The caliper is an important part of your vehicle’s brake system. It is actually the part that is responsible for allowing your vehicle to slow down and stop while stepping on the brake pedal.
However, if you have a sticky caliper then your ability to stop may be diminished. You will notice when your caliper is sticking if the brake pedal does not come up all the way after you take your foot off of it.
You may also notice your vehicle pulling more towards the left or right after you step on the brake pedal. If you experience either of these symptoms with your vehicle then you probably have a sticky caliper.
Causes of a Sticky Caliper
Now there are different reasons why your caliper is sticky. You don’t always have to just replace the entire caliper because that would end up costing you hundreds of dollars.
Instead, you should investigate if the problem is coming from the caliper slides, caliper bolts, or caliper piston.
1. Caliper Slides
The caliper slides are the grooves of your caliper where the brake pads slide into. If the brake pads get stuck in the grooves then it is probably due to debris or corrosion that has built up in the slides.
So all you have to do is clean the caliper slides or replace the shims of the brake pad. The only time you would need to replace the whole caliper is if the slides are completely worn out.
2. Caliper Bolts
The caliper bolts are another possible reason for having a sticky caliper. These bolts contain a protective rubber coating that could be torn.
Sometimes the bolts themselves break off if they’re tightened too much by the mechanic that installed them. This will interfere with the sliding process of the caliper by causing them to stick.
3. Caliper Piston
In some cases, the caliper piston may be the problem. The piston has a protective rubber coating which can tear easily when replacing the vehicle’s brake pads. A piston with a torn coating will increase the amount of debris that builds up in the caliper, which makes it stick.
The only way to fix this is to have the brake caliper assembly replaced.
The best thing you can do to avoid a sticky caliper is to take care of your brakes. This means periodically replacing your brake fluid and brake pads to ensure they are strong and that your caliper is properly lubricated. If you do this then you should have any problems. But if you ever do notice your brakes sticking, then take it to an auto body shop right away.