Car: Mazda MX-5 MK1 1.6 with 1.8 brake kit, no ABS

So, I had a front passenger side sticking caliper, which I replaced. I kept the brake pads as they had only a few millimetres of difference on the wear.

After testing the car, I still get only driver side wheel to lock under braking and only if you double the pressure it will lock the passenger's too.

Is this because the pads on left and right have different wear levels or the passenger side caliper still sticks a bit?

1 Answer 1


There are several reasons for this behavior.
When a brake is hot, it has less braking power than when it's cold.

One might not notice the permanent braking of a slightly sticking caliper, but the brake gets hot, especially when driving long and fast. When braking, the car pulls to the side with the good brakes.

After repairing the caliper, the car might still pull to the old good side when braking hard, when the pads were not replaced. The brakes on both sides take the same thermal load from braking, but if the pads on one side have less material left, they get hotter - and again, loose braking power.

This two effects take place when the brake is hot. But if you do your test without driving before, the brakes are cold...

A sticking brake can get really, really hot. The pads can get a glass-like surface from this, and also the disk surface can undergo some changes. As a result, the braking power is low - even if the brake is cold.

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