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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

I hope I am posting in correct place - mod please move if not.

I would really like you advice as I am a lady driver, with no clue about cars and often feel fleeced when going to the dealer. I'd like to sound like I know what I am talking about with this issue!

I own a 51 reg MINI One. I am experiencing several problems at the moment (posted in the faults/ fixes 1st gen forum) but need advice on this new one, discovered today!!

My car is currently at the dealers, having its first Inspection 2 service.

They rang me today to ask if I ever smelt burning smell in my car. I said I did (but it smelt oily - related to a problem I am having with my car guzzling oil, but not a burn smell)

They said that they have noticed that my rear calipers are sticking which is wearing my pads. They have quoted £630 to stop the calipers from sticking and putting new pads on (cant remember if they said discs as well, not sure.....)

I was really surprised at this as it only had its MOT a few months ago and it wasnt mentioned then.

And only a year ago, I had new pads and discs put on my car at an independant dealer.

The person I spoke to today said that perhaps the independant dealer who replaced my discs hadnt noticed that the calipers were sticking..... does that sound likely to you?

Having done a bit of research on the net, I have read about people with minis experiencing sticking calipers replaced under warranty. Obviously I am out of warranty now, but I wanted to know..... is sticking calipers a fault with the car? Do you think I could use this as a way of arguing to reduce the costs?

Does the quote from the dealer sound a lot for the job - if I went to an independant garage, what sort of costs am I looking at?

Would the brake discs need changing also? Or is it just the pads?

If I dont have the work done, what would be the likely repercussions? Is it safe to drive etc? Will it damage the car/ discs etc if I dont get it done. It is an urgent job?

I ask, as I am thinking about getting a new car in the next 6 months or so and dont really want to pay out over six hundred pound unless I can help it. :D

Your advice and comments much appreciated, as always :smile:

Jane
 

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Jane i had the same sticking rear brake problem last year on my 51 MC, its a common fault. I had new discs, pads and seal kit for calipers replaced for £170 at an indi garage. £600 odd is ridiculus, way too much!
 

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your rear calipers could be sticking and it is common on all cars with discs at the back after a few years......................problem is they don't do a lot of work as most of the braking is done by the front brakes.

it's a good habit to frequently test that they are releasing ok when driving the car...............take your foot off the brake slowly when sitting stationary and feel the car move a bit.

at that price they are probably renewing the calipers, pads and discs, as they will not spend time freeing them and just change anything that is faulty.

you need to ask them exactly what they are going to do, and you cannot drive the car if the calipers are sticking.


ps the dealer will not fit new seals in the calipers as per Buz999's post, but renew the caliper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks so much for your replies. I really appreciate it.

I am not sure what the £630 quoted does provide - I was so much in shock, I didnt really listen after that. I seem to recall he said new pads but cant remember whether he said new calipers and discs...?

So you think that if the calipers are sticking, I should have them totally replaced and get new pads AND discs?

What if the price quoted is just for renewal of calipers and and pads. Should I also look to replace the discs - will they be damaged?

Depending on what the garage say, I do plan to get some independant quotes but I need to know what I am asking for..... I will definitely clarify that with the dealers tomorrow.

Any other comments/ advice gratefully received. :smile:
 

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Sticking rear calipers

I (my wife) owns a 2002 Mini Cooper which, so far, I have managed to do all the maintenance and repairs on. Recently the left rear caliper started to stick; in cold weather it was so bad that it felt like the e-brake was still on. The good news is that I fixed quite easily at $0.00 cost. This repair can be done by any backyard mechanic with a modest amount of skill and a few tools.

This is what I found: The rear (all single piston) brake calipers are made up of two halves; one that is fixed (attached to the vehicle suspension) and one that slides in and out. Joining the two halves are what are called slider bolts. These are accessed by removing the plastic dust-caps on the end of the rubber bushings on the inboard (fixed) side of the caliper and then removed using a T-45 Torx bit on a 3/8" ratchet.

When I removed the bolts the upper one came out easily but the lower one would not slide out and had to be pried out with a screw driver. They slide through rubber bushings which are inserted into bores (holes) on the fixed side of the caliper. The bolts themselves were clean (shiny) and in good condition. I then tested the bolts by re-inserting them into the rubber bushings and again found that the lower one was extremely tight and would not move without a great deal of force.

I then removed the rubber bushing from the bore in the caliper. This can be done with small flat screwdriver by prying and pushing the short side of the bushing through the hole while pulling on the long side with your fingers. (If you are tempted to use pliers you might tear the bushing and the dust-cap may not stay on) Once the rubber bushing was removed I found that there was a lot of oxidation (corrosion/essentially aluminum rust) on the inside of the bore. When metal oxidizes (rusts) the oxide takes up much more volume than the metal itself; so that this corrosion was making the bore hole smaller than it should have been effectively squeezing the rubber bushing around the slider bolt making it tight.

The problem was fixed by simply removing the oxidation with the side of the flat screwdriver and a wire (battery terminal) brush. Before reinserting the rubber bushing I applied silicone grease to the inside of the bore to prevent further corrosion. I re-tested the slider bolt and found it now moved as easily as the upper one. And, of course, while I had my tools out I checked/serviced all the sliders on both sides to make sure the others weren't developing the same problem.

Problem solved; works perfectly, 1 hour, $0.00.

Hope this is helpful to you and everyone with sticky calipers.
 
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