What is a Brake Caliper?

A lot of drivers throughout Harvey, New Orleans, and Metairie refer to their braking system simply as “brakes.” However, there are numerous components to your braking system, including pads, rotors, discs, lines, and calipers. A lot of people ask “what is a brake caliper,” so at Bohn Toyota, we’re here to discuss brake calipers with what they do, how often you need to replace them, and what are the symptoms of a bad brake caliper. Be sure to contact us today to learn more about your vehicle!
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What Does a Brake Caliper Do?

brake caliper

In short, your brake calipers are the housing for your brake pads. When you apply pressure to the brake pedal, it forces brake fluid through the lines which drives a piston in the caliper to force the pads against the rotors. This is how your vehicle slows down because the force from the caliper and pad on the rotor will slow the turning speed of the wheel, essentially slowing your vehicle down. In order for your brakes to function properly, all the parts need to be in good condition to work effectively.

What are the Symptoms of a Bad Brake Caliper?

With your brakes, it’s always tough to diagnose the issue. Squealing brakes is a good sign that it’s your pads wearing down. However, how can you tell that it’s the caliper that went bad? There’s actually a couple of signs that can tell you that your brake caliper is failing or has gone bad:

  • Leaking Brake Fluid- Since brake fluid is pushed into your calipers to help clamp and press the brake pad to the rotor, any indication of leaking brake fluid could mean that the caliper has a leak from a broken seal, which can affect the overall braking ability.
  • Vehicle Pulls to the Side- When your vehicle, and braking system, is exposed to extreme heat, can lead to the piston seizing up. The vehicle will pull to the side with the affected caliper, so if you notice pulling and it’s not your tires, have the calipers checked.
  • Unusual Sounds- Hearing weird sounds coming from your vehicle is never a great sign. If the noise correlates with your braking patterns, it could be a loose or sticking brake caliper.

How Often Do You Need to Replace Brake Calipers?

Brake caliper maintenance

There are plenty of replacement parts that you’ll need to get for your vehicle over the years, and brake calipers are certainly one of them. While calipers are built to be strong and durable, there are a few factors that can degrade the integrity of them. In most modern cars, brake calipers can last up to 100,000 miles. If you’ve reached 100,000 miles, you may want to have the calipers inspected to see if it’s time to replace them.

Schedule Your Brake Caliper Service Today

Since your brakes are a crucial component of your vehicle and safe driving practices, it’s important to make sure all the parts of your braking system are in great condition and functioning properly. If you sense any of the symptoms of bad brake calipers, you’ll want to schedule service so you can resume your journey on the road with total control of your vehicle.

Schedule your brake service today at Bohn Toyota. We’re here to help drivers in Harvey, New Orleans, and Metairie keep their vehicles out on the road!