Brake drag most of the time - front passenger side - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 05-06-2008, 08:27 PM   #1
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Default Brake drag most of the time - front passenger side

93 Pontiac SE ABS 118000 miles.

As the car travels down the road the front passenger brake feels like its dragging off and on - almost as if the rotor is warped. Some days I experience a lite dragging sensation or none at all but most days it drags. When I apply the brakes the grab/release sensation is compounded shaking the whole car.

I checked th rotor and at least to the eye and hand feel it is smooth and not warped. The brake hose from the caliper to the body appears to be in good shape - not collapsed or binding. I suspected a frozen caliper and replaced it about a month ago. I have also had a leaking master cylinder for months and finally replaced it a couple of weeks ago. I bleed the brakes when I replaced the caliper and when I replaced the master cylinder. Brake fluid flows out strong and without interruption when I bleed the caliper - so I assume the steel brake line is good - not pinched or blocked in any way. I jacked up the car and put the tranny in neutral and spun the tire - it has quite a bit of drag - I gently pushed the caliper pistion in but it was under quite a bit of pressure. I spun the wheel again and the drag was reduced a tiny bit.

FYI - when I replaced the initial "frozen caliper" the tire was also very hard to spin. As soon as I opened the bleeder the rotor spun easily with a slight drag. Something keeps the caliper piston extended without the brakes being applied. Is it an ABS sensor issue or something in the ABS unit? Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.....Bob
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:46 PM   #2
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I should of searched before posting a wordy post. I did a couple of searches in this forum on dragging brakes as well as checking a previous post I had opened. Looks like the consensus is replace the rubber brake hoses. I'll pick one up tomorrow ant throw it in. If anyone has some other thoughts on my dragging brake issue please reply.
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:54 PM   #3
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Make sure that the caliper slide bolts are free and well lubed.

also, when you replaced the caliper, how was the pad wear? Was each pad evenly worn, or was one wore down more then the other?
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:02 PM   #4
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Caliper slides smoothly on pins - well lubed. Pads were worn evenly
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:16 PM   #5
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Are hoses like calipers in that both sides need to be replaced at the same time?
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:01 PM   #6
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Default Brake issue worse - need advise !!!!!!!

I replaced the hose and attempted to bleed the brakes. I had my friend pump the brakes and then hold the pedal down - then I opened the bleeder. No hiss or fluid came out. Tried a few more times - same result - but now the pedal goes to the floor - no pressure at all. I checked the other front bleeder - same issue no hiss no fluid. I loosed the two brake lines at the master cylinder and had my friend pump the brakes - no hiss no fluid - the brake reservor is full. Shouldn't fluid squirt out?

I had replaced the master brake cylinder a few weeks ago and bench bleed the master cylinder per instructions with the unit. The only odd item I noted is a rubber hose attaches to the reservoir and goes to the ABS unit. I had to cap the reservoir hose connection so the brake fluid would not leak out of the reservoir. I attached the master cylinder to the power booster and filled the hose with brake fluid and reattached it to the reservoir. I bleed the brakes without issue. The brakes have worked fine since the replacement besides my dragging front passenger brake issue.

Do you guys think the master cylinder has gone bad - it was new not a rebuilt? Do I need to bench bleed it again? I should see fluid squirt out - correct? Did I bleed it incorrectly. Should I of filled that hose leading to the ABS unit from the reservior with fluid? The hose was full when I disconnectd it. Please advise.

Thanks.....Bob
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:51 AM   #7
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Default Brake pedal to the floor - brake drag

I pulled off the 3 week old M/C and found the piston was fully depressed in the bore and seized in place - I attempted to push it in and taped the M/C with a hammer but the piston did not release. I took it back to the parts store and swapped it under warranty for another remanufactured one. I bench bleed it and bleed all four brakes. I test drove the car around town. Brakes work nice with no dragging from the front right brake caliper (I had previously replaced the brake hose and upon attempting to bleed the brake the peddle sank to the floor) This Wednesday I'll be driving the car to work on a highway - I'll see how the brakes work then.

Thanks guys for all your advise. I'll post, hopefully, a brake repair success post this Wednesday after work.

Next project - clean out the evaporator fins to obtain decent air volume out of my interior heater/cooling air ducts

Thanks -- Milty
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:16 PM   #8
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Success. Brakes work great on the highway.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:10 PM   #9
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Glad you got it fixed, its always nice when you find the problem and can fix it with no trouble. Happy driving or should I say braking!
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