2002 VW Jetta TDI Rear wheel (Disk brake) not fully disengaging

My driver rear wheel will spin but not freely as the pads remain in contact with the rotor. I just changed out both side parking brake cables and the cable connection point on the brake assembly is in disengaged position. I am thinking this is a stuck caliper but not sure. How can I tell if it is stuck, and how can I tell if I need a whole new caliper or just rebuild kit. Also rotor has signs of excess ware (noted grooves). Also, if I am having a mechanic do the work, is it worth while to just replace the caliper since it is off the car anyhow. Currently have 230K on the jetta and running fine. Thanks


There is a special tool that retracts the piston back into the caliper

It does this by turning the threaded piston back into its bore

This is to be used for setups like yours, which use the rear brake pads as the parking brake

Did you use the special tool?

There are aftermarket kits available, for a reasonable price

Here is an example


Autozone and napa often have tools like this in stock

I actually have not pulled the caliper yet, I just changed out the parking brake cables. I also checked all 4 tires, and it seems like all of them have a bit of resistance from pads when I spin the wheel, so none of the pads are fully pulling away from the rotors. would this be more from the master cylinder since the problem is not isolated to a single wheel. Thanks

At 13 year old I’ll bet lunch you have a sticky caliper. IMHO the only permanent solution is to change the caliper.

You will hear the pads or shoes rub if they are adjusted correctly. It will not really slow the wheel spin. Caliper pins will stick if they are not lubricated and hold the shoes against the rotor.

I’m presuming this car is fwd. Turning the jacked-up front wheels by hand , they’ll be some resistance normally, b/c you are turning stuff inside the transmission/differential too. So for the front at least there my be no brake problems at all.

For the rear, if this happened immediately upon changing the parking brake cables, my first guess is you haven’t got them properly adjusted, so the parking brake is on a bit all the time. If that’s not it, besides the ideas above, the rubber hose that connects to the caliper could be broken down internally. That can cause pressurize the caliper enough to lock in the brakes-partially-on position.

If you discover the caliper itself is the problem, price out the cost of a new caliper. I don’t think mechanics commonly rebuild calipers b/c the new replacement units are fairly inexpensive.

Yup, you can buy a replacement caliper for less than the value of the shop time it would take to rebuild the sticky one.