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2004 chevy trailblazer_ls_ext
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed some wheel noise from my left front when I was braking or not braking. I thought it was the dust shield too close to the rotor. Turns out it the inside brake pad was down to the wear indicator. The outer pad had plenty of pad remaining.

I replaced the front pads. (The passenger side had plenty of pad remaining on both the inner and outer original pads.) So I'm assuming I have a sticky driver's side caliper. I can hear the pads on that side slighty rubbing the rotor as I drive near a wall or something that reflects the sound.

Can I just replace one caliper or do I have to do both? (My TB only has 36,000 miles on it.)
 

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2006 chevy trailblazer_lt
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You can replace just one without any problem.

Check first to make sure it is the caliper that is bad, and not the "slides" (lubricated pins) that the caliper moves on. In my experience they are more likely to be the problem than the caliper itself. That said, sometimes you do need to replace the caliper if the slides are bad enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Mark. Hopefully I eliminated that possibility as I re-lubed the "sliding pins" with high-temp bearing grease. I also brushed off any contact points with a little wire brush.

I've replaced calipers many years ago (different vehicle) but it was the pair. I didn't know if there was a sure-fire way to tell if you have a sticky caliper. But I guess it's a small price to pay to replace given it's the most important system on the vehicle.
 

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2007 chevy trailblazer_lt
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You can generally tell if the caliper is the issue by the condition of the sliders. If they move somewhat freely, then you are looking at a new caliper. If the are somewhat difficult or impossible to move, then they are most likely the issue.
Like markarock said, you can replace just the one calpier if needed.
Instead of using bearing grease next time, pick up some caliper lube/brake lube.
 

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2003 gmc envoy_slt
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I noticed some wheel noise from my left front when I was braking or not braking. I thought it was the dust shield too close to the rotor. Turns out it the inside brake pad was down to the wear indicator. The outer pad had plenty of pad remaining.

I replaced the front pads. (The passenger side had plenty of pad remaining on both the inner and outer original pads.) So I'm assuming I have a sticky driver's side caliper. I can hear the pads on that side slighty rubbing the rotor as I drive near a wall or something that reflects the sound.

Can I just replace one caliper or do I have to do both? (My TB only has 36,000 miles on it.)
"Turns out it the inside brake pad was down to the wear indicator. The outer pad had plenty of pad remaining."

Usually it's the slider pins or pad retainer hardware that would keep the caliper from applying equal force to the inner and outer pads. a damaged inner rotor surface may also cause the inner pad to wear quicker. Don't forget to use only recommended or better pads and hardware.
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_ls_ext
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update

Update -

I'm 99% sure my problem was rusty rotors. The truck came from a "salt state" so they were in pretty bad shape. I replaced the front rotors and pads.

I also purchased the hardware kit that comes with pad retension hardware and the rubber slider holders. The sliders themselves showed very little wear. I'm disappointed in GM's design to hold pads in place. Seems they could have come up with something more substantial.

I plan on checking the rotor and pad wear after a couple of thousand miles just to make sure I don't have a caliper issue as well. Without taking off the wheel and caliper, visually everything looks good so far.
 
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