Caliper overheating

kessy56May 4, 2012

I have replaced the caliper on my 1988 Oldsmobile but it's still getting hot enough that I can smell it. Any help would be appreciated! This is on the front wheel.

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Could be a bad brake hose that is collapsing and holding pressure on the caliper.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 9:36AM
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I agree with bob. It could be a hose that is collapsing internally. Also, I assume this caliper is a slider??? If so it could be corroded so that it doesn't release properly when you get off the brake pedal. The corrosion problem would be a very common one if the brakes have never been taken apart and cleaned.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 8:47AM
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I doubt that you smell the caliper- its mostly metal - but the brake pads can stink. Often, new pads give off an oder during the break-in period. The pads get hot when the brakes are applied and the fresh binder outgasses. It may smell like hot phenolic. This oder goes away after break-in. It will return should the brakes become overheated.

I do not know who replaced your caliper. If it was done by a professional brake shop, I'd expect they would have made sure that the caliper was free to slide on its pins. If the pins show signs of corrosion, most brake shops would replace the pins.

But if this was not the case, and the calipers were replaced without paying attention to the pins or the proper lubrication of these pins, the caliper can stick and cause uneven wear between the inner and outer pads. Also, rotor problems may develop since most of the braking effort is happening one side of the rotor; the rotor is being forced from one side and it may flex a small amount.

Excessive brake drag can occur if the fluid pressure is not relieved or the piston seals are sticking and not allowing the pads to retract. There are no return springs in the caliper piston. A small amount of relief is obtained by the flex action of the seal. With the brakes off, the pad do rub gently on the rotors and may release completely by the return action of the piston seals.

I assume that when the calipers were replaced, a complete caliper with pistons and new seals installed were used. And I assume the brake lines were bled.

If all these bases have been covered and the brakes still have excessive drag, look elsewhere for the problem. Find out why excessive brake fluid pressure exists with the brakes off.

Make sure the brake fluid is of the proper type and free of contaminamts. Brake fluid will readily absorb moisture from the atmosphere. Water in brake fluid can cause big problems with a potentail of brake lockup under hard prolonged braking. Moisture can flash to steam when the calipers go above the boiling point of water.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 1:58AM
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Describe repair? U replaced 1 caliper? Did u change brake pads on 1 wheel? Both wheels? Did u reuse old pads? Did u change 1 rotor, 2 rotors or resurface rotors or not touch original rotors.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:28AM
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I recently had the same problem. After new brake pads and rotors were put in my Jeep, the right front brake would on occassion drag and heat. In one short trip, the pads got hot enough to smell the binder in the pads. It did not always happen. I took the auto back to the brake shop and the fix was to replace both calipers. The old calipers were original equipemnt; the Jeep was 14 yrs old with 98,000 miles. Apparently, the pistons were hanging up in the bores due to corrosion. The brake lines were flushed since that had never been done before. (I bought the Jeep when it was 6yrs old.) Problem fixed.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 1:13AM
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