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4 Issues that Cause Disc Brakes to Stick



Video tutorial on the 4 things which will cause your disc brake assembly to stick on. Having the disc brake assembly stick on can mean either the vehicle won’t move or it will create an excessive amount of heat damaging multiple components in the process. You may also see poor acceleration, poor braking performance, the vehicle pulls to one side, or an increase in fuel consumption. This video covers everything you need to know along with how to repair the issue as well.

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Tools/Supplies Needed:
-brake specific lubricant
-jack
-axle stands
-ratchet and socket set
-new brake components
-sandpaper
-wire brush
-file
-brake cleaner

Procedure:
Issue #1:
-this involves the brake pads and carrier, but doesn’t apply to all carrier assemblies as designs do vary
-the slots where the pads sit can become filled with road debris or rust, creating tighter clearances and in the end making the pads stick.
-in order to repair them or preventative maintenance, the slots must be cleaned up
-when installing new brake pads, it is good practice to remove the anti rattle clips and clean them up with a wire brush
-if they have more of a build up, then use a file to clean away any debris or rust

Issue #2:
-next is relating to the caliper
-the caliper’s piston may become seized in the caliper casting which can be caused by a build up of road debris or corrosion, usually from the result of failing boot
-another reason for a stuck piston can be caused from applying the parking brake IF your vehicle is equipped with a built in parking brake in the caliper
-as for repairs, caliper assemblies can be rebuilt yourself after purchasing a rebuild kit, have a speciality shop rebuild the caliper, purchase a rebuilt unit, or purchase a new unit

Issue #3:
-this only applies to vehicles equipped with a floating caliper assembly and it involves the sliding or guide pins
-these can become seized from rust or road debris, usually from failing boots as well
-whenever the disc brake assembly has any work done, it is always a good idea to check these pins to ensure they are operating correctly
-remove them, clean the old lubricant or light corrosion, inspect the boots for any damage and replace if needed
-if the pins are too far gone, then replace them as well
-apply new lubricant and reinstall

Issue #4:
-depending on the pad composition, it can become rusted to the rotor
-this is something that happens if a vehicle has been sitting for a longer period of time
-sometimes it can be broken free by giving the vehicle a little extra power, other times the brake assembly may need to be disassembled
-upon disassembly, some brake components may need to be replaced depending on the severity of rust, whether it’s the pads or rotors

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© 4DIYers 2013
All Rights Reserved
No part of this video or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author.

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18 Comments

  1. Hi I have a 95 f150. it has disk brakes in the front and drums in the back. I drive my truck every day and after every time I park it is easy to move the car in reverse but once I put it in park it has to be given to decent amount of gas to get going.. One time I had the back tire spinning because I gave it too much gas to get going.. what could this be??

  2. While less common and after other causes are ruled out a collapsed / collapsing hose is a possibility this is often not visible from the outside as these hoses are of a two layer design.

  3. Phew..! Thanks so much for incl written summary of steps and what u said! U were goin fast talkin there, and I'm just starting to step into my DIY-mechanical groove (w/ air filter-complex hose attachmt to it- change, oil, gearbox, spark plugs, and diff/gearbox)

  4. I got problem with my brake jam when i drive longer time. But when the car is rest about 30mins the brake is unlock and can drive. May i know what the problem. Trying to save cost because the car left 1 year before going to scrap soon.

  5. One additional thing to check which is not mentioned is the brake flex hose going to the caliper. As a mechanic, I have found this occurrence on several occasions over the years. It's rare, but does happen. The inner liner of the hose will separate and swell causing a restriction. After the vehicle sits and cools, the restriction would slowly dissipate. To confirm, start the vehicle and pump the brakes hard a bunch of times. Jack up the vehicle and see if there is restriction in movement. If so, remove wheel, grab a catch container and slowly crack open the bleeder screw. Careful as there may be considerable pressure and if the vehicle has been driven, the fluid will be hot.
    If the pressure releases, there's a very good chance the flex hose is swollen or possibly another restriction somewhere down the line.

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