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Shanghai KTG Auto Technology Co., Ltd., a leading manufacturer of automotive chasis parts, is dedicated to delivering solutions for the automotive aftermarket. With a focus on providing higher-tier brake parts, including disc brake calipers, electric parking brake(EPB), parking brake actuators, and many kinds of repair parts, higher-tier steering parts, including wheel steering knuckles, and knuckle assembly—we’re your one-stop shop for your needs.

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The Ultimate Guide of Brake Calipers



Contact us to receive our complete product catalog. Send us a message if you have any questions or request a quote. Our experts will reply within 24 hours and help you select the right parts you need.


+86 173 2113 6599




Floor 2, Building 19, Anting Auto Innovation Park, No. 56 Antuo Road, Jiading, Shanghai, China, 201805

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Chapter 1

Understanding of Disc Brake and Brake Caliper

Know Disc Brakes

Disc brakes in a car is to control the vehicle’s speed so that it can run and stop according to the wishes of the driver. Disc brakes will make the driver safer in controlling the car.

Most cars used braking systems with disc brakes or drum brakes, but now many cars are designed with disc brakes. Disc brakes have been widely used in various types of cars, be it on the car’s front or rear.

Car manufacturers have deliberately changed the braking system to disc brakes because they are safer and can make the car stable, even when used at high speeds. The process of stopping a car is more optimal when using disc brakes than drum or drum brakes.

To stop the car, of course, you don’t need a long distance as a square, and by using disc brakes, all the legs of the car can stop quickly. In other words, disc brakes can shorten the braking distance. With disc brakes, the safety of the drivers will be safer in the car.

Using a car that has used disc brakes, you will be calm and more secure.

What Is A Brake Caliper?

Brake calipers house your car’s brake pads and pistons and squeeze the brake pads against the rotor to stop the car. The calipers support the brake pads on both sides of the rotor while using pistons to convert the pressure from the master cylinder into pressure from the brake pads to the brake rotor. Caliper size varies according to the car.

How do Brake Calipers Work?

When a driver presses the brake pedal, it generates hydraulic pressure in the master cylinder, which is then transferred to the brake caliper through the brake lines. The brake caliper is usually mounted on a bracket, and its primary function is to create the clamping force necessary to press the brake pad against the brake rotor on either side. Inside the brake caliper is a piston, which is activated by the pressure from the master cylinder.

This piston pushes the brake pad onto the brake rotor, generating friction that slows down the car. The caliper piston is sealed and protected by a rubber boot to prevent dirt and grime from entering the system and causing it to fail.

Crucial to the caliper’s functionality, the piston and pin move in unison to apply balanced pressure on the brake rotor. When brake calipers fail, they can lead to a reduced braking force or even a complete loss of brake function, making regular inspection and maintenance of this critical part is essential.

Types Of Calipers

Brake calipers come in mainly two types: fixed and floating (or sliding). Each type has its specific design, benefits, and most suitable applications. Understanding these differences can help in selecting the right caliper for a vehicle, depending on its needs and performance requirements.

Floating calipers

These components move in and out according to the motor and have only one or two pistons on each side of the rotor. The pistons push the entire caliper when the brake is applied, creating friction from the brake pads on the sides of the rotor.

Fixed calipers

As the name implies, fixed calipers do not move but instead have a set location arranged on the opposing sides of the rotor. The pistons apply force from both sides of the caliper and are preferred for their high performance, but they are more expensive than floating calipers.


While brake pads and rotors are frequently damaged, calipers do not need to be replaced often. The primary reason for worn-out calipers is due to driving an automobile on worn-out pads or twisted rotors. This can hinder the system’s ability to dissipate frictional heat, leading to wear and degradation. 

As a result, if a brake pad cannot shield the caliper from excessive heat and the piston is wrecked, heat can reach the brake fluid, degrading its quality and potentially resulting in brake failure. Moreover, torn-out or degraded pistons can stick in a single position, applying a constant brake to the wheels until the problem is resolved.

Chapter 2

What Is An Electric Parking Brake?

An Electric Parking Brake (EPB)

Electric Parking Brake (EPB) is a caliper with an additional motor (motor on the caliper) that operates the parking brake. The EPB system is electronically controlled and consists of the EPB switch, the EPB caliper, and the electronic control unit (ECU).

The electric parking brake or the EPB is an advanced version of a conventional parking brake or handbrake. Sometimes, people also refer to this system as ‘Electronic Parking Brake’. Technically this system is a sub-part of the ‘Brake by Wire’ system.

The main function of parking brakes is to avoid the motion of the vehicle when parked. In addition, these brakes also play an important role in avoiding the backward motion of the vehicle which resumes moving on a slope. Generally, parking brakes operate only on the rear wheels of a vehicle.

A Parking Brake Actuator(EPB motor)

The electric parking brake (EPB) system is designed as a type of electronic mechanical brake-by-wire system, in which the conventional manual parking system is replaced by an actuator to generate a clamping force to brake the vehicle. It is a “motor-on-caliper” system that integrates actuator in the caliper mounted on the rear wheel and operates the Caliper directly without a separate parking cable. Brake actuators are the devices that convert the compressed air force within the vehicle or the trailer air reservoir into a mechanical force, which activates the brake. “That air moves through the actuator, triggering a relay valve that converts the air pressure into physical braking force. The parking brake actuator also is called the electric parking brake motor.

The Electric Parking Brake Works

The system is controlled by the electronic parking control unit. When the signal comes, the working electric motor rotates, this rotation movement is transmitted to a gear mechanism by a belt (timing belt pulley). This gear mechanism (gearbox) reduces the rotational speed and converts the rotational movement to thrust, pushing the brake piston to the pads and brakes to the discs.

When braking, as the piston-pad rests on the disc, the electric motor draws a significant amount of current. This increase in current is measured, and at that moment, the current is cut off, completing the braking process. If the electric parking brake is desired to be opened, the pin that pushes the piston forward is pulled back by making a reverse rotation and the brake is released.

Increase in Pedal Pressure Under normal conditions, your brake pedal should operate smoothly with no need for much force to depress the pedal. As the actuator begins to fail, you may notice that the pedal is harder to press and seems to require significantly more force to completely depress.

Chapter 3

What Is A Trailer Brake?

Whether you’re adding brakes onto your trailer, replacing old ones, or upgrading for better stopping power, we can provide the trailer parts that you need to support your job done right. Having brakes on your trailer is a must. Many people require brakes on trailers of a certain size in order to be street legal, and there are plenty of good reasons for that. In addition, to keep you and others on the road safe, brakes help keep your cargo safe by providing an improved, more controlled ride. Getting the best possible braking setup for your trailer will also help eliminate wear and tear on both your trailer and your tow vehicle, saving you a lot of money in the long run.

How does a trailer brake work?

Does one thing that always concerned you? When you drive through large cities and over mountain passes, how do the brakes on your trailer work? Cargo trailers, utility trailers, boat trailers, camper trailers – there are a ton of different trailer types, and it’s important to know how to slow down and stop when towing any kind of trailer.

Disc brakes are composed of a hub and rotor a caliper, and a mounting bracket. The trailer caliper, which is positioned around the trailer hub and trailer rotor, includes a piston and brake pads, one pad on each side of the rotor. When you activate your truck brakes, the force of your vehicle against the actuator creates hydraulic pressure inside the master cylinder in the actuator, just like with hydraulic drum brakes. This pressure sends brake fluid through the brake line to the piston in the caliper. The piston extends and pushes the backing plate of the inner brake pad, which then squeezes the rotor. The friction created by the brake pads squeezing the rotor slows down the trailer.

Disc brakes are known for providing more consistent stopping, and more stopping power in general, than drum brakes. This means they reduce your stopping distance so you’ll be less likely to jackknife or collide with another vehicle should you have to slam on your brakes. And because of their design, disc brakes are very well vented. This is why they don’t experience brake fade as often as drum brakes. Because of their self-contained design, disc brakes don’t retain any excess water, which not only prevents corrosion, but also makes them function a lot better when wet. This makes them a very popular choice for frequent boaters. However, the price often stops people from making the decision to go with disc brakes over drum. Even though disc brakes don’t require as much maintenance, they’re considerably more expensive to purchase outright.

Refurbishing Brake Calipers on your caravan or boat trailer can be an expensive exercise when caliper pistons seize, a problem particularly common on boat trailers due to excessive exposure to corrosive environments. Of course, there are solutions and suggestions for ongoing maintenance, however, first, we must understand the underlying problem. 

Electric over hydraulic actuators pump hydraulic oil to the brake caliper. This hydraulic oil pressure varies from 1000 psi to 1600psi depending on the weight of the trailer and the size of the brake actuator. During braking, the hydraulic oil activates the caliper piston as it enters the cylinder chamber thereby pushing the piston onto the brake pads which in turn causes friction on the disc rotor. This friction causes braking. The more pressure applied by the brake controller, the stronger the braking.

The trailer brake pistons

Caliper pistons are manufactured of phenolic plastic, aluminum, or steel. “Phenolic” refers to a variety of hard plastic that is exceptionally strong and heat resistant. Phenolic pistons reduce heat transfer into the brake fluid, resist corrosion that could cause caliper binding, and are lightweight.

Whilst it is true that phenolic pistons resist corrosion, they are known to scratch over time and can also sit for long periods. As a result, the hard plastic material becomes hygroscopic.

The plastic material is actually phenolic resin. This high-strength man-made material has several advantages over steel brake caliper pistons. The first advantage is corrosion resistance. The material will not react with water and salt and rust. But, if the brake fluid is acidic, it can damage the piston over time. The second advantage is heat resistance. The phenolic piston will not transfer as much heat to the brake fluid when compared to steel pistons.

When the engineers design the brake system they design the system with the piston material and brake pad in mind. The package of the piston, shim, backing plate, and friction material are engineered together. If the original caliper piston was phenolic, the replacement caliper needs to have a phenolic caliper.

The one thing that can cause a failure of a phenolic or steel piston is a damaged piston boot. If the boot is missing, torn or not properly seated on the caliper or piston, corrosion on the surface or dirt caked on the surface of the piston, will scrub back and forth on the piston bore seal every time the brakes are applied and released. Before long, the seal will lose its ability to hold pressure and the caliper will start to leak brake fluid.

The Connection Between Calipers and the Brake System

To understand the connection between brake calipers and the entire braking system, it’s important to have a basic knowledge of the system’s components. The braking assembly comprises several elements, including the master cylinder, brake conduits, valves, and brake calipers.

The master cylinder is entrusted with generating adequate force to propel the brake fluid via the brake channels and into the calipers. Positioned near each wheel, calipers are the linchpin in decelerating or halting a vehicle. Encased within the brake calipers is a piston, which is actuated by the pressure exerted by the brake fluid.

As the driver applies force to the brake pedal, a cascade of events culminates in the piston pressing against the brake pad, engendering friction against the wheel and ultimately slowing or ceasing the vehicle’s motion. Consequently, the interconnection between brake calipers and the entire braking mechanism is indispensable for the brakes’ seamless operation.

Any complications with the master cylinder, brake conduits, or valves can impinge upon the pressure and circulation of brake fluid to the calipers, leading to diminished braking efficacy. This knowledge is of vital importance for individuals seeking insight into their vehicle’s braking system functionality.

Hydraulic Connection

The connection between the brake caliper and the hydraulic system is crucial for transforming the driver’s input at the brake pedal into actual braking force. Here’s how it works:

  1. Brake Fluid Dynamics: When the brake pedal is pressed, it pushes fluid from the master cylinder through the brake lines.

  2. Piston Activation: This fluid enters the caliper, where it exerts pressure on the piston(s). The number of pistons can vary depending on the caliper design, with more pistons offering better force distribution.

  3. Pressure Transmission: The hydraulic pressure forces the pistons to move, pressing the brake pads against the rotor. This action generates the friction needed to slow down or stop the vehicle.

Mechanical Connection

The mechanical aspects of the brake caliper’s connection to the brake system involve its attachment and alignment with the brake rotor:

  1. Mounting: Calipers are mounted to the vehicle’s suspension system, usually at the wheel hub, aligning the caliper over the rotor. This alignment is crucial for the even application of the brake pads and for avoiding vibrations or uneven wear.

  2. Floating or Fixed Mechanism: In floating calipers, the entire caliper slides on a set of pins or a bracket to maintain alignment with the rotor. In contrast, fixed calipers remain stationary, and the pistons on either side press the pads against the rotor.

Electrical Connection

Some modern vehicles incorporate advanced brake systems that include electrical components:

  1. Brake Sensors: Many calipers are equipped with sensors that monitor wear levels of the brake pads or the pressure being applied. These sensors provide feedback to the vehicle’s computer system, which can adjust braking dynamics for better control or to alert the driver of potential issues.

  2. Electronic Parking Brake: Some calipers are part of an electronic parking brake system, where the caliper’s functions are controlled by electronic rather than mechanical means. This system offers more precise control and reliability over traditional cable-operated parking brakes.

Main Components of A Brake Caliper

A brake caliper is made up of multiple parts all crucial in effective operation of the brake system. These parts include the caliper and mounting bracket, slide pins, locking bolts, dust boots, brake mounting clips, brake pads and shims, the brake piston with dust boot and seal.

Slide Pin

These pins are greased and allow for proper alignment of the caliper to the brake rotor and still allow for the movement needed under normal driving.

Mounting Bracket

The mounting bracket cannot be removed from the car disc brake unit because the caliper bracket is used to attach the caliper, which will keep the caliper in place will not move.

Brake Piston

The piston brake is positioned inside the caliper, shaped like a tube with a groove end. The piston brake functions to press or push the brake lining to the disc so that the wheel rotation can be lowered or stopped.

Piston Seal

The piston seal is one part of the piston made of brake fluid, so it has heat resistance properties. The piston seal functions to prevent brake fluid leakage that can flow when the brake lever is pressed. The piston seal can help pull the piston back and forth during the braking process.

Brake mounting clip

The clips are designed to push the pad away from the rotor. This can keep the brakes cooler, reduce noise and extend the life of the pad. The clips fit between the pads and rotor and push the pads away from the rotor.

Dust boot

The dust boot seal is formed from a flexible material and has a first end, which engages an outboard end of the cylinder. The dust boot seal is provided to prevent water, dirt, and other contaminants from entering into the recess between the cylinder and the piston.


Materials and Design of Brake Calipers

Brake calipers are made from a variety of materials, each chosen for its properties that contribute to the caliper’s performance, durability, and cost-effectiveness. The design considerations also play a crucial role in ensuring that the caliper functions efficiently under different driving conditions.

Common Materials Used in Brake Calipers

  1. Cast Iron: Widely used due to its good strength and heat dissipation properties. However, it is heavy, which can negatively impact the vehicle’s fuel efficiency and handling.

  2. Cast Aluminum Alloys: Common and affordable, these calipers have mature manufacturing processes and are suitable for daily use but offer average performance and are relatively heavy. They are typically found in mass-produced vehicles.

  3. Forged Aluminum Alloy: Available in hot and cold forging processes, these high-performance calipers offer superior strength, lighter weight, and better heat resistance. They are more expensive and advanced, making them suitable for complex driving conditions.

  4. Titanium Alloy: The lightest and most expensive, these calipers provide the best heat resistance and strength.

Design Considerations

  1. Structural Classification: Two-piece and one-piece calipers each offer distinct advantages and considerations for vehicle braking systems. Two-piece calipers are manufactured separately for each side and CNC machined, then reinforced with multiple bolts at the back to prevent deformation under heavy braking. This design makes them slightly heavier than one-piece calipers. On the other hand, one-piece calipers are CNC machined from a single piece of material, requiring high-performance materials to avoid deformation under similar conditions. While lighter than two-piece calipers, they may suffer from reduced rigidity if the material used is not sufficiently robust.

  2. Number of Pistons: Brake calipers can have different numbers of pistons, such as single, 2, 4, 6, 8, or even 12 pistons. The number of pistons affects the braking force and pedal feel. Generally, 4 or 6 opposing pistons are sufficient for most driving conditions (except for track use). Calipers with 8 or 12 pistons provide a more refined and linear braking feel.

  3. Weight Optimization: The weight of the caliper is a significant factor, especially in performance vehicles, where reducing unsprung mass is crucial for handling and efficiency. Lighter materials like aluminum alloys are often used to minimize weight without compromising the strength.
  4. Heat Dissipation: Effective heat dissipation is vital to prevent brake fade during intense use. Materials with high thermal conductivity and designs that allow for good air circulation around the brake pads and rotors help maintain optimal performance.
  5. Durability and Maintenance: The design must also consider long-term durability and ease of maintenance. This includes features like protective coatings to resist corrosion and mechanisms that allow for easy replacement of brake pads.

How Brake Calipers Are Manufactured

The manufacturing of brake calipers involves several key processes, each critical to ensuring that the final product meets the necessary safety and performance standards. The processes include casting or forging the caliper, machining to precise dimensions, applying surface treatments for corrosion resistance, and conducting thorough quality control checks.

Casting and Forging

Brake calipers are typically made through either casting or forging, depending on the material and the specific requirements of the brake system.

Introduction to the Casting Process

The casting process of automotive brake calipers refers to the manufacturing technique where molten metal (casting alloy) is poured into a mold, solidifies within the mold, and forms the final product. The main steps include:

  1. Mold Making: Before casting, a casting mold must be made. A coating is applied to the surface of the mold to prevent bubbles during the casting process.

  2. Melting the Alloy: The alloy is heated above its melting point to melt it. Metals like manganese, silicon, and phosphorus are added to alloy the metal.

  3. Pouring: The molten metal is poured into the mold at the appropriate temperature and position,then allowed to solidify and cool.

  4. Sandblasting: After casting is completed, a sandblasting machine or other equipment is used to remove residual material from the mold surface.

Key Steps in Casting Process Design

  1. Mold Design: The quality of the mold is crucial to ensure casting quality. The mold should have good durability, high-temperature resistance, and aging resistance. During mold design, factors such as the shape, size, complexity, and material of each part, as well as the melting point of the casting alloy, should be considered.
  2. Optimizing Alloy Composition Design: Optimizing the alloy composition design helps improve casting quality and performance. The casting alloy should have excellent strength, hardness, toughness, and wear resistance. For example, ZL104 alloy, due to its high strength, hardness, and toughness, becomes an ideal material for casting brake calipers.
  3. Temperature Control: Temperature control is crucial. During casting, if the temperature is too high or too low, it will affect the stability of the casting quality. It is also important to maintain uniform mold temperature to prevent deformation.
  4. Pouring: The molten metal is poured into the mold at the appropriate temperature and position, then allowed to solidify and cool.
  5. Sandblasting: After casting is completed, a sandblasting machine or other equipment is used to remove residual material from the mold surface.


Forging involves shaping metal through localized compressive forces. It is less common than casting for calipers but is sometimes used for high-performance applications due to the superior density and strength of forged parts. Forged calipers are particularly valued in racing and heavy-duty vehicles.

Machining Process

After the initial casting or forging, calipers undergo a comprehensive machining process to ensure precise dimensions and smooth operation, essential for optimal braking performance.

  1. Rough Machining: Initially, the rough cast or forged caliper blanks are sent to CNC machining centers. At this stage, rough machining is performed to shape the basic profile of the calipers. This includes the creation of essential features such as the cylinder bore, fluid channels, and bolt holes.

  2. Precision Machining: Following the rough machining, each caliper undergoes precision machining to exact specifications. This critical step ensures that each caliper fits perfectly with the brake rotor and pads. Advanced CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines are utilized for this purpose, allowing for high precision and consistency across multiple units. Tasks during this phase include drilling holes, shaping the channels for the brake pads, and creating mounts for assembly on the vehicle’s wheel hub.

  3. Final Shaping: Additionally, the exterior form of the caliper is finely crafted to meet the required aesthetic and functional specifications. It is during this phase that the caliper truly begins to take shape, transforming from a basic blank into a precisely engineered component ready for further processing and assembly.

Surface Treatment and Corrosion Protection

To extend the life of brake calipers and enhance their performance, surface treatments are applied:

  1. Corrosion Resistance: Calipers are often exposed to harsh conditions, including moisture, dirt, and road salt, which can lead to rust and corrosion. Coatings such as zinc plating, anodizing (for aluminum calipers), or powder coating are applied to protect against these elements.

  2. Aesthetic Finishes: In addition to protective coatings, surface treatments can also enhance the appearance of the calipers. This is particularly valued in the consumer sports car market, where visual customization is important. Calipers can be powder coated in various colors to match or contrast with the vehicle’s color scheme, offering both style and substance. This aesthetic enhancement allows vehicle owners to personalize their ride while ensuring the calipers remain protected from environmental factors.

Assembly Process

Following the surface treatment, the assembly of the brake caliper is a critical step in the manufacturing process. This stage involves fitting various components that are essential for the caliper’s operation.

  1. Component Installation: In addition to the main body of the caliper, several key components must be installed to complete the assembly. These include the piston (oil cylinder), fluid passages (oil channels), seals, metal brackets, and brake pads. Each part plays a crucial role in the functionality of the brake caliper, ensuring that it operates efficiently and reliably.

  2. Manual and Automated Assembly: While some of these components, such as the seals and brake pads, are typically assembled manually to ensure precision and proper fitting, other processes like the installation of the piston are completed using automated machinery. Automation is crucial for this aspect of the assembly because it requires high precision and consistency to ensure the caliper operates effectively under the hydraulic pressure of the braking system.

Quality Control

The final step in the manufacturing process involves rigorous quality control to ensure that each caliper meets the stringent standards required for automotive parts.

  1. Testing for Defects: Calipers are inspected for any manufacturing defects, such as cracks, improper alignment, or faulty pistons. This is often done using X-rays, ultrasonic testing, and magnetic particle inspections.

  2. Performance Testing: Functional tests are conducted to verify that the calipers operate correctly under simulated conditions. This includes testing the movement of the pistons, the fit of the brake pads, and the overall responsiveness of the assembly.

  3. Consistency Checks: Alongside individual testing, statistical methods are employed to ensure consistency and reliability across production batches.

Choice The Tool in The Production Process of Brake Calipers

In the production process of brake calipers, the choice of tools is crucial. Here is a detailed explanation of the tools commonly used and the basis for their selection:

  1. End Mill
    • Use: Used for processing planes, slots, and complex surfaces.
    • Material: High-speed steel (HSS) or carbide.
    • Features: Carbide end mills have high wear resistance and heat resistance, suitable for processing high-hardness materials.

  2. Drill Bit
    • Use: Used for drilling holes and deep hole processing.
    • Material: High-speed steel (HSS) or carbide.
    • Features: Carbide drill bits are suitable for high-speed and high-precision drilling, especially when processing aluminum alloys and steels.

  3. Turning Tool
    • Use: Used for turning operations such as external, internal, and end face turning.
    • Material: Carbide, ceramic, or diamond.
    • Features: Carbide turning tools are suitable for high-speed cutting, while ceramic and diamond tools are suitable for precision machining of extremely hard materials.

  4. Boring Tool
    • Use: Used for precise internal hole processing.
    • Material: Carbide.
    • Features: Boring tools can process high-precision hole diameters, suitable for machining requirements that need high precision and surface finish.

  5. Milling Cutter
    • Use: Used for processing planes, grooves, and tooth shapes.
    • Material: Carbide or ceramic.
    • Features: Carbide milling cutters are wear-resistant and suitable for high-speed machining.

  6. Taps and Dies
    • Use: Used for internal and external thread processing.
    • Material: High-speed steel (HSS) or carbide.
    • Features: Carbide taps and dies can produce high-precision threads.

When selecting tools, the following factors should be considered:

  1. Material: The hardness and toughness of the material being processed directly affect the choice of tools. High-hardness materials are suitable for carbide or ceramic tools.

  2. Processing Procedure: Different processing procedures require different shapes and performances of tools.

  3. Processing Precision and Surface Quality: High-precision and high-surface-quality processing requires high-performance tools.

  4. Production Efficiency: Efficient processing requires tools suitable for high-speed cutting.

Choosing the right tools according to specific processing needs and process requirements can improve processing efficiency, extend tool life, and ensure processing quality.

Impact of Each Tool on Brake Caliper Production

  1. End Mill
    • Impact: Used for processing the plane, slot, and complex surfaces of brake calipers. Choosing the right end mill can improve processing efficiency and surface finish, reducing the need for secondary processing.
    • Advantages: High-speed steel end mills are suitable for general materials, while carbide end mills are suitable for high-hardness materials and high-precision processing.

  2. Drill Bit
    • Impact: Used for hole processing in brake calipers, affecting hole precision and surface quality. High-quality drill bits can reduce hole deviation, increase processing speed, and reduce defect rates.
    • Advantages: Carbide drill bits have a longer service life and higher processing precision, suitable for efficient mass production.

  3. Turning Tool
    • Impact: Used for external, internal, and end face turning of brake calipers. Correctly selecting turning tools can improve processing precision and surface quality, reducing the workload of subsequent processes.
    • Advantages: Carbide turning tools are suitable for high-hardness materials, while ceramic and diamond tools are suitable for high-precision and high-smoothness requirements.

  4. Boring Tool
    • Impact: Used for precise internal hole processing of brake calipers, directly affecting hole diameter precision and coaxiality. High-quality boring tools can reduce processing time and improve hole precision and consistency.
    • Advantages: Carbide boring tools are suitable for high-precision internal hole processing, improving production efficiency and product quality.

  5. Milling Cutter
    • Impact: Used for processing planes, grooves, and tooth shapes of brake calipers. Choosing the right milling cutter can improve processing stability and efficiency, ensuring the precise dimensions and smooth surfaces of the processed parts.
    • Advantages: Carbide milling cutters are wear-resistant and suitable for high-speed cutting, significantly improving production efficiency.

  6. Taps and Dies
    • Impact: Used for thread processing of brake calipers. High-precision taps and dies can ensure thread precision and smoothness, reducing thread connection loosening and wear.
    • Advantages: Carbide taps and dies are suitable for high-precision thread processing, extending tool life, reducing replacement frequency, and improving production continuity.


  1. Processing Efficiency: High-performance tools (such as carbide tools) usually have higher cutting speeds and longer service lives, significantly improving production efficiency.

  2. Processing Precision and Surface Quality: Precision tools (such as boring tools, carbide end mills) can improve processing precision and surface finish, reducing the need for secondary processing and finishing.

  3. Cost-Effectiveness: Although high-performance tools have higher initial costs, their long service life and high processing efficiency result in higher overall cost-effectiveness.

  4. Production Stability: Choosing the right tools can reduce processing issues, improving the stability of the production line and the consistency of products.

Signs of Potential Brake Caliper Failure

While brake pads and rotors are frequently damaged, calipers do not need to be replaced often. The primary reason for worn-out calipers is due to driving an automobile on worn-out pads or twisted rotors. This can hinder the system’s ability to dissipate frictional heat, leading to wear and degradation.

As a result, if a brake pad cannot shield the caliper from excessive heat and the piston is wrecked, heat can reach the brake fluid, degrading its quality and potentially resulting in brake failure. Moreover, torn-out or degraded pistons can stick in a single position, applying a constant brake to the wheels until the problem is resolved.

Before a brake caliper fails, there are often warning signs that can provide clues that they need to be checked, repaired, or replaced:

  1. Vehicle Pulling to One Side: When the brakes are engaged, a retracted piston can cause the vehicle to pull toward the side with the engaged brake, negatively affecting braking distance.

  2. Rapid Brake Pad Wear: A clogged caliper can cause brake pads to erode quickly. Clogged calipers generate excessive heat, increasing wear on the brake pads. Without immediate servicing, this clogging can lead to caliper failure.
  3. Brake Fluid Leak: A broken piston can cause a brake fluid leak. If there is a leak, a warning light will appear on the dashboard, indicating that the brakes should be inspected by a professional.

  4. Uneven Brake Pad Wear: During routine maintenance, inspect the wear on brake pads by comparing both sides of the rotor or contrasting one wheel against another. Uneven wear may indicate that the calipers require servicing.

  5. Excessive Brake Dust: A cloud of brake dust or excessive brake dust may mean you have a seized caliper. If the piston is locked onto the brake pad, it may feel as though the brake is compressed while driving or may even prevent the vehicle from moving.

  6. High-Pitched Squeal: A high-pitched squeal when braking can indicate trouble, as this could mean defective or frozen brake calipers. It is essential to take your vehicle to a repair shop because further damage can cause the brakes to lock completely.

  7. Clunking Sound: Hearing a clunking sound when engaging the brakes can mean that the brackets holding the calipers in place may be broken or defective. This is uncommon, but if it happens, do not drive the vehicle as the brakes could lock up entirely.

What causes brake calipers to stick?

Brake calipers may stick due to various reasons. One of the most common causes is rust build-up on the caliper guide pins. Rust can seize up the moving parts of the caliper, making it difficult for them to slide back and forth properly.

Another reason could be the brake pads that have worn down unevenly, causing the caliper to tilt and get stuck. This can result in a reduction of braking power, which can make it more challenging to stop a vehicle quickly.

The brake fluid may also be a factor if it has become contaminated with dirt or moisture, which can cause corrosion inside the caliper, leading to a sticky piston.

Lastly, in some cases, the caliper itself may simply be worn out or damaged, causing it to malfunction when brakes are applied. Regular brake inspections and maintenance can help prevent these issues, but prompt repairs are necessary if a problem arises.

How Often Do You Need to Replace Brake Calipers?

Brake calipers are designed to be durable, but they do not last forever. The frequency of replacement depends on various factors including driving habits, vehicle type, and the conditions in which the vehicle is driven. However, unlike brake pads or rotors that have a more predictable replacement schedule, calipers can often last much longer.

General Guidelines

  • Typical Lifespan: Brake calipers can typically last between 120,000 to 160,000 km(75,000 to 100,000 miles) under normal driving conditions. However, this can vary widely based on how the vehicle is used. For example, frequent driving in heavy traffic or mountainous areas, where braking is more intense and frequent, may lead to earlier wear.

Factors Influencing Replacement

  • Symptoms of Failure: As discussed previously, symptoms such as uneven pad wear, leaking fluid, vehicle pulling to one side during braking, or abnormal noises can indicate that the calipers may need to be inspected and possibly replaced.

  • Routine Checks: It is often during routine brake service (like changing brake pads or rotors) that issues with calipers are identified. Mechanics can spot signs of wear or damage such as corrosion or seized parts during these inspections.

Preventative Maintenance

  • Regular Servicing: To extend the life of your brake calipers, regular maintenance of the entire braking system is crucial. This includes changing the brake fluid at intervals recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer, as brake fluid can absorb moisture over time, which can corrode caliper components.

Replacement Recommendations

  • Consult Your Mechanic: If you are experiencing any issues with your brakes, or during routine maintenance, it’s wise to consult with a professional mechanic who can provide advice specific to your vehicle and its usage.

Should brake calipers be replaced in pairs?

When one brake caliper fails or wears out, whether to replace it alone or in pairs arises. The general consensus among car manufacturers and mechanics is that replacing brake calipers in pairs is best for several reasons.

First, replacing both calipers ensures that they have matching levels of wear, preventing uneven braking performance.

Second, replacing one brake caliper and leaving the other old one can create an imbalanced brake system that affects the vehicle’s handling and safety.

Finally, replacing both calipers simultaneously saves time and money in the long run, as the labor cost of replacing one caliper is nearly identical to replacing two. Therefore, replacing brake calipers in pairs is recommended to maintain safe and proper braking performance.

Considerations When Buying Brake Calipers

When it comes time to purchase new brake calipers, several factors should be considered to ensure you select the right components for your vehicle and driving needs. Here are key considerations to guide your purchase:

Compatibility with Your Vehicle

  • Make and Model: Ensure the calipers are specifically designed for your vehicle’s make, model, and year. This guarantees that the calipers will fit properly and function as intended, maintaining the safety and performance standards set by the manufacturer.

  • Type of Caliper: Determine whether your vehicle requires fixed or floating calipers based on the original equipment specifications or your personal driving needs.

Material and Quality

  • Material Choices: Brake calipers are typically made from cast iron or aluminum, but high-performance options like carbon fiber are also available. Consider the material’s impact on durability, performance, and cost.

  • Manufacturer Reputation: Opt for calipers from reputable manufacturers to ensure high quality. Well-known brands often provide better assurance of quality and performance, backed by warranties and customer service.

Performance Needs

  • Driving Conditions: Consider the typical driving conditions you face. If you regularly drive in harsh conditions or engage in performance driving, look for calipers that offer enhanced performance and durability.

  • Upgrade Options: For those looking to enhance their vehicle’s performance, consider upgrading to a high-performance caliper that offers better handling and shorter stopping distances than standard calipers.


  • Budget: Brake calipers can vary significantly in price. Determine your budget beforehand but remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best in terms of long-term value and safety.

  • Cost vs. Value: Weigh the initial cost against the expected lifespan and performance benefits. Investing in higher-quality calipers might offer better value over time through extended durability and improved safety.

Warranty and Support

  • Warranty: Check if the calipers come with a warranty that covers defects and potential issues. A good warranty can provide peace of mind and protection against manufacturing defects.

  • Support: Consider the manufacturer’s customer support services, including availability of replacement parts and technical assistance.


  • Professional Installation: While some enthusiasts might opt to install brake calipers themselves, professional installation is recommended to ensure that they are installed correctly and safely. Verify if the purchase includes installation or if it will be an additional cost.

What to Look for in a Brake Manufacturer/Supplier

Selecting the right brake manufacturer or supplier is crucial for ensuring the quality and reliability of the brake components you purchase, especially brake calipers. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a manufacturer or supplier for your braking system needs:

Reputation and Experience

  • Industry Reputation: Look for a manufacturer or supplier with a strong reputation in the automotive industry. Established companies are more likely to provide high-quality products that meet or exceed regulatory standards.

  • Experience: Consider how long the manufacturer has been in business and their experience in producing brake components. Companies with a long history in the field are typically more reliable and have well-refined manufacturing processes.

Quality of Products

  • Certifications: Check if the manufacturer’s products are certified by relevant automotive standards organizations, such as ISO (International Organization for Standardization) or SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers). These certifications are a good indicator of quality and safety.

  • Material Quality: Ensure that the manufacturer uses high-quality materials that can withstand the rigors of their intended use, particularly for critical parts like brake calipers.

Product Range

  • Variety of Products: A supplier with a broad range of products can be advantageous, especially if you require specific types of brake calipers or are managing a fleet of different vehicles. This also indicates their capability in the industry.

  • Availability of Parts: Ensure that the manufacturer or supplier consistently has stock available, or can quickly fulfill orders, to avoid downtime or delays in maintenance schedules.

Innovation and Technological Advancements

  • Research and Development: Manufacturers that invest in research and development are often at the forefront of new technologies and improvements in brake technology. Choosing a supplier that is innovative can provide you access to the latest advancements in braking performance and safety.

  • Technological Features: Look for additional features that enhance performance, such as advanced coating technologies or innovative designs that improve heat dissipation and reduce wear.

Customer Service and Support

  • Technical Support: Good customer service, including comprehensive technical support, is crucial. This ensures that you can get assistance during the installation process or with any issues that may arise post-purchase.

  • Training and Resources: Some manufacturers offer training sessions, manuals, and online resources to help customers better understand and use their products. This can be especially valuable if you’re dealing with complex or high-performance braking systems.

Pricing and Warranty

  • Competitive Pricing: While price shouldn’t be the only factor, it is important to consider. Look for manufacturers who offer competitive prices without compromising on quality.

  • Warranty Terms: Check the warranty terms offered by the manufacturer. A robust warranty can protect your investment and provide peace of mind.


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