This week, mechanic replaced rear brake pads and rotors after mechanic said they needed replacing. Then, the first time driving it (just a few days after the repair), the rear right tire smelled strongly of burning brakes and was very hot. Same mechanic said the rear right caliper seized. They say it was ordinary wear and tear and not their fault that the caliper failed and timing was just a coincidence. Did the mechanic cause the caliper to seize? Should they have seen this when the brakes were replaced? Timing does not seem coincidental.

2008 Volvo S40. 90,000 miles.

  • Well, it seized when you pushed on the brake... So it was you. As the mechanic cannot see inside the component, if it works when tested then it works. Failing just down the road due to an internal fault is not the mechanics fault, unless you paid for him to strip and rebuild all the calipers as part of the job.
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 19, 2021 at 22:49
  • That is why I have always done my own brake work; If there is ever a screw-up I will know who did it. Jun 19, 2021 at 23:49
  • 1
    It's possible it was not "seized" at all. If you adjust rear brakes a bit too "tight" after working on them, when the brakes inevitably get hot as you use them the parts can expand and start to rub slightly, which makes them hotter, which makes them rub more until you can smell the problem! The way to avoid this is to keep operating the handbrake till the auto-adjusters have taken up the correct amount of slack, but that takes time, and time is money, so an "expert mechanic" might try to take a short cut and end up frying the rear brakes.
    – alephzero
    Jun 20, 2021 at 13:54
  • @blacksmith37 Well, in the worst case scenario after a brake problem, I suppose it might matter to somebody who was responsible for you ending up dead, but it doesn't matter to you - unless there really is an afterlife.
    – alephzero
    Jun 20, 2021 at 13:57
  • Sixty years of brake jobs and no problem yet. However I may have done my last one ; 2011 Murano has 86,000 miles on original brakes and they look excellent , it will last longer than me. Jun 20, 2021 at 15:45


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .