Everything About Brake Calipers

The brake calipers are crucial braking system components that enable braking at each wheel. The brake calipers, which form a vital part of most modern braking systems, not only contribute to the aesthetics of the car, they also influence the stopping performance that you get from your ride. Read through to know about the types of brake caliper, signs of bad calipers, how the caliper works, steps to install new calipers, and more.

What Is Brake Calipers?

A caliper is a segment of the disc brake system. The brake caliper sits on the rotor like a clamp to slow or slow your vehicle as you apply brakes. As you press the brake pedal, the brake fluid flows from the master cylinder and ultimately to the calipers. The brake fluid would then apply pressure on the piston inside the caliper, thus pushing the brake pads against the rotors to slow/stop your vehicle. An automobile can have either 2 or 4 calipers.

Where Is The Brake Caliper Located?

Depending on the make and application of the vehicle, the brake caliper’s location will vary. You can generally find the caliper assembly at the wheels and on the front axle. The caliper typically attaches to the steering knuckles of the car. Brake calipers are found on the steering knuckles in two different ways. They can be placed directly supported by bolts and pins or fixed with a mounting bracket that holds the assembly onto the knuckle.

Most modern cars have disc brakes on the front as well as rear axles. These vehicles have calipers on all wheels. If the brake calipers are fixed on the rear wheels, they are usually placed on the rear spindles with the help of bolts.

How Does The Brake Caliper Work?

You can find the brake caliper located over the disc or the rotor just like a clamp. As the driver applies the brakes, a piston in the master cylinder pressurizes the brake fluid. Since brake fluid doesn’t compress, this force is sent to the brake calipers instantly. Large pistons present inside the brake calipers multiply the force exerted, thereby forcing the brake pads onto the brake rotor.

In fixed brake calipers, the pistons compress from both sides whereas in floating brake calipers, the piston first pushes the inboard brake pad. This makes the caliper move away from the rotor thereby making the outboard brake pad touch the rotor. The sliding of the caliper allows for this movement.

Which Top Brands Brake Caliper Parts Should I Choose?

Most people have a nature to avoid risk and seek safety. That is the reason they would go with a familiar auto parts brand than a new one. It would prove safe, and they know what to expect. Have a look at our top brands for Brake Calipers, which would offer safety and decrease the risk of disappointment.

To know more about top brand brake calipers, visit our “Best Brake Calipers Brands Buying Guide” section. You can also visit our “Brake Caliper” page.

Which Parts Are Related To My Brake Calipers?

It is always good to learn more! That is the reason we are here to help you out in gaining more knowledge about car brake calipers. Here are some brake calipers-related parts which would help you understand it in a better way.

  1. Front Caliper Bolt Or Pin
  2. Rear Caliper Bolts Or Pin
  3. Front Caliper Mounting Bracket
  4. Front Caliper Piston
  5. Rear Left Caliper With Pad
  6. Rear Caliper Bushing
  7. Front Left Caliper
  8. Rear Left Caliper
  9. Front Right Caliper
  10. Rear Right Caliper

What Are The Usual Steps Of Changing The Brake Calipers?

Here are the steps to install the new brake caliper:

Step 1 - Use a breaker bar and loosen the wheel nuts. Don’t remove them completely. 

Step 2 - Raise the vehicle using the jack and jack stands. Loosen the nuts fully and take off the lugs and bolts. 

Step 3 - Remove the wheel so that you can access the brake caliper easily. Make sure that there is sufficient clearance so that the task is easier. 

Step 4 - Remove the bolts that mount the caliper using a wrench. Raise the caliper until the rotor is no longer covered and then just slide it off.

Step 5Remove the brake pads from the caliper bracket. 

Step 6 - With the help of a ratchet, loosen the bolts that hold the caliper bracket in place. Now carefully lift the bracket from the brake rotor to remove it. 

Step 7 - With the help of a ratchet, unscrew the banjo bolt that is present on the caliper which connects the brake hose.

Step 8 - Now secure the hose with a ratchet onto the intake port of the new caliper.

Step 9 - Now place the bracket along with the caliper on the brake rotor in the same place as the old one. Use your ratchet and tighten the caliper bracket in place. 

Step 10 - Slide the brake pads into the caliper. Make sure that the padded side is against the brake rotor else, the brake system may get damaged. 

Step 11 - Fix the caliper to the bracket over the brake pad assembly and secure them with bolts. 

Step 12 - Open your vehicle’s hood and remove the cap of the main brake cylinder.

Step 13 - Now attach a plastic hose between the bottle and the bleeder valve to drain the fluid. 

Step 14 - Open the valve on the caliper and you will see the brake fluid leaking through the hose. This helps to remove air so that the brakes can function properly. 

Step 15 - Until air leaves and the pedal feels firm, you’ll have to bleed the brakes. 

Step 16 - Fix the wheel back again onto the lug nuts. Use a ratchet and socket, and tighten the lug nuts to the right torque  

Step 17 - Lower the vehicle by removing the jack stand.

If you are still confused about which type of car brake caliper you should buy, then you can visit our Ultimate Brake Caliper Buying Guide. You should always look for the warning signs of a bad brake caliper and replace them at the earliest you can. With us, you can find a brake caliper at the most economical cost.

This repair method is provided for informational purposes only. Any damage or injury incurred in the practice of these methods is not the responsibility of PartsAvatar Canada. We always encourage you to consult a professional if you cannot perform the repairs yourself. 

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John Framigllia
Technical Writer
Our technical writer is known for simplifying automotive parts and services. Intuitive with various vehicles and manufacturers, he knows how to simplify complicated problems.