Hey, Why is My Brake Caliper Bad?

Hey, Why is My Brake Caliper Bad?

The brake caliper is the business end of your braking system. The brake caliper does the physical end-user work that applies the pressure to the brake pads to slow down the brake rotor, which is attached to the wheel hub assembly. The brake caliper is a hydraulic piston that uses brake fluid that is pressurized from the master cylinder with some braking assist, either vacuum or hydraulic. Over time, various braking system components can become corroded and sticky, causing the vehicle to brake unevenly. It is important to have your brakes inspected regularly.

Are You Seeing Bad Symptoms From Your Brake Caliper?

A brake caliper gets bad symptoms because of the following:

  • Leaks.
  • Brake pad wear.
  • Stuck caliper bracket.
  • Piston seal damage.
  • Faulty master cylinder.
  • Bent brake rotor.

Professional assistance is a click away. Hit "yes" on the prompt and dive into our mechanic-chat style checklist. Indicate "yes" or "no" for your car’s symptoms, and we’ll guide you from there!

Let's Get To The Bottom Of It!

  • Q: Do you notice fluid leaks from behind one of the wheels?

    The brake caliper uses brake fluid pressure to push the brake pads onto the rotors and slow down the car. Because of heat and wear, leaks can happen, causing brake fluid to drip onto the tire and ground inside the wheel area.

  • Q: Is the vehicle pulling to one side immediately after you release the brake pedal?

    The brake caliper has a piston that moves back and forth inside a chamber. So, it has its own space to operate. A special o-ring helps retract the piston, and a dust boot keeps dirt out. If something gets inside the chamber, the o-ring can't work correctly, and one side of the brakes might not release fully after braking. This can lead to uneven brake pressure and pulling to one side when you stop and release the brakes.

  • Q: Does the brake pedal slowly dives to the floor when you press it?

    The master cylinder is the part generating and distributing fluid pressure to engage the brakes. It has a piston that moves when you press the brake pedals, which transmits pressure to the brake calipers; it has some rubber cups to help seal the brake fluid. Over time, these cups wear out, causing fluid to leak between the master cylinder and booster. When this happens, the brake pedal can feel weak and might sink to the floor when you press it.

All related issues checked?

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Hey, Why is My Brake Caliper Bad?

Vehicle Health Inspection Proof

Explore the following typical inspection results that show a potential cause for the symptom and select the one you believe is similar to your vehicle's issue.

Leaking brake caliper

The image provides proof of the leak from the brake caliper, which is causing the fluid to leak behind the wheel.

A customer brought in their vehicle because there were strange marks on the inner part of the driver's front tire. They also saw clear liquid on the ground where they park, sometimes even on the tire tread itself.

During a test drive, the technician didn't notice anything about the customer's concerns. However, during a vehicle health inspection, the technician found brake fluid leaking from the right front brakes.

To investigate further, the technician cleaned the wheel and brake caliper assembly. With an assistant inside the vehicle, the technician lifted the vehicle on a lift and had the assistant apply and hold the brakes firmly. This made the leak seep from the area where the brake caliper was put together, confirming the mechanic's suspicion.

Based on that, the technician recommends replacing both front brake calipers.

Does the issue look like this? if not accessible your shop will document it

Typical Fixes to Address the Cause(s)

The following chapters bases themselves on experiences from our auto repair shop; we'll describe related problems' causes and fixes.

"Brake caliper replacement" fixes "Leaking brake caliper"

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Sometimes a problem is more challenging to describe than it initially looked like. If you are not sure your problem is described by this article, please find below similar vehicle symptoms, which might describe better the issue you are experiencing.
Is Bad Brake Caliper
Your Issue?