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- Hot right front rim
- Phil McClean
November 13, 2004, 9:32 am
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rim is hot. The other three rims are normal temperature. The evening
temperature is currently 25F in Fargo, so this seems to be of concern. Any
I have noticed one older thread in this group that suggests calipers might
be sticking because of a leak in the break fluid. If this is the case, what
should be repaired. I certainly don't have the skills to do the repairs.
How can I tell if it is only a break fluid and the calipers are fine? How
do I tell if I need everything replaced - brakes and brake line? Do I need
to do both front brakes at the same time?
Thanks for any advice.
Re: Hot right front rim
If you don't know what you're looking at, self diagnosis can be hard.
Do you know what the caliper looks like? I'll assume you don't, jut in
You need to get the wheel hot. Then remove it. As you look at the disc
brake assy, you have the rotor, (the round disc behind the wheel).
Depending on how the engineer designed it, the caliper is the lumpy
looking thing about 2x the size of your fist. The pads ride in this, on
each side of the disc. If it is leaking, you'll know it. Very carefully
see how warm it is. Very carefully! It may be hot. Also, check to see if
any fluid is leaking from it; the fluid will be a black-or-brownish clear.
If there is leaking, the caliper is probably bad and needs to be replaced.
If not, look inside the caliper 'clamp' at the pads. The pads may be worn
down so far that the caliper has allowed the piston to slip out and lock
on the front or rear, and the pad being pressured against the disc is
causing it to heat up. If either leaking or locked, it needs to be
replaced. This is actually fairly simple; there are two 10mm bolts on the
rear of the caliper that hold it onto the hub assy. They *can* be rebuilt,
but they are also ~$65 at AutoZone or CarQuest.
Also, have you had the brakes done recently? I did them all the way around
on a Celica, and for about 10 days the rear wheel on one side was hot, but
went away as the pads wore in.
Sorry if I was too simplistic, I don't know what your level of expertise
Again, not knowing how much you know, check this:
This is for brake rotor warpage, but gives a good description of the
parts. On the caliper picture, see the bolts? That is the only thing
holding the caliper to the assy. Undo those two bolts, remove the caliper,
replace as required, etc. That's all there is, in a nutshell. I was afraid
of doing brakes, but I had a nissan 240SXZ and no money for repairs, so I
bought a manual. Discs are easy, drums are slightly harder...
- Daniel M. Dreifus
November 14, 2004, 9:20 am
Re: Hot right front rim
If the right front only is hot it means the brakes are dragging (in
constant contact) on that side, which will also cause the brakes to
wear rapidly, and possibly lose effectiveness from overheating.
I agree that means they are "sticking" but do not agree that the cause
is leaking brake fluid. Usually one only needs ensure they pads slide
Most stock Toyota brakes have a single piston that exerts pressure on
one side only, and the outer brake pad rests against the caliper
housing which slides on those pins when pressure is applied.
Generally, you can see this if your alloy wheels have spaces big
enough to show the caliper. You'll see the outer brake pad backing
plate (pain flat steel) housed in the caliper (a round opening with
two "fingers" on the ends) that push the brake pad into contact with
the rotor - the brake piston, which responds to pressure in the brake
fluid, is on the inside, hidden from view unless you look under the
car at the inside of the wheel and trace the brake line to the
Have someone take apart the caliper, lubricate the pins with high
temperature grease designed for use with disk brakes, and replace any
worn or damaged parts with genuine Toyota replacements.
Brake work is actually relatively simply and should not be expensive.
If even one pad is excessively worn though, you should replace both
the brake pads on both sides.
To make the job complete they should also check the thickness and
trueness of the rotors and resurface or replace as required.
One more "afterthought" - a good brake shop should know (but
apparently a lot of them don't), that especially with alloy wheels,
the lug nuts need to be tightened progressively in a "criss cross"
pattern and the final tightening done only with a torque wrench as the
correct setting (never installed only with an impact wrench like tire
shops use to remove wheels). Some say, that if they run the lug nuts
on finger tight, then crank them down one at a time in a circular
pattern at the same high torque setting used when removing wheels, the
resulting stress created in the wheel can warp the brake rotors when
they become hot under normal use, creating vibration in the brakes
that easily could have been avoided.
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