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

How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP)...


Related questions

Q: Brake Pulsation

If you are getting a pulsation only at high speed and stopping fast is going to be the brake rotors have a slight warpage or have hot spots on the rotors. You would need to replace the rotors and the...

Q: Brakes and Pads

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK350. You can get a quote for brake pads replacement on YourMechanic's website. The quote will be generated based on your car's make, model, and year. If YourMechanic does not...

Q: My car is vibrating and shaking; is this related to the brakes and rotors?

What you're describing may be a sign of warped brake rotors. As you may know, when you press on your brake pedal, this activates a hydraulic pressure that forces small pistons inside your brake calipers to push the brake pads...