You usually don’t think of brake calipers when you think of problems with your car. But your calipers are one of the most critical parts of your braking system.
If you ignore problem signs, you’re asking for trouble. Below are four signs that your brake calipers are going bad.
1. Leaking Brake Fluid
Your calipers need brake fluid to operate correctly. Brake fluid helps your calipers run the brake pistons. If the rubber seals on your calipers get worn out, they can start to leak.
When your fluid leaks like this, it can decrease the sealing pressure of your brakes. Lower sealing pressure will reduce your braking power and will make it harder to stop your vehicle. You may need brake caliper replacement when this happens.
2. Squealing Noises
Noisy brakes are one of the signs that your brake pads are going bad. This noise usually occurs when you have them pressed down.
But this isn’t the case with brake calipers. If your calipers are freezing up, you’ll hear this sound when you aren’t using your brakes. If you let this problem go for too long, it could lead to your brakes freezing up completely.
3. Car Pulls to One Side
Your brakes have pistons that engage whenever you push your brake pedal down. If your caliper freezes up, your brake pistons won’t be able to retract once you let off your brake.
When your pistons can’t retract, it creates a drag on the affected wheel. The drag on your wheel causes it to travel slower than the wheels that don’t have that problem. This causes your car to pull to one side.
4. Always Engaged Brakes
Does it feel like your brakes are always engaged? You’ll notice this if it seems like it takes more work for your car to go faster and drags when you get to the speed you want. In cases like this, you may have dirt and grime stuck on your brake calipers.
If your calipers have dirt on them, your brake pads may not fully release when you take your foot off the brake pedal. This causes your brakes to stay engaged and create drag for your car when you’re driving it.
Don’t Ignore Failing Brakes
Your brakes are one part of your car that you can’t ignore when problems come up. The last thing you want is to be unable to stop when another vehicle is in front of you. If you see any of the signs above, get your brakes inspected as soon as you can.