What is a Brake Caliper?

Brake Caliper on car rack 
There are many important components included in a vehicle’s braking system. There’s the lines, the pads, and the rotors. But what is a brake caliper? At Bohn Ford, we’re here to help drivers in Harvey, New Orleans, and Metairie learn more about their brake calipers with what they do, symptoms of a bad one, and how often you need to replace brake calipers.

Keep reading to learn all about this important braking component so you can know when it’s time for repairs or a replacement!

What a Brake Caliper Does

Brake CaliperBrake calipers are a specific component of your braking system that’s crucial for the function of your brakes. Calipers are found on each wheel and work to squeeze the brake pads against the rotors in an effort to slow the spin of the wheel and get the vehicle to reduce its speed. When the brake pedal is pressed, it forces hydraulic pressure on the pistons in the calipers to force the pads against the rotors.

What are the Symptoms of a Bad Brake Caliper?

Like most of the components with your vehicle, there are a few signs and symptoms to look out for when something goes awry. Knowing how to spot these bad brake caliper symptoms can help you get ahead of any major problem and have the issue repaired in a timely manner.

Brake Light- It seems obvious, but this light can help you detect a brake problem early.
Vibration When Braking- If you feel a vibration in the vehicle when you press the brake pedal, it could mean that the caliper isn’t releasing properly.
The Car is Pulling to One Side- When this occurs, it may indicate that one of your calipers is applying all the pressure, which is forcing the vehicle to brake on one side.
Burning Smell- If you smell something burning when you’re behind the wheel, and you even see smoke coming from the wheel, it could mean that your brake caliper is stuck.
Brake Caliper MaintenanceCheck out our service specials to save on your next brake repair appointment…

How Often Do You Need to Replace Brake Calipers?

Considering what brake calipers do in terms of your braking system, they have a tough and grueling job. They’re built to be tough and durable, and to prevail through the literal pressure of their duty. However, factors like hard braking or the lack of regularly scheduled maintenance can contribute to premature brake caliper wear. Luckily, brake calipers can last up to 100,000 miles or 10 years, so with proper driving, you can get a decade out of the same calipers.

Scheduling Brake Service at Bohn Ford

Since your brakes are your first and most important safety feature, it helps to have them inspected regularly. However, while you’ve learned how long brake calipers last and how often you need to replace them, it still helps to stay updated on their condition and have any other braking issue taken care of to prevent it from affecting the whole system.

When you’re in need of service or a brake caliper adjustment/replacement, you can always schedule a service appointment at Bohn Ford. We’re here to help drivers in Harvey, New Orleans, and Metairie make sure that their vehicles are in great condition.

Please don't hesitate to direct your service questions to us! Fill out the simple form below and our technicians will get back to you.
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