Not to long ago, I was sitting in my car and suddenly the Traction control, brake and ABS light showed up on my dashboard. I googled this same description and found a lot of different answers. I would like to add that before hand, when I bought the car, I did notice that when riding over 50 mph the car tends to shake and lean towards the left. I also had a near by mechanic check out the car, he says I need new front tires and a wheel alignment. He then checked the rear tires and breaks. He stated that I need to change my right rear caliper as it is locked. Two months later, I still haven’t changed anything (A very typical girl move) . I’m terrified that my car could spin out in the rain if it truly is my caliper. Can I get some suggestions on what can really be making my car shake when going over 50 mph and/or if my caliper could really be locked?
No, not over the internet with that description you can’t. We can’t give a better answer that a mechanic that has actually see the vehicle and touched the problem.
I’d suggest you first fix the rear caliper and then see what the effect is and post back.
Sounds like the near by mechanic gave you sound advice.
If you have been driving the car in this condition you may have caused more damage to it.
That thought alone should make you take corrective actions… (and the lack of a proper front tire) who knows what can happen when you have to apply the brakes in an emergency.
As a follow-on, I’d do both rear calipers at the same time. In fact, that is what I did on my 2005 Accord a few years ago. Since the rear brakes have to be bled to get air out of the lines, you might as well bleed a four brake lines and replace all the fluid. You will have to replace almost all of it to bleed the brakes anyway. BTW, I consider this maintenance on an 8 year old car. Your safety is worth the extra expense. We all procrastinate, and you should get the work done soon.
Your calipers are known as floating calipers. There is one cylinder that both pushes the brake pad against the rotor while the it pulls the other brake shoe against the other side of the rotor. The part of the caliper that this cylinder is on slides (floats) on a pair of bushings or pins.
When you release the brakes, the piston inside the cylinder stops pushing and pulling and the pads move away from the rotor. Sometimes the lubricant in the pins or bushing gets gummed up so bad that the caliper stops floating. When this happens, it does not affect the braking power, you brakes will still work because the power assist will overcome any drag from the pins or bushings, but when you release the brakes, the outside pad, the one being pulled will not pull away from the rotor. It will drag for awhile until it wears down enough to stop dragging.
This is probably what the mechanic meant by locked. The downside to this is that the outboard pad wears down very quickly. I have seen a new pad wear down to the point that it cut the rotor in half in just two months. As mentioned earlier, do both sides. Myself, I would just clean, inspect, lubricate the pins and replace the seals, the rest of the caliper should be good, but I’d do the pins on all the calipers. It should be cheaper than replacing the calipers even though the labor is higher.
BTW, those three lights always come on together in new cars because if one of them has a problem, the ABS and traction control are turned off to prevent runaway acceleration. And it gets your attention because this is serious.
This is a business transaction so do treat it like one. Do not be afraid to get a second opinion and several quotes. Check out any mechanic you are considering through yelp reviews, BBB website and recommendations of friends, co-workers and relatives, but do it quick.
I would vote for this as a very sound advice.
It’s better to make the original calipers to work properly than to replace with some cheap/unknown aftermarket part and have it fail much faster than original.
I’ve read multiple threads on this forum where replacing OEM calipers with some cheap/unknown aftermarket parts resulted in discovery that new part either leaked or did not function properly. Yes, part would be warranted/replaced, but the lost time would not.
^This +1. Years ago I had an old Toyota that I thought needed new front calipers. I called all over town getting quotes until a guy at an independent shop told me I could probably just have the existing calipers lubricated. Sure enough, it did the trick and cost me a third of the next lowest quote.
I only replace calipers when the piston is seized, cleaning and lubricating the guide pins is simply part of the brake job.
Driving on tires that needed to be replaced two months ago isn’t a very good idea. How will you feel if you lose control in the rain and injure or kill someone else? You need to take the safety of your car more seriously.
+1 to all of the previous comments.
Additionally, I really have to wonder about the following statement by the OP:
Did the OP mean that the car seems to be veering or pulling to the left?
If her car had air suspension (it doesn’t) it might be possible for it to lean to one side under certain conditions, but because of the conventional nature of her Accord’s suspension, either it would lean to one side permanently if the suspension was damaged, or it wouldn’t lean at all.
Can the OP clarify her claim that her car is leaning to the left at high speeds?