How Calipers Work Within Your Car’s Braking System
Every Component Matters
When it comes to your vehicle’s braking ability, failure is not an option. You know that your car has a braking system. That system is a cavalry of parts working together to achieve a single function, stopping your car. Therefore, every component matters. To make sure that all parts of the whole are in good working order, rely on West Automotive Group in El Cajon, California, for all your brake repair needs. Our ASE and ATRA certified technicians will ensure that your transportation is as safe as it can be. What’s more, we back our work with a generous warranty and even offer discounts on our Specials page.
A Quick Review of the Braking System
Your auto’s brakes work using a few concepts you probably studied in science class, like friction and hydraulics. When you press the brake pedal, a level and piston act on the master cylinder, the reservoir for the brake fluid. As the pressure inside the master cylinder increases, the brake fluid is forced through lines or hoses toward each wheel where there is another cylinder. That’s the hydraulic principle. The small amount of force you apply to the pedal multiplies to a much greater amount by the time it reaches each wheel. This force moves the brake parts so that they create friction between themselves and other metal components to slow the car. Most modern automobiles have disc brakes on at least two wheels (the front). The force of the brake fluid moves the caliper that attaches to the brake pad. As the pad contacts the disc for each wheel, friction stops the vehicle. Many older cars and often the back wheels of newer ones have drum brakes. They also work through friction. The difference, however, is that a drum turns inside the wheel. Metal brake shoes are pushed into contact with the drum’s interior surface to reduce speed.
Brake Calipers: Description and Function
As described, brake calipers are a component of disc brakes. A caliper is shaped slightly like a taco shell (the pre-formed crunchy kind) and fits over and around the area where the disc turns. Calipers hold pistons and pads. As pressure is applied, the caliper functions like a clamp, forcing the pads against the disc (rotor). Over time and through encounters with dirt and debris, calipers can wear. Seals can fail, allowing fluid to leak, or the caliper can also become stuck, meaning that it cannot move the pad, and you smell a burning odor. Before this happens, get your braking system checked and serviced as needed or repaired if necessary at West Automotive Group in El Cajon, CA.