Brake caliper service: How to keep your brakes in good shape.

Brake caliper service means that you will be at a better position to hit emergency brakes when necessary. Basically, it helps to enhance the controllability of your vehicle.

Further, the brake caliper service is essential in order to protect other parts of the brake system. There are several benefits that result from undertaking this service.

In our article today, we will check out how to brake caliper service happens.

What is involved in brake caliper service?

A brake caliper service doesn’t have to be done when the caliper is stuck or there is another problem. It can be done to ensure that the parts of the brake caliper are in a good condition.

For example brake caliper covers. You may ensure that they don’t have a high accumulation of dirt particles. This may affect the functioning of brake pads.

a] Remove the tires from wheel hub.

Place the vehicle on car jack stand so that the tires are suspended in the air. Use a ratchet to remove the lug nuts that hold the tire in place. Afterwards, pull the tires off to expose the brake caliper.

In the definition of what is a brake caliper, you will find parts that you should assess. With your current view, these parts are inclusive of the brake rotors, caliper clamp and brake pads.

Assess these parts before moving forward to the next step. Therefore, ensure that the brake pads are in alignment with the rotors. Also check the thickness of the brake pads.

Inspect whether there are dirt particles and small rocks caught up in the brake set-up. Because the rocks caught up in there are part of the reason why car brake squeak.

b] How do I inspect my brake caliper?

The brake system inspection step will involve an extra party to help. Let the other person enter the vehicle and press the brake pedal.

Most calipers have a single hydraulic piston that pushes the brake pad against brake rotors. Ensure that this function is working.

Next, ensure that there is sufficient amount of brake fluid in the reservoir. Because it creates hydraulic pressure from the master cylinder to the brake caliper.

Afterwards, this pressure causes the caliper to slide and push brake pads onto the rotors. Top-up the brake fluid and perform a brake fluid flush to remove some excess fluid. Incase you exceed the set limit.

Afterwards, ensure that the C-edge of the clamp sits at its place. Reference the position against the inboard side of the caliper and the tip of the forcing screw.

Next, check the bleeder valve to ensure that it opens up in the process of moving the caliper.

c] How do I know if my brake calipers are worn out?

Now this is where you get into the crucial part of the brake caliper service. Once you notice any of the above isn’t working, you will have to replace the caliper.

The following are some of the things that will tell you that the brake caliper isn’t working.

Ensure that the caliper slides.

You need grease for caliper pins to ensure that it slides. The slide caliper pins loose lubrication which causes them not to slide.

Brake pads alignment.

When the brake pads do not contact the brake rotors, it means that something is wrong. You will also notice that the brake pads have uneven wear. This will call for a brake pad replacement.

Caliper piston.

There is a rubber boot surrounding the piston for both protection and lubrication purposes. It protects the pistons from dirt accumulation. Further, it offers lubrication by engulfing brake lubricant around the pistons.

If damage happens to the rubber boot there will be no lubrication and protection. Therefore, this will have a negative effect on the functionality of brake pads.

Brake hose.

This is a very sensitive part of the brake system assembly. They wear out as time goes by or damage could occur during a caliper change. Therefore, the damage will interfere with how the brake fluid flows.

Brake drag.

This is whereby you feel like the wheels are not turning freely. It is like the brakes are still engaged as you keep driving. The problem in this situation is that the stuck caliper brake pad hasn’t released the brake rotors.

Restricted brake hose.

When you notice that the brakes aren’t functioning normally, a caliper is amongst the first things you check. Sometimes, it is usually perfectly okay.

Therefore the problem could be hydraulic pressure isn’t reaching the brake caliper. The reason for this is the brake hose.

Perform a test whereby someone applies the brakes while the caliper is intact. If the wheel is turning, then the hydraulic pressure isn’t reaching the caliper.

Hence causing the brake pad not to press against the brake rotor.

d] How do I adjust my brake calipers?

This is where you attempt to restore the normal functionality of the brake caliper. If the damage is irreversible you will need a replacement caliper.

Use a wire brush.

There is a possibility that the caliper pins aren’t moving due to rust or dust build-up. Using a wire brush remove the build up.

Afterwards, ensure that you know where to apply brake grease on those parts that need it. While avoiding areas like the brake pad surface that contacts the brake rotor.

The brake lubricant should help with protection from the dirt accumulation, rust and extreme temperatures effects.

Replace bolts and bushings.

The caliper bracket bolts tend to stick when there is insufficient lubrication due to damage on the rubber seals that supply lubricant. If the bolts are sticking into the caliper brackets then you need to replace and then lubricate them.

The caliper bolts are usually attach to the caliper bracket in the bracketed calipers. Then they attach to the steering knuckle.

Though they’re not common in the caliper bracket repair kit, you will find the O-rings go between the two halves of the Girling Caliper. Their function is to prevent any bush dirt that could cause the caliper bushings to get stuck.

Incase there is ay damage to the O-rings, they need a replacement.  

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