Caliper /Brake Replacement question?

This may be more of a stupid question…but wanted to ask a community that knows more about cars than I do.

1.) I had my brakes replaced end of September 2017.
2.) I just moved out of state, but I do have to make a trip in the next 2 weeks to the state I got my brakes done in.
3.) They only replaced the brake pads& rotors in the rear (I think it was 500-700, normal price around the shops in chicago in my area)
4.) my back passenger side starting making noises…get it check out and the caliper is bad (not the right terminology, but you get what I mean). It’s caused a hot spot in my rotor, the ridges that were there are completely gone and a part of it is “flat” and burned, making a scraping noise when driving… the rotor only went back because of the calipers, but they said the break pads were also uneven.
5.) I know I got my breaks done in September…should they have told me about my calipers then? Or do they really go bad that quickly? I’ve maybe drven my car 4k miles since then. I called the old autoshop and they said since it was an “outside influence” my brakes are not under warranty for them to repair…

does that all sound right? I made 500-700 in september to pay to get the rear brakes fixed again??! The new shop said I need new calipers, rotor and brakepad for the rear…


Interestingly, this just happened with my wife’s Veloster. The dealership did some warranty work and after inspecting the car, told her that the rear brakes were metal-to-metal, the caliper was frozen, and she had to get a whole brake job to the tune of 700 bucks.

She had me take a look. The caliper was not frozen, the pads had 50% material left on them, but were uneven because the anti-rattle clips had rusted badly and were preventing the pads from retracting. I replaced the pads and the clips and it’s doing just fine. Obviously, whoever inspected the car either didn’t know what he was looking at, or thought my wife would be an easy mark to make some money off of.

I’ve rarely seen clips rust this badly. Big, broken mounds of rust.

It wouldn’t shock me if you had the same problem, so I’d definitely want to take a look at those clips before I replaced the whole caliper.

this new shop had me come out to look at it so they could help me see why the noise was happening, the clip is very very rusty. That could have been what they were explaining to me perhaps, they said they will fix it for $260 ( calipers and rear brakes)

I’m just more annoyed the old shop was more like an “screw you that you blame us type of answer”…
they went from “everything is under warranty for a year” to " that is outside influence"

But my thing is, what if my caliper clip/calipers were an issue in september and they just didn’t tell me ?

Really hard to say. You drove it through the winter, and winter tends to rust things. So it might have looked fine back in September. I would still take the “bad rotor” thing with a grain of salt. Generally unless you can see big grooves gouged into the rotor (kind of looks like an old vinyl record) or the rotor is too thin, the rotor is probably fine. But I’ve had a lot of shops over the years want to replace rotors unnecessarily.

That’s not to say that your shop is jumping the gun, but it’s a possibility.

You had the brakes done in Sept, and today is June 1. That’s plenty of time for brake parts which were working in September to rust and lock up. My guess is your only chance of getting help from the shop who did the work back in Sept is to hire another shop to take the rear brakes apart and figure out exactly what is wrong with them. At that point they may discover an error was made. And you could use their written assessment to ask for some help from the first shop. But don’t count on it. I expect this current brake failure is just a coincidence, would have occurred anyway, irrespective of the brake work in Sept. In any event if you adopt this approach, the new shop will be able to bring your brakes back to new condition. Brake parts , including the caliper, are wearing items and designed to be easily and for the most part inexpensively replaced.

I had my brakes redone maybe 2 years ago get 80k out of brakes, brake pedal was very soft, oil change shop said left rear pad at 5mm and we will resurface the rear rotor and replace the pads when it is needed. So take it to my bud to do a pad replacement and check left rear caliper, he is like all the pads are fine, but slides on the front calipers are seized causing scary pedal travel. So he replaced the 2 front calipers, greased up the slides on the rear, his quote will save a brake job.The brakes are great now, just putting out my experience, and different though qualified people can end up with different conclusions.

The only thing I’ll add is that when they replace the brake pads, they push the piston in the caliper back to allow room to put the thicker new pads on. If there is any debris or rust in the caliper bore, this can cause a problem with the caliper. Really though. very rare. I think I’ve only replaced a couple calipers over the years.

I’ve never had to replace or rebuild a caliper in 40 years of driving disc-brake equipped vehicles. Can’t say that for drum brake hydraulics though. I’ve had to replace/rebuild wheel cylinders many times.

It can also shove crud into the ABS module which is a lot more expensive to deal with. That’s why current thinking is to crack the bleeder screw when you compress the piston - the compressed fluid will squirt out the bleeder instead of heading back up into the line and there’s no danger of fouling the system.

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