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Brake news, maybe


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Ever since I owned my car I've noticed a slight brake pull. I brought it to my mechanic and he checked out the system and installed a new set of front pads. He also said the right caliper was out all the way, but he was able to get it back in. He said to keep my eye on the caliper it may need replacement. I drove the car still noticing the brake pull. <P>On Tuesday I could smell asbestos burning; the brakes were mushy; and the right rim was very hot. I brought it back to my mechanic expecting the worst.<P>As it turned out, although the caliper may have been compromised, the real culprit was a brake hose (black rubber hose runs into the caliper). The hose allowed brake fluid to run into the caliper but not out. This caused the caliper to remain closed and to heat up. When the system was cool all was ok with the caliper.<P>My mechanic replaced the hose and the caliper for good measure. The rest of the system checked out ok.<P>The total price for the pads, the hose; the caliper; and the labor was $201.83.

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Good point. Somewhere I read that Rolls maintance schedule suggest brake hose be replacement at some ocumented time(100K miles/10years?) Who ever thinks about replacing these critical parts?<BR>We expect them to last until.....they fail?<BR>Bad timing to wait until these fail before replacing them.

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The important thing to remember is that the elusive problem I described can be costly if not caught early. Once the caliper is not allowed to open, because of the hose or otherwise, it heats up and seizes, then the entire system heats (boils) up, and the rotor warps. Who needs that? With the brake problems we have to deal with this one can be prevented, and inexepensively for that matter. The hose part was only $49.56 and could probably be installed by anyone with limited mechanical ability or by a mechanic for a reasonable price. It's worth checking out these hoses.

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Every shop, or individual, that replaces pads should inspect the hoses very carefully. By the time the outside shows signs of deterioration, it is a good bet the inside long ago started to do so, sending bits of hose into the caliper and elsewhere. This wear is accelerated where the system is not regularly bled. DOT3 fluid absorbs water, so the longer it stays in there, the more the system is subject to corrosion and deterioration.

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Guest kennyw

KEVIN,<BR>There [ain't] no way you will ever convince me that the brake hose held pressure on the piston and kept the pads against the rotors!! Pistons sticking in the bore from old brake fluid around the rubber seal or the slider system sticking is the only thing that I know that will cause this problem...... I have a bridge and water front property to sell..............

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I'm sorry Kenny, but this is a very real problem, seen it happen more times than I'd like. Not sure WHY, but the inner passage swells shut. Pressure can open it and apply the piston, but there's not enough pressure to escape after the brake application, and the caliper stays applied.Any time I see a caliper hanging up, I suspect the hose FIRST, caliper second. Crack the bleeder on a binding system, and if fluid shoots out, my moneys on the hose.

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Thanks Harry. My mechanic described exactly what you describe: sufficient pressure to push the fluid through the constricted hose to close the caliper but the hose was so constricted that it did not let the fluid escape. He said the pressure going in was far greater that the pressure going back. Given time, the fluid would slowly seep back and the caliper would release.

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The brake hoses are built in layers. When the innermost layer fails, the fluid under pressure works its way between the layers and creates a flexible check valve. This allows the high pressure fluid to apply the brake, but traps a slight residual pressure against the brake piston when the pedal is released. The root cause for this kind of failure is usually a trace of some kind of petroleum based product finding its way into the system.

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Guest kennyw

GUYS,<BR>HUNDREDS and thousand of cars and the reatta is the only one with a bad brake flexable hose with a backward restriction. I installed them on the assembly line, not that it matters and replaced a few in my time. I would have to see the bad [hose] with air pressure applied to it to convince me. Seems this car pulled to the side of the bad caliaper. It has been my experince that the side getting the most presure is the one that pulls. [HAS THE MOST STOPPING POWER.] If this hose had a restriction it would not be supplying the most fluid and the car would pull to the other side. This is gereral knowladge.I had this same thing with my old Reatta. it was a sticking piston...... I would suspect that the calipar was disassembled when the hose was installed and it fixed the problem. Hay, $2oo is cheap for any repair that lets you go down the road........................

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