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Seized Front Brakes

Hi all,

My car's being driven much less at the moment, no surprises there. Drove it yesterday for the first time in 10 days and both front brakes were stuck. I've had this a few times were I hear them ping when pulling away, if the car's been sat for a few days, but never actually holding the car back. I gave it a load of revs and dumped the clutch which shocked them free, then after a little drive all the rust was removed.

Just before I got home, I stopped on a slight incline and let off the brakes, the car started rolling which suggests they're not binding - if they are, it isn't much. I tried looking at the pads today, but can't get a clear view around the alloy spokes. So I'll take the wheels off this weekend (if it isn't raining) and have a proper look.

I know corroded pistons and/or caliper guides are common causes of issues like this. I think my front pads are pretty worn and will need replacing soon as well. The clutch and brake pedals feel slightly vague and spongy too, I doubt the brake fluid has ever been changed (mine's a 2014 plate which I bought in October 2020). But I'd like to diagnose the problem (and maybe fix it) myself before speaking to any garages.

If anyone's had a similar experience, got any advice, or knows if this is a Swift Sport fault - let me know. Thanks!

Hi Harry
Personally speaking, I wouldn't worry too much about the brakes sticking. Seems to be Very common this time of year. Especially with lack of use. My ZC32 also did the exact same thing a few times. Not so much so during the warmer months, but quite common In the cold damp winter. In fact, In my experience, I think It's quite a common problem In most cars. If the discs get damp and haven't had enough time to dry off before the hand brake Is applied the brakes will momentarily lock on. Thats what I've found anyway.

Ditto what Marc has said.

Not really a SSS problem just a 'not being used much' problem.

I know you said it was the front brakes but if you can, depending where you park avoid leaving the handbrake on for days and days - leave it in gear instead. A bit of surface rust building up will happen to any car, especially when the roads are salty.

Cleaning off the caliper pins and brake pad tabs will pay dividends. Changing the fluid will also be of benefit and since you are planning to keep the car for a while changing the bleed screws for stainless ones for a few quid per caliper is a worthwhile tweek for long term maintenance.

Thank you both for your responses, much appreciated. My main reason for asking is that I've not had this problem before on previous cars, certainly not on the front. But equally, I would never usually leave my car parked this long in the winter either! Where it's parked is flat, so I do already leave the handbrake off and in gear.

Once I get back to commuting normally again, I plan to change the pads and brake fluid. Not much point doing it any sooner whilst it's just sat there. Notes re: bleed screws, do you know what size they are?

They are M10 x 1.0mm.

Various traders sell HEL stainless ones on Ebay.

From memory the ones on the back are longer than the ones on the front although they are all the same thread.

Next time the fluid change is due I'll have a look. Mine were a PITA to bleed last time so I'm reluctant to take them out to check for you!