Disc Brake Calipers
Disc brake calipers is a unit, which holds the brake pads, and pistons. The caliper applies pressure to the rotor through the use of brake fluid which brings the vehicle to a stop. Properly functioning disc brake calipers is essential to the safe operation of a vehicle. There are two main types of disc brake calipers which are a floating brake caliper and a fixed brake caliper.
Floating disc brake calipers move according to the rotation of the brake rotor. Floating disc brake calipers have a piston that is located on the inner brake pad. The body of the caliper is pulled by the outer brake pad which allows the friction material to be applied to both sides of the brake and stop the vehicle. The most common issue with floating disc brake calipers is that they are known to have a problem with sticking which is usually caused by dirt or corrosion that causes the movement of the calipers to not function as intended.
Fixed disc brake calipers do not move according to the brake rotor. There are pistons on both sides of the brake rotor that push the pad toward the rotor to create the friction required to stop the vehicle. While floating disc brake calipers usually only have up to two pistons, fixed calipers can have as many as six. This is one of the main reasons that these brake calipers are known to be the more effective option. Fixed disc brake calipers are a more expensive option then floating disc brake calipers but they work more effectively and can last a longer period of time.
The most common caliper design uses a single piston within a cylinder. Brake failure can occur due to failure of the piston to retract which is typically from storing a vehicle for a long period. After years of use or many miles a piston seal may leak which will need to be repaired immediately.
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