Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Caliper or brake hose?

Now that vue is moving I think a caliper is stuck? I took off front brake caliper and rotor to clean the grease from a torn cv boot. Last owner replaced axle but left a mess. I pumped brakes to set pads and backed up and could hear a dragging sound. Drove couple miles to store and back and it felt like I had brakes on. Got home and wheel was HOT. Took off caliper. It is 2 piston. Pushed Pistons back a bit. I think pads are at 90%? Pumped brake pedal when done and I cannot turn wheel. It’s still jacked up. Shouldn’t wheel rotate with some slight drag? Rubber brake line looks fairly new. Maybe not?

Yes the wheel should rotate with slight drag, yes you have a stuck caliper OR your brake hose - the rubber one - has collapsed and is now acting like a check valve. Since the caliper is tight right now, crack the bleed screw and see if that frees it. If it does, brake hose. If it doesn’t, the caliper or the slides are stuck/seized.

It was real hard to pump brakes when I was done. You normally push brake pedal and you can feel the pads/piston sort of settle. I had to PUSH hard to do it. I could hear sort of a hiss sound from wheel area? Had to pump /hold about 2-3 times for pedal to get hard. From fluid being forced thru the restricted line?

How easy to push back? By hand? If easy, would seem to be the rubber line or slides.

I’ve never heard a hiss from restricted brake lines! Or seized calipers either. But my cursing usually drowned out the more subtle noises. :grin:


Caliper is dual piston. Almost all my other cars were single piston. I have done dozens of brakes jobs. Pushing these 2 Pistons back was hard. Initially I was unaware of dragging issue. I had to use 2 c-clamps. 1 for each piston. I removed 1 brake pad and pumped brake pedal to fully extend both Pistons. Than I pushed both back and reinstalled caliper and pumped brakes and wheel is locked. I backed off banjo bolt and a very small bit of fluid came out. But I can turn wheel now. Caliper looks new.

Time for a new caliper.

Unless the flexible hoses leading up to the calipers are bad. If the inside lining of one of them peeled off, acting like a one-way valve, then that could cause both the “seize caliper” problem he’s trying to fix, as well as not being able to push the calipers back in.

Yeah, I should have paid more attention to this. It certainly argues for a failed rubber brake line.

1 clamp works fine for a 1 piston caliper. But the 2 Pistons are about 2-3" apart and 1 clamp won’t work well. I tried pushing 1 piston and it goes in fine. But the 2nd piston pushes out. Like a seesaw. I tried using a small crossbar to push both Pistons and could not compress them. I vote for brake hose

1 Like

I place an old brake pad across both pistons and use a channel lock pliers to push them back in, if the caliper is clean inside the pistons can be pushed back with the pliers. With four piston calipers push the old brake pads back before removing the pads or caliper. Of course the is a tool designed for this but I am a cheapskate.

Nevada “I am a cheapskate” …We should form a club… But I won’t pay any dues.


I guess the caliper and hose will be changed soon. With bleed valve open you could tell if the pistons were the main problem. The job sounds good so far.

New hose is on. No major issues due to mn rust. Am home alone though. None to assist in bleeding the line.

Considering you’re home alone, I’ll just send these guys over

1 Like

Brake hose. Fixed.


You the man :+1:

Glad you got the problem resolved. Brake hose, simple enough. Thanks for the good info.

You mentioned above you were hearing a hissing noise when you pressed on the brake pedal. Suggest to make sure the brake booster holds vacuum.

the hiss/whoosh sound was coming from the rf wheelwell. like the sound you hear when you squeeze a caulking gun and stuff squirts out? i am pretty sure it was the brake fluid being forced thru a restricted brake hose. it was not coming from the vacuum booster area. i could hear it because i was in garage with door closed and motor off. pretty quiet.

That’s interesting. I’ve never heard any sounds from a brake hydraulic line, but that’s good diagnostic info to know about.