I went to Midas and they said I needed new calipers on my 2001 Toyota Tundra. They put them on and all was well. I later took the truck into town 7 miles where the brakes began slowing the vehicle down some and then as I got almost to my office, they were really pulling and smoking.

I called and took it over at lunch as the brakes were unlocked and ok for the 4 mile trip. They cleaned the brake area, said all was well and nothing is wrong. I told them there is something wrong, you just have not found it.

I let the truck mostly sit for 3 weeks while we were away. I took the truck to the office again and as I got closer I thought I felt some resistance. I parked, then left 4 hours later to go 4-5 miles to pick up my granddaughter.

The brakes were smoking and hot and locking as I pulled in. I let them cool to take to the office, on my way back they almost locked and caught fire on right side, but I'm not sure about the left. I parked it and called again, the shop looked at the brakes again and said that there was nothing wrong.

What could be causing this problem?

  • 2
    If it happens that routinely, maybe try to get a mechanic to take a test drive with you? Sep 22, 2016 at 20:01
  • 1
    Did they explain why you needed new calipers? In 30 years of wrenching, I don't think I've ever changed a caliper. Pads and rotors, yes, but never the caliper. Sounds like the slide pins may be sticking - but that's an extreme type of sticking, if they're almost going on fire..
    – PeteCon
    Sep 22, 2016 at 22:14
  • @Pete sometimes calipers have to be replaced - when they're seized or leaking. Happend to me last year. But I'd also like to know: "the calipers" - does it mean more than one?
    – sweber
    Sep 23, 2016 at 6:53
  • to add to @sweber 's question specifically which calipers where replaced. were the hoses checked?
    – Ben
    Sep 24, 2016 at 15:19
  • Take it back to Midas for warranty repair.
    – Moab
    Sep 25, 2016 at 0:24

3 Answers 3


I used to have a 77 Celica that did this, and it was a problem with the front brakes. The problem would be unrelated to new calipers though. In the master cylinder as you depress the brake pedal it forces out the brake fluid to the brakes and while doing so it prevents the return of fluid back into the reservoir. If your plunger in the master cylinder does not return all of the way this acts like a check valve that will build up pressure its own until it locks up the brakes. Couple this with the heat created from the brakes rubbing which in turn causes the brake fluid to expand and increases the pressure in the system without even stepping on the brake pedal.


Some (all?) tundras have 4-piston calipers. There are no frozen pins. About the only reason to ever replace is if they are leaking. As for locking. The mechanic should verify that the calipers are properly centered on the brake rotor. It's possible they got the wrong parts or wrong rotor. A smaller possibility is they damaged the flexible brake line. The brake line acts like a 1-way valve. You step on the pedal and 1000psi pressure moves the pad, you release and the fluid flows back... until the pressure goes down to say 100psi - that means you have 100psi of drag on the pads (Max should be about 4 psi - due to gravity)

Bottom line, this is on Midas, have them fix it.


If the rear brakes are the ones grabbing, my first thought is that perhaps the parking brake cable is too tight. Perhaps the cable is caught on something or one or both the cable ends were not properly reattached to the new rear calipers. I would suggest having a helper manipulate the parking brake while you try to watch for movement at the rear pads/pistons as a starting place.

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