Can changing front brakes cause the front calipers to seized?

Can changing front brakes cause the front calipers to seized? I had all four brakes replaced on my 2000 Ford Taurus. The next day the front brakes began to moan intermittently when I took my foot off the brake pedal to drive. It would also moan when the car is in park. The moaning sound got more prevalent over the month in till the calipers sized. Is the moaning from the brakes or the calipers? Are the brakes and calipers two differing issues?

Yes, installing new pads can reveal bad calipers. If the caliper bores are corroded it will cause the pistons to get stuck. I guess you know that the calipers have to be replaced. That’s the usual scenario anyway.

It could be that the caliper bushings (slides, pins) bay need to be lubricated. They are often overlooked.

I’m with Keith. That’s the first thing that occurred to me as well.

The moaning went on for a month, was it from the brakes or the calipers? And is there something I could have done to mitigate or postpone any damage to the brakes or calipers or both?

What do you mean by brake job…pads, rotors, calipers etc. or just pads ? If you had the pads changed and they did not check the caliper and rotor condition or properly lubricate the pins, which is pretty standard for all brake jobs, the installer was pretty shoddy as this seems pretty basic and required at installation. I can’t imagine a competent brake man overlooking this…unless he wants you to return again shortly. At the first sign of brake drag, you should have it inspected if you aren’t confident you can do it yourself. If you take it in immediately, you would have some recourse…by waiting till they seized, you have none. Did the installer give you options on the conditions of the calipers and rotors ? Who did this brake job ? Did all or just one of the brakes drag ? Moaning when in park?

The other times I have seen his happen is with using parts not made for your car that don’t fit properly. If your car has abs, that’s a way a brake system could make noise while not moving…IMHO, it may not be as simple as it appears.

Well, I don’t know why the brakes would moan while the vehicle is in park. Must be something else.
I agree with pleasedodgevan2 about the rotors

Nothing you could have done to prevent it.

The brake job consisted of new ceramic brake pads and machine rotors. Only the two front wheels seized, the right more so than the left. I did bring the car in for the moaning sound about ten days after. I was told the sound was normal for new brakes.

I am trying to figure whether the moaning is from the brakes or the calipers. And if it is from the calipers what are the chances there was something that could have been done to prevent the calipers from seizing given that the moaning was a warning.

As “pleasedodgevan2” said new pads can reveal bad calipers but can new pads affect calipers if installed incorrectly? Or is that not passable.

As the pads wear from the “new pads” position, the position of the brake parts (piston position, where on the slide, etc) change. But the change is very gradual, so usually nothing is noticed by the driver as the pads slowly wear. But when new pads are put on, everything reverts to the “new pads” position, which is a big change. So it wouldn’t be overly surprising that the calipers wouldn’t move as freely after a pad change-out. A good mechanic doing a pads change would of course visually inspect those surfaces for wear & corrosion and take appropriate precautions – cleaning off debris, lubing the parts, etc with a special brake grease – to minimize the chance for this to happen, but sometimes it happens anyway. Especially if the corrosion causing the sticking is on the side of a piston. That part often isn’t visible as part of a normal pads change.

One thing I do after a pads change is check for any high temps coming from the wheels after a drive. If I notice the wheel area is unusally hot, I’ll double check that the wheel turns freely and the caliper slides are still sliding.

Non-Contact Infrared Thermometers Are Very Useful For Checking For Dragging Brakes, Especially On Vehicles With Slotted Wheels. This Is One Of Many Uses I’ve Found For Mine.


“what are the chances there was something that could have been done to prevent the calipers from seizing”

The main thing to do was replace the brake fluid every 3 years.
Brake fluid goes bad and causes corrosion through the whole system.

If your calipers are seized, the brakes will get very hot and you usually can feel the brakes dragging, the car no longer rolls freely…

Whoever replaced the brakes should have made a mental note of how easy or how difficult those caliper pistons were to retract. A little difficulty can often mean a sticking or dragging caliper.

On the slim offchance that this problem is not in the brakes you might consider the possibility of an aged and hardened sway bar bushing. Sometimes raising the car up on a lift and stretching the suspension out can tweak things enough to cause a problem like this.
Just some food for thought if all else fails…

I just did front pads. 1 pad was at 2% thickness. Other 3 were at 10%? Piston was hard to push in. Other piston was easy. Will keep an eye on that caliper.

Are ceramic brakes thicker than regular brakes? And would this cause the caliper cylinder/piston to move to much?

The caliper, when moved back, should be able to accommodate any pad (within reason, of course). Did he replace the shims and/or lube them where it is called for? It wouldn’t cause ‘seizing’ but it would certainly cause the pads to drag a lot more…

Piston is pushed back into caliper with a tool. A c-clamp works fine. All replacement pads are same thickness. When brakes are in use, the piston doesn’t actually MOVE as much as it very gradually pushes out. Almost like a glacier in motion. So movement is minute. Miniscule actually.

Stove brought out something that jostled my memory: I forget whether this is true on a Honda front brake, but some calipers should be /turned/ in - they can’t be pushed it. You have to exert pushing while turning the piston. Well, they can be pushed in with a C-clamp but it can do damage.
Harbor fright has this nice tool for that, btw.

I had all my brakes done on my 2000 Ford Taurus but my mechanic cant seam to fix my front right brake. The problem is the front right brake grabs unevenly after driving the car for twenty minutes and after awhile it gets worse. The vibration happens mostly between 20 and 30 mph when I apply the brake. First he put new ceramic brake pads on and machines the rotor. Then the original calipers seized. He then replaced the calipers. Then the calipers they replaced seized. He then replaced the calipers and pads again. Two weeks later the uneven braking starts again. He then re-machines the rotor or replaces them. Two weeks later the uneven braking starts again.

What is going on?