If your vehicle has a disc-brake system, it is essential to understand all the components of the system. Most people are familiar with the pads and rotors, two essential components. Another important component is brake calipers. It is essential to understand how this component works.
1. The Basics
First, you need to understand the basics of how a caliper works. Its primary job is to press the pads against the rotors; this helps to stop your vehicle. Most vehicles have two different types of calipers. One type has a single piston and the other type has a dual piston. Most vehicles have both types of calipers, with a dual-piston system in the front, where more force is needed, and with a single-piston system in the back, where less force is needed to stop your vehicle.
2. The Wear
Second, brake calipers are designed to last for a while. They don't wear down nearly as fast as rotors or pads, which are designed to be swapped out on a fairly regular basis. However, if you let your pads or rotors get too worn out before replacing them, that can impact your calipers and damage them. If too much heat radiates from the other components in the system, that can cause the calipers to degrade at an accelerated rate. If you put hundreds of miles on a vehicle, you will have to replace the calipers eventually.
3. Signs of Failure
Third, it is essential to be aware of signs of failure from your calipers. When they start to fail, they end up getting stuck in one position or not engaging properly with the rotors.
Due to this, you may feel your vehicle pulling to one particular side when you try to brake. You may also feel that happens when you are driving as well, as the piston within the system stays engaged.
You may also see brake fluid leaking out around the tire where the caliper is damaged. Or the warning light for the brake fluid may come on for your vehicle. Not having the right amount of fluid can damage your entire system.
If the caliper snaps, you will hear a clunking sound when you try to stop. This is an emergency situation, and you shouldn't keep driving. You should get your vehicle towed to the shop for repairs. Driving this way will be difficult and will damage your brakes, tires, and even the suspension. It is not safe.
4. The Repair
Luckily, this is not a complicated repair job. The parts and labor will put you out a couple of hundred dollars, but it is something that most repair shops will be able to complete within a reasonable time frame.
If your vehicle has a disc brake system, it is essential to understand how the calipers work. The calipers help connect your pads and rotors and give them the correct stopping force. If you suspect something is wrong, get a brake inspection.