Brand New Brake Caliper Sticking (Causes and Fixing)

Nothing is more troublesome than sticking brakes in a vehicle. The primary purpose of the brake system is to slow and halt the motion of the car. Although the mechanism of the system seems simple actually, it’s quite complex and needs proper maintenance. An efficient one should be fast, reliable, and smooth in function. Moreover, it should allow the car to stop immediately. If the car brake is not working correctly, then brake calipers are sticking. This article will guide you on the causes of brand new brake caliper sticking and how to fix it.

brand new brake caliper sticking

What is Brake Caliper?

The car brake system plays a critical part in keeping the automobile safe. Additionally, an effective brake system shows that the automobile is safe and reliable. Today’s motorcycles and cars are running with an efficient braking system. This braking system is so efficient that vehicles stop immediately. There are many essential components included in a car braking system, one of them is the caliper. You will find calipers on front wheels in most cars. The main purpose of Brake Caliper is to press the brake pad against the rotors to slow the speed of the car.

The brake calipers consists of numerous parts like brake piston, dust boot, slide pins, locking bolts, shims, seal, mounting brackets. The caliper with brake pads help the brake to work effectively. Commonly, a caliper is triggered by hydraulic fluid pressure. This pressure formed from the master cylinder and brake pedal. This pressure pushes the brake pad into the rotor, causing the wheels to slow down and eventually stop.

Usually, brake lines are durable and hard because the whole braking system depends upon them. However, sometimes lack of regular maintenance, and hard braking causes the brake pistons to be stuck. Brake caliper sticking when hot is not reliable or safe.

Causes of Brand New Brake Caliper Sticking

Whether it is an old brake caliper or a caliper sticking, the reason behind both is the same. In simple words, a stuck piston means that it cannot press the brake pad against the rotors.

When the caliper is stuck, there is constant pressure on the brake pad. It causes friction, and the brake rotor will become hot. Moreover, the longer you drive a stuck caliper, the hotter it will get.

If you sense no break pressure or a stuck caliper, park your car. Place your hand near every wheel and sense for heat, smoke, or burning smell. These are the signs of seized or frozen caliper.

The caliper sticking is not that common. However, if brake caliper sticking symptoms appear, it is necessary to fix the problem. Let’s look at the common causes of the sticking brake related parts.

1. Caliper slides

Calipers slides are grooves that hold the brake pads. when the brake pedal is pressed, they slide into the grooves. Similarly, when you release the pedal, they slide out. Sometimes rubbish and corrosion are built up in the grooves. This causes the brake discs to stuck. Another reason for caliper sticking is the brake pad’s shims get stuck in the grooves. Cleaning the debris from the groove slides can fix this problem. Another way is to replace the old shims that are a reason for this problem.

2. Caliper Bolts

Caliper bolts are bolts that hold the part. These bolts have slides on them and they need lubrication to work effectively. Sometimes they become dry, causing rust and debris to build up between the sliding mechanism. Moreover, these bolts have a protective rubber layer that breaks easily. Mainly, when the mechanic installs brake pad, these bolts may tear apart after long time. The braking system put pressure on caliper bolts. In case of caliper sticking, it is better to change the bolts immediately. Replace the rusted and wear-out caliper bolts because it causes the caliper to stuck.

3. Brake Hose

The brake hose transfers oil to the caliper. Sometimes the pipe wears out and causes oil to flow through the brake piston. It makes the brake caliper sticking. Generally, the pipe wears out over some time. In case of a cracked hose, it should be replaced or repaired. However, the brake hose should be changed rather than repaired.

4. Brake piston

The piston is the essential component of the brakes. Piston force the brake pad to contact the rotor. Sometimes piston rubber boot is torn apart. It causes to rust from the inside. Damaged piston rubber boot loses its sliding ability. This is the main reason for the caliper to stuck.

 How to fix sticking caliper?

Unlubricated and dusty brake caliper parts cause brake sticking. Generally, mechanics when replacing the brake pad, don’t pay attention to the slide pin. This is one of the reasons for the sticking. Let’s discuss step by step how to fix a caliper.

Step 1: Take off wheel

Raise the car using a jack, then turn the wheel nuts counterclockwise to unscrew. Wheel nuts are easily removable even by hand.

Step 2: Clean brake pads

After removing the wheel, check the brake pads and clean those by using a spray cleaner . Moreover, to avoid mess, place a drip-pan underneath the brake assembly. Brake cleaner will clean oil, grease, and dirt from the brakes and pads.

Step 3: Remove brake caliper and pads

Cleaning of the pads decreases chances of sticking, making car drive smoother and more reliable. After cleaning, remove the pads and caliper. First, unbolt the caliper and then pull it out of the bracket. Detach brake pads by using both hands.

Step 4: Cleaning of Caliper

Take a brief look at the caliper and brakes pads. Usually, a new caliper doesn’t require repair, and it needs proper cleaning. If the caliper is damaged, replace it. Spray the cleaner inside the parts. It will remove dust, dirt, greases, and other impurities. Moreover, don’t forget to clean the slide pins and bolts using a rag.

Step 5: Lubricate Caliper

When the caliper is completely cleaned, grease it again. Lubricate the slide pin using lithium grease. It is best for pins and brake pads.

Step 6: Reinstall Caliper, brake, and wheel

After greasing, reinstall the brakes pads and caliper. Make sure the parts is put back to the bracket. Put the bolts back in their place. Moreover, don’t over tighten the bolts it causes damage to the brakes and caliper. After installing the tire, lower the jack stand.

Frequently asked question

1. Can a bad brake hose cause a caliper to stick?

A bad brake caliper is troublesome and dangerous. They are not reliable and cause damage to the engine. Yes, a bad hose can cause damage to a caliper. If the pipe is damaged it will allow the brake oil to flow from the piston. Moreover, the dirt traps the brake oil inside the cylinder. It causes the new caliper to stick. Replacing the pipe fixes the problem. However, if the brake hose is not damaged, repaired as well it is well.

2. What to do when both front brake calipers not releasing?

 If brake pads are damaged, it is one of the reasons for calipers not releasing. Worn-out pads make the pedal stiff. Generally, this occurs when the brake pad is frozen. This condition occurs due to rusting and lack of regular maintenance.

Overheated braking systems occur due to damaged parts like a caliper, piston, rotors, brake pads, hose, and others. Another reason is erroneous brake oil. Broken parking brakes and faulty ABS can also cause the front caliper to stuck. Then replace the parts with quality Powerstop Brake Caliper Set.

new brake caliper sticking

3. Which type of brake pads are best?

 For high performance, reliability, and safety semi-metallic brake pads are best. However, for people that travel a lot semi ceramic pads are a better option. The ceramic pads are more durable and last longer. These brakes have better noise control and don’t cause wear and tear to the rotor. Moreover, they give better performance than semi-metallic pads.

In the end, it depends upon the need of the end-user.


This article explains the causes of brand new brake caliper sticking and how to fix it. Always take the problem with brakes seriously, because it is a safety hazard. Further, if you notice a problem like trouble in steering, it is hard to stop the car and stay down pedal. See the mechanic and address the problem at once. Caliper is a major part of the braking system. Usually, the common reason for caliper sticking is pistons and hoses. Generally, a new one doesn’t require replacement or repair. They only need proper cleaning.

Generally, a good caliper doesn’t require replacement or repair. They only need proper cleaning. In case, the parts are defective, replace them.


Mr. Rubel is an Engine Mechanic. He has more than 15 years’ experience on repair and maintenance of different kinds of vehicles. He is also providing training to mechanics and works as a Senior Mechanic of a well-known organization. He is sharing his knowledge to support the car lovers to solve the vehicle issues.

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