Honda Civic Caliper Seized, Do Rotors Need To Be Replaced?

My two rear calipers recently seized and the mechanic said that the calipers, rotors, and break pads need to be replaced for a total of $1,400. A break fluid flush was also recommended, although I have done one less than 30,000 miles ago, along with a cleaning of my front brakes for $150. I was wondering how necessary it is to replace the rotors, do a break fluid flush, and do a cleaning of my front brakes and if it all may be something that was just tacked on. I do not know much about cars and so any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank You!

If the calipers seized, then I would change to rotor too. Any time I do that I change the brake fluid too. Now the price quoted seems high to me, but it might vary based on where you live and the car. I am not sure what the cleaning for the front means. They are going to change the brake fluid. If they want to lube the caliper pins, I guess it is something to think about but usually when they are fine, I don’t bother.

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My mechanic bud checked out my brakes, not really working as well as they should, lubed and cleaned up slides ie pins and all was good. Sounds like you have been having issues for a bit, better safe than sorry if you can afford it.

Prices seem a bit high. Whether or not this is a dealer, I suggest you get a second opinion from an independent mechanic (not a chain or franchise). Ask friends, family or neighbors for recommendations.

Ed B.


I’m wondering how both rotors seized. Usually it’s just one.

What year/miles?

I’d agree with replacing the rotors.

That price does seem a bit high. Is it from a dealer?

If the car is out of warranty, there’s no need to take it to the dealer (others may disagree with me). I suspect a local independent shop will be half the price of your first quote.

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I don’t replace rotors unless they need to be replaced. Without seeing the rotors its impossible to tell if they do need to be replaced.

$1400 seems awfully high…even for dealer parts.

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You want to replace the rotors because they were glazed when brakes seized.

And with glazed brake rotors, you’ll never get the new brake pads to seat/embed properly.



Maybe - Maybe not. Brake rotors can seize because of not being used. And they can seize open. As of yet we don’t know if the rotors are glazed over or not. I’m not going to second guess the mechanic who’s doing the work. He may be right. I was just pointing out that just because the rotors seized doesn’t mean you replace the rotors for the heck-of-it.

Yes, the rotors should always be replaced. Not only for the glazed rotor situation mentioned by Tester but also the great odds that one or both may be warped because of the seized calipers.

How would you feel if you said skip the rotors, paid the bill, and drove off only to find the brake pedal was now pulsating badly because the rotors should have been changed? Would you be upset with the shop if you went back and they said this one is on you. You refused the better option and if you want rotors now you have to pony up again which will make the bill larger than if it had been done to begin with.

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I agree with the fact that the rotors and pads should be replaced if the calipers seized, but for a different reason. When the calipers seize, they still close up on the rotors when you step on the brakes because between the power assist and the mechanical multiplication of the force on the brake pedal will overcome the seized caliper pins.

When you take your foot off the brake, the piston side will retract, but the floating side will hold the pad against the rotor. This will wear the pad down and that side of the rotor as well as overheat that side. The mismatch in wear is why I would strongly recommend changing the whole works.

However, car repair is a business transaction. You don’t need to know anything about brakes or cars for that matter to have a good outcome on the repair. Any good business person will advise you to get several opinions and several quotes. First get a second opinion on whether the calipers actually seized or if someone is trying to rip you off. BTW, did you detect a problem with your braking or was this unsolicited when you brought the vehicle in for scheduled service (i.e. oil change).

Always get a second opinion if the diagnosis was unsolicited, even from a dealer, especially from a dealer. Do not tell the person who is giving you a second opinion what the first person told you. Just ask them to check the rear brakes. You may have to pay a diagnostic fee for this but a diagnostic fee of $95 is cheaper than $1400 for an unneeded repair.

If the second opinion confirms the first, get a quote from them that includes what brand and quality level of the parts will be used. You should also get the first mechanic to include that information on their quote. A small difference in the quote could be due to inferior parts and that would not be a good deal. BTW, do not be afraid of using the dealer for one of the quotes or second opinion.

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To tell you the truth,your mechanic is ripping you off.It just a Civic after all.I would not pay more than $300 parts and labor to do this job with quality aftermarket parts.

Good luck with that.


I’m assuming that’s DIY…if the OP is unable to do DIY, you can’t compare DIY vs independent vs dealership

Changing the calipers requires replacing a lot of brake fluid. $150 sounds like about an hour of work, and it won’t take an extra hour beyond replacing the lost fluid in the rear brakes to bleed the front brakes to replace the older fluid. They have to bleed the rear brakes after the caliper replacement anyway. If it’s a dealer and you can move the car, take it somewhere else for an estimate, but not a dealer.

Hahahahaha…oh, you’re serious? Pads/rotors/calipers/labor at a high-quality shop? That would be QUITE the bargain for $300!

AutoZone shows the cheapest calipers at 85 each. The cheapest pad and rotor set is a bit over a 100 and this is all without sales taxes. There’s 300 right there. Not to mention (here anyway) the sales tax would be another 30 plus any enviro or shop fees.

That’s all for the cheapest items on the menu. The next steps up on the parts list can easily hit 500 to even a grand at AutoZone.

Since the 300 has already been eaten and swallowed long ago I guess that leaves the mechanic with the options of doing the job for free or paying the customer for the privilege of doing the job.

Not all of us know a guy working out of his van for cash only. :wink: