Being a vital part of your vehicle’s braking system, brake calipers must be well maintained to ensure that they remain in good condition. However, seized calipers are a common problem that many vehicles face over time. As a result of this, the braking power can be dramatically reduced, risking harm to drivers, passengers, and other road users. So, what are the signs and symptoms of a seized caliper?

What are the signs and symptoms of a seized brake caliper?

There are a wide range of signs and symptoms that could indicate a fault with your brake calipers. However, they could also suggest that there is a defect with another aspect of your vehicle’s brakes, so it is always important to get any issues assessed as soon as possible. These signs commonly include:

  • You notice that the vehicle pulls to one side
  • You feel as though your brakes are activated whilst moving
  • You notice fluid leaking from your brakes
  • You begin to hear unnatural sounds whilst driving, such as grinding
  • You struggle to pick up momentum
  • You struggle to get the vehicle to move at all
  • You notice a smell of burning
  • You begin to see smoke, or even fire, coming from your wheels

Can you continue to drive with a seized brake caliper?

In short, no – you cannot continue to drive with a damaged brake caliper. Doing so can be extremely dangerous for both your vehicle and the safety of yourself and other road users.

If you choose to continue driving your car, you could cause your brake pads to suffer additional damage. The material of the pads will grind away, eventually resulting in the base of your brake pads digging into the brake disc, causing dangerous and irreparable damage. This can cause an intense level of heat which could cause harm to surrounding aspects of your vehicle, as well as possibly leading to smoking brakes or even a fire breakout.

Does a seized brake caliper require a repair or a replacement?

Depending on the severity of the damage will determine whether your brake calipers will require a repair or replacement. This decision can only be made and carried out by a qualified mechanic.

What could cause a seized brake caliper?

So, we know the signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for, but what could cause a seized brake caliper? Again, there are a range of actions which could lead to damaged calipers, including:

  • Leaving your vehicle sitting dormant for an extended period of time
  • A build-up of dirt, grime, or debris that interferes with the brake disc
  • Corrosion to any aspect of your brakes caused by water absorption
  • Seizing of the slide pin
  • A lack of lubrication

At RKH Service and Repair, our team of trusted mechanics are on hand to identify and reverse any signs of damage to your vehicle or motorbike. For any enquiries, or to book your car in for an annual MOT or service, get in touch by calling 01233 877797 or emailing today.