What does the brake caliper do?
The brake caliper is part of the disc braking system on most vehicles. The role of the brake caliper is to slow the wheels by applying friction to the rotors via the brake pads. The caliper fits over the rotor like a clamp with the brake pads in between.
When the brakes are applied, brake fluid flows through the caliper from the brake master cylinder, pipes and hoses, applying pressure to the brake caliper piston which pushes the brake pads against the rotors. This produce fiction (and heat) which allows for the car to come to a stop.
A car can have either two or four calipers. All modern cars have them on the front wheels, with some vehicles having them on the rear wheels as well (while some cars still have drum brakes on the rear wheels).
Causes of a damaged brake caliper:
The braking system generates a lot of heat. This is due to the friction created between braking components. The calipers absorb a lot of this heat, causing the brake caliper seals to eventually harden and crack. This means the
Brake calipers also move on sliders so that as the brake pads wear the brake caliper self adjusts. Sometime the brake caliper sliders can become seized due to rust and corrosion, meaning that the brake disc pads getting jammed against the brake disc rotor constantly. This puts drag on one wheel, and quickly wears out the brake pads, and possibly rotor.
Improving brake caliper lifespan:
You can improve the lifespan of your brake calipers by maintaining your braking system correctly. This includes:
- Replacing brake fluid every two years
- Keep an eye on your brake pads and rotors. If they become thin or warped, they can damage the brake caliper.
- Get your vehicle serviced by a mechanic when you are renewing your Warrant of Fitness. This will allow for the mechanics to identify any problems.
Symptoms of damaged brake calipers:
When brake calipers are damaged or experiencing issues, several symptoms may indicate a problem. Here are some common signs of damaged brake calipers:
- Uneven braking: If you notice that your vehicle pulls to one side or the brakes feel uneven when you apply them, it could indicate a problem with the brake calipers. Damaged calipers may cause uneven pressure distribution, leading to uneven braking performance.
- Squealing or grinding noise: Damaged brake calipers can produce unusual noises when braking. You may hear squealing, screeching, or grinding sounds, which can indicate that the caliper is not properly engaging or releasing the brake pads.
- Reduced braking performance: If you experience a decrease in braking power or longer stopping distances, it may be a sign of damaged brake calipers. Calipers that are sticking or not fully engaging the brake pads can impair the effectiveness of the braking system.
- Uneven brake pad wear: Inspect the brake pads for uneven wear patterns. If you notice that one brake pad is significantly more worn than the others, it may indicate a caliper problem. Uneven wear suggests that the caliper is not applying equal pressure on the brake pads.
- Leaking brake fluid: Damaged caliper seals or pistons can lead to brake fluid leaks. If you notice any signs of fluid leaking around the caliper or a decrease in brake fluid level in the reservoir, it’s essential to have the caliper inspected and repaired promptly.
Is it safe to drive with brake caliper damage?
When calipers are damaged or malfunctioning, it can significantly impact the performance and effectiveness of your brakes, compromising your ability to safely stop the vehicle.
Driving with damaged brake calipers can lead to several hazardous situations:
- Decreased braking power
- Uneven braking (pulling to one side)
- Overheating brakes and increased wear on other braking components
To ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road, it is crucial to address any signs of brake caliper damage promptly. If you suspect that your brake calipers are damaged or malfunctioning, it is recommended to have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic
Brake Caliper Repair & Replacement in Hamilton
Having a healthy braking system allows your vehicle to stop when it needs to. This significantly reduces the risk of accidents and collisions.
At Grimmer Motors, we can perform a brake caliper replacement on your vehicle. This will allow for smoother braking and reduced noise from your brakes. For brake caliper replacement in Hamilton, from experienced, trustworthy and qualified mechanics book your appointment with Grimmer Motors today!