Question about Toyota Tercel

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My toyota tercel 92 front left caliper froze, could an uneven wear of the rotor explain it? (I replaced my brake pads 9 months before switching to new rotors...)If the rotor is the problem: 1- Do I have to replace both rotors? 2- Yet, is there necessarily need to work the brake caliper/ rebuild it?

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  • anthonylavic Jan 30, 2010

    I went to an auto part store and after asking for a caliper repair kit and new caliper rotor I was told by a rep. that my problem might well be an uneven wear of the rotor on the sticky caliper side(I unlocked the sticky caliper with a C-clamp and it has not seized again...it's been 5 days...)The representative claimed that a .668 and less thick rotor is illegal in CA and that I'd have to change that rotor and also the pads??? He ask me to bring my rotor in so he could turn them and even them out. What should I believe her?

  • anthonylavic Jan 30, 2010

    I never actually cleaned a caliper. Besides closing it with a C-Clamp to put new pads on or to unlock a seized caliper my experience working with this part is limited. So you said that I first to check what it causing it to stay in the applied position. For one thing, when I close the caliper rotor with a C-clamp am I suppose to see it come back out? (i.e how long is it suppose to be before it comes back out?) What are the slides? Do you think that I should try to clean/rebuilt the caliper and add a
    new caliper rotor and then see how it does. What tool do I need to
    clean the piston (bore???)
    How could it be the brake flex hose to be defective if it now work fine after I unlocked the caliper 5 days ago? Thanks for prompt reply!


  • anthonylavic Jan 31, 2010

    Very helpful. Thanks!

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  • Master
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You should have a 1 year warrenty on the caliper, If it failed just replace one. No reason to replace both. Rotors always warp and have nothing to do with a sticking caliper.

Posted on Jan 30, 2010

  • Susan Price Jan 30, 2010

    do not ever try to rebuild a caliper. They dont last long. Its more pain than its worth. Once you push the caliper in it should stay in. It will only come out when you apply the brake.. There is only a few thous clearance when you release the pedal.

  • Susan Price Jan 30, 2010

    First thing is if this person is not a certified mechanic why would you listen to her. She just sells parts. If rotor is warped get it turned or replaced. i have never seen a caliper stick because of a rotor issue.

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  • Toyota Master
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A sticky or seized caliper will cause the wear to the rotor. First thing you need to do is to check caliper to see what is causing it to stay in the applied position. Is it a bad/seized piston in the caliper, or is the slides, and pins for caliper dirty, dry, corroded,rusted etc, that is causing it to not retract properly. It may even be a brake flex hose defective as well. I'm assuming you've done this type of work before, and know how to test if caliper is staying in applied position, because of seized piston, or if caliper assy., needs clean and lube, as well as test flex hose. Give me an idea of your experience in this area, and I will continue from there. If replacing rotors, yes I would do them in pairs, as well as calipers, unless one caliper is recently new.

Posted on Jan 30, 2010

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Jan 30, 2010

    The caliper itself also moves in and out when brakes applied and released, from piston pushing and releasing, so the main thing you want to concentrate on there is spots where calipers slides on, as well as the pins( bolts) holding the caliper to the spindle. Make sure that they are clean of debris, and anti-seize compound is used to keep those lubricated. Make sure the pins (bolts) slide in the caliper bushings freely. One easy way of testing, is when re-assembled, install a couple of the wheel nuts to keep rotor tight against hub, have someone apply brakes, make sure they are holding, then you try to turn rotor by hand when they are released. If it is real difficult, and holding still, then calipers aren't releasing properly. Seeing how you already have it back together and are driving it, just get in the habit after stopping and parking, to feel heat of rims. If one is quite a bit hotter than the other, then there's a good chance the hottest one, still has a sticky caliper. Just be careful, if you were just on the brakes quite hard, as the rims may be pretty hot to touch. As far as rebuilding calipers, most mechanics don't bother with it anymore, once you price out parts and your labor, it's usually more feasible to just buy them already rebuilt, and take your old ones in for core charge. Rotors, if you compare price of turning to price for replacements, you might find out that isn't too much difference either. Personally, I'd get 2 rebuilt calipers, and 2 replacement rotors, if it does it again.

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