Stuck caliper - what causes it?
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    1. #1
      Member rbloedow's Avatar
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      Stuck caliper - what causes it?

      Twice in the past week, my right front caliper has gotten stuck. The first time, it broke loose after a few intense applications of the brakes. I figured maybe it was a random occurrence, everything seemed fine once broke free.

      This afternoon on my way to class, it's stuck again. I couldn't get it to break loose this time, so I limped the block back to my house.

      And ideas? I did a brake job about three months ago, replaced the rotors and changed to ceramic brake pads from Oreily's.


    2. #2
      Member CSFiend's Avatar
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      FV-QR

      Did you lube the sliders? Clean rust off the carrier?
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    3. #3
      Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      Re: Stuck caliper - what causes it? (rbloedow)

      did you clean/lube the caliper slides? I am not sure how your brakes are setup but, this is usually part of a brake job.
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    4. #4
      Moderator rs4-380's Avatar
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      Re: FV-QR (CSFiend)

      Quote, originally posted by CSFiend »
      Did you lube the sliders? Clean rust off the carrier?

      collapsed flex lines can also cause it. They may look like they have swelled from the outside, but many times that means they have collapsed on the inside.

      Dave

    5. #5
      Get Off My Lawn!!! vwlarry's Avatar
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      Re: Stuck caliper - what causes it? (patrikman)

      Years ago the caliper on my 912 froze due to the piston galling the cylinder wall. Not highly likely, but still a possibility. Checking for free movement of the piston(s) is advisable.
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    6. #6
      Member rbloedow's Avatar
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      Re: Stuck caliper - what causes it? (vwlarry)

      TY for the quick response - you guys have probably found the culprit: the sliders I did not lube.

      on me (nothing expensive though)


    7. #7
      Member CSFiend's Avatar
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      FV-QR

      Quote, originally posted by rbloedow »
      TY for the quick response - you guys have probably found the culprit: the sliders I did not lube.

      pull the sliders out of their bores, clean all the rust off so they're nice and shiny, throw some caliper lube on them, and you should be golden

      Quote Originally Posted by vwlarry View Post
      The ignorance of what you said there is so multi-faceted; it's like a kaleidoscope of ignorance.

    8. #8
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      Re: FV-QR (rs4-380)

      Quote, originally posted by rs4-380 »

      collapsed flex lines can also cause it. They may look like they have swelled from the outside, but many times that means they have collapsed on the inside.

      That plus allowing the caliper to hang freely with all of its weight supported only by its attached brake hose is a sure way to damage said hose.


    9. #9
      Member rbloedow's Avatar
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      Re: FV-QR (CSFiend)

      Quote, originally posted by CSFiend »

      pull the sliders out of their bores, clean all the rust off so they're nice and shiny, throw some caliper lube on them, and you should be golden

      So I lubed them up, but they weren't covered in any rust. The grease they were covered in was pretty black/used, so I re-greased them with a lithium grease.


    10. #10
      Member Spinnaker's Avatar
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      Problem solved?

    11. #11

      Re: FV-QR (rbloedow)

      torn dust boots that allow water to get in against the piston and the sealing ring will do this as well....

    12. #12
      Also Brake Fluid attracts water. If you don't periodically flush and refill it can cause moisture to build up and cause corrosion inside the lines and all that.

    13. #13

      Re: (citat3962)

      also - how bad were the brakes before you replaced them? if they were metal to metal and you waited a while, heat could cause some distortion of the caliper piston.

      if that were the case though, i'd expect it to be more of a common occurrence.

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    14. #14

      Re: FV-QR (rs4-380)

      Quote, originally posted by rs4-380 »

      collapsed flex lines can also cause it. They may look like they have swelled from the outside, but many times that means they have collapsed on the inside.

      this is the most common cause of stuck calipers. The hose acts like a check valve. You can force fluid through when you step on the pedal, but there is nothing forcing the piston to return. all other wheels continue to spin without resistance while the stuck one burns the pads and rotors, sometimes evening ruining the fluid.


    15. #15
      Senior Member Hostile's Avatar
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      FV-QR

      It's funny this came up, the past few days this has been happening to me on my way to/from the train station. A quick tap of the brakes fixes it. I'll have to check them out.

    16. #16
      Member GLSJet20's Avatar
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      Re: FV-QR (Hostile)

      I've been through 2 calipers in the past 3 years from them getting stuck on long road trips when there's no possibility of fixing them at that moment Shat the breakpad out and had to get towed both times

    17. #17
      Member rbloedow's Avatar
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      Re: (Spinnaker)

      Quote, originally posted by Spinnaker »
      Problem solved?

      So far so good I guess - I've taken the car around town and everything seems operational.


    18. #18
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      Re: FV-QR (Road_Ralley)

      Quote, originally posted by Road_Ralley »

      this is the most common cause of stuck calipers. The hose acts like a check valve. You can force fluid through when you step on the pedal, but there is nothing forcing the piston to return. all other wheels continue to spin without resistance while the stuck one burns the pads and rotors, sometimes evening ruining the fluid.


      This may be a "dumb" question, but can braided brake line collapse? is it as common?


    19. #19

      Re: FV-QR (92skirmishgti)

      Quote, originally posted by 92skirmishgti »


      This may be a "dumb" question, but can braided brake line collapse? is it as common?

      I don't see why not. It's still a rubber core in most cases. The steel braiding is woven around the line to prevent the rubber from expanding when pressure is applied to the pedal. This creates a much more firm feeling to the pedal and squeezes every ounce of braking power out of the system.