5 Signs That Point To A Bad Brake Caliper
A faulty brake caliper can present itself in many ways.
Here are some of the most frequent signs:
1. Leaking Brake Calipers
A broken or faulty caliper piston seal can lead to a brake fluid leak inside the old caliper.
It can affect your brake system performance and eventually result in bad brake control.
2. Vehicle Veers Off To One Side While Driving
If you notice your vehicle steering to one side of the road when you press the brake pedal, it’s probably a problematic caliper.
It could be because you have uneven wear on your brake pads (in disc brakes) caused by a stuck caliper piston. It could also be because you have failing brake calipers that are not exerting sufficient, uniform braking pressure on both sides.
3. Brake Noise
A damaged brake caliper can cause the brake pads to drag against the brake rotor (brake discs) — for instance, when there’s a stuck caliper piston.
This can produce excess brake dust that may stick to the car’s tires, brake caliper, and brake rotor. While brake dust is a normal byproduct of the braking process, an excessive amount can create squealing noises or an uneven rotor surface that generates vibrations while braking.
On top of that, if your brake pads are getting old, the backing plates (that are situated behind the brake pads) may start grinding against brake rotors, damaging them.
While brake noise may not be a direct symptom of failing brake calipers, it’s best to get your brake system checked if you ever encounter these.
4. The Brake Pedal Feels Soft
A soft or spongy brake pedal is when you feel the brake pedal’s pressure change when applying the brakes. There may also be little to no resistance in the brakes, and the pedal may keep sinking.
This could be due to a seized caliper piston that creates excessive clearance between the brake pad and the brake rotor.
It’s also possible that you have a damaged brake line or there’s air in the brake fluid. Whatever the case, if your brake pedal feels weird, it’s best to consult a mechanic and get your brake parts checked.
Faulty brake calipers can eventually damage the master cylinder and the rest of the braking system.
5. Warning Lights Turn Up
Most cars are equipped with a built-in warning light that’ll alert you if there’s any problem with the braking system. However, it’d be tricky to determine if the problem is with your brake calipers or some other brake part.
So, if any of the previous signs show up along with your warning lights, it’s probably your brake calipers. In this case, get your braking system checked by your mechanic to identify the problem.