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Hello I have a 2012 F150 that the brakes constantly get hot on the left front side. The rotors and brake were recently replaced, but this issue seems to be ongoing even with the older brake and rotor set I had on. The wheel is also tighter to turn when it's on a jack and takes two hands to spin it vs the right side that freely spins

When the old set was new it got hot and smoked, and I had to replace a crimped line and it seemed okay but would shutter when braking and I just drove it that way for awhile. I had a new set to replace that set and the same side is getting warm and I want to try to figure out the issue before I have the same thing happen.

I replaced the ball joints on the left side last fall, would an alignment issue cause brakes to stick on one side as well possibly?

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  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! It sounds to me as though the caliper is sticking on the guides and may not be releasing correctly. Did you do the work or did you have someone do it for you? Commented Apr 5, 2022 at 15:02
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    Did it ourselves. Pulled it apart again tonight and the caliper isn't sticking, checked lines but found that the 4wd hub was locked into place on that side only. Could that possibly be a root cause of the issue too. If not it may be a trip to a mechanic.
    – Gracie
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 1:29
  • I was about to suggest a brake line. Those fail and mimic the much more expensive seized caliper. Good catch figuring out it was the 4wd hub! Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 20:32
  • The hub lock for the 4wd would not be causing it to drag. If you really want to test it, take the caliper and pads back off and then try to turn the wheel. Should tell you right away whether it's the brakes or something internal. Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 23:42

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It's not an alignment issue, most likely what's happening is that the brake caliper is not releasing, and is therefore keeping the brake pad in contact with the rotor. This could be due to the caliper piston(s) being seized or the guide pins being rusty and not allowing full movement. You'll want to remove the caliper and inspect it, if the guide pins are rusted up you may be able to get away with cleaning them and re-greasing. If the caliper is in bad shape you will want to disassemble, clean and refurbish it with new seals and boots, or swap it out for a new or quality refurbished one.

It's worth looking at the other side as well, if one side is bad the other's likely to be in a similar shape.

Excess heat can break down brake fluid, so you will want to bleed the brake fully once you put the new caliper on. That means you'll want to keep pumping fluid out even after you purge the air to get new fluid into that line.

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  • In addition to @GdD answer there is one more thing that can cause this. A damaged brake hose can allow fluid through to apply the brake, but will not allow the fluid to go the other way to relieve the brakes. When changing brake hoses it is recommended to change both sides.
    – Jupiter
    Commented Apr 5, 2022 at 16:22
  • The way I interpreted the question is that the poster changed the line already, however you're right that it's something that should be considered, why not make that an answer?
    – GdD
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 7:31
  • I am assuming the line that was kinked was metal, just by definition. Brake line is metal, brake hose is rubber.
    – Jupiter
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 14:57

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