I bought my truck with 30,000 miles on it about 6 years ago. Now I
have about 104,000 miles on it. At 75,000 miles (about two years ago)
I had to have my front brakes done. Unfortunatly the front brakes -
don't remember exactly which site but I strongly believe it was the
left site - suddenly started grinding on my way to work one day and I
had them fixed the same day at a shop next to my work place - didn't
really have another choice. I was told that the pads on one site -
again I believe the left side - were completely gone, but the other
site obviously had to be done as well. They blamed it on the caliper
not retracting on that site so that they were used more than the other
site. So they also replaced the calipers and the rotors and new
pads. As I had not checked the brakes myself and needed the car, I
had to believe them and I just had to pay. I assume that the brakes
must have been done right before I bought the car, so I got about
45,000 miles out of the front. My rear brakes were adjusted only.
Now the grinding started again about 29,000 miles later. I am about
5,000 miles above the warranty of the above described brake job, so
there is no chance they will give me something for free, so I will
attempt to do the brakes myself this time.
I checked them out this weekend, haven't actually replaced them yet.
Turns out that the inner pad on the driver side seems to be completely
gone, the driver side outside pad still looks ok. The passenger side
pads look much better. What is actually grinding - not every time I
brake however - is the upper caliper bolt on the driver side touching
the most outside edge of the disc. The truck is not pulling to either
side when breaking nor does it seem that the break performance
degraded in a noticable way.
When looking at the pads and caliper piston through the little
openings in the caliper housing, I noticed that the rubber boot
covering the piston is damaged, hanging loose, looking rotten. The
dust cap however seems intact. I will run to the store to check what
a new one is supposed to look like. Found a couple good articles on
the net two, but the pictures don't show that part in the detail
needed for me to make a decision.
Here my questions:
- Does it seem normal that the driver side pads are used significantly
more than the passenger side? Again, the truck does not pull side
ways when breaking. The truck is equipped with standard rear wheel
anti lock break system, in other words, there is nothing controlling
pressure between the left and right front, its one line coming from
the combination valve to the T that splits between the left and the
right. However the break lines to the left side are obviously a lot
shorter then to the right. Don't know if that contributes to the
different usage. It seems odd however.
- Do I need to replace the caliper again because the dust boots are
gone? I am ok with the pads replacement, but the caliper should last
longer than 2 years. Is there potentially a caliper repair kit
available or is it not worth the effort?
Thanks for sharing your experience.
2000 Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup 5.9l 104,000 miles