Why Would A Brake Caliper Lock Up?

A brake caliper locking up can cause serious trouble for you, especially on wet surfaces. But why would a brake caliper lock up? There can be many reasons, let us find out.

Brakes on your cars or vehicle are among the essential aspects. They are the most critical safety feature of a car—a few instances where the driver experiences a lockup in the brake caliper. Brake lockups can be very dangerous for you and the other people driving alongside you. 

The most common reasons someone can experience a brake lockup are overheating, wrong brake fluid, damage to the brakes, broken brake calipers, etc. 

What Would Cause All Four Brakes To Lock Up?

Recent work or modifications done on the brake cylinders can be a possible reason. Brake boosters could be the reason for all four brakes in your car to lock up. 

You’ll need to check whether the brake pushrod has free room or not. If the space is tighter near this brake pushrod, then the master cylinder could partially block the brakes’ return port


Why Would A Brake Caliper Lock Up


Another reason for all four brakes of your vehicle to be locking up could be because the brake fluid reservoir is too full

This can lead to a hydraulic brake drag, where the brakes are applied late when you use the brakes. If the metering valve is failing or weak, then it could also be causing pressure on the brakes, due to which they might be locking up. 

Why Are My Front Brakes Locking Up?

Your front brakes might be locking up. Some of the most common reasons for your brakes locking up are overheating, damage to piston motors, ABS components damage, broken braking parts, etc. 

When checking for faults in your brakes, you must look for the root cause of the lockup. Locking up the brakes can be very scary, especially when driving the car at high speed. There could be two scenarios for your brakes to lock up. 

The first case is referred to as brake drag. Even if you have not pressed the brakes, some residual fluid or pressure is applied to the brakes. This remaining pressure on the brakes can be responsible for the brake calipers to lock up and stopping working. You’ll find this type of lockup to be most common in recent cases of brake lockups. You should not ignore this problem if you don’t attend to it, and it can lead to permanent failure of your brakes. 


Why Would A Brake Caliper Lock Up


The second category of brake lockup refers to when you are braking very hard, but the brakes are not working. In this case, your vehicle glides when you apply the brakes and then eventually stops. People often experience skidding in their cars with this type of brake lockup. With this brake lockup, you’ll find steering and controlling your vehicle very difficult. 

Why Do Brake Calipers Lock Up? Other Reasons

You can experience brake calipers locking up because of any mechanical failure. Some components might be exerting some extra pressure on the brake pads due to which they can lock up. How you react to a brake lockup will decide how safe you can be after a brake lockup. 

If you face a brake drag or brake lockup, you should get your safety on as soon as possible. During a brake lock up, you can try and apply full pressure on the brakes to gain control back on them. 

If your new car has an anti-lock braking system, you’ll receive some feedback. This feedback is trying to prevent the wheels on your vehicle from locking up and your vehicle from skidding. 

You can either take your foot off the brake pedal. This will allow your wheels to get enough traction. This traction will help the reels to stop. Removing your foot and then re-applying the brakes with full force will help you to control the car immediately. 

You can also press the brakes again and again repeatedly. You can repeat this step until the brakes bring you to a safe spot and they can disengage adequately. 


Why Would A Brake Caliper Lock Up


How To Diagnose and Fix a Seized Brake Caliper?

Once you have identified that your brake caliper is not responding, your next step is to diagnose and fix the broken part of the brake caliper. The best solution for quickly setting the brake calipers is to lubricate them. 

Temporarily, the lubrication should help the brakes to work. If the brake pads are stuck on your vehicle, you might need to replace them again to make them operational. You will need to free the brake disc from the brake pads so that the brake disc can resurface. 

If the brake calipers pistons are seized on your brakes, you can use a unique tool. This special tool’s main purpose is to add force to the brake pads and then retract these pads. 

You can use a simple C-clamp for forcing and retracting these brake pads. If you have to remove a brake caliper or a portion of it, you need to use the hydraulic pressure from your brakes. 

After that, you can remove the calipers from the brake pedal and remove the fault portion of the caliper’s piston. After that, you should be able to complete the brake setup, and it should be functional again. 

Ideally, after diagnosing and fixing the brake calipers, it is still the best option to get your brakes checked by a professional once. 


Why Would A Brake Caliper Lock Up


A Few Final Words

The braking system is a crucial part of a vehicle’s mechanism, and it needs to stay up-to-date for your safety. Hence, you should get it checked and serviced by a professional from time to time. 

As we have read about the potential reasons for the brake calipers to lock up while driving in this article, now you won’t be in the dark whenever your car’s brakes start to lock up. 

You’ll be able to quickly identify the root cause for your brake calipers to lock up. Either way, if you experience any brake-related issues, you should get your brakes checked by a professional as it is a matter of your security. 

You should not avoid or take this brake locking issue lightly. Remember to get this brake problem solved as soon as possible as if not corrected on time, it could develop into a severe problem. 

Thank you for reading, we hope you got all the answers and are ready to repair your brake calipers by now. you might also like to read: What Size Allen Wrench For Brake Calipers? And Which Brake Caliper Guide Pin Goes On Top

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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