Intermittent front brakes lock up

Tiny
STEVE COLLINS
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 CADILLAC ESCALADE
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 116,000 MILES
Single owner car purchased new! This car has been no trouble until now. Six months ago front brakes locked up while driving. Car had been in garage all weekend. Got back from a trip (another vehicle) and drove approximately two miles city driving when it first occurred. Front brakes locked and hot. Sat overnight before I could arrange a tow. Dealer stumped. No ABS or other lights except a few months earlier the message "Check Stability" displays on the dash. Dealer ends up replacing with a re-manufactured steering gear kit. To quote "steering gear leaking fluid causing brake booster kicking back. Also found steering fluid low and and steering gear and brake booster leaking. Brake pedal kicking back. Also steering position sensor failing intermittently. So, steering gear kit installed. Upon pick up, front brakes locked not two miles from dealership. Next, hydro booster replaced and tested. Vehicle fine for six months and one long road trip. Now, problem has returned. In between dealer repair to present was concerned with front rotor or pad damage. Had replaced front pad with high cost ceramic at Midas with lifetime warranty. Took to Midas for a full inspection. No apparent issues could stand front pad replacement and rear pad replacement. Up shot, no rusted calipers, or other glaring issues. My two cents: take care to a local quick lube each time. Once, brake fluid was low and "topped off" by quick lube person. Could brake fluid have been used by mistake? Would something that simple be the root cause. By the way, no ABS or any other indicator light except "check stability" which I assume is the steering position sensor referenced in mechanic notes. PS. Tried to sell it with disclosure. Drove around block a couple of times with no problem. Seems to bleed off or something. Buyer did not make it two miles before lockup. Could not honorably consummate the deal. Not that kind of guy. Any help appreciated.
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Monday, March 5th, 2018 AT 5:50 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Do they lock on their own or do you step on the pedal and they lock up? The stability control does work with the brake system so it is possible it is the issue. I would suspect the hydro boost or the master cylinder myself. If it was a re-manufactured it may have failed the same way the other one did. About the only way to track it would be to drive it until it locks, then work through the system looking for the problem that is moving the brakes.
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Tuesday, March 6th, 2018 AT 2:17 AM
Tiny
STEVE COLLINS
  • MEMBER
They seem to lock on their own. It is a gradual thing so hard to tell. Driving, seems to drag, gets harder and harder to maintain speed. Brake pulses. It has happened to me in traffic and my wife so I would have to assume applying the brakes normally brings on the onset of the problem.
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Tuesday, March 6th, 2018 AT 9:21 AM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
You are only having this issue on the front end correct? The rears are not applying and heating up? If so it almost has to be an issue in the master cylinder, or the pedal has dropped and holding pressure on the master cylinder enough that the port is blocked off.

One test, When they lock up, loosen the bolts that hold the master cylinder to the hydro-boost unit. Do the brakes release? If yes then the hydro-boost is the likely issue. If no then it is in the braking system. Double check that the washer is in place between the master cylinder and the hydro-boost as well. If it is missing it will hold the master cylinder down enough to block the port and it will build brake pressure.
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Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 AT 1:47 AM

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