The caliper guide pins on your brakes can get rusty and start to stick. When this happens, the brake caliper won't slide back and forth like it should when you apply and release pressure on the brake pad. The piston in the caliper can get stuck in a closed position and the brake pads will constantly rub against the car's rotor. The constant rubbing will wear the brake pads down sooner than normal due to the increase in friction and heat. If you feel your brakes are sticking and you know how to take off a tire, you can inspect and fix the caliper brake pin yourself. Here is how to inspect and fix a stuck brake caliper guide pin.
Take Off Tire
Jack up the side of the car that the brakes are getting stuck and set it on jack stands so it doesn't fall down while you are working. Remove the tire.
You will see the rotor and the brake caliper as soon as you take the tire off of the car. The rotor is the shiny metal wheel and the brake caliper is the hulking device attached to the top of the rotor. The brake caliper is held onto the rotor by two guide pins. You have to reach around to the backside of the caliper to remove the pins. One pin is located at the top of the caliper and the other is located at the bottom.
Place a ratchet on the pins and try to loosen them. If a guide pin doesn't spin around when you try to unscrew it from the caliper, it means it's stuck and needs to be forced out.
Removing Stuck Guide Pin
Try and unscrew as much of the guide pin as you can to get it to come out of the caliper a little bit. You can then take a pair of pliers or channel locks to wrap around the end of the pin. Continue to twist the guide pin around with the ratchet while you pull out the guide pin with the pliers until it comes out of the caliper.
Guide Pin Inspection
You should check the guide pins for cracks or stress fractures in the head and stem. If you see any cracks, throw the pin away and buy a new one. Otherwise, you can reuse the pin. You want to clean the pin off with a steel brush or a grinding wheel until it is shiny again and all the rust and grime is removed.
Replace Guide Pin
You should coat the pin with an anti-seize lubricant before you re-insert it into the caliper. The lubricant will help to keep the caliper from sticking in the future. Insert the guide pin into the caliper and tighten it down. Replace the wheel and lower the car.
You should take the car out for a test drive to make sure the brake caliper works normally again.
For more information and help with this process, take your car into a local auto service shop where you can get new auto parts and service if necessary.