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Sticky brake caliper

OK folks . . . got an easy one, I think. I changed the front brake pads on my wife’s 95 civic last evening . . . about 35k since I put pad on it. Drivers side was worn down to the “screech” indicator . . . passenger side was about double the pad life remaining. Also, the drivers wheel had much more brake dust on it than the passenger side. I know that the drivers side is dragging now . . . should I try to “free” the single piston with some lube, penetrating oil, etc . . . or just replace it. I usually just replace with a reman, never rebuilt one before but always took apart any old ones I replace with the reman just to look/learn about stuff. Doesn’t look that hard, but the corrosion usually is substantial. A reman is about $50. Does anybody trust a reman with brakes? Rocketman

Both of my 2000 Blazer’s rear calipers started sticking after the pads were replaced at 80k. I took it back to my trusted mechanic and he replaced both calipers with remans. No problems after 2 years and 20k miles.

Ed B.

Are you sure the piston is sticking? Maybe the caliper slides or pins are binding and the caliper isn’t sliding easily. The problem could also be a crimped brake hose, not allowing pressure to fully release. Check everything.

Since the metal parts don’t really wear at all, remanufactured calipers are fine-- for many applications that’s all you can get! Rebuilding a caliper yourself actually isn’t that tricky either. If you’ve taken it apart, you’ve already done half the work!

Just from personal experience, if one caliper gets sticky the other side isn’t far behind. Unless you’re totally strapped for cash, I’d replace/rebuild both calipers. Also, obviously, you want to replace the brake pads on both sides.

That’s a good idea, McP . . . hadn’t thought about the caliper slides or pins. The brake hose was fine last night, I looked at it because you have to swing the caliper up & forward to access the pads (it has a pivot point on top, pin is on the bottom. The hose is OK, but I’ll look at it again tonight anyway. I just don’t feel like bleeding brakes by myself in my (unheated) garage after changing the caliper. Thanks guys. Rocketman