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I have a 2004 camry 2.4L 4 wheel disc with abs, and after driving a few miles the brakes drag more and more till it pretty much stops the car. When I look at the front brakes the driver side is smoking. When I let the car sit for a few hours the brakes will release but after driving a few miles the same thing happens. I took the calipers off to check them and tried to compress the pistons on both side and they will not move unless I break loose the bleeder valve. When i took the flex hose off no fluid came out of the hard line which is weird. I changed the flex hose on the driver side put brake fluid in a bottle and submerged the line to check flow and the fluid comes out fine it just will not suck back up to the master cylinder. I also put a reman master cylinder on also and still same problem now I think it's the passenger side. I used to be a mechanic 10 years ago and this brake problem has me stumped. I don't want to keep throwing parts at it. I need some advice
 

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what did you do before this happen? Wrong fluid can cause that issue, makes all internal braking system rubber swell once you apply the brakes. It wont retract the piston
 

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The only thing I did do to the car prior to this happening is about a month or so ago I did the rear brakes. I used the correct fluid dot 3. The abs sensor is bad on the drivers side and I am going to replace that today.
 

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I had a similar issue to this on a '93 Sable my daughter drove. I replaced calipers thinking they were sticking. After much searching I ran across a forum where they mentioned the metal band around the rubber brake line that mounted it to the shock would rust, swell and constrict the flow.

Keep in mind the push of the pedal creates pressure to push the fluid and activate the hydraulic caliper. But there is nothing to "push" it back open. It's just the relief of pressure that allows it to release and the wheel spin freely (or as freely as a caliper allows).

I'd replace both the caliper and rubber line and see if that resolves your issue. Both are relatively inexpensive compared to other brake components.
 

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I had a similar issue to this on a '93 Sable my daughter drove. I replaced calipers thinking they were sticking. After much searching I ran across a forum where they mentioned the metal band around the rubber brake line that mounted it to the shock would rust, swell and constrict the flow.

Keep in mind the push of the pedal creates pressure to push the fluid and activate the hydraulic caliper. But there is nothing to "push" it back open. It's just the relief of pressure that allows it to release and the wheel spin freely (or as freely as a caliper allows).

I'd replace both the caliper and rubber line and see if that resolves your issue. Both are relatively inexpensive compared to other brake components.
The deformation of the caliper piston seal as pressure is applied also retracts the piston as the seal returns to its normal cross section configuration. Probably such a slight movement that is wouldn't be visible looking for it. But it does retract the piston enough to where pads are in contact with disc but not enough to cause heating.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited by Moderator)
I decided to change the brake flex hose and when I took off the rubber line from the hard line no fluid dripped which I know is odd. I put the flex line on and put the end in a bottle with brake fluid to watch the flow and when the pedal is pushed the fluid comes out fine, but it does not return to the master cylinder when the pedal is released. I changed the master cylinder and both rubber brake lines and inspected and greased the brake pins, everything seems to be good. But when you dive 3-5 miles the pedal becomes very touchy and the car no longer coasts, i notice the brakes dragging and if i continue it eventually stops the car. It does not pull to one side which makes me think it's both the front calipers not releasing.
 

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One or more of your "floating calipers" is no longer floating, i.e., the floating component is not retracting because of problems with the pins. Probably corrosion. Those rubber boots aren't 100% effective, so over a period of time, water will penetrate the boot and corrosion(RUST) will begin corroding pin and bore. My guess would be use of a so called brake grease or mineral oil grease has swelled the lower pin bushings. That bushing is there to prevent caliper from rattling and will swell in the presence of some brake grease. The Permatex various colored brake grease goops are notorious for doing just that. Try this, loosen one of front caliper upper pin cap screws,remove lower pin fastener and rotate caliper up and away. Try removing lower pin. Just rotating caliper may require some force. Go for it cowboy. Regards
 

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Do the caliper anchor pubs slide freely and easily? Petroleum based greases can swell them and cause them to seize.

The fact that loosening the bleeders releases the brakes makes me wonder if the problem is at the master cylinder. Was it changed before?

You can try using a flare nut wrench in the MC connection, if it releases the brakes then you know everything down from there to the calipers are ok.

Booster pushrod length mis-adjustment is a common cause.
 
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