The brake calipers are installed behind the wheels and sit on the brake discs. With a small distance to the discs the brake caliper works like a caliper. The brake piston in the brake caliper moves forward during braking. Most brake calipers are equipped with one or two pistons. On very heavy or fast vehicles more pistons can be used, up to eight per caliper. When the driver presses the brake pedal, overpressure is created in the hydraulic system. This brake fluid pressure is transmitted to the brake calipers via the brake lines and brake hoses.
There is now caused that the brake pistons press the brake pads against the brake discs so that the friction on the brake increases. This frictional resistance ensures that the kinetic energy of the vehicle is converted into thermal energy. The excess pressure only decreases again when the driver takes his foot off the brake pedal. The brake pistons return to their original position so that the brake discs can rotate freely again.
A brake caliper can also take over the function of the parking brake in vehicles, which have brake discs on all four wheels. When the handbrake is applied mechanically or electrically, the brake piston and thus the brake lining is pressed against the brake disc. In this way the vehicle stops even on a gradient.
There are two main types of brake calipers:
Floating saddles have the advantages that they require less space, have a high efficiency, are easy to maintain and are inexpensive. That is why they are also the most widely used brake calipers.
Brake calipers are subject to many external influences such as moisture, road dirt and road salt. This can lead to the following consequences, among others:
The external influences mentioned above cause excessive wear of the brake pads and the brake discs. Rust, for example, can cause the brake pistons to become stiffer. A jammed brake calliper can also cause the wheel to heat up dangerously and thus lead to increased fuel consumption. In addition, the heat can cause the brake pads to vitrify, which would reduce the braking effect. In the worst case, wear can also lead to a loss of braking efficiency.
When riding, a worn or jammed brake caliper is usually only noticeable by a reduced braking effect, sometimes even squeaking when braking. If you then get out of the car and notice a clearly noticeable heat on the tyres and a burnt smell, then there is a lot to be said for a defective brake calliper. This should then be changed as soon as possible to restore road safety.
If the symptoms mentioned above occur, it is advisable to also check the associated components, as the guide sleeves or seals may also have defects. When changing the brake calipers, some brake fluid is always required in addition to special tools. This requires technical skill and know-how. If you don't think you can do this, you should leave the replacement of the brake caliper to a specialist.
Even if no symptoms appear, it is advisable to have the complete brake system checked at every inspection. In this way, defects or wear can be detected early and remedied in good time. When replacing the system, it is advisable to use branded goods. This is characterised by a longer service life and a better fit. You will find branded goods at favourable prices from the following manufacturers among others:
The brake calipers can be purchased from us individually or also as an axle-wise product package. In addition, we have created packages that include brake fluid and suitable holders. If you are not sure which brake caliper is suitable for your vehicle, please contact our customer service with the 17-digit chassis number.