Brake calipers are critical elements of the disk braking systems belonging to the car they are installed in. They provide the necessary force to stop the car in emergencies or otherwise. Them not working properly poses a significant risk that cannot be ignored. It’s important to recognise failing calipers well before they become completely unusable.
How are brake calipers supposed to work?
Brake calipers are part of the most common type of braking system, namely disc braking systems. A functional disc braking system operates under the following principles: The driver depresses the pedal, exerting force through a hydraulic system. This system of hoses and tubes transfers this force to the brakes attached to the wheels. The wheels have heavy discs made of metal called brake rotors, which turn alongside the wheels. Each of these rotors has two pads to its left and right sides attached to the brake calipers. Once the hydraulic force reaches these calipers, they press the pads onto the brake disk and slow or stop the wheels through friction. Something wrong with this system will wear down the components quickly. Not even the best brands of brake discs can endure this kind of punishment for long.
Symptoms of a faulty brake caliper
Brake calipers are not really considered wear items. Unlike the pads, they are built to last and aren’t intended for regular replacement. But while they aren’t exposed to extreme forces that wear them down, they can still break or develop issues. Here are some ways to find out if something has gone wrong:
If you discover that the calipers are the issue, you may also need new pads.
How to free stuck brake calipers
A temporary fix for seized calipers depends on the cause of their malfunction. A broken caliper or one that lacks sufficient braking fluid needs to be fixed in a garage and other defects are also best handled there. But if you have a certain amount of expertise, for instance if you know how to paint brake calipers, and the necessary equipment, cleaning parts of the brakes that have become stuck on account of dirt is something you can accomplish on your own.
For maximum safety, the calipers should be replaced. The cost to replace brake calipers isn’t particularly high and won’t break the bank. If the problem returns, this will become unavoidable. Seek out a trustworthy garage staffed with mechanics trained to service the make and brand of car you drive. Failing to act on parts of the brake system failing can lead to far more expensive repairs or accidents.