Driver side front brake trouble

Have new brake drums, pads and caliper and hose replaced. Bleed brakes and did fine for a day, then started it again. Unlocks when cools off. Help

More information is needed…
Ordinarily, shoes go with drums and hydraulic wheel cylinders, whereas pads go with rotors and hydraulic calipers.

I’ll guess you meant to say that front pads, rotors, calipers, and hoses were replaced.

Is this correct?
How many of each?
Both front right and left side pads, rotors, calipers, and hoses?
Both sides, right and left locking or one side?

Please specify as it could be important information. Are you sure you have all the correct answers?

It would also help to know car make (Ford), model, and model-year.

My hunch is a sticking caliper or a problem with the master cylinder.

Was it doing the sticking prior to parts replacement or only afterwards? Why was brake work done?

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If the brakes are not releasing on one side, and the brake hose has already been replaced, I’m almost positive the brake caliper is seizing and most likely needs replaced. A problem with the master cylinder would cause the brakes on both sides to drag, I believe. I always replace calipers (or brake cylinders) in sets rather than just replacing one side, myself.

Assuming I understood the post correctly.

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yes front pads, rotors, calipers, and hoses were replaced.

the car is a 2013 Ford Fiesta SE, 87000 MI. put in shop to replace pads because could hear a sound when putting on brakes. They said I needed new rotors also. Got that done, car started feeling like the brake was on from then on. Then drivers side front only, Caliper locked up, smoking and smelling like plastic. Replaced the Caliper, did good for one day, short trip around town. Locked up again. Thought it may be the hose, replaced hose. Still not working. Took tire off and bleed brakes again, had a lot of little bubbles in line, that worked for one day. I drove it all over town, now prob. Set over night and locked up 4 blocks from home. I am lost. Can`t take it to shop again. no money. any help would be great.

4 blocks will put heat in brake. How did you get it home? Will it move after sitting awhile?

I let it set for 25 min and drove it back home.

it always unlocks after a while and I can drive it a short distance again before it does it again

Betty, thanks for providing additional information. Am I correct thinking that this car has had only the original brake calipers and one pair (Right & Left) replacement calipers?

This shop did the work very recently (days ago), correct?

Assuming the work was done in past few days, the shop owes it to you to replace the driver side caliper, which is sticking, again.

Additionally, the driver side pads are probably worn or glazed by the sticking and need replacement, again. The rotor should probably be replaced, but without seeing it would be hard to determine. Excessive heat from the sticking brake could have spoiled the rotor’s surface and or caused warping.

This happens from time to time (defective caliper) and isn’t necessarily the fault of the shop, but they should set this right (parts and labor) without charging you any additional money.

They will have to “eat” the labor (and possibly pads & and a rotor), but should get reimbursed for the caliper (warranty) by their parts supplier.

yes it was days ago, but they did not replace the calipers. When it stuck I got one and had my brother n law to put it on. He has been doing this for yrs. We only replaced the one on driver side. God I hope I dont have to replace rotor and pads again. Thank you for all you input. I do how ever feel it is something they did at the shop. But dont feel they will admit it.

By having your brother - in - law involved you let the shop off the hook . You should have at least called them and let them know you had a problem . They might have solved it at a small cost.

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did call them, they wanted me have it towed to them. But no money to do that. I was thanking a easy fix with just putting a new cal on it. Prob the same cal that came on car. Not sure on that.

What model ford is this? And year?


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You said you put a new caliper on, “probably the same caliper that came on the car. Not sure on that”. Could you clarify? I don’t understand that statement.

I was ask if this car has had only the original brake calipers. And I was saying I am not sure. But I had a new one put on. Going to replace with another new one Monday. See if that fixes it.


Whether it’s your brother-in-law or somebody else that’s going to do this, it would behoove you to have that person do a little investigating/diagnosing prior to installing another caliper, just to be positively sure the problem is that caliper.

There are articles and videos online with suggested procedures that could be helpful for this.

When proven that a new caliper fixes this then you should have a warranty on the part and possibly just be able to exchange it for another one. You’ll likely need your receipt.

Parts, such as brake calipers, are often rebuilt/reconditioned parts and it’s possible to get a bad one once in a while.

If both front brakes (right and left) were locking up, that could be the master cylinder. But since only the one side is locking, it pretty much has to be one of these

  • caliper is sticking
  • rubber brake hose that connects to caliper is collapsing
  • faulty caliper installation or parts (pads, shims etc)

Since the hose has already been replaced, I’m guessing that replacing the caliper again will probably do the trick. Bubbles in the brake fluid might cause the brake pedal to sink lower than it should, but w wouldn’t normally cause the brake to lock, so I doubt the lock-up is due to air in the brake lines.

hmmm what else might help? hmmm … there’s quite a few posts here about defective aftermarket parts. I’ve experienced two aftermarket starter motors completely fail out of the box for example. If you want to increase the odds the caliper actually works, suggest to buy it at your local Ford dealership. Or buy a Ford oem part from your parts store. It will cost a little more, but you’ll get a better chance of success. To even better increase your odds, buy a Ford oem pad set too. One good thing about disc brakes, they are simply configured for the most part, and easy to work on, so it should be possible for an experienced shop to figure this out w/out much difficulty.


Agree with oem parts. I have no issue with quality aftermarket, but it’s hard to judge which brands are decent quality if you’re just a diy guy buying a few parts here and there. I generally steer clear of Autozone Duralast brand stuff. Rock auto and Amazon often have oem parts quite a bit cheaper than the dealership.

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