What is a brake caliper and what does it do?

Keep Your Brakes’ Stopping Power

When you press the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid is sent to the brake calipers. The brake calipers are responsible for squeezing the brake pads against the rotors (or discs), which slows the wheels down and eventually stops the car.

How a Brake Caliper Works

Each wheel has at least one brake caliper. Each caliper contains one or more pistons that push the pads against the rotor whenever the brakes are applied. As mentioned above,the fluid pressure from your foot on the pedal gets transferred to the pistons and causes them to move. The caliper consists of two main parts:

  • The housing or body of the caliper where all of the moving parts are located
  • The two halves of the housing that bolt together and hold everything in place

Inside each half of the housing, there is a piston seal, piston boot, and bleed screw plug. The Piston seal helps to keep hydraulic fluid from leaking out around the piston while also allowing it to move smoothly. The piston boot helps keep dirt and water away from the seals. And finally, the bleed screw plug allows you to bleed your brakes if needed.

How Often Should YouService Your Brake Calipers?

Ideally, you should have your brakes checked at every oil change or every 6 months - whichever comes first. However, if you start to notice any issue with your brakes, don't wait - take it in to be serviced as soon as possible. Some signs that your brake calipers may need servicing are:

  • Your vehicle pulls to one side when applying brakes
  • Your steering wheel vibrates when applying brakes
  • You hear grinding noises when applying brakes
  • You notice uneven wear on your brake pads or shoes

Your brake calipers play an important role in stopping your car - so they definitely deserve some TLC every now and then! By keeping an eye out for common signs that they need servicing, you can help ensure that your brakes will always be there when you need them most. Contact Dave’s Ultimate Automotive in Cedar Park, TX, for all your brake repair needs.

Written by Dave's Ultimate Automotive