Dodge Caliber: Brake Sticking → Causes & Diagnosis


Your Dodge Caliber’s braking system is the most important safety feature on the vehicle.  If it does not work properly, it can put you in a situation where you can be injured or killed.  There are quite a few different situations that can cause a caliper to stick.

Sticking Brakes Dodge Caliber

Dodge Caliber Brakes Sticking Symptoms

  • Smell–  Once brakes heat up so far, they begin to glaze.  This process leaves them unable to stop your Caliber as efficiently as they once did.  It also produces a rather strong smell.  Most folks say it smells like rotten eggs
  • Loss of Fuel Mileage–  If your Caliber’s brake calipers are stuck even a little bit, fuel mileage will suffer as the engine has to make up for the constant drag coming from the brakes.
  • Pulling to one side–  When one brake is stuck (particularly a front brake) the whole vehicle will pull in the direction of the bad brake.  So if it is on the passenger side, your Caliber will feel like it is steering in that direction.
  • Smoke–  When you finish driving, the brakes can get so hot from being stuck that smoke begins to billow out from behind the wheel.  If you see this, it’s almost a certainty that the brakes are stuck, and you shouldn’t drive the vehicle until it has been repaired.

Dodge Caliber Brake Caliper Sticking


Dodge Caliber Sticking Brakes Causes


Brake Caliper Bolts

One of the most common causes of sticking brakes is caliper bolts.  These bolts have to hold the caliper in place, while at the same time allowing for some movement.

Brake caliper bolts are protected by a rubber boot.  This rubber boot protects them from the elements and assures that they stay lubricated.  Replacing these bolts is not very challenging.


Caliper Slides

There are notches in your Caliber’s brake pads that let them slide back and forth from the rotor as the brakes are pressed.  If something gets into these slides, the pads may not disengage from the rotor all the way.

This problem is often caused by bad shims or junk getting in the way.  When this happens, the pads are almost certainly going to be worn incorrectly.  As you replace the shims and clean everything up, go ahead and replace the pads too.


Caliper Pistons

Your Caliber’s disk brakes use pistons to push the brake pad into the rotor.  These pistons have a rubber seal around them.  This seal can go bad and the piston will start to lose its free movement.  If this is the case, the caliper will almost always need to be replaced.


Brake Hose

The brake hose that attaches to the Caliber’s caliper will often cause the brakes to stick.  They may appear to be fine on the outside, but can break apart and collect debris on the inside.

When this happens, it effectively traps pressure in the line.  This keeps the brakes from releasing all of the way, and they stick as a result.  Replacing the hose is easy.  We recommend if you have to do one, you may as well do all of them.  You’ll need to bleed the brakes afterwards.


Crimped Brake Line

If something has pushed a metal brake line into the chassis it can cause a crimp.  Most of the time, this is done by someone with a floor jack really not paying attention to what they are doing.  If this happens, you’ll need to replace the entire affected brake line.


Conclusion:  Dodge Caliber Brakes Sticking

Your Caliber’s braking system is the most important part of the vehicle.  If it is sticking, and you can’t easily figure out why, take it to a reputable shop.  If there is anything that you would like to add, please leave a comment below.  Good luck!