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Hello there.

I'm utterly stumped by a brake issue with my wife's 2009 Fiat 500 Lounge, having spent a couple of weeks researching (yes, even trying the search function here!) I've not found anything relevant so it's time to resort to actually asking. To clarify, while I make no claim to be a mechanic I've built a number of custom bikes and handled repairs on all of my own vehicles for over thirty years, I'm fairly competent but not a specialist.

Basically, the front brakes become pressurised as they warm up and bind on to the point it becomes undrivable, the pedal gets incredibly hard as well - the servo tests as fine. This can take anywhere from two to five miles from starting, then ease off after an hour or so of cooling.

At first I thought it was the oe calipers showing their age, fitted new flexi lines, calipers, pads and discs to overhaul the front system but the problem wasn't resolved. I also reworked the carriers while the brakes were apart in case of mechanical binding on the pads when warm. Tested further and found play in the plunger on the master cylinder, replaced it with a new pattern part which seemed to be of decent quality but that still hasn't fixed it and I'm now trying to work out where to go now.

Disabled the ABS pump to see if that was overrunning and pressurising the brake circuit but that also had no effect.

If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions I'd be very happy to hear them.
 

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It sounds like a classic case of sticky caliper that's just rubbing on the disc, overheating the fluid, but you say you replaced the caliper, too, so the only component that could affect in the system is the master cylinder at this point.
 
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