Hard braking causes car to fishtail, left front caliper locks up

5

Asked by Nov 16, 2015 at 05:36 PM about the 2003 Oldsmobile Alero GL

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

2003 Oldsmobile Alero Front left (driver side) brake locks up on hard
braking, does most braking overall as shown by wear. When I replaced the
front pads and rotors a month ago, the front left caliper's piston was
extremely resistant to returning to it's bore even using a large C-clamp.
Today on a wet road I had to emergency brake, and the back end started
fishtailing while the left front locked up. I need to get this issue solved for
safety reasons, so first I need to know if it's more likely a caliper problem, or
proportioning valve, etc. The rubber brake hose to the caliper doesn't show
any wear, but it could be different inside. The rear brakes are barely worn,
almost like new and are a year old. I don't think they are getting much fluid
pressure. This car is a bit confusing as well as there are sensors at the
wheels like it has ABS, but it doesn't.

5 Answers

60,705

Bleed the brakes out and replace all the brake fluid which will help unstick brake caliper pistons. I am about 98% certain your car does have ABS but that it is not working. I would take it to a brake shop and have them diagnose your ABS system.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
5

I'll try to bleed them tonight, I sprayed some penetrating oil on the bleeder screws earlier. Thanks!

60,705

If you can get it I recommend Castrol LMA, DOT 4 fluid.

18,560

If there was resistance pushing piston in you have a collapsed brake hose. Hose may look good on the out side but it is collapsing on the inside. Recommend replacing both at the same time.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
5

Thanks Firebird, I will replace the hoses since they are fairly cheap too. If that doesn't work I think it's time for a shop visit. Full of Regrets, My car is a 4 cylinder model with an optional V-6. It has the front discs and rear drums of the 4 cyl. car, and I checked my VIN with the (only) dealership in my area. No ABS. The wheel sensors are for the transmission I guess. What throws me off is that Edmunds website says my car has Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, which to my knowledge is always a part of an ABS system.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Alero

Looking for a Used Alero in your area?

CarGurus has 483 nationwide Alero listings starting at $4,404.

ZIP:

Search Oldsmobile Alero Questions

Oldsmobile Alero Experts

#1 sun4shine2006
sun4shine2006
Reputation 530
#2 Chris Kelso
Chris Kelso
Reputation 210
#3 Nir Eliyaho
Nir Eliyaho
Reputation 200
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Honda Civic
657 Great Deals out of 88,604 listings starting at $995
Used Toyota Corolla
785 Great Deals out of 73,830 listings starting at $1,995
Used Chevrolet Impala
521 Great Deals out of 31,726 listings starting at $1,450
Used Pontiac Grand Am
1,215 listings starting at $1,999
Used Honda Accord
812 Great Deals out of 84,287 listings starting at $1,050
Used Chevrolet Malibu
950 Great Deals out of 79,668 listings starting at $1,500
Used Ford Mustang
470 Great Deals out of 45,735 listings starting at $1,999
Used Buick Regal
116 Great Deals out of 10,863 listings starting at $3,995
Used Ford Focus
539 Great Deals out of 57,171 listings starting at $1,095
Used Chevrolet Cavalier
1,000 listings
Used Pontiac Grand Prix
30 Great Deals out of 2,871 listings starting at $900
Used Nissan Altima
1,030 Great Deals out of 81,564 listings starting at $1,200

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.