In this page you will learn what a brake caliper is, how it works, its location, and a detailed step by step guide to its replacement.
What is a brake caliper?
A brake caliper is a device used to push the brake pads against the surface of the brake rotor to slow the car down.
How does a brake caliper work?
The brake caliper works with hydraulic pressure, every time you push the brake pedal, the brake fluid travels from the brake master cylinder to the brake proportioning valve (when the car is not equipped with ABS), if the car has ABS, the brake fluid travels through the ABS Hydraulic control unit, and from there the brake fluid travels inside the brake lines all the way to the brake calipers, this hydraulic pressure pushes one or more cylinders inside the brake caliper against the brake pads, this pressure forces the brake pads to make contact with the brake rotor, the force will be relatively equal to the force applied by the driver to the brake pedal.
- How do I know if I have a bad brake caliper in my car or truck?
- The signs of a bad brake caliper are the following:
1- Brake fluid is leaking past the seals in the caliper pistons.
2- The car always pulls to one side when the brakes are applied ( signs of a sticking brake caliper )
3- Premature brake pads wear. (Also caused by sticking brake calipers)
NOTE: Most of the time, the calipers stick due to lack of lubricant, causing them to malfunction and give all the symptoms that a bad brake caliper gives, before you replace these items, make sure that you clean all the moving parts thoroughly with brake cleaner and that they are properly lubricated, 9 out of ten times that simple job takes care of a sticking caliper (s) problem.
In this and the following pages we will show you how to replace the brake calipers in different makes and models, we will start with a 1998 Ford F-150 2wd pick-up. You will learn how to replace the driver's side front brake caliper.
As we get different vehicles (different makes and models) in our shop, we will document the process for you to learn how to perform this repair in your own vehicle.