The Ultimate Guide to Calipers from

The Ultimate Guide to Calipers from

When it comes to the braking system of a car, calipers play a crucial role in ensuring safe and efficient operation. But what exactly are calipers and how do they work within the brake system?

What are Calipers?

Calipers are a key component of a car's disc brake system. They are responsible for applying pressure to the brake pads, which then make contact with the rotor to slow down or stop the vehicle. Calipers are typically made of metal and come in different types, including floating calipers and fixed calipers.

How do Calipers Work?

When the driver presses the brake pedal, hydraulic pressure is generated in the brake lines. This pressure is then transferred to the calipers, causing them to squeeze the brake pads against the rotor. The friction between the pads and the rotor creates the necessary force to slow down or stop the vehicle.

Types of Calipers

Floating calipers have pistons on only one side of the caliper, which allows the caliper to move laterally to apply pressure evenly on both sides of the rotor. Fixed calipers, on the other hand, have pistons on both sides of the caliper and do not move. This design provides more consistent braking performance and better heat dissipation.

Signs of Caliper Issues

If you notice any of the following signs, it may indicate a problem with the calipers in your car's brake system:

  • Uneven brake pad wear
  • Brake fluid leaks around the calipers
  • Squealing or grinding noises when braking
  • Vehicle pulling to one side when braking
It is important to address any caliper issues promptly to ensure the safety and performance of your vehicle.


Understanding the role of calipers in a car's brake system is essential for maintaining the overall health of your vehicle. By knowing how calipers work and recognizing signs of potential issues, you can stay safe on the road and keep your car running smoothly.