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Brake/wheel problem - any car experts out here?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by exmediahack, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    My 1998 Corolla is acting up, with a brake issue (possibly) with the left front wheel.

    After a few miles, the car feels like it is shaking and loses some power. Example: when pulling up to a stop, the car no longer lurches forward when in ‘DRIVE’ after I let off the brake before I hit the gas. RPMs are higher than usual (2200 or so) when just doing 60 MPH and I notice the gas mileage dropping sharply.

    When the car is stopped and I get out, I notice the left front wheel is much, MUCH hotter than the other 3 wheels.

    Would something be obstructing the brake to cause this?

    Thanks in advance, all.
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

  3. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Sounds like it... does it grind when you stop, hit a certain speed or turn in a certain direction?
  4. SoCalScribe

    SoCalScribe Member

    If one wheel is hotter than the other, the first thing I wonder is if the brake on that wheel is grabbing. It could be a very simple mechanical adjustment along with the replacement of two or all of your brake pads. This issue can affect tire wear, too, if it's been going on long enough.

    If you feel the vehicle shaking when you are braking, ask them to check your brake rotors (they probably would anyway). If those get warped, it usually creates a wobbly-braking effect.

    Those would not be expensive fixes, but the sooner you address it, the cheaper the fix will be.

    Anyway, that's what I'm hoping for with regard to your situation, but it could certainly be other things as well. Bottom line, a mechanic should see it and I think you describe what's going on well enough that they will know what to check for pretty easily.
  5. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Could be a bearing issue. Of the possibilities, this is the best-case scenario.

    Could also be the brakes themselves. The caliper might not be letting go as it should, which would explain why the vehicle doesn't voluntarily move forward when you let off the brake pedal. Could be that the master cylinder and slave cylinder aren't pushing the brake fluid properly. Could be old, old brake fluid that needs changing.

    Could also be a drive shaft issue, though I would think that would cause the differential and other stuff under the vehicle to heat up more than the left front wheel. Still, a possibility. When's the last time the CV joint boots were checked? If not, have they worn out? Letting the dirt and road grime in those things can cause premature wear and lead to a pricey little repair.

    Good luck ... without being there, we're only theorizing here ...
  6. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    Taken care of.


    New caliper needed. New brake pad.

    I'm fine with it. The Corolla has 165,000 miles and my mechanic - who is a pro's pro - said "we'll get to 225,000 together...easy".

    I can handle $800-$1,000 a year in repairs, considering I haven't had a car payment in 8 years.
  7. SoCalScribe

    SoCalScribe Member

    Awesome, I am glad it was one of the simple/cheap solutions.
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