My 200 Ford Taurus has an annoying habit of locking the left front disc brake. The calipers, pads and rotors have been replaced, twice, but still from time to time the left front brake will continue to grip the rotor when the brakes are released. Not enough to prevent the car from moving but enough to cook the rotor. I’m tired of scaring people at red lights when I pull up with a smoking brake. This happens randomly but more often when i’m in stop and go traffic.
The car is in great shape otherwise and has been well maintained. What the heck could be causing this problem.
By the way, it has disc front with drum rear brakes.
Chances Are Good That The L/F Brake Caliper Is Sticking/Dragging And Needs To Be Replaced. By Now The Pads There Are Ruined Too, If Not The Rotor.
200 Ford Taurus ? That’s an oldie. Is that A.D. or B.C. ?
It’s possible that the flexable line to the caliper has collapsed inside. That can pinch the line closed when it heats up from braking and cause the caliper to stay engaged.
If the same tech changed the calipers twice he should shave changed the lines the second time.
Since the fluid has now possibly been cooked, I’d want to flush the system out with fresh fluid as well.
Chances are that you have a bad brake hose on that side. You can diagnose this by yourself by jacking up the front of the car and put it on jack stands. Apply the brake then release it. If the wheel is hard to roll, open the bleeder to see if it becomes easier. If so then your brake hose has imploded allowing pressure to get through but not allowing the fluid to go back when released.
The number one suspect is the brake hose on that side because they can cause all kinds of problems and nobody ever suspects them. It’s probably either collapsed or degraded on the inside, or if it has a steel bracket that wraps around the hose to hold it away from moving parts, the bracket has rusted on the inside, causing the metal to expand and constrict the hose. Try installing a new brake hose (or even four new brake hoses, one for each corner of the car since they’re cheap and twelve years old now) and see if the problem goes away. If it’s not that (I bet it is, though), the problem may be with the master cylinder or proportioning valve.
Make this #4 for the brake line. And yet another vote to replace all flex lines.