Brake Sticking

Q: I just had my brake pads and rotors replaced. The right front tire squeaks when I brake. It’s been two weeks since the work was done. I wanted to rule out brake dust so I hosed down each wheel after driving a few miles. The right front rotor started steaming when the water hit it. None of the other rotors did. What could be the problem?

A: Excessive heat on one brake rotor generally means that the brake caliper is sticking. The piston inside the caliper could be sticking or the caliper may not be sliding correctly. When shops replace brake pads they should clean the caliper glides, pins, and bushings. However, some technicians skip this step. After cleaning the caliper glides the technician should put a special lubricant (synthetic caliper lubricant) on the gliding surfaces. The caliper glides, pins, and bushings should be cleaned and new caliper grease applied to enable the caliper to move freely. If the brake caliper piston is stuck, a remanufactured caliper can be purchased. The brake rotor on that side may now be warped and brake pads excessively worn.