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Can Brake Caliper Cause Vibration?

Published by: Mark
Date of Publish:

Brake calipers can be specified as one of the important components of the brake system of a car. These kinds of calipers are found on either side of each wheel. However, its main function is to squeeze the pads of the brakes against the rotors. It slows down the spinning motion of the wheel which results in reducing the speed of the wheel. The brake caliper works on establishing friction with the brake rotors. To be very specific the brake calipers create a hydraulic pressure on the pistons and this particular force insists the pads seize the working capacity of the rotors. 

can brake caliper cause vibration

The article is presented in front of the audience to give them all kinds of ideas about a brake caliper. Apart from its function, its working power and capacity will also be explained in the upcoming segments of the blog. 

Caliper Can Cause Vibration- Explained

Why does the brake caliper cause vibration? However, you are in the right segment to get the answer. Firstly, this mainly happens when the driver pushes the brake pads against the brake rotors. However, this kind of vibration in the brake caliper can happen if the item is not cleaned correctly or due to the disposition of a thick layer of dirt.

Secondly, if the tires of the cars are unstable because of the shaking of steering wheels, these kinds of vibrations are common. However, this condition is expected when the vehicle is 50-55 miles per hour (mph).  Nonetheless, the vibration can get worse if the speed goes up to 60 mph. Except for the above condition, if the steering wheels shake usually, vibration can be felt.

Lastly, if the brake calipers stick on, the vibration is observed. Because of this, a burning odor can also be experienced after stopping the ride. The faster the driver will drive the car, the more the condition will get disastrous. This happens when you apply brakes too tightly or too frequently, which causes excess heat due to friction to be produced. The heat cannot escape the braking system quickly and easily if the ambient temperature is hot too. As a result, heat builds up, causing overheating if brakes are applied too hard. This leads to a burning odor, which is also an initial sign of a potential brake failure. For more info about brake caliper, please refer to Do you really know your brake caliper

Why Calipers Are Sticking?

The most common cause of sticking the calipers is because of gluing with the caliper piston and the brake hose. However, the caliper piston contains a rubber boot that acts as a lubricant and protects the part. If this protector gets destroyed or torn, the rubber turns up as junk and causes rusting inside the compiler brakes. To be precise, this condition can lead to finishing off the sliding abilities of the pistons. Nonetheless, the sticking of caliper brakes can also happen because of aging.

Moreover, a sticking caliper is also a result of the weather. When the water sits between the brake pads and calipers, it can temporarily cause the caliper to stick. That can cause a massive misbalance while driving. Furthermore, overheating can cause calipers to misbehave, which includes attaching. Overheating calipers are possible either due to high RPM of the wheels, excess use of brakes in a short time, etc. Some assume excess heat or high temperature can damage the calipers, causing them to stick. This is not proven yet. Calipers might not attach during the initial driving session but may start sticking after a while. That indicates problems in the brake pads, forcing the calipers to jam or stick when applying brakes.

Fixing A Faulty Caliper That’s Causing Vibrations

You might choose to DIY or take your car to the garage for fixtures. DIY demands owning all the tools, which can attract heavy expenses if you have to buy them from the hardware store. Furthermore, fixing a faulty caliper can be done in two ways- either complete replacement or finding what’s causing the issue and fixing it. Please remembers that a faulty caliper can also be due to a faulty brake pad, etc. and you might end up changing other parts in addition to calipers. So be prepared for potential expenses if other parts are causing the issue.

It's very necessary to change the fluid of the brake wishing 1-3 years. As this prevents the brakes from getting rust. Cleaning the brake pads, guide pins, and pistons are extremely important for a smooth ride. It is important to clean those elements at least every 2-3rd years. However, replacement of the pads, discs or pistons can also be an option. 

Additionally, hard brakes should be avoided by drivers at high speeds. The above paragraph already mentioned how high speed can put pressure on the caliper brake. So it's very important to drive within a perfect speed range. Generally, people don't use the parking brakes. Usage of the parking brake, even in the automatic transmission, is crucial. Avoiding the parking brakes for a long time can cause the adhesion of the cables.

For detailed fixing steps, please refer to How to know if you need a new brake caliper

Other Potential Reasons For Vibration

One of the above sections of the blog speaks about the main and important reasons why vibration is experienced. However, this section will specify some more reasons for this cause. The first and foremost reason for the distorted rotors. The material causes friction against the rotors and is not generally released fully when the driver removes his foot. This causes slide friction which results in the rotation of the wheels. Along with this, if the pads of the car are dragged on the rotor for a long period of time then this can damage the pads. 

In other cases, to create smoothness, the warped rotors can be machined on a brake lathe. However, this stops the vibration, and to cure it, the replacement of the rotor is much more important. A misfiring piston of the calipers can also be the culprit. Sometimes when the caliper squeezes the brake pads, the piston can misfire, causing the entire braking system to either fail or indicate something wrong in the form of vibration.

Sometimes some tiny gravel or pebbles might get stuck between the calipers too. Even if it’s a rare case, it doesn’t rule out the possibility that such a thing can happen. When gravel somehow gets stuck between the calipers and the brake pads, it can cause vibrations since the brake pads won’t squeeze precisely as they should.

Should I Replace my Brake Calipers Then?

It's unnecessary if anyone thinks of replacing the brake calipers. It will be better if people think of replacing it unless either of them is not working. However, the rear disc doesn't have much impact, so people can avoid replacing it for an extended period unless necessary. This kind of brake only has a 30% effect on the vehicle's capacity. 

Brakes are one of the most crucial parts of the car and for the safety of the seaters. The disc brake system helps the vehicle to slow down its speed. So it's better to provide a nice servicing procedure and should be changed entirely after it gets damaged. 

If it stops working, we recommend replacing the brake caliper as soon as possible. For details on how to determine whether it needs to be replaced, please refer to how to know if you need a new brake caliper

Should I Replace All 4 Calipers?

It's not at all necessary to change all the brake calipers if one gets damaged. If any one of the calipers worsens, the driver can use either one to have smooth and safe driving. Additionally, the driver doesn't have to replace all the pairs of front brake calipers. 

If the driver desires to change the caliper, then it is necessary to change them in pairs. This is because replacing any of the calipers will disturb the hydraulic force, and thus the frictional force of the calipers won't be the same on both sides.

Best Material For Brake Calipers

Traditionally, the brake calipers were made up of ductile iron. But nowadays, those are made up of aluminum as it lowers the weight by almost 40% and provides mechanical stiffness to the brake calipers.

Moreover, cast iron calipers are highly prevalent, owing to their cost-effectiveness. They won’t rust so easily, provided they’re well coated. They’re highly durable and are replaced on rare occasions. Aluminum calipers are adequate but not as much as cast iron.

New material came to light in 2016 when scientists used thermoplastic to make a set of calipers. Those calipers left tremendous results during the early stages of their development, which proved thermoplastic to be a perfect alternate for brake calipers. The material can resist temperature and remains stable at one temperature.

Moreover, being lighter than aluminum made it the lightest material for brake calipers while still offering the same stability and performance. However, it’s still plastic and fails to provide performance in the long run. As a result, thermoplastic calipers need to be changed faster than other materials.



Every paragraph of the article depicts minute information about brake calipers. Starting from how the vibrations are caused, how anyone can prevent them, and so on. Hopefully, this blog will give readers a clear idea about when one should change the brake calipers and why.

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