What Are Brake Calipers?

The car brake caliper plays an important role in the braking system. It must be in good condition to ensure the safety of the driver while driving. Let’s see more precisely the mode of operation of this mechanical part, the reasons that can cause its failure and how to replace it, if necessary.


What Are Brake Calipers?

The brake caliper is a self-contained mechanical part of the brake system designed to clamp the brake pads against the disc. It consists of the following elements:

one or more hydraulic piston (s) which exerts (s) pressure on the disc :
A. a brake caliper body;
B. a location for accommodating the brake pad.


Role of a Brake Caliper for a Car

When the brake pedal activates the braking system, the pistons act under the pressure of the brake fluid. They then exert a movement allowing them to come to apply against the disc. It is thanks to this movement that the vehicle can slow down or stop depending on the intensity of the pressure.

When the driver releases the brake pedal, the pistons return to their original position.


car fixWhat Are the Different Types of Stirrup?

There Are Several Models of Brake Calipers for Cars:

The floating stirrup: it consists of one or two pistons. Each includes a clevis attached to the axle spindle and the clamp which is guided via dovetail keys.

The fixed caliper: the pistons, positioned on either side of the disc, exert pressure on the disc. This system makes it possible to better distribute the braking force over the entire brake disc.

The ring caliper: the body is composed of two pistons, one of which has the role of pushing the brake pad inside and the other of sliding it towards the outside of the disc.

The sliding caliper: it consists of a clamp on which is fixed a brake pad. The pressure exerted by the pistons is cashed by the sliding system.


Brake Caliper for Cars: When Should It Change?

Causes and consequences of a malfunction of the stirrups. Several telltale signs prompt to change the brake calipers. When it is found that the stirrups are seized or when leakage of lubricant is observed at the level of the wheels, one can visually diagnose their defectiveness whose causes are generally the following ones:

corrosion of the pistons :
A. A lack of adjustment;
B. A distortion of the stirrup.
C. A defective brake caliper may result in:

an abnormally high disc temperature due to the constant pressure of the caliper piston on the disc;
the absence of movement of the stirrup which no longer plays its role;
A. wear of the pads;
B. damage to the support;
C. locking the pistons on the support.


Symptoms to Consider

The symptoms seen in case of defective auto brake calipers are usually poor braking but can also be:

abnormal noises during braking, clicks, whistles, squeaks;
platelets stuck to the disc, causing overheating and wear of the discs;
of vibrations of wheels during braking;
a tendency of the vehicle to “pull” on one side.
Good to know: If you notice a defect in the braking system of your car, you can use a professional who will detect the exact origin of the problem.


Brake Caliper for Cars: How to Replace It?


Before carrying out the operation, it is necessary to position the vehicle on a lift or candles.


We begin by positioning the stirrup on its support by ensuring that the pistons are sufficiently pushed back. Then, it is necessary to put the plates on the stirrup, to fix this one to the support thanks to the bolts. Reconnect the brake hose, then reposition the parking brake cable on the caliper adjusting it if necessary.

All that remains is to bleed the brake system and replace the brake fluid.

Price of a Brake Caliper for a Car

The price of a car brake caliper is usually between 70 and 150 €, depending on the type of equipment.