1998 Saturn SL1 Brake Locking Up

Tiny
GILLILANDR1
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 SATURN SL1
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 100,000 MILES
My front driver side disk brake regularly locks up. I notice it due to the smell, and the tire rim heating up. If I let it sit for a little while and pump the brakes, the problem usually goes away.

I'm wondering what the cause is and how I can repair it. It may be due to the fact that I don't drive the car very often (about once every two weeks), though I've only started noticing the problem in July. An auto parts employee told me that it is a systemic problem with the Saturn anti-lock brakes, and told me that compressing the calipers won't help.

Do you think that it is definitely the brake mechanism, and if so that there is anything I can do short of replacing the entire brake? Will the replacement potentially have the same problem?
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Sunday, October 12th, 2008 AT 12:05 PM

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Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
What you need is a caliper I know of no problem with Saturn brakes
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Sunday, October 12th, 2008 AT 2:32 PM
Tiny
DLOBI
  • MEMBER
HI, This won't be very hard to fix if you want to give it a shot.
Remove the hubcap using the lug wrench on the hub cap nuts.
Loosen the lug nuts a little while the tire is on the ground.
Now jack up the car and support with appropriate jack stand.
Remove the wheel/tire.
Turn your steering wheel all the way to the left. This will give more room to work.

Locate the two pins/bolts that hold the caliper and remove them.

The caliper must be able to slide on these pins as to put equal pressure on both sides of the brake disc.
If the slide pins are dirty/rusted/etc the caliper will stick and apply brake pressure even when you take your foot off the brake petal.
The constant pressure on your brake pads will wear them out quickly, possibly overheat and warp your rotors, and most certainly create that nice smell you have noticed.

Clean the pins very well and lubricate them with greese and reassemble your brakes in reverse order.

Enjoy driving without the smell and be proud you did it yourself.


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Sunday, October 26th, 2008 AT 1:05 PM

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