Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: North Carolina
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Sticking caliper -- temporary fix?
The left front caliper on my Tracker has been sticking intermitently. It is not seized. I was going to go ahead and replace both front calipers, but a friend with considerably more experience advised against it. Here's what he said:
It sounds like your caliper is sticking (not releasing when you remove your
foot from the brake) due to rust preventing the hydraulic piston from moving
freely. You could inset a screw driver (or even a chisel, and use a hammer
to drive it) between the piston and brake pad to open it up and lubricate
(WD40) the caliper/piston slide area, being careful to avoid getting
lubricant on the brake pad. Then get in the car and push the brake pedal to
close the caliper piston. Continue opening/closing the piston until is seems
to move more freely. If you try to replace the caliper, there may be
unforeseen complications (like rusty parts that don't disassemble without
destruction) and require you to get more parts/tools, which would be
difficult without a second car. As for turning the rotor, that's a common
recommendation by repair shops, but that would only be necessary if the
rotor surface is no longer smooth, causing the brake pads to be chewed up.
When I bleed the brakes, I wedge a board between the brake pedal and seat to
hold the break pedal down for the compression phase. If you're able to wait
until the end of the month when I come down, I can assist you.
I looked in my Haynes manual, and it's difficult to see what exactly I'd need to lubricate. Of course, it's always harder to tell when looking at pictures. Anyway, does this sound like something that could work? As a temporary fix, of course. My friend will be back in town in three or four weeks, and we'll definitely replace both front calipers at that time.