Q:

What causes brake calipers to stick?

A:

Quick Answer

There are four primary reasons that brake calipers begin to stick: malfunctioning caliper slides, worn out brake hoses, dry or rusty caliper bolts, and debris inside the brake caliper piston. Because brake calipers have many different parts that need to perform different functions to provide their slowing and stopping power, there are many different possible reasons for a caliper to stick.

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Full Answer

Brake calipers are an important part of a vehicle's braking system and can be dangerous if they are not functioning properly. If a car pulls to the side when it brakes, or if the brakes lose some of their stopping and slowing power, the vehicle may have sticking calipers. If a vehicle has malfunctioning caliper slides, the shims of the brake pads may be broken, jammed or corroded. This can cause brake calipers to stick. A broken brake hose, especially one that becomes partially blocked and acts like a valve for brake fluid, can also cause this problem.

Lack of lubrication and rusting in the different parts of the calipers can also cause caliper sticking. If the caliper bolts lose their protective rubber sheath and dry out, they can become rusty. This does not allow the caliper to slide the way it is supposed to. If a caliper piston becomes rusty, it will not move smoothly.

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