove it.
- Next, take a look at the caliper piston. If it’s stuck in the extended position, you’ll need to free it up before continuing. This can be done by gently pushing on the piston with a flathead screwdriver or another tool.
- Once the piston is free, press it back into the caliper until it’s flush with the surface.
- Now, you’ll need to bleed the brakes. This process will remove any air from the braking system and allow the caliper to move freely.
- Finally, test the caliper by pressing on the brake pedal. If it’s still sticking, repeat the steps above until the problem is fixed.
If you’re having trouble fixing a sticking brake caliper, it’s always a good idea to take your car to a mechanic and have them look at it. They can diagnose the problem and make sure that everything is fixed correctly.
Always be aware of the symptoms of a bad brake caliper and take your car in for service if you experience any of them. By catching a potential issue early, you can save yourself time and money down the road. Have you ever had to replace your brake calipers? What was the cause? Let us know in the comments below.
Can you unstick a brake caliper?
You can unstick a brake caliper by using penetrating oil to free up the brake pads.
Can you drive with a sticking brake caliper?
You can drive with a sticking brake caliper, but it is not recommended. A sticking brake caliper can cause the brakes to overheat and eventually fail.
How far can I drive with a stuck caliper?
It’s generally not safe to drive far with a stuck caliper. The brake fluid can become contaminated, leading to decreased braking power. Additionally, the heat from braking will cause the brake pads and rotor to wear down more quickly. If you’re only going a short distance, driving may be okay, but you should have the problem fixed as soon as possible.