What is a brake caliper? Features and functions.

Today we look into what is a brake caliper and how it fits into the function of slowing down and stopping. Brake calipers are specifically for disc brakes while drum brakes use wheel cylinders.

How do brake calipers work?

A brake caliper is an important component in the vehicle’s brake system. It functions by the connection to the brake calipers and the master cylinder. Further, you will find the brake caliper on the wheel hub.

When the driver presses the brake pedal, the command goes to the master cylinder. This is where the brake fluid gains hydraulic pressure and travels through brake hose or brake line to the caliper.

Afterwards, the brake calipers move to push the brake pads against the rotor. This creates friction between the rotors and the brake pads so that the vehicle’s wheel slows down.

Another great function of the brake rotors is to maintain the alignment of the brake pads against the brake rotors. This is important in order to prevent the brake pads from uneven wear and tear.

Further, it helps to ensure the brake pads function properly in their role of stopping the vehicle. Otherwise, misalignment is one of the causes for car brakes squeaking.

What are features of brake caliper set-up?

In this sub-section we will explore how the brake caliper is set-up on the wheels. Since the brake caliper is specific to the disc brake, they have some unique features.

The brake caliper is that big thing that you see around the brake rotors of the disc brake. Some come in unique colors like yellow, black or blue amongst others.

We are going to look at these features so that you can know where to apply brake grease. Further, it is essential for you not to use lubricant on brake pad surfaces because this will compromise their function.

It appears like a clamp on the brake rotor. This clump like features houses the brake pad and piston. Further, you will find that the caliper has two brake pads inside them.

Additionally, the brake calipers connects to the master cylinder through brake line. This brake hose delivers brake fluid through valves in the brake system.

When the brake fluid reaches the caliper, the caliper pin moves to push the brake pad towards the brake rotor. This is how the car slows down and eventually stops.

Applying brake caliper grease onto the moving parts is very important. It prevents any excessive friction, rust and corrosion. Hence keeping the brake system in a good condition.

Additionally, knowing how to apply brake grease is also important so as not to sabotage the brake system integrity.

Types of brake calipers.

There are two types of brake calipers. The classification depends on how they move when the driver hits the brakes.

a] Floating calipers.

They have pistons on the rotors interior side right at the brake pads. The number of pistons varies as either two or one.

They are able to move in and out parallel to the brake rotors. The pistons push pads against the rotors when someone hits the brakes.

b] Fixed calipers.

As suggested by the name, they barely move during brake application. They have several pistons arranged on opposite sides of the rotor.

Further, they are different from the floating calipers in terms of the number of pistons. Additionally, they are a bit more expensive than the floating calipers. Also, they offer better performance.

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