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How to Change Brake Calipers

How to Change Brake Calipers

Issue Time:2020-12-18

How to Change Brake Calipers


If you're not experienced with vehicles, you may not realize there are two different types of brake calipers. One is floating and the other is fixed. Even though they don’t need maintenance, their failure is common. These guidelines will help you figure out how to change brake calipers.


Is It Complicated to Change a Brake Caliper?

Under most circumstances, you'll find that changing brake calipers is a straightforward process. You can complete this repair in your garage or in your driveway using standard hand tools. You'll still need to take certain precautions, however, especially if your vehicle has an ABS system. Typically, that doesn't cause much concern though. Before beginning, you'll need to consult your owner's manual regarding the location of your brake calipers. Your manual should also tell you how to deactivate your brakes. If you have an ABS system, you may need to go to a repair shop or dealer to prevent air from entering your braking system.


Removing the Calipers

Start by removing the wheel where you need to change the caliper. You'll need to jack the car up or put it on a lift. There may be brake fluid leaks, so place a small pan under the caliper. Use a ratchet or line wrench to remove the caliper's mounting bolts. Depending on which caliper you're working with, you may need to remove a brake pad or loosen the brake hose. Some calipers have tabs on them that you need to use needle-nose pliers to squeeze while prying away from the rotor.


Installing the New Caliper

Use brake parts cleaner to clean the new assembly. Make sure there's no rust, especially on the areas that the caliper is coming into contact with. Use the installation instructions that come with the caliper as a guide. Have the brake pads ready to transfer on to the caliper. Add a layer of grease to the replacement brake caliper bolts and slide it into position. Tighten the bolts by hand and then using a torque wrench according to the brake caliper torque specs. Make sure you’re bleeding the brakes with the help of an assistant.


About Bleeding Brake Lines

When you're bleeding brake lines, you're preventing air from becoming trapped in the braking system. If you're working with an ABS system, the recommendation is to bring your vehicle to a professional. When you're bleeding your brake system, you do so without starting your engine. Depress the brake pedal carefully several times to release air. Loosen the bleeder screw for a few seconds, and then tighten it again. Repeat this until no more air bubbles are in the brake fluid.


Understanding Brake Caliper Replacement

Learning how to change brake calipers isn't complicated, but it means you'll be working with several different types of calipers. Therefore, it's essential you're consulting with your vehicle's owner's manual and the caliper's instructions before attempting to work on this project. It's a good idea to change brake calipers in pairs. For example, both the rears or both the front.

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