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Rear Brake Issues

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the other day i noticed a smell coming from the rear brakes

touched the left rear wheel and the thing was almost too hot to touch.

seems as if the brakes are not releasing the rotor very well and rubbing hard.

I had just changed the rotors and pads (for the first time since i got this car) and am assuming that because the old pads were so low, the piston is now somehow stuck and not moving freely in the caliper because it sets further in with the new pads.

I took the wheels and brake shoes back off and pumped the brakes to work out the cylinder and used a big c clamp to push it back in a few times.

now the piston seems to move easier. I think this is only a temporary fix however...anybody have any idea what the permanent fix for this would be? is it a situation where the calipers should just be replaced? also, would it help the situation if i bled and refilled the brake system?

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I would replace both rear calipers with either new or factory rebuilt units. It wouldn't hurt to change the brake fluid while doing this job since it's probably due for changing anyway. Are you sure it's the caliper and not the emergency brake mechanism that is causing this binding?

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Brake fluid absorbs water from the air and then distributes it throughout your braking system. At the calipers is usually where the damage is done by rust forming on the piston cylinder walls. Because the pistons move so little during actual braking, the rust never gets rubbed off, like it does on your rotors. It builds up and then seizes up the piston, hence your problem. This is why you should flush and replace your brake fluid every 3 years. Sometimes.....sometimes you can pop the piston out and using very fine steel wool, clean up the piston and the cylinder and be good for some time yet to come. Most times its not worth it, for the peace of mind, and the fact that you won't have to do the repair again. New or remanufactured calipers are the way most folks would go. Ensure that the system gets flushed and refilled with fresh fluid afterward. Good luck!

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smoothing out the pistons on both rears worked.

although I agree this is only temporary. I will be getting new calipers eventually, but this buys me some time without rubbing the brake shoes to death and sucking gas mileage.

thanks for the help!

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