Posted by Alan Car Questions

Rear brake caliper on a Lexus 2008: Seized

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sized caliper on a Lexus 2008This is a rear brake calibre on a Lexus 2008.

As you can see from the photo the inner brake pad is badly worn and the outside one has plenty of materiel left on it.

One of two reasons can cause this.


  1. Piston in caliper seized.
  2. Brake caliper sliders.

Caliper Piston

Sometimes brake caliper sticking is caused by the piston. As you can see in the image above, the piston has a rubber boot around it. This rubber boot protects, seals and lubricates the piston.

This boot is easily torn when retracting the piston back into the caliper while replacing the brake pads. If it gets torn, then rust and other debris can build up inside the caliper and cause the piston to not slide smoothly. This can cause the brake caliper to stick. Sometimes you can find brake caliper rebuild kits, but most of the time the only way to fix this type of problem is to replace the brake caliper assembly.


Caliper Sildes

There are grooves located in the caliper that hold the brake pads and let them slide in as you push on the brake pedal and out when you let off. Sometimes the brake pad shims get stuck in the grooves or they just get corroded or debris built up in them. This will cause the pads to not be able to slide in and out correctly and make them stick.

Brake caliper sticking fix: If this is the problem with your brakes, you shouldn’t need new calipers – You should be able to just clean them or replace the shims that are causing the problem. In some cases, the metal groove might be getting worn out. If that is the case then the whole caliper assembly would need to be replaced.


In this case it’s the slider pins on caliper seized.When this happens the brake caliper can not function correctly(the brake caliper can not slide when pressing foot on brake so it jams the pad solid and wears quicker on one side.

Avoiding a Stuck Brake Caliper

The best way to avoid brake caliper sticking problems is to take care of your brakes. If you replace brake pads and top up brake fluid when needed, then you shouldn’t run into any problems with your brake caliper.

Depending on how much mileage you clock up, most calipers will last the life of the vehicle or close to it. Sometimes brake caliper sticking problems can be quite hard to diagnose so don’t be afraid to seek professional help if needed.

If you have any unresolved vehicle problems or questions, you can contact me

Ronan Kelly



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