Introduction: 4 Issues That Cause Disc Brakes to Stick
Video tutorial on the 4 things which will cause your disc brake assembly to stick on. Having the disc brake assembly stick on can mean either the vehicle won’t move or it will create an excessive amount of heat damaging multiple components in the process. You may also see poor acceleration, poor braking performance, the vehicle pulls to one side, or an increase in fuel consumption. This video covers everything you need to know along with how to repair the issue as well.
- brake specific lubricant
- axle stands
- ratchet and socket set
- new brake components
- wire brush
- brake cleaner
Step 1: Issue #1
This involves the brake pads and carrier, but doesn’t apply to all carrier assemblies as designs do vary. The slots where the pads sit can become filled with road debris or rust, creating tighter clearances and in the end making the pads stick. In order to repair them or preventative maintenance, the slots must be cleaned up. When installing new brake pads, it is good practice to remove the anti rattle clips and clean them up with a wire brush. If they have more of a build up, then use a file to clean away any debris or rust.
Step 2: Issue #2
Next is relating to the caliper. The caliper’s piston may become seized in the caliper casting which can be caused by a build up of road debris or corrosion, usually from the result of failing boot. Another reason for a stuck piston can be caused from applying the parking brake IF your vehicle is equipped with a built in parking brake in the caliper. As for repairs, caliper assemblies can be rebuilt yourself after purchasing a rebuild kit, have a speciality shop rebuild the caliper, purchase a rebuilt unit, or purchase a new unit.
Step 3: Issue #3
This only applies to vehicles equipped with a floating caliper assembly and it involves the sliding or guide pins. These can become seized from rust or road debris, usually from failing boots as well. Whenever the disc brake assembly has any work done, it is always a good idea to check these pins to ensure they are operating correctly. Remove them, clean the old lubricant or light corrosion, inspect the boots for any damage and replace if needed. If the pins are too far gone, then replace them as well. Apply new lubricant and reinstall.
Step 4: Issue #4
Depending on the pad composition, it can become rusted to the rotor. This is something that happens if a vehicle has been sitting for a longer period of time. Sometimes it can be broken free by giving the vehicle a little extra power, other times the brake assembly may need to be disassembled. Upon disassembly, some brake components may need to be replaced depending on the severity of rust, whether it’s the pads or rotors.