A few years ago, the “brake” smell started, and the right rear brake would get very hot. The wheel would be hot to the touch… not good. I replaced the left and right rear pads myself (about 2.5 years ago), had the rotors machined, and took the car to a mechanic to have them put in a new caliper.
It felt like the problem was fixed (no more smell or heat), and then I left the country for a year while the car sat outside. When I started driving it again, It still seemed like everything was working well.
Recently I took it in for a tire rotation/balancing, and they pointed out that the same brake was worn to it’s limit, and they suspected the caliper was sticking. I told them I had had it replaced a couple years ago, and they said “I don’t know, it looks rusted like it’s old”. I just took the wheels off and looked at the brake assemblies… The left brake pad looks new, the right brake pad is grinding, and it’s caliper is extended to near it’s limit. Also, the housing for the caliper that was replaced is rusted, but it looks newer than the oposite side (which is good, that’s the one I paid to have replaced). Also, the suspect caliper has markings on it that read “REMFG”, which leads me to believe that it has, in fact, been replaced with a new part.
So, all I can think of is:
- The original mechanic did not replace the caliper, but charged me anyway, or:
- The original mechanic replaced it with a “remanufactured” caliper, which has failed, or:
- There is some other problem up line, perhaps a blocked brake line, or:
- Having the car sit for a long time hurt the new caliper, but didn’t do anything to the rest of the car (what are the chances?).
I’m hesitant to pay for another new caliper, since this one is only a couple years old. If anybody has any other ideas of things I should check before replacing it again, let me know!
Thanks in advance.
Below: View of the suspect caliper.
Below: Another view of the suspect caliper.
Below: A view of the opposite side caliper, which is original. Notice the pads are almost 100%, while the previous pictures are at 0%.