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New caliper seized

Does anyone have any idea as to why a brand new caliper would seize?
I just had my mechanic replace both rotors and all brake pads in the front of the car. After we test drove it we smelled burning along with a hissing sound coming from the passenger side caliper in the front. He said all the brand new parts may just have revealed a bad caliper (which I have not had an issue with prior). So we went to AutoZone and bought a brand new caliper and put that one on and then the same thing happened again 2 minutes after installing. It scorched my brakes again while burning the new caliper. We lubricated the brakes and added brake fluid. Any idea as to why this would happen twice? What could be the cause? Now I know it’s not the caliper but something causing the caliper to not do it’s job and go bad after hitting the brakes.

Might have a pinched brake line.


Agree with pinched brake line - the metal one.

Also, it may be the flexible brake hose. The hose will fail internally and act as a check valve preventing the caliper from releasing. Your mechanic should have known to crack the bleed fitting to see if any fluid jetted out with a hot, seized caliper to check that. It is a dead give-away. If it is the hose, replace all the rubber lines at the same time since one failed, the others are not far behind. Heck given it is a DTS, it is likely about 10 years old so just do it anyway as it is highly likely that is the problem.

BTW, you can indeed get a bad rebuilt caliper. It happens all the time.


Check to see if the opposite side rear wheel is also getting hot. If it is, one of the return ports in the master cylinder is clogged.

If fluid can pass one way to apply, then it should pass the opposite way to release. It sounds to me you might have a problem with the ABS system. On some systems, you can’t do a simple bleed and not effect the ABS.

you removed old caliper and replaced it with new so no old fluid was pushed back into brake line. i install pads and pump brakes usually with wheels off the ground so i can than rotate wheels to check for pad/caliper drag.

My guesses, from most likely to least

  • faulty brake hose serving that caliper, most likely the flexible rubber hose has collapsed
  • replacement caliper is faulty
  • prior pad/rotor replacement done incorrectly, forcing contaminated brake fluid into ABS unit.

it could be the hydrolic line (rubber that goes from the metal line to the caliper is swollen together inside (bad) its somewhat common on old lines if not that it mite be the abs if it has one

A collapsed brake hose will generally allow fluid into the caliper because it is under pressure from the master cylinder. Going from the caliper to the M/C it is not.

I wanted to post here Incase I could help someone else out… Havung the same issue my internet search brought me here… after replacing the caliper… then the rubber line, it still seized the front right brake pad… so I started tracing the line back further, to find it goes to an abs control valve… to my intrigue I grabbed the Hanes manual to read more on this box… however before I could come to finding that information, i came to something else that peaked my interest even more. It’s called the “hill-holder”… after just replacing my clutch… I was tweaking and fine-tuning the cables without knowing that one is for the “Hill-holder” this luxury/newer technology is a cable that goes from the manual transmission to the master cylinder, and so when you are stoped on a Hill one cam set a tolerance/threshold that will hold the car without having to consciously apply the brakes since this feature does it for you… however when not properly adjusted it clamps down on just the one caliper and does not allow fluid return up that single line… The fix was just a few turns of the cable nuts…

The hill holder, that you refer to as luxury/newer technology was introduced by Studebaker in 1936!


Really! Ha awesome… I figured my statement may have been a bit ignorant…but that’s a Doozie…still sounds like a luxury item if it’s a studebaker no?

,Studebaker was a low priced car. The top model was the “President”, which was a medium priced car, comparable in price to Olds.