The Hidden Dangers Of Stuck Calipers
Your brake system consists of many equally important parts that work together to bring your car to a calm and controlled stop. If one component fails, it can degrade the performance of the overall system or even prevent your car from stopping altogether. Your calipers are the last stop before the actual point of friction between your rotors and pads, so it is vital to ensure that they are functioning correctly. Calipers are simple enough that they do not have many failure modes, but they can sometimes stick or drag. A sticking caliper is unable to retract the brake pad when you remove your foot from the brake, leading to several potentially serious consequences.
Why Do Calipers Stick?
A stuck or dragging caliper may actually be suffering from one of several possible problems. In some cases, the issue may be limited to the caliper slides or bolts. If this is the source of the trouble, then replacing or lubricating the hardware may allow the caliper to move freely again. Unfortunately, stuck calipers are more commonly the result of moisture infiltrating past the protective seals and into the piston chambers. Once this happens, the piston can rust and ultimately stick. If this is the underlying cause of your dragging caliper, then the whole caliper unit will usually require replacement.
Why You Shouldn't Ignore The Problem
Unlike many brake issues, a stuck caliper is not always immediately evident. Early on, you may not even experience any noticeable symptoms. While a caliper that's stuck will wear the brake pads on that wheel more quickly, other symptoms will develop over time. Notably, you may notice your car pulling to one side when braking or you may start to experience vibrations at certain speeds. Excess heat generated by the constant friction between your pads and rotors can also damage other components, such as your wheel bearings.
Unfortunately, the initially subtle symptoms of a failed caliper can lead many drivers to allow the problem to go on for far too long. If you notice any changes in your car's braking behavior, it is crucial to have a qualified brake technician investigate the problem as soon as possible. Locating the source of trouble can help to save you from causing additional damage to your car's brakes or adjacent components. More importantly, it will ensure that your vehicle's braking performance remains strong so that you can stay safe on the road. Contact businesses like Greg's Garage to get help today.