Putting the Brakes on Things...
I tow a lot with my '03 EB 4x4 and I have found that nothing is quite as sure-footed as this beast. About three weeks ago I was towing my 6,000 pound travel trailer (5,200 without provisions, but who ever travels without provisions?). I was cruising down I-75 toward Atlanta and at about 70 mph tapped my brakes to slow to match traffic. Imagine my surprise when my truck tried to jump into the lane to the left. Imagine the surprise of the Corolla already occupying that same lane!
I corrected the wandering and let the X bleed off some more energy until I was in the slow lane. As luck would have it a Rest Stop appeared before me and I pulled into one of the Tractor-Trailer pull through parking spots.
As I tapped the brakes again, again it pulled to the left. It wasn't that it wouldn't stop, it was just the pull that was different. I got out and inspected my tires and as best I could, my brakes but they looked fine. I went ahead and drove the rest of the way home. Once I unhitched the trailer the problem became much less pronounced. Since I don't use the X much in Atlanta traffic (those that live here will understand), I didn't drive the beast for another week and sort of forgot about it.
Yesterday I had to use the Excursion to pick up a package too big for my Honda CR-V. As I drove it I experienced the pull again. This morning I took it to the shop for diagnosis. Well friends, BOHICA.
My right front caliper has seized and of course, ground the pads and Rotor into dust. The heat build up has caused the old caliper piston to melt, literally. The strain on the left side has resulted in asymmetric brake wear that smoked that caliper and rotor as well. The back pads were pretty much gone but I managed to save the rear rotors.
Right now the bill is just over $1,000. I don't know for sure what the lesson in this is, except to suggest I should have paid more attention to the warning sign. I'm not sure it would have saved me any money as the damage was pretty much done by the time I felt the symptoms, but it could have prevented me from operating a potentially dangerous piece of equipment on the highway.