2002 C5 - Brake issues(I think)
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Thread: 2002 C5 - Brake issues(I think)

  1. #1
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    Default 2002 C5 - Brake issues(I think)

    Last few weeks I've been hearing a grinding noise. Kind of sounds like metal against metal. When I brake, the noise goes from a constant grind to various different pitches of grinding. So this led me to believe a brake issue. The front right caliper gets extremely hot after a short drive, can't event touch it, while the other 3 are just warm.

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    I had a look at the front right caliper last night, but the only thing that seemed different between it and the front left was a loose guide bolt (I think thats what they're called, theres one at the top and one at the bottom, the bottom one was loose). I could unscrew it by hand. So tightened it up to the specified torque as per Haynes, but still keep getting the same noises this morning and the front right caliper is extremely hot.

    Before I go the mechanic, just want to make sure theres no simple things I can check/fix first.

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Hi Gareth,
    there shouldn't be any grinding sounds at all. It's most likely you have gone through a brake pad, they can wear down to the metal. You should have gotten a warning light come up on the dash telling you the pad was down to a replace ASAP level.
    The pad will destroy the brake disc/rotor very quickly...
    So, now it's time to replace all your brake rotors, they're probably all beyond their use by date... they cost about $100.00 per wheel ( parts price ) or there abouts, plus you need new pads too. You might be able to just do front or rear depending on your budget...
    Once you have all new rotors and pads ...generally you get to wear out two sets of pads between having to replace the rotors. I put a complete set of new rotors and pads on my Xantia 6 years ago, and got 6 years out of them before I replaced the rotors and pads again, and I was only driving about 10,000 to 12,000 ks per year...
    Cheers...

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    Is the handbrake cable frozen in its tube?

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    Sorry, George. I thought this as well, should have mentioned all pads were fine when I was looking at it last night.

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    I released the cable last night. With the handbrake up, the cable was tight, with the handbrake released, I was able to remove the cable and pull it with pliers back and forth, so it was moving. Is that all the check I need? Is there anything else I can check? When I had the car up on jacks last night, with the handbrake down I could spin the right wheel by hand. There was some resistance, but seemed to spin OK. The left side wouldn't spin by hand, but I was able to spin is with the wheel bolts and spanner. The left side spun fine when I was spinning the right side by hand though.
    Although, the previous owner told me that his daughter borrowed the car for the weekend and drove around with the handbrake up and it had frozen up or something and he had to get a bit bush mechanic on it to release it.

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    Oh, maybe there is damage to the auto-adjust mechanism. Can you lay hands on a replacement caliper in demonstrably good condition?

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    HHhmmmmm, was hoping its not the caliper! Can I test this without a replacement? Like remove the pads and press the brake, would I be able to see movement in the caliper?
    Could it also be the hose failing restricting the brake fluid? Can I test this?
    Want to try get the easy 'cheaper' things out of the way first.
    Last edited by garethb; 27th February 2015 at 02:00 PM.

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    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Hey Gareth,
    if your rotors and pads are ok there shouldn't be any grinding sounds ...ever. You might have a part of the handbrake mechanism stuck or rusted in position.
    The problem will be on the wheel which is stiff with the handbrake off. Both front wheels should easily turn with the handbrake off. You'll just have to remove the caliper.... don't undo and hoses, brake or return, or handbrake cables... and hang the caliper using a stiff wire to take the weight... then have a look at what is stuck. Fix that and you should be ok.. as long as your discs don't need machining, and none of the pads have been rubbing metal to metal on either side of the rotor...
    good luck...
    And Make SURE no-body presses the brake pedal while the caliper is off...
    Someone did that to me once... it was a disaster... different car...
    Anyway, if there is a ridge from wear in the rotor it can be difficult to remove... I use a tyre lever or pinchbar... to re-fit you might have to "turn in" the caliper cylinder to get clearance. I think it's a little different however on the C5... I've not pulled the brakes off mine yet... It was all done before i bought mine...

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    Thanks George. I wouldn't say its stuck as in not moving at all, it does move maybe and inch back and forth pretty freely so there is some play.
    And also its the drivers side caliper that is getting hot, and this one spins relatively easy by hand. The passenger caliper is only warm but this is the one I couldn't spin by hand. Could it be the passenger side that's stuck open and the drivers side is doing all the breaking which is why it's so hot and getting that burnt brake smell maybe?
    The only thing is, when I spin the wheel on the drivers side, the passenger side spins with it ok. But I can't spin the passenger side by itself by hand. How is this possible?

    Maybe this is one for the mechanic. As I'm sure you can tell, I'm amateur at best and the braking system is pretty crucial!

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    Another thing I just though of, I replaced the sway bar drop links with cheap chinese ones and the noises only started after. Not right after, but could that have anything to do with it?

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    So are you saying the noise is more a "cheep-cheep"?

    It's normal for a floating caliper to brush ever so lightly on the disc, not to the point of noticeable friction, though.

    Your "tightarse" option is (after properly tightening the caliper bolts) to bleed the brakes through with a different colour fluid until the colour changes (engine off for a few minutes, first), then do a series of rigorous skid-swerve and straight line lockups to make sure the pull is even at speeds over 40km/h. It should check out OK, if so then ignore the rest but check the slightly binding side for excess heat/soot after a good drive. In due course, buy some used calipers and put a seal kit through them. If the car doesn't behave under realistic manoeuvres, please look at the brakes henceforth...

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    What brand fluid should I use? Any sold at Super cheap cheap Repco?
    I guess a bleed will tell me if its the hoses stemming the flow.

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    Any brand, look for a DOT4 in appreciably different colour to that you have now.

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    Thanks addo, how much fluid would I need for a good bleed? Never done this before but looks pretty straight forward.

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    Hi Garethb
    The other possibility is a stone in the pads somewhere holding them in contact/unevenly/jammed. Not unknown.

    I have a set of front brakes for sale as an option.

    If you wish to look at the pads etc then do not remove them totally, but just remove the top slide pin and fold the caliper foward pivioting on the bottom pin. This will enable you to remove the pads and examine them. Also check the piston boot that it has not been caught in the piston and jammed it. Do not press the pedal, as said while they are off the disc. However you could try to wind the piston in a bit to see if it is free. One is RH and the other is LH. Its not so easy to do if they are not free. They will turn but not go in if you do not hold pressure on them.
    In fact putting them in and out a few times may free them if (they) it is sticking. I could give some more instructions if you wish to do this.
    Note that "putting a seal kit through them" is a waste of time as the Citroen kits have no seal in the kit and it is not available !!!!!!!! Whose bloody good idea was that ? However I fixed one of mine just by stripping, cleaning, lubing and refitting. I still have the genuine kit that I did not bother using !
    Jaahn

    Hi activity while I was writing. Bleeding a system with ABS may have pitfalls. Be carefull !

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    It's totally OK if you do it with the BSI asleep. A litre of fluid is more than plenty, 500ml not quite enough.

    I thought there were "levels" of service kit and one came with all the parts including the actuation lever seals.

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    OK, will try all this weekend and post back. Please give instruction jaahn!
    I saw your calipers for sale, but want to make sure its definitely is the calipers first and not something else as you're 1000kms away! Then next time I'm in Newcastle will be around June to visit the inlaws but thats too far away to arrange a pickup. So might have to do a post which could be exe due to weight.

    What pitfalls bleeding an abs system?
    bleeding with the battery disconnected then addo?
    Last edited by garethb; 27th February 2015 at 05:20 PM.

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    No special pitfalls in bleeding, just make sure the car is "asleep" before you do the work. Battery off is a safe approach. You should have all wheels off at the same time and go around probably three times - at least twice.

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    Just took her for a little drive during lunch, and she stops by herself! Without pressing the brakes! And from stand still will not propel forward like a normal auto on flat. Guess the caliper is sticking?

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    Default C5 calipers

    Hi garethb,
    My suggestions in order. Note I am not god
    First, check that something you did fitting the droplinks has not affected something. eg The handbrake cable caught up somehow ? The droplinks interfering somehow when in normal height position ? The caliper being held off square by the hose twisted ? a good revision of the things done, one by one checked for faults. The handbrake cable is a very stiff thing and must sit properly to be free of stress.

    Second, Check for stones embeded in the pads. Did tightening the guide pin move the pads a bit on the disc and they are running on the shoulder of the rusty ridge inside or out, if so champher the pads a bit or remove the ridge. Check for stones stuck in the pads/shims/caliper etc generally.

    Third, Remove the top pin and fold the caliper out. Remove the pads and LOOK AT THEM IN DETAIL. Are there new wear marks. Do the same for the caliper and the bits and pieces that could contact the disc. Do the pins slide freely in the caliper and the boots are intact. These can be cleaned and regreased with moly grease.

    Forthly, If you wish to push the piston out of the caliper without removing it totally, this is a method. However you will have to be careful and will have to screw the piston back in to retract it if you push them out any amount ! Try this before you start so you know you can get it back on the disc again. You have to make up a tool to turn the piston while you put pressure on it to go back. I believe the RH piston screws in RH or normal.( others comment ?) Note it is the direction which will hold the caliper down in that folded out position.
    To safely push the piston out with the pedal, make up a spacer block of solid wood that is as thick as the thickness of the disc + the thickness of the two pad metal backings + a couple of mm. If you push it out with this between the piston and the caliper it will only come to its normal maximum travel. I would then peel back the piston boot and look at the piston condition. Should be free from scores and crap and corrosion. Clean as required then lubricate with SPECIAL BRAKE GREASE or brake fluid and put some in the boot as well. NOT NORMAL GREASE OR OIL. Screw it back in to its retracted position, repeat as necessary. Be careful with the piston all the way out as it can jam easily.

    Fifthly, If the piston is not good or has hard deposits or whatever then remove the caliper completely and strip and clean it. Pay attention to the seal groove and the boot area. The piston and bore should clean up and be in good condition without scores etc. Use a tooth brush and soft scrapers etc. Lube the bore and piston and seal and boot, liberally with BRAKE GREASE and reassemble with clean hands. Refit and bleed.
    When you remove the brake hose it should be plugged so the fluid does not run out and let air in the system. Bleeding is OK if there is no air in the master cyl or no air has got into the ABS unit. So ensure that does not happen. Then just bleed as normal without the ignition having been turned on or the engine run.
    Good luck Jaahn
    Note you can buy special brake grease at the usual places. But make sure it does say that is what it is for. Do not let some counter jockey say "this stuff will do" and get the wrong stuff because he has never heard of it.

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    PBR do a little black tube of caster oil based grease. Else you can buy the Castrol tub of rubber grease (stiff, red grease).

    Guide pins should be lubricated with a high temp grease, like a ceramic/synthetic compound - not rubber grease. Many kits seem to include a PTFE style grease for these.

    You can also jack the piston out by repeatedly flipping the handbrake lever on the caliper after unhooking its cable.

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    Thanks jaahn and addo. I will give this a go.
    jaahn and addo, I bought this during lunch, the right stuff for the guide pins and pistons? Permatex Anti Seize Lubricant 28g - 81343 - Supercheap Auto Australia
    addo, what do you mean by flipping?

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    No, not at all right. That's a mineral oil based lube which is quite "wet" and creeps. Good for spark plug threads and I use something like it on the tapers of ball joints to aid in later release.
    shanadoo likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garethb View Post
    What brand fluid should I use? Any sold at Super cheap cheap Repco?
    I guess a bleed will tell me if its the hoses stemming the flow.
    Sounds like a blocked brake hose
    When they block they only work in one direction "on" (high pressure) and not "off" low pressure
    So the brakeing is fine, it just doesn't come off the rotor and things heat up
    This is a common braking fault
    Brake hoses are really cheap

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    Out of these, which should I be looking at for the piston and pins?
    http://www.supercheapauto.com.au/onl...ecommendations
    https://www.autobarn.com.au/workshop...-fluids/grease

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