While replacing my driveshaft axle, I took the brake caliper off (pretty easy, car was in Drive with no e-brake engaged) so I can have more working space.

After installing the new driveshaft, I started the car and pressed the brake pedal a couple of times (while caliper was still disconnected).

Then I installed the caliper on (it was kinda hard, I had to hammer it a couple of times because I think the brake pads remained in the "brake" position).

After that, I put the wheel back on, started the car, and noticed that the car is a little bit sluggish... So I jacked up the wheel again, and it seems that the brakes are applied (I can still move the wheel by hand, but very hard).

How to fix this?

  • So you used a hammer on the brake caliper?
    – Moab
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 20:42

2 Answers 2


Is your caliper the type that needs to pistons to be wound back to get the pads in?

Pressing on the brake without the calliper fitted was not a good idea...

The direction of rotation may depend on which side of the vehicle it is on - these can be handed...

If the pads are now dragging on the rotor it may mean you have to take the pads out and wind the pistons back.

One way to avoid this in future is to fit a spacer in between the pads while the caliper is off the rotor.

  • I've only ever seen the twising ones on cars that have disc parking brakes.
    – John Lord
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 5:27

Chances are pretty high that pressing your brake pedal with the caliper off has caused the caliper piston to extend past its limits, allowing debris to get behind the seal. Replace your caliper, along with the copper washer on the line, and bleed your brakes to remove any air in the system. You may want to consider replacing the slide pins as well. Using a hammer on the caliper may have bent the pins.

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