What Is a Brake Caliper?

What Is a Brake Caliper?

Brake calipers are a crucial part of your vehicle's braking system. They stop you safely and effectively, so it is important to understand how they work as well as the symptoms when one breaks down in order not only protect yourself but also other drivers on roadways! Read on to learn more about what is a brake caliper, how they work, and what to do if they fail.


The brake caliper is a key component of your vehicle's braking system. It works with rotors, brake pads, and brake lines to safely stop your vehicle. Knowing how these parts work will ensure your safety while driving. In addition, knowing how to spot signs that your brake caliper needs service is helpful.

Brake pads are steel-backed plates with friction-based materials bound to their surfaces. They are attached to pistons and are placed against the rotor while the vehicle is moving. The friction between the disc and the pads generates heat, which dissipates through convection.


There are several types of brake calipers on the market. One type is known as a floating caliper and uses one or two pistons that move inboard and outboard of the rotor to push against the brake pads on the inner and outer sides of the disc. The other type is called a fixed caliper and does not move. Fixed calipers have two or more pistons and are more expensive than floating calipers.

Different types of brake calipers are used for different purposes. They can be used for replacing brake pads or working on the caliper. Depending on the type, you may need special tools to perform brake caliper work.


A faulty brake caliper can cause your brakes to fail. This can result in your car pulling to one side or the other. Fortunately, there are several ways to diagnose a faulty brake caliper, so you can drive safely again. In addition to checking for wear and leaks, you can also check the piston's operation.

One of the most common symptoms of a bad brake caliper is a grinding or squeaking noise coming from one wheel. This can be due to a bad caliper or worn brake pads.


A caliper is a very important component of a car's braking system. Its primary purpose is to press the brake pads against the rotor to slow a car. Its design makes it especially suited for this task, with built-in heat fins to dissipate heat and extend the life of the brake pads. Often, brake pads come with an audible indicator that lets you know when they're worn out. It can be heard when the pad is wearing down, making a squealing noise.

The life of a brake caliper can be extended by using brake caliper rebuild kits. These kits fix minor problems in the brake caliper, which will extend the braking system's life. In most cases, brake calipers have a lifespan of 30,000 to 50,000 miles, but this can vary depending on the driver. Drivers with automatic transmissions will see pad life halved when compared to manual transmission drivers. If you can change your driving style and avoid letting your brakes wear out prematurely, you can save money and avoid costly repairs.