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Are My Brake Calipers Sticking? Insight From a Mechanic

Your brakes are vital for vehicle safety and performance. So when something doesn’t feel right, you will want to get it fixed as soon as possible. One possible cause of braking troubles is sticking calipers. The local mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here with insight. 

What Are Brake Calipers?

Brake calipers are the muscle of your vehicle’s braking system. Many drivers are familiar with the brake pads + rotors and the vital roles they play in braking. Calipers are the vehicle components responsible for bringing your rotors and brake pads together to slow and stop your vehicle. Powered by a hydraulic system, calipers lower the pads against the rotors each time you press down on the brake pedal.

Is My Brake Caliper Sticking?

Most automatic cars will gradually move forward as you lift your foot off the brake—even before you press down on the gas. Once you put your foot on the gas, your car should effortlessly move forward. But what if something doesn’t feel right? Perhaps you are feeling some resistance as you shift from braking to accelerating? There is a chance your brake calipers are sticking. 

When a brake caliper sticks, it will not release properly after the brake pedal is lifted. This can cause the brakes to drag and create a variety of problems, including:

  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • Excess heat in the brakes
  • Premature wear on the brake pads
  • Warped rotors
  • Decreased braking performance

All of these issues have the potential to negatively affect other vehicle systems and components. 

What Causes Sticky Brake Calipers?

When your calipers are sticking, an internal caliper component is malfunctioning—typically either the caliper’s pistons, slider pins, bolts, or brake hoses. There are a few potential causes of brake caliper sticking:

  • Corrosion or Rust: Many of your braking components are made of metal. Over time, this system is exposed to humidity and moisture, which can cause rust and corrosion. This issue can affect your brake caliper’s pistons, bolts, or pins to malfunction.
  • Dirt and Debris: Your braking system can also pick up dirt, rocks, and other debris as you drive. Collectively, these factors can limit the mobility of your caliper’s pistons or slider pins—resulting in sticky calipers.
  • Brake Hose Issues: As mentioned above, the calipers rely on a hydraulic system—hoses deliver specialized fluid to power your brakes. If the brake hoses become damaged or obstructed, the fluid will be restricted—leaving your brake stuck. 

How Do You Fix Sticking Calipers? 

Thankfully, sticky calipers can be corrected with the right tools. To fix sticking brake calipers, a professional mechanic can disassemble your braking system to find the source of the issue. Once diagnosed, your expert will clean or replace the components causing the problem. Because your brakes are vital to vehicle safety, it is essential to have a trusted, trained professional complete this repair as quickly as soon as possible.

Chapel Hill Tire: Brake Repair Near Me

If your brake calipers are sticking, the local mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here to help. We can help diagnose and repair any braking trouble you might experience. Our experts proudly serve the greater Triangle area with 10 locations across Cary, Raleigh, Apex, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham. We also commonly serve surrounding communities, including KnightdalePittsboroWake ForestHillsboroughMorrisville, and beyond. You can make an appointmentbrowse our coupons, or give us a call to get started today! 

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