As a person who drives, you must be aware of the importance of the brake pedals and the gas pedal. This article will teach you about brake pedals, specifically the brake caliper. A brake caliper is an important part of the braking system in your car. If you don’t change your brake calipers after they’ve been used for a while you might get into an accident due to imbalance. To understand more about brake calipers you’d have to know where you can find the brake calipers in the car. You can find more in Do you really know your brake caliper
Pairs of the caliper are based on the position of the neighboring systems. The front pair is installed based on the steering rack. The rear pair is installed based on suspension arm placement.
Most drivers tend to wonder if the placement of the caliper can be changed. Unfortunately, or fortunately, changing the position is not recommended. Changing the position of the caliper will do no justice to the system or provide any other benefit over the initial placement by the manufacturer. While there are multiple placements present, it is important to ensure that the bleed screw orientation is in the 12:00 position.
In technical terms, suspension systems are made to reduce the degree of jerks when the car runs through bumps on the road. In terms of any changes in the caliper placement, a technician is likely to place the suspension equipment first- this priority given to the suspension components improves its performance, reducing the extent of bounce felt during car journeys. You wouldn’t have to hold on tight every time you see a hump on the road after this little change.
When you decide to change it, please refer to A guide to brake caliper system for automotive
The number of cars you can see on the road today is immaculate. These different cars are built for different terrains thus. Inevitably, there will be different caliper positions. People that prefer smooth journeys on highways or well-constructed roads usually take home a sedan. These cars have a usual caliper position that isn’t efficient enough for sudden breaks. Another commonly found car type is an SUV- these cars often are bought by people who love adventure car rides. It is more comfortable than a sedan for long travels on bad, irregular roads. The alternative caliper position gives SUV’s a better suspension than sedans. This allows the vehicle to apply swift breaks at any point in time. Contrary to these cars, trucks tend to have a unique caliper position that doesn’t allow them to have a perfect suspension system. This is why most transport authorities advise maintaining distance from trucks, as these vehicles are often unable to apply brakes.
The caliper is situated in one of the most active parts of any vehicle. This means ample factors need to be considered before a caliper is placed. One of the crucial factors is weight distribution. It co-relates with the center of gravity. This aspect is crucial as it makes the body of the car stable. Different positions help achieve a low center of gravity. However, some have their disadvantages. A commonly used or considered position is the 3 and 9 ‘o’clock one. Brakes that perform well generally produce more heat- the air outside is often used to cool the system down. If calipers were positioned irregularly, they would interrupt the airflow. This simple condition is named aerodynamics. Other factors, such as suspension and vehicle type, are co-related. If the vehicle type is suited for rough terrains, the calipers are likely positioned differently for better suspension. A poor suspension system is usually used for vehicle types like Sedans. Another major and crucial factor a manufacturer considers is the cost. Yes- the cost plays a crucial role in the placement of calipers. Different locations in the car have different prices. Manufacturers usually use spots that allow for increased efficiency at cheaper rates.
With many trials being performed, most manufacturers have concluded that caliper placement doesn’t improve or increase braking life. Caliper Placement is linked with other parts of the system, including the one for braking. Due to its involvement in other aspects, it can’t be guaranteed that a particular placement will improve braking life. Until the calipers' aerodynamics of cooling the discs is not interrupted, any placement will particularly be for the benefit of the braking life.
Of course! Unlike a few other parts in the car system, the position of this caliper can be changed. The most used position includes 3, 6,9, and 12 ‘ o’clock. Some of these positions have a few disadvantages. The 12 ‘o’clock position leads to difficulties in bleeding and increases the center of gravity. While it is acceptable to change the position of your caliper, it is important to ensure that the change doesn’t cause a hassle to the car system.
If you change your caliper position, you can become your mechanic and try the process. You can try a couple of new positions, so keenly research and identify the best alternative for your vehicle type. The DIY process on its own is relatively easy. Lift your vehicle with a jack before which, ensure your car is parked on a flat surface. The next step would be to unscrew and remove the wheel for which the position is to be changed. Proceed to remove the bolts, followed by the braking system. You will have to remove the other bolts securing the caliper bracket. After which, you are free to move around with your caliper.
If there is the tiniest fear of experimenting, call in your car mechanic and watch them perform the magic to the alignments on your car. It is always recommended to call professionals if it is your first-time changing caliper positions.
Each caliper found has similar roles in the smooth movement of your vehicle. A simple example would be how the left-hand trailing can be used as the right-hand leading. In some rare cases, some may want all their calipers to be present and available at the same place. The logic with calipers is pretty simple- calipers can be all together in the same place, but they shouldn’t interrupt any other active processes.
Just like how every one of us is different, these brake calipers located in different parts of the vehicle are absolutely different as well. What makes all the brake calipers different is something quite tiny. A little component in the system called the bleeder screw is the point of differentiation. It is a must for the bleeder screw to be present at the top of the caliper for efficient performance. In a mix-up in calipers- where the left and right calipers had to be switched, the bleed screw would be at the bottom. This would affect the factor of aerodynamics- the system will not be able to allow smooth airflow, leading to brakes being spongy. Spongy brakes are a situation that arises when air is trapped in the system. Driving a car with spongy brakes is very hazardous and accident-prone.
Calipers usually work in pairs. You’ve 4 brake calipers in your car- 2 for the front wheels and 2 for the back wheels. When you notice your car being imbalanced, pulling to one side, brake pedals feeling spongy, and a burning smell near your tires, it means your calipers need to be changed.
When you replace calipers, you have to do it in pairs. You can change the front brake calipers, back calipers, or both. But always do it together in pairs. Otherwise, you will notice an imbalance later. When you decide to change the calipers, have them laid out correctly. Calipers are side specific. If you do not match the sides properly, that may result in brake pedals wearing out unevenly.
If you want to change your brake calipers, make sure you have everything you need handy. First, you have to make the lug nuts loose. Lift your car from the ground and insert a jack under it. Then remove the wheel. You will then see the bleeder fluid compartment. Drain the old brake fluid to prevent more aged fluid from returning to the car. Pour in the new brake fluid. Replace the washer of the junction between the banjo bolts that connects brake lines to the caliper. You can now remove the caliper by taking out the bracket's bolts. Inspect your brake pedals to make sure they are working correctly. To install the new calipers, tighten the bolts after putting them in their bracket.
For more detailed steps, please refer to A guide to brake caliper system for automotive
At this point, you might be well aware of all the little details on the calipers. It is often amusing that many are unaware of this part, which could be undoubtedly called the vehicle's driving force. A little research might go a long way, as it is never a harm to know what is in your car- something you use almost every day. Watch for indications on your panel that may alert you about your calipers. Safe Driving!!