Hi, recently my 2001 Solara started emitting a scraping noise from one of the rear wheels. Mechanic says its a frozen caliper, and suggested a complete brake job (rotar, pads, etc). My question is, I’ve got reasonable skills, by buddy has major skills when it comes to working on cars, is that something that a shade-tree mechanic can safely do ? Also, as its a frozen caliper, does that imply I need to replace the caliper, or could it have frozen due to the pads ?
The job is pretty straightforward and can be accomplished with reasonable mechanical skills. A “frozen” caliper will probably have to be replaced. If the rotor was damaged…it will have to be replaced as well. I no longer have rotors serviced because it generally makes them warp and new ones are not that expensive. Don’t skimp on brakes.
+1 to @missileman, Also, be sure you replace the correct caliper, the sticking one (seems easy but…). Gently clamp off the rubber line going to the caliper with a small locking pliers with tubing over the jaws to protect the hose covering to keep from spilling lots of brake fluid. Use new washers on both sides of the fitting. Look on YouTube for a video of how to bleed a new caliper. Heck, you might find a video of someone doing a rear caliper job on a Solara or Camry to help you along.
Since you got a sticky caliper in the first place, consider buying a quart of fluid and purging all the old fluid. With 2 people, you can push through the old fluid by unclamping the pliers before hooking up the new caliper while your buddy pours fresh fluid into the reservoir until it runs clear. Then bleed the other 3 corners after attaching and bleeding the new caliper.
Just make sure it’s a sticky caliper, if the pads are worn there’s a metal wear indicator that’ll make a scraping noise. In that case a new caliper isn’t needed. Since you’re new at it get a Camry repair manual from Autozone, etc.
I would actually recommend AGAINST clamping off the brake hose
If you cause it to collapse internally, you’ll have a whole new set of problems
Besides, you’re going to have to replace the brake fluid and bleed it, using a brake bleeder, anyways
A caliper can freeze internally (stuck piston) which will wear both pads prematurely and also cause a “hot hub” (felt by hand) compared to the others after a drive. A caliper can also stick to the mounting pins and not slide as it’s supposed to. This causes the pad against the caliper body to wear faster than the pad against the piston. The solution is to simply clean and lubricate the caliper pins. Here’s one video: