Help an idiot with a brake question

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Apr 4, 2003
First, I am an idiot -- can't work on a truck to save my life. Second, I am an idiot -- I actually trust mechanics when they tell what is wrong. Now, having said that -- please please help me. About 3 months ago, there was an awful clunk when I braked sometimes. It seemed to come from the front right side. I took it to a dealer (see above for idiot description) that a cruiser guy had recommended. They said the caliper was "broken" and had to be replaced. I paid them $650 to do the job. About a month after that, the problem resurfaced but not as bad. Now it is as bad. I have taken it to an indy mechanic with no cruiser experience but who seemingly knows about brakes.

Any ideas what could be wrong? Surely the new caliper can't be broken again. If it is, why would it break? Thanks for any help.
Take it back to the dealer and tell them to fix it on their dime.
Agreed to that! Make the dealer deal with it!

A Calipers useful life is usually a little longer than 3 months =)
Spot on there...sounds like the problem to me...

I would be leary of driving it until they fix it....unless you want to torque the bolts yourself.

Make sure they check the condition of the rotor and pads when they work in there...if the caliper was coming loose it could have grooved either or both.
Toyota warrants customer pay dealer repairs for one year from the repair date.

Take it back.


>> Now it is as bad. I have taken it to an indy mechanic with no cruiser experience <<
>> but who seemingly knows about brakes. <<

What did this guy find?

The indy mechanic could not duplicate the problem. He took everything apart and did say that the caliper assembly was new. Interestingly, since I have gotten the truck back, I have not had the problem, yet. The more I think about it, it feels like the caliper was sticking. Any ideas or things to look for? The dealer who did the repair is about 45 minutes away so I would rather pay to have it fixed if the repair is cheap. Thanks for everyone's help, this is a great resource
One way to tell is right after you drive the truck next time, walk around and feel both front wheels with your hand. If one of your calipers is sticking the wheel will likely feel super hot, even too hot to touch, since the caliper didn't release completely and the pads have been rubbing on the rotors the whole time. If they don't seem that hot you can even stick your fingers in between your "spokes" to feel the disks themselves. If you notice one of them is considerably hotter than the other, then good chance that one is sticking. Also a probable cause for some rotor warpage, although you didn't mention any vibration in previous posts, just the clunk, so it may not be sticking after all.

I'm sticking with the theory that the dealer didn't tighten the caliper bolts enough, your indy mechanic did, and in a couple weeks you'll have forgotten all about this.. fingers crossed.

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