Brake callipers are an extremely important part of the braking system in a car. They clamp down on the rotors, forcing the tyres to stop spinning and the car to stop moving. Brake callipers need servicing on a regular basis. This service prevents them from malfunctioning and possibly causing an accident. Fortunately, servicing brakes is not a particularly difficult job to do. It mainly consists of a visual inspection of the callipers.
What is a Brake Calliper?
A brake calliper is a clamp-like device that closes and causes the brake pads to lock down on the rotors. The friction on the rotor causes the car to slow down and eventually stop. If the calliper is not clamping down correctly, it causes excessive wear to brake pads and damage to the rotors.
How to Inspect Brake Callipers
Start with a visual inspection of the brake callipers. Remove the wheel and visually inspect the calliper. Although some dirt build-up is normal, there should be no rust or damage visible from the outside. Black dust is a sign of a malfunctioning calliper or a worn brake pad. Look for black soot or dust coming from the inside of the calliper, on the rims of the tyres, or on the calliper. If the dust is present, open the calliper and check the brake pads before replacing the calliper. Replace the pads if they appear worn.
Check to see if the brake line going to the calliper is limber. If the rubber line gives to the touch and no fluid is visible, clamp off the line. Remove the piece that attaches the hose from the calliper.
After inspecting the line, remove the calliper. Do this by removing the bolts behind the calliper and the slide pins that hold the calliper to the rotor. The calliper should open and close easily. If the calliper is excessively stiff, it indicates a problem and further inspection is required.
How to Clean a Brake Calliper
Once the calliper is off the vehicle, place it on a workbench or other flat surface. Clean the calliper housing with a coarse shop rag or a wire brush. Do not use anything abrasive on the calliper bushings to prevent damage to them.
Inspect the dust seal on the calliper to make sure it is intact and in good working order. Again if this is dry or brittle, it may indicate that further servicing of the calliper is necessary. Lubricate the pins with an approved lubricant.
Reassemble the calliper by reversing the process of taking it off. Remember to reconnect the bolts in the back of the calliper and the hose. Unclamp the hose. There might be fluid leakage that requires adding brake fluid. Simply add some to top off the break system.
Signs the Callipers are Malfunctioning
Even without a visual inspection, there are signs that a calliper may be malfunctioning. These signs ordinarily appear when the car is moving and are very noticeable.
Not all of these signs mean the calliper is malfunctioning. It is always wise to check the easiest problems first. Drivers should learn how to diagnose issues such as leaks and those that require calliper repair, as well as how to identify normal wear.
How to Buy Callipers eBay
Car owners can buy callipers and other brake parts from reliable sellers on eBay. You can enter the make and model of your vehicle in the search bar found on every page. You can narrow the search results by entering 'calliper' or 'brake parts' to find the relevant parts needed. Read the product descriptions carefully to ensure that the listed part is the correct one for your car. You can also find any tools required to make the repairs. Servicing a brake calliper is far easier and less expensive than replacing them and last several years with proper maintenance.