Need a Brake Caliper Replacement?
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How Much does a Brake Caliper Replacement Cost?
There’s no question the brakes in your car are the most important safety system, and it all comes down to your brake calipers working correctly.
When brake calipers are functioning as they should, they squeeze brake pads against your brake rotors and the friction causes you to stop.
In normal conditions, your brake calipers shouldn’t fail. However, if you don’t change your brake pads as soon as they wear out, the calipers can over-extend.
If you don’t drive your car for a long stretch, the calipers can seize.
For brake caliper replacement at one wheel, you can expect the repair cost to be $250 to $750 depending on your car’s design and the grade of brake caliper used in the repair.
Brake Caliper Replacement
What is a Brake Caliper?
A brake caliper is a hydraulic component, meaning it uses fluid movement to perform its function.
There’s a brake caliper located at each wheel in a disc brake design. When the brake pedal is pressed, brake fluid moves from its reservoir through the brake fluid lines to the brake caliper.
In the caliper, the hydraulic pressure forces a piston to move outward against the inner brake pad.
This motion squeezes the brake pads against the brake rotor and the friction causes your car to slow down.
When you release your pressure on the brake pedal, the piston is allowed to retract.
Brake calipers are built quite sturdy, precision cast out of iron, aluminum, or other high-grade metals.
The hardened piston is coated in chrome to prevent gouges that can cause leaks. If the piston extends too far because the brake pads are fully worn away, it can jam.
If the piston gets stuck or extended in its bore or a brake fluid leak develops, the affected brake caliper will need to be replaced.
Symptoms that a Brake Caliper Replacement is Required
- Your car pulls to one side when braking
- The brake pedal feels soft
- Your car is slow to respond to brake input
- Extra force is necessary to press the brake pedal
- A squeaking or grinding noise is evident from one wheel when you drive
- There’s a fluid leak near a wheel
How are Brake Calipers Replaced?
- The technician lifts the car in the air or places the affected wheel on a jack stand and the wheel is removed
- The brake caliper mounting bolts are removed and the brake caliper lifted from its mount
- The brake fluid hose is disconnected
- If the brake pads are to be reused, the technician transfers them to the new caliper
- The brake fluid hose is fitted to the new caliper and the brake caliper is bolted into place
- The brakes are bled, removing air from the braking system
- The wheel is refitted and the car is road tested to confirm the repair
Tips to Remember
- Keep brake fluid off painted surfaces – it’s corrosive
- It’s a good idea to install new brake pads when replacing brake calipers
- Often, brake calipers should be replaced in pairs to ensure braking performance is the same side-to-side
How important is Brake Caliper Replacement?
You need to trust that your car will stop every time you press the brake pedal. Replacing a faulty brake caliper will give you the confidence that your car is safe to drive and will stop reliably.
Driving your car with faulty or leaking brake calipers can cause an accident or loss of control, and places you and others in danger. Have brake calipers replaced as soon as a defect is found.
If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about your car. A lot. So next time you need a service, repair or inspection, visit AutoGuru.com.au.
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Image credit - Kristopher