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

The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...


Related questions

Q: Burning plastic-like smell when braked for more than 10-20 seconds

If the odor is coming from your car (as opposed to perhaps surrounding cars which can happen) and you are only detecting the odor on application of the brakes, a possibility is the brake caliper is failing to retract and...

Q: Brake calipers sticking and car hard to turn.

The front upper and lower ball joints may need to be replaced and causing the steering to bind. Also have the tie rod ends checked. The caliper pistons or the caliper slides are binding. The caliper will need to be...

Q: Steering shimmying while braking.

The shimmy you are feeling is the brake rotors are warped. I would recommend you have your brakes completely inspected for problems and replace all defective brake parts. The most common fix would be to replace the rotors and brake...