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Incorrect brake repair?

Had the rear brakes and rotors replaced 2 months ago - heard grinding today, so I took into a different shop that was closer to me thinking the front brakes were toast. They said the rear were metal on metal, and I should take it back where I got those done. So, I am taking it back in to original repair place when they open Monday. My question is if there is any valid reason that this could have happened or is it most likely the original replacement was done incorrectly? Wanted to have an idea before I go in. Thanks for any advice/suggestions…

You definitely need to go back to the 1st repair shop

Let them go over their work again

That said . . . it’s possible you’ve got a bad rear brake caliper and/or hose, which would explain some of the current problems

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And these are’nt things that would normally be checked during brake/rotor replacement? Thanks for your reply

The other possibility is, they didn’t replace the pads/rotors.



This is one of those that will be real interesting to hear the end of the story . Post what you found out from the original repair place.


How many miles did you put on it since the repair? Even if you had a stuck caliper I’d be surprised if you got ALL the way through the rear pads in 2 months, which makes me suspect @Tester is right and they never replaced them.

approximately 2,500 miles. I should mention that there was an audible grinding when applying brakes when I took them in last time, and that stopped after the repair visit…

Prior to that, I had no brake issues in the past, just normal maintenance and pad replacement

Did they also replace the rear disc brake hardware . . . ?!

I didnt ask specifics when done - I just assumed they were doing whatever necessary - receipt says new rear brake pads and rotors, 1.5 hours of labor. Is that something I should expect to be done when the brakes are replaced, or something I should have asked for? They are a medium-sized full service repair shop. States ‘Brake repair specialists’ on their website -

Now that I have questions, I think I may get it checked out one more time Monday at a different shop to see exactly what it looks like before I go back to the original shop. At least I’ll have some information when I go in…

After you drive a few miles without needing to do much braking, pull over and feel the wheels. Are any of them abnormally hot? If so something is sticking, which could explain rapid brake pad wear. That would usually make that wheel feel hot. If none of the wheels feel hot I’m guessing

  • a small pebble has found its way into the brakes.
  • some part , like the wear indicator, was installed incorrectly
  • the tech did one side, got a phone call, then forgot to do the other side

Oh yes they can. I did the brakes on my daughters car once and the calipers were sliding when I checked them, but I was in a hurry and didn’t pull out the pins and lubricate them. Two months later, the rotors were cut all the way through on one wheel because the pins froze up.

@Gary_Kribel, if the outer pad is worn down to metal and the inner pad shows almost no wear, then the caliper pins (aka bushings) froze and it is possible that it happened right after the brakes were replaced, but the shop will probably stand behind their work if you give them a chance.

If both pads are worn down to the metal, then @Tester is probably right and the shop will make up a phony excuse and deny liability.


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Calipers froze up after brake job. He is offering another set of pads/rotors and new calipers at his cost and a break in his labor charges - thoughts?

Sounds fair .

My thoughts regarding your mystery vehicle (unless I missed something, I have no idea how old it is, or how many miles are on the odometer) are that you REALLY need to have the brake fluid flushed, and you should have the mechanic evaluate the condition of the flexible brake lines. Both of those jobs would be paid for by you, rather than the mechanic.

I call BS. Either he improperly pushed the Pistons back into their bores, or he didn’t properly lube the calipers.

Well I semi agree with you @old_mopar_guy. I recall dealing with that situation once but I was lucky that the customer could tell there was a problem and brought it back before any damage was done. I replaced the calipers with no charge on the labor and the customer was happy. And I was much more particular about how difficult it was to press in the pistons after that and never had the problem again. When a piston loads up against the screw and then suddenly moves in it is likely about to lock up. Of course caliper pistons that operate the parking brake can make for a difficult call but with a little finesse the bad ones can be determined. But like so much in the auto repair business there’s no way to learn except paying attention and doing some serious road testing of the work when you think it’s right.

Agreed. I learned from unpleasant experience that an inability to push the piston back in its bore is not a reason to simply buy a bigger C clamp. And on the test drive after I was wondering why the entire road smelled like a burning clutch!


When my now ancient truck was just a few years old circumstances were such that I had neither time nor space to diy’er replace the front brake shoes, so I took it to a shop. On the drive back home from the shop I couldn’t help but notice both of the front wheels were smoking. I’m talking a lot of smoke, not just a little. And both wheels, too hot to touch. I phone up the shop and ask them what to do? Shop: “Just drive it some more, eventually the wheels will cool off” … lol …

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