Question about 2003 Nissan Altima

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Brakes on 2003 nissan altima are wearing on one side only. has been repaired repeatedly. After a few thousand miles only one side works other side consquently wears out out fast &then there is a grinding noise stopping

Posted by joycevano061 on

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joecoolvette

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From your description, it sounds like the brake caliper piston is sticking.

The brake caliper housing is shaped,
like a large C. The caliper housing goes over the brake rotor. The rotor is round disk. Inside the brake caliper of your brake caliper design, is a piston. (One piston. You have a single piston brake caliper) The piston pushes in from one side, and pushes against one of your brake pads. This pad in turn pushes against the face of the rotor, and stops the car.

This is what the brake caliper looks like,
http://www.car-stuff.com/carparts/nissanaltima20022006a1cardonea119b2690327804.html
You can click on zoom to see it better.
This page shows the relation of the brake caliper to the rotor, and helps me explain what is malfunctioning with your brakes,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_brake
Look at the top right photo.

When the piston sticks in the brake caliper, it keeps pressure against the brake pad, wearing it out prematurely. On the other side of the brake caliper is another brake pad. This pad has doesn't have as much pressure against it, therefore the one that is pushed by the piston, wears out faster.

Eventually this pad wears out, and the lining of the pad is worn down to the metal backing. This is the squeal you hear. Wait too long, and you'll be replacing the rotor also.
If the brake caliper has been replaced already, (Doesn't sound like it), then the brake hose needs to be checked, for that brake caliper. They get old, and the inner lining collapses. Brake caliper piston won't release as it should. Many shops do not check this!

Posted on Jul 08, 2009

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Sounds like the caliper on the side that isn't wearing is not working properly. You need to test it to make sure that it is pushing out properly when the brakes are pressed. I can't imagine that it is working correctly. It sounds like the piston isn't moving out and you need to look at replacing that caliper so that your brakes wear evenly and also to make sure you have your full stopping power. Good luck and thanks for using FixYa!

Posted on Jul 08, 2009

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