Posts Tagged ‘Brake Repair’

Calipers and Brake Repair

brake-repairIf you are having problems with the braking mechanism of your car you may need to check your calipers.  As a matter of fact, while your braking issues could be related to the brake pads wearing down, the calipers are actually the mechanism which stops your car from moving. Calipers are the clamps that use friction to slow your wheels.  When you apply the brake pedal, it is the calipers which transfer the pressure to the wheels to slow their momentum.

When it comes to replacing or repairing calipers you need to know that there are two basic types: floating calipers and fixed calipers.

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Floating Calipers

Also known as sliding calipers, floating calipers move in and out. Typically these have one or two pistons located on the inboard of the rotor.  When you apply the brakes, the piston pushes against the entire caliper, again creating friction from the brake pads, which are on either side of the rotor.

Fixed Calipers

Most of the time, experts will recommend fixed calipers for better performance.  As you might have suspected, these calipers do not move. Instead of a pair of pistons on the inboard side of the rotor, fixed calipers have pistons which are arranged on opposing sides of the rotor.  High performance fixed-calipers might have two or more pairs of these pistons arranged on either side of the rotor, with some having as many as six pairs. These calipers are generally more expensive.

Repairing Your Brakes

Of course, brake pads are important too.  Calipers apply friction to the brake pad, which is installed on the brake drum or wheel.  Over time, then, the friction from the calipers will erode the brake pads and after enough time you will have to replace the brake pads if you want to avoid causing damage to your braking system.

As brake pads wear down, the piston in the caliper will start to emerge from the cylinder where it is housed.  The longer you wait to fix this problem, the further and further the piston will emerge and press inward towards the rotor.

When repairing your brakes, you will need a special tool to properly adjust the caliper pistons. If you do not adjust them it will be difficult to remove and replace the brake pads.