Frozen calipers?

I have a 91 CRX Si w/ 130k miles. I noticed I wasn’t coasting on grades at stoplights, and I felt heat coming from frnt left wheel, so I thought I had a bad caliper. But sometimes it wouldn’t get hot. Then the other day was on the highway and felt the whole car slow dramatically whenever I let off the gas. Pulled off and BOTH frnt wheels were very hot and brakes were fading. Later, both still got somewhat hot, but were no longer having a noticable effect when I let off the gas. Do I have 2 bad calipers, or is there a problem with contamination in the brake lines or the master brake cyl. Any test?

There’s a simple way to find out. Remove the calipers, open the bleeders (with tubes & catchbottles) and try to push he pistons in.

18 years old? Pick up some new calipers and some fluid before you do this. You’ll save yourself a trip to the parts store.

Could be the calipers. Or it could be the hoses. The hoses have an tough outside tube with a softer, less crack/leak prone inner tube. When the hoses get really old and tired, the inner linings eventually tend to detach somehow from the outer tube. They then collapse and act like a somewhat leaky check valve. The allow they brake fluid to flow freely toward the caliper, but are very slow to let it return. It isn’t unusual to have the left and right hoses fail at about the same age.

If you haven’t been changing the brake fluid at least every 5 years your whole braking hydraulic system is compromised. I would replace the master cylinder at the same time as the calipers and hoses.

OK. But does that mean I might not need new calipers?

Yep> Change the brake hoses first.