It is always recommended to ensure that the car’s braking mechanism is in its best-performing condition, as this will help reduce the risks whenever one uses the car on the roads. Another commonly ignored problem is the stuck brake calliper, which results in bad braking habits and could end up having far-reaching consequences of requiring expensive repair jobs.

In this article, we will point out the main symptoms of stuck callipers, explain why it is crucial to avoid driving a car with brake problems. If you are looking for professional car repairs in Ashford, Kent or wish to get MOT, then contact RKH Service and Repair for best services.

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Stuck Callipers

As much as it is necessary that you read through the symptoms, it is also important to have a clear understanding of what a brake calliper is and how it works. The brake calliper is among the essential accessories of your car and specifically assists the brake discs in stopping your car.

It contains the brake pads and pistons and operates by applying force and, thereby, rubbing the brake pads against the rotor to either slow down or stop the vehicle. When it comes to calliper sticking, this is when the brake calliper does not release the brake pads and, rather, keeps on rubbing against the rotor.

Common Stuck Calliper Symptoms

The signs outlined above should be taken seriously since a stuck brake calliper causes many problems that may endanger the lives of drivers and their passengers, as well as harm other vehicle parts. Here are the common symptoms to watch out for:

1. Brake Pad Wear-Out

When the brake calliper sticks, one of the brake pads is constantly in contact with the rotor to allow the brake to grip. This puts more pressure on that particular brake pad than the others, which results in the worn-out brake pad.

This phenomenon is often characterised by varying thicknesses of the brake pads, which indicates a seized calliper. If one monitors his brake pads regularly, he will see that there is some uneven wear on them.

2. Car Pulling into One Side

A calliper is stuck means one of the brakes is always on, which has an unsymmetrical effect on the working of braking systems. This leads to the problem whereby the car pulls to the side of the brake, the one that has been engaged.

For instance, if the left calliper is seized, the car will exhibit a pulling of the left side when steering or braking. This sign alone often prevents driving and causes a safety issue rather risky, particularly when it comes to sudden braking situations.

3. Brake Pedal Feels Spongy

The braking system uses hydraulic pressure for it to run effectively well as described below. When used, a stuck calliper causes leakage of the brake fluid or the presence of air within the brake lines which will have the effect of decreasing hydraulic pressures.

This is known as elongation and is felt when you step on the brake pedal, and instead of having a firm feeling, it feels mushy like a sponge. Soft pedals indicate that brakes do not seize the manner they should, thereby predisposing the owner to experience a terrible halting process of the automobile.

4. Reduced Fuel Efficiency

A stuck calliper continually rubs the brake pad with the rotor; hence, the vehicle can only pull more energy to provide force to eliminate this drag force. This increase seems to lead to elevated fuel consumption due to the fact that the engine needs to exert more effort in order to achieve the same velocity.

It might also be caused by a maladjusted or stuck calliper if you experience a drop in your vehicle’s miles per gallon (MPG).

5. Overheating Wheels

The friction between the two metallic components of a calliper, which is stuck, does not allow them to stop rubbing against each other, and consequently, they produce heat all the time. It can even make the wheel to be extremely hot compared to the other wheels within cars equipped with it.

Even when used under extreme conditions, it would be exaggerated; the heat may rise to the extent that smoke begins to come out of the wheel. This, in turn, will cause more damage to the brake parts and even a potential fire hazard if nothing is done to correct the situation.

6. Unusual Sounds While Applying the Brake

Sounds that may be unfamiliar, such as grinding, squealing, or even thumping sounds, are heard every time you apply the brakes, which are indicators of a problematic brake system. As for the associated sounds with a calliper stuck, these are normally produced because the brake pad is touching the rotor all the time.

Grinding is typically when the brake pad is worn through the friction material all of the way down to the metal, while loud squealing could be caused by metal-on-metal contact or by being overheated enough to expand the brake components.

7. Burning Smell

The burning smell near any of the wheels is enough to signal that a calliper may be stuck. The constantly rubbing or wear of the brake pad and the rotor produces a lot of heat, hence burning the layer of the brake pad material.

It can be experienced when the wheel is burning or when the wheel is extremely hot, and one only needs to touch it to find this out. If you fail to notice this sign it will result in severe problems affecting the braking system as well as other parts of the wheel assembly.


One is, therefore, advised to properly diagnose stuck calliper symptoms to avoid further big repair costs and inconveniences that come with the use of stuck calliper on a car. In the event that you realise there is a symptom of a seized brake calliper, it should be repaired by a professional who offers car brake repair services.

Contact RKH Service and Repair to get Bike MOT and Car MOT in Ashford and Kent. We also offer car repair, replacement of tyres, wheel alignment and repair air conditioning.