Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Do Brake Calipers Last?

Lifetime of Brake Calipers

Calipers are an essential part of the braking system of any vehicle. The calipers press the brake pads against the surface of the rotor to slow or stop the vehicle. The two types of calipers, fixed and floating, are different only in how they are attached.

Fixed calipers are attached firmly to the steering knuckle and spindle. They provide a more evenly distributed braking experience, leading to a smoother feel for the vehicle operator. As they are more expensive but don’t provide a significant operational benefit, they are only used on high-end cars.

Floating calipers sit within caliper brackets, but aren’t fixed into the brackets. Floating calipers are cheaper, lighter, and use fewer parts than fixed calipers. Because there are fewer parts, the floating calipers are less likely to fail prematurely.

Problems with brake calipers

The calipers themselves can last for the entire life of the car if taken care of properly. While the rotors and pads of a brake system will have normal wear from use, and need to be changed with some regularity, the calipers do not unless there is a mechanical problem with them. Most problems that arise with a brake caliper are a result of inactivity and debris:

  • Inactivity: If a vehicle sits for an extended period of time, the caliper may stick.

  • If the vehicle is exposed to the elements, debris may collect in the braking system.

If the brakes seem to pull on one side, or the brake does not release completely when you take your foot off of the brake pedal, the brake calipers should be inspected or replaced by a licensed mechanic. Problems with the brake calipers will affect the rest of the braking system, causing brake pads to drag or corrode.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...


Related questions

Q: Grinding noise when brake is applied

A grinding noise can be the brake pad material or the pads worn down to metal. The shaking when you brake is most likely the front rotors being warped. Sometimes the rotors will feel okay during light braking, but will...

Q: ABS light comes on when pushing brake.

The problem you are having is not very common. However, based on your description it could be only a couple things. First off, the ABS Light is controlled by the ABS control module. The module gets inputs from various sensors...

Q: Front end shaking when braking

I have seen this many times before. Warped rotors are a common issue. The rotors are a machined metal surface that the brake pads ride on. If this surface gets warped the vibrating/pulsating sensation when you brake is how it...