Whenever you have problems with the brakes on your car, truck, or SUV, it is imperative that you take the issue seriously and work to get the problem resolved. Even the smallest brake problem can eventually lead to your vehicle's inability to stop as quickly as it should. One problem that occurs often is sticking brake calipers. This can be a dangerous problem if not tended to quickly. Here, you'll learn about the dangers of sticking calipers, why they stick, and how to know when they are sticking.
Dangers of Sticking Calipers
The calipers are just one component of the brake system. They compress and release the pad from the rotor. If the caliper is sticking, the pad will not release from the rotor, and if you continue to drive, the pad and the rotor will overheat.
If you continue to overheat the pad and rotor, you could begin to have brake fluid issues. The fluid will become overheated and could begin to boil. This will cause a complete loss of brakes as your brake pedal goes to the floor when you press it.
Why the Calipers Stick
There are four main issues that cause the calipers to stick, including:
Bad Brake Hose – As brake hoses wear out, small pieces of them can break off and clog the hose. This prevents the fluid from flowing freely to and from the master cylinder. When the fluid can't flow, the calipers can't open and close.
Bad Caliper Piston – There is a rubber boot around the caliper piston. The boot is there to seal and lubricate the piston, but if it's damaged, it can prevent the caliper from opening and closing as it should.
Bad Caliper Bolts – The caliper bolts are also covered with rubber boots to protect them from dirt and debris, as well as keep them lubricated. If the boot is damaged, the caliper will not function as it should.
Bad Caliper Slides – The small grooves on the sides of the calipers are the slides. The slides can corrode or get debris trapped in them, which will prevent them from allowing the brake pads to slide as they should.
How to Identify Sticking Calipers
How can you tell if your calipers are sticking?
- You smell burning brakes when you drive even a short distance.
- The car pulls to one side when you press the brake pedal.
- The car slows down even when you aren't compressing the brake pedal.
If you think that you're having problems with your brakes, don't hesitate to get on the phone with your local mechanic and get things taken care of. You don't want to find yourself stuck along the road or rear-ending someone because you couldn't get stopped in time.
For more information, contact local auto parts professionals.