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Nissan Armada Brake Caliper

Common Snags of a Nissan Armada Brake Caliper

The brake caliper acts like a clamp on the wheel's rotor to stop the wheel from turning when the brakes are applied. The piston presses against the brake pads on either side of the rotor, which squeezes the rotor to slow it down. Most brake calipers consist of aluminum, a light and strong material. Sometimes magnesium alloy is used, but it is expensive and often reserved for high performance cars. The brake pads use friction to stop the rolling car and are essential for safe stopping to prevent accidents. However, this safety measure comes with a price. Friction, the process that makes the car stop, also wears down the calipers. Here are some examples of common caliper issues.

Sticky caliper

A caliper can get stuck in the closed position once it fails. When this happens, the brake shoes operated by that caliper are being constantly applied. This causes an imbalance of braking force and acceleration. Therefore, light braking becomes excessive. Normally, the vehicle pulls strongly toward the side with the stuck caliper. This problem causes the brake pads to wear easily and the rotors to be extremely hot. Too much heat can negate the friction and in the long run, the brakes won't be able to stop the car anymore. This is called brake fade.

Smell of burning rubber

Like what was a mentioned earlier, a stuck caliper inflicts considerable friction on the brake pads. The friction will set off a strong burning smell. This is the pungent odor of burning brake linings being seared by heat from constant contact with the brake rotor. You can feel the heat once you place the hand near the wheel with the stuck caliper immediately after driving. This is dangerous because it can set fire to volatile materials and toxic fumes will fill the cabin. The brake fluid might also come to a boil, which will make the brake pedal slide.

Shaking and shudders

A stuck caliper wears the rotor unevenly, creating warp zones. These warp zones are morphed parts of the rotor that has deformities in it. Rotors are usually smooth to allow more traction when braking and flow when accelerating. When the brake pads pass over the uneven surface of the rotor, you may experience shudders or vibration. This is transmitted to the steering system and may be misdiagnosed for steering or suspension problems.

Mileage issues

Driving with the brake always applied because of a broken caliper significantly reduces acceleration. This will make the car feel sluggish and less responsive. Consequently, fuel efficiency will suffer and mileage may decline.

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  • Guidelines for Maintaining Nissan Armada Blake Calipers 27 February 2013

    Brake calipers are clamp-like devices that squeeze against a wheel's brake disc to slow down and stop the car. These are almost always subjected to high tension situations, even in casual everyday driving. Brake calipers can fail in couple of ways. They might stick and cause premature wear of the brake pads. Braking efficiency will be drastically compromised if the brake caliper begins to leak brake fluid. In addition, the caliper's bolts can stick as well due to high heat. But unlike caliper pistons, these bolts can be cleaned and re-lubricated for reuse. With all these said, the bottom line is: brake calipers are very important. In line with this, here are some guidelines for maintaining the calipers in good condition.


    Begin with a small crawl.


    By taking small steps, you would be able to know if the calipers are up to par or not. This is very easy to perform. On a flat surface, run the car by placing it in gear. Make the car crawl for a few yards. In the middle of the crawl, step on the brakes hard then let the vehicle move slowly again. If it feels like it's sluggish or does not move at all after the brakes have been applied hard, this could indicate sticky calipers. You must change the calipers immediately.


    Take the car out for a drive.


    This time around, you can go a little bit faster if you find the first one very slow. Test drive the vehicle, preferably in low-traffic areas. While holding the steering wheel firmly, apply the brakes a few times. This will heat the brakes up, and on the wheel with the faulty caliper piston, the heat will significantly be higher. This will prove to be helpful in diagnosis. Park the vehicle on a flat surface. Place your hand near each tire without touching the tires. If one wheel has intense heat coming from it compared to the others, this might be the wheel with the faulty caliper.


    Do a leak check.


    The risk of friction can cause the brake lines through which the brake fluid travels to wear excessively and break against the tremendous temperatures. The calipers might begin to leak brake fluid. Thus, there won't be enough pressure to push the piston in the caliper against the brake pad. Brake calipers must be inspected or replaced if they show signs of leaks.


    Get new brake shoes when needed.


    Attached to brake calipers are two pads that consist of a metal "shoe" with a lining riveted to it more commonly known as brake pads. If the lining on the pad becomes thin, the metal part of the pad will come into contact with the disc, or rotor, which can damage it and cause a huge drop in braking efficiency. A brake caliper's pads should be checked periodically for signs of wear and must be replaced every 30,000 to 70,000 miles.