National average cost of a Brake Caliper Service for popular vehicles:
What is a brake caliper and how does it work?
A brake caliper is a major component of a disc brake system in a vehicle. Attached to each wheel is a thick, heavy metal disc called a brake rotor (the “disc” in disc brakes) that spins along with the wheel when your vehicle is moving. Sandwiched around the rotor is a pair of brake pads that have the job of grabbing hold of the rotor when you want to slow down or stop. The brake caliper acts as a hydraulic clamping device that suspends the brake pads in place and squeezes them together when you press on the brake pedal. Inside the caliper resides one or more metal pistons that move in response to hydraulic pressure. When you step on the brake pedal, the master cylinder (pump) exerts pressure on the hydraulic brake fluid inside a network of tubes that lead to the calipers. The fluid, in turn, exerts pressure on the caliper piston(s), which squeezes together the brake pads against the rotor.
Signs that my brake calipers need to be serviced
The brake calipers on your vehicle are subject to the worst of the elements and to a lot of wear. To work as they should, your calipers must be able to not only squeeze the brake pads against the rotor (disc), but they must allow the pads to release when you let up on the brake pedal. For that to happen, the caliper must be in serviceable shape. The slide pins on which the caliper travels in its bracket have to be clean, lubricated, and sealed. The bracket and hardware must be free from dirt and corrosion. And the caliper piston(s) must be able to move freely. If any of these components becomes contaminated or corroded, you might notice the following signs
Your vehicle pulls to one side when braking (due to a caliper stuck open)
The vehicle pulls to one side when not braking (due to a caliper stuck closed)
The brakes seem to drag
Your vehicle does not stop as it normally does
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There are 50 shops within 20 miles of your location.
Sitting close to ground level, your brake calipers are subject to all sorts of contaminants, from dirt, dust, and sand to mud, snow, and salt. As a result, corrosion can form on the caliper bracket and around the caliper piston. The rubber boots that safeguard the slide pins can crack or rupture, impregnating the lubricant inside with dirt and sand and causing the caliper to seize. Therefore, during a brake caliper service, a mechanic will remove the wheels and tires to access the brakes, inspect the calipers for signs of leaks, remove the caliper from its bracket and set aside the brake pads, and potentially unbolt the caliper brackets. The components are then thoroughly cleaned. The slide pins are lubricated with a special heat-resistant grease, and the components are re-assembled. Any new hardware needed, or replacement of the brake pads and rotors, are additional services that may be requested at the same time.
OTHER QUESTIONS CUSTOMERS ASK
What parts are related to a Brake Caliper Service?