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Q: How safe is it to drive with a torn caliper boot?

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I noticed a tear on my front caliper piston boot while replacing the pads. It's about 1/4" long. Is it safe to drive like this? Do I need to replace the caliper or can I repair it?

My car has 78000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello, thanks for writing in to YourMechani...

Hello, thanks for writing in to YourMechanic. If the caliper boot is torn open then you will get dirt, debris, water, and road salts in the caliper piston surface. The caliper may seize or tear the caliper piston seal causing a loss of brake fluid. Loosing pressure and fluid in the brakes could cause a dangerous situation on the road. If you'd like to get this repaired at your home or office, I recommend having brake caliper assembly replaced by one of our mobile technicians.

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