Brake Calipers

Ok, ever since I got this car from my Great Aunt, the right rear brake has gotten pretty hot on long drives, which tells me the caliper is sticking or locked up. That wore the brake pads on that side down to nothing, so I replaced them but at the time couldn’t afford new calipers (smart). So, it kept on going and now I can afford the fix.

The car shop says I need to replace both calipers in the rear which makes sense, if one went bad the other one will probably go soon enough.

How much should it be for labor and parts? They quoted me over $400.

They also wanted to replace the pads and rotors on the back, I told them I could do that myself and they said to bring it back after I did it so they could inspect it and THEN they would activate the caliper warranty.

If you can already do the pads and rotors, you are much better off doing the calipers yourself, too. And when you replace the pads, if the car is a bit on the older side, or higher mileage, you might as well replace the rear rubber brake lines, too, as a piece of rubber might have flaked off of the inside of the line, and is what is the cause of the caliper to be sticky.

About 7 years or above the 100k mile mark is the point when I start replacing rubber brake lines.


Who’s doing this…Midas??

First off…if you are capable enough to replace the pads then you are capable enough to replace the calipers. Do it yourself and save a lot of money.

What vehicle is this on??? $400 is very high to replace calipers…unless the calipers are expensive. Knowing the vehicle would help us a lot.

Second…You don’t have to replace the other caliper. Just because one went doesn’t mean the other one is going to. I had to replace the right front caliper on my 4runner…that was 2 years ago…the left front is still fine (65k miles later).

It’s a Jeep Liberty.

They are saying if I replace only 1, then it could create a pull in that direction. I called them back and told them to just replace the 1 side.

I took it to Catherines Automotive Repair and Service which was highly recommended by folks on this website.

The quote for just 1 is around $250. They charge $88/hr for labor and the part will cost $140 according to them.

Doesn’t doing brake calipers require bleeding the brake system, etc? Brake pads I’m fine with, but bleeding something makes me not want to do it.

You’re fine just replacing the one caliper, as long as you replace both sets of pads and put on new rotors. A good caliper, new or old, shouldn’t ‘pull’. If it does, it needs to be replaced. Price seems OK, you might get the caliper cheaper at a parts store, but shops normally have a markup, that’s to be expected. Ask them to bleed all 4 calipers when they’re done.

Thanks for the information. This is a great resource.

Bleeding is a breeze - don’t let it keep you from doing something like this. Its just a matter of having the brake fluid push all of the air out of the system - a little bleeder valve that you open and close - not something to have you spending hundreds of extra $$. If you’re feeling uncertain about such a thing, a repair manual ($20 or so for a Haynes or Chilton’s) will give the exact recommended procedure and be a security blanket.

They are saying if I replace only 1, then it could create a pull in that direction

The only way that could happen is if there’s a problem with the one they didn’t replace.

Did you call around for prices on the caliper…That’s AWFULLY expensive for just ONE caliper…even pre-loaded ones.

As everyone says, if you can change pads, you can replace a caliper. You may need to bleed the brakes afterwards, but that’s not rocket science. Just remember that you may not have working brakes until all the air is out of the new caliper and don’t hop in the car, drive off and assume that the brakes will work.

It might also be a good idea to replace the brake hose as it is possible that the hose rather than the caliper is causing the brake to stick. Elderly hoses sometimes develop a condition where they do not allow the brakes to release properly after the brakes are applied because a flap of the inner lining is somewhat detached and acts like a check valve.

Well I just picked up my car from this shop… and I feel as though I have been ripped off (big suprise). I don’t mind paying a professional to do a job, but I don’t like being overcharged. They charged me for 1.3 hours of labor to change ONE brake caliper, and an additional 40 minutes to bleed the brake lines, which texases recommended I ask them to do.

Catherine’s charged you $40. to bleed the lines? What a bitch! Takes seconds to bleed brake lines to get the air out. Yeah, you got taken. At $40. a job, I’d bleed brakes all day and live in a very expensive house and drive a Bentley when my servants were washing the Jaguar, if I didn’t have a conscience.

I know of no other system that the phrase “doing the job right” can have so many correct definitions.
You have been told too.

  1. Replace both calipers and pads but allowed to do the pads yourself.
  2. Told its OK to do just one caliper but not told to replace rubber hoses.
  3. Been told to “make sure you replace rotors”
  4. Told to do the whole job yourself as its "easy’ Eask heck,we can all even give the same instructions.