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Brake Caliper Repair

Omkar Phatak Apr 21, 2019
If you are looking for guidelines on brake caliper repair, read on. Here, the generic procedure is discussed.
One of the most important parts of a car is its braking system. For safe driving, you need to ensure that your braking system is in sound working condition. Modern cars use hydraulic car braking systems. Maintaining this system involves a lot of chores, including brake fluid flush, brake bleeding, and often involves caliper repair.

Function

Brake caliper is an important component of hydraulic disc brakes, that are used in modern cars. Car wheels are attached to rotors which are metal discs that rotate along with the wheels.
Brake calipers are attached over the rotor and act like clamps. Their job is to enable braking by creating friction with the wheel rotor. Inside them, brake pads are fitted, which are pressed against the rotor, when you hit the brakes. Their prime function is to hold the brake pads and hydraulic brake pistons in place.

Repair Procedure

Repairing the caliper is quite a straightforward job and you can pull it off, if you follow the guidelines properly and take care of safety precautions. For guidelines, specific to your car model, you can buy the appropriate Hayne's manual for your car.
The tools that you'll need for the job are the following:
  • Socket Wrench
  • Two brand new brake calipers
  • Brake fluid for bleeding brakes
  • WD-40 spray for lubrication and preventing corrosion
  • Jack Stands and car jack
Firstly, jack up the side of the car wheel, on which you plan to work and place jack stands underneath. Using appropriate wrenches, loosen the lug nuts of the tire, whose brake calipers need to be repaired.
In case, the lug nuts have tightened too much, you can use the WD-40 lubricant to loosen them up. Using a torque wrench, remove the lug nuts and then get the tire off the car.
Once you remove the tire, the brake calipers will be easily visible. Repair can be made using rebuilding kits but it is advisable to get them replaced, if they are worn out, as in case they fail totally, the entire braking system suffers heavy damage. There is no point in taking chances when it comes to brakes. So it is best to replace them.
The bolts that attach calipers to the braking system are normally hidden by plastic covers. Remove the covers from the lower and upper bolts and using a right sized wrench, proceed to remove the bolts that connect the caliper to the rotor.
There is one more bolt that needs to be removed, to completely detach the brake caliper from the braking system. It is the banjo bolt that attaches the caliper to the brake line. After you have located the banjo washer underneath the banjo bolt, remove the bolt and replace the washer with the new one that comes with the brand new caliper.
The old worn-out caliper can then be removed easily from the rotor and you can replace it with the new one. Then, fix the banjo bolt, along with the new washer back in place.
Retracing your removal procedure, put the upper and lower nuts back in place and make sure that they are tightly fit. Put the plastic covers back again on the bolts. With that, your repair job is done.
However, you will need to bleed the car brakes to release any trapped air. Once the bleeding procedure is done, you can replace the car tire back in place and tighten the lug nuts.
You can save on the repair cost, if you perform the procedure on your own. Periodic inspection of the insides of a braking system, which includes the pads and hydraulic braking system, is advised. Car repair jobs can be easily performed if you are willing to study the car problems thoroughly and apply what you have learned.