Allpar Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
862 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Installed new front brake flex hoses on my 2002 T&C minivan. I bought American "name brand" brake hoses online at a reasonable but not bargain price. Surprised to discover that they were made in China, but seemed of relatively high quality. After installation I flushed the system with new DOT 4 fluid and got a nice hard pedal. Put around 50 slow miles on the van and the brakes worked great. However, something happened yesterday while driving in heavy traffic for around 20 minutes in 90-degree heat. The front brakes gradually began to stick to the point where it took a lot of throttle to accelerate. I pulled off into a parking lot and saw blue smoke coming out of both front wheel wells. Both front wheels were extemely hot, so it was plain that both front calipers were sticking. I waited two hours for the brakes to cool after which they worked fine. Drove home (about 3 miles) without incident being careful to limit brake application as much as possible. Since both front calipers were sticking, and I've never had this problem before, I can only assume that the new hoses are at fault. How can a new brake hose cause this problem, if it is the problem? The only thing I can imagine is that the hoses were defective and somehow collapsed when the pressure of the hot fluid was released, thereby preventing the fluid from flowing back out of the caliper. Comments welcome.
 

·
KOG
Joined
·
6,994 Posts
Install new parts, problem occurs. Probability that new parts are the problem: very high. Why? That's another question entirely, but I'd be swapping those hoses for another brand ASAP.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,074 Posts
There is also the possibility there is sediment which collects at the bottom of the calipers themselves that is making the caliper cups stick. Changing fluid cleans out the floating stuff, but several times I have had the gunk settle to the bottom and it makes the piston stick, especially when the pads gently wear and when they are then compressed, stick.To check this before pulling the calipers apart to rebuild them, remove a caliper and push it in, see how stiff they are going in and out, should be smooth on both sides.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,981 Posts
Be sure of the fluid type. DOT-3 and DOT-4 are compatible, but DOT-5 cannot be used in older systems and will gum up and behave as you described.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,351 Posts
If the hoses are restricting and holding pressure in the caliper when hot, I have loosened the bleeder screw and gotten a spurt of brake fluid. The rotor should now turn freely. You may want to wear workgloves as things will be hot.
If the caliper piston is sticking, but the hose is allowing pressure to release, there should be no spurt of brake fluid.
Both of these problems can be temperature dependent. A cracked plastic piston can stick intermittently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
862 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to everyone for the prompt and knowledgeable comments. That's what makes this such a great site. Brake system has been well maintained - it's been flushed every two years with DOT 4 fluid. The caliper pistons move freely (checked when I installed the hoses). Key factor is that both calipers locked up simultaneously when the brakes got hot. Therefore, first step is to replace the Chinese brake hoses with OEM units. I'll post back with the results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,805 Posts
What prompted you to change out the hoses in the beginning? Does your ABS still work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,042 Posts
Sounds like a trip to NAPA is in order. I try my best to avoid Chinese junk on my Mopars, but it's getting more and more difficult.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
862 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
bguy said:
What prompted you to change out the hoses in the beginning? Does your ABS still work?
Vehicle is 11 years old. Cracks were appearing on old hoses. I usually replace brake hoses on my vehicles after 10 years. Had one rupture on me a while back. Don't know if ABS still works, but sensors are installed correctly. Problem only occurs when brakes get hot. Takes 20-30 minutes of city driving for the brakes to start dragging.
 

·
KOG
Joined
·
6,994 Posts
That really sounds more like a caliper problem than a hose problem, but you'll only know what it was after you get it fixed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
862 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
KOG said:
That really sounds more like a caliper problem than a hose problem, but you'll only know what it was after you get it fixed.
That could be true, but the chances of both front calipers going bad at the exact same time are quite low when you consider the two new hoses of questionable quality. In any case, the first step is to get OEM hoses back on the van - for peace of mind if nothing else. If that doesn't do it, I'll look at the calipers. I'm done with aftermarket brake parts. I'm thinking that higher temperatures caused the inferior rubber in the hoses to soften to the point where the hoses collapsed when fluid pressure was released, thus keeping the calipers energized without any pressure on the brake pedal. Continual use of the brakes made the problem worse as there was only slight dragging at first which gradually increased to the point where there was relatively strong braking action without any pressure on the pedal. Key point is that the problem disappeared when the brakes cooled down.
 

·
KOG
Joined
·
6,994 Posts
Note that my original suggestion was hoses. As for aftermarket pads, the best ones are superior to OEM, cheap ones should be avoided. I use Performance Friction Carbon Metallic which are pricey and sometimes hard to obtain, but they sure work well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,805 Posts
If your ABS light is not on the system should be active. Does the warning light come on at key-on?
Your problem puts me in mind of residual pressure caused by air in the system. With ABS systems some weird symptoms and occurrences have been reported. Most feel that without a visit to the dealer for them to bleed the brakes while activating the ABS pump, the best way to make sure you have the system completely bled is to get the brakes on hard enough to get the ABS to activate, then re-bleed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
862 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
bguy said:
If your ABS light is not on the system should be active. Does the warning light come on at key-on?
Your problem puts me in mind of residual pressure caused by air in the system. With ABS systems some weird symptoms and occurrences have been reported. Most feel that without a visit to the dealer for them to bleed the brakes while activating the ABS pump, the best way to make sure you have the system completely bled is to get the brakes on hard enough to get the ABS to activate, then re-bleed.
Interesting. First time I've heard this.. I wonder if the problem will reoccur if I drive the van with the ABS fuse removed. I drove the van for around 20 minutes today with no problem and no ABS light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
862 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I installed two new OEM flex hoses in front and re-bled the system. The OEM hoses were of obviously higher quality than the Chinese units. The brakes have been working fine for the last two weeis. Strange thing is that I drove the minivan a few times after the caliper dragging problem occurred problem occurred but before installing the new hoses. The problem didn't reoccur. Could be that the problem was temperature-related as the calipers began sticking while driving in relatively fast moving stop-and-go traffic in 90-degree heat. Time will tell. Mysterious.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top