4 Signs That You Have A Bad Brake Caliper

When it comes to your vehicle's brake system, the most common parts that people are aware of are the pads and rotors. Those are not the only parts of the system, though. Another critical component is the brake caliper.

When you apply your brakes, the booster amplifies that force and transmits that force to a piston in the master cylinder, squeezing out brake fluid into the brake lines, forcing the calipers to squeeze the rotors onto the pads. The calipers are what allow your rotors and pads to connect and slow down your vehicle. Calipers are designed to last a long time; however, they could wear out if you have a high mileage vehicle.

Sign #1: Pulling to One Side

When you are driving, you will feel your vehicle pulling to one side. This happens when the piston that controls the caliper freezes up. If the piston freezes up and causes the pad to not release from the rotor, this will cause your vehicle to pull to the side where the damaged caliper is located. If the piston freezes up when the pad is still connected to the rotor, your vehicle will pull in the direction away from the damaged side.

Sign #2: Metallic Rubbing Noise 

When the caliper fails, you may notice your vehicle making a strange, high-pitched noise. This is not going to be a constant noise; it will only occur when you are driving. It is going to be different than the sound when your pads are wearing out. If you hear a strange high-pitched noise when driving, you will want to get that checked out right away.

Sign #3: Uneven Pad Wear

Next, your brake pads should wear at pretty even rates on all sides. However, when the caliper is malfunctioning, the pad on the side with the malfunctioning caliper will experience wear at a faster rate than it should. If you regularly check out your brake pads, and you notice one is getting thinner than the rest, you will want to figure out why that is happening.

Sign #4: Clunking Sound

Finally, when you are driving, you should never hear a clunking sound. If you start to hear a loud clunking sound, that is because the bracket that actually holds the caliper in place is faulty, and this causes a loud clunking sound. It is loud and unmistakable. If you hear that sound, you should not drive your vehicle. That sound means that your brakes have locked up, and driving your vehicle will put you at serious risk of an accident.

If you see the signs that brake calipers are malfunctioning, you will want to take your vehicle in right away. If the calipers freeze up and get stuck, your brakes will lock up completely, putting you in a hazardous situation. For more information about servicing your car, contact a local auto service center, like a Ford service center.