Symptoms of a failing brake caliper include the car pulling to one side or a grinding noise coming from the wheels while braking. A sudden decrease in gas mileage and a pungent smell of burning brakes are also indicative of the problem.
Stuck pistons and improperly placed pins are common caliper problems. When the caliper piston gets stuck in the closed position, the brake pad is constantly being pressed against the rotor. This causes the brakes to overheat and the car to pull to the affected side. Improperly installed or faulty pins cause the caliper to align improperly with the rotor. This leads to uneven wear on the brake pads and rotors,