Brake calipers are important components of the braking system of any car, as this do the mechanical job of the braking. A proper understanding of brake calipers, their functions and operation, makes it easy to identify issues when the brakes develop issues. However, while basic details can inform you about the braking system and the calipers, without prior knowledge and experience on mechanical repairs, it is best to get the car to an experienced mechanic especially when it has to with the brakes and calipers repairs.
- The brake caliper operates like a clamp on the wheel’s rotor to prevent the wheel from turning during application of brake. When pressure is on the brake pedal, a push rod is activated. This pushes hard against a master cylinder piston that forces fluid into a pressure unit and all through the hydraulic brake system and hoses. This forced fluid in the hydraulic brake lines arrive at the calipers where it works upon the caliper pistons sealed by an O-rings. The O-rings prevent escape of fluid from the system. The piston pushes against the brake pads on either sides of the rotors, thus squeezing the rotor to slow it down. The brake pads make use of friction to stop the moving car and are important for safe stopping of the car.
- Modern brake calipers are made of aluminum, this is because aluminum is a very strong but light material that can endure the constant wear that occur in the braking system. Reducing weight is important to the design of any car so the use of forged or cast aluminum brake calipers assist achieve this aim. Most times magnesium alloy is employed, but it is expensive as such kept for race cars. The brake rotors on the other part is made of harder metals, because the friction against the rotor during braking can actually bend or warp lighter metals.
- Brake calipers can come as a single or double pieces and have pistons or cylinders that are made of aluminum or steel materials. Two-piece make are not expensive to produce, but have some demerits, which are flex, not found in the one-piece makes. Brake calipers grip the brake pads and have channels that take the hydraulic brake fluid that activates the piston to press the brake pad hard against the rotor.
- Car brakes don’t operate properly if there is air in the hydraulic fluid system, if there is a leak of brake fluid in the system, the brake pads are made to wear beyond safe use or significant amount of debris prevents the piston from moving the brake pad in place to stop. Brake calipers are expensive so it’s wise to repair them as soon as there is a malfunction. Some cars will turn on a warning light or will cause a pull in a particular direction if any issues develop with your brake calipers, don’t ignore
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