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Summary
  • The caliper bracket is the cage in which the caliper is encased and is bolted to the spindle with very strong, heavily torqued bolts.
  • A damaged caliper bracket can cause irregular pad wear and noises while stopping. Some caliper brackets contain the slide pins that enable floating calipers to work right.
  • An aftermarket caliper bracket can cost anywhere between $20 and $250, depending on several factors.

The braking system is one of the most crucial assemblies in a vehicle. A loose nut or bolt is enough to give you a hard time when you’re out on the road, and leaving the issue unaddressed can increase the risk of getting into an accident.

Among the many parts of the braking system, the caliper bracket is arguably one of the most crucial components that should be inspected regularly.

What Does the Brake Caliper Bracket Do?

diagram of a brake caliper bracket
Diagram showing caliper bracket and related parts | Image Source: Richard McCuistian

The caliper bracket essentially holds the entire brake caliper together. It also transfers torque from the brake pedal all the way to the brake pads to generate enough stopping power.

The caliper bracket is only one part of the brake caliper assembly. The caliper also houses the brake pads and pistons, which help create friction when pressed against the brake rotor.

As the driver steps on the brake pedal, brake fluid pushes the pistons, which eventually press against the brake pads.

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brake caliper bracket location illustration
Illustration showing where the caliper bracket is located | Image Source: Richard McCuistian

When to Replace a Caliper Bracket

A damaged caliper bracket may exhibit some of the same symptoms as a damaged caliper.

You might notice that your vehicle is pulling to one side if you have a bad caliper. The brake pedal might feel spongy or soft because of the excessive clearance between the brake pad and rotor. Clunking noises might also be heard from inside the cabin if the caliper bracket has been damaged or the bolts have become loose.

, Caliper Bracket FAQs: Straight Answers

Pro Tips are nuggets of information direct from ASE-certified automobile technicians working with CarParts.com, which may include unique, personal insights based on their years of experience working in the automotive industry. These can help you make more informed decisions about your car.

Pro Tip: The caliper mounting bolts require a lot of torque. Make sure you look it up because it’s really important. The bracket and its bolts are under a lot of stress.

Generally, a damaged caliper will result in reduced braking performance, which can be dangerous regardless of how fast or slow you’re going.

It’s also possible to feel a dragging sensation when applying the brakes, which can signify that the caliper is stuck.

How Much Will a New Caliper Bracket Cost?

An aftermarket caliper bracket can cost anywhere between $20 and $250, depending on several factors. These include the vehicle’s specifications and the  caliper bracket’s brand.

As for labor costs, brake caliper replacement (including the bracket) can range anywhere from $100 to $150.

Should You Get New Caliper Brackets Everytime You Replace the Brake Caliper?

Some brake parts might still be salvageable even after other components have been damaged. In some cases, caliper brackets don’t need to be replaced when getting a new brake caliper.

However, It is advisable to get new caliper brackets if the slide pin bores are corroded or if one of the bracket’s bolts snapped off.

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How to Remove Stuck Brake Caliper Bracket Bolts

A stuck bolt is one of the most frustrating things that can happen when servicing your brake calipers. In most cases, the bolt can get stuck due to over-tightening or corrosion.

While some would rather replace the entire caliper bracket, others are willing to go through the trouble of prying the bolt off before they consider buying a replacement.

Here are some of the ways you can remove a stuck caliper bracket bolt.

Use a Breaker Bar

A breaker bar takes the form of a wrench without a ratchet. This bar is best paired with a wrench-style socket to generate enough torque to remove a stuck bolt.

Rely on Breaker Bar Plus Cheater Bar

If the breaker bar isn’t enough, try pairing it with a cheater or helper bar to get move leverage. A cheater bar is a piece of pipe that fits over a wrench or breaker bar, adding enough length for you to loosen the stuck bracket bolt.

Use an Old-Fashioned Wrench

Sometimes, simple tools can get the job done. For example, an old-fashioned wrench can loosen a stuck caliper bracket bolt.

Try hitting on the wrench or ratchet. The impacting motion should help you pry the bolt off.

However, keep in mind that there’s a risk of damaging certain parts and inflicting injury on yourself if you don’t exercise caution and use the wrench properly.

Brake Caliper Maintenance

Like many car parts, brake calipers are bound to fail after some time. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to prolong their service life.

Brake caliper maintenance is essential for a safe driving experience. These calipers usually require periodic cleaning and lubrication to function properly.

Preparation

Before anything else, make sure to hoist the vehicle properly. It’s also important to determine the caliper’s mounting position before taking it out.

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Caliper Removal

When removing the caliper, it’s crucial to remove one-half of the brake fluid from the master cylinder before removing the disc brakes.

The next step is to open the bleeder valve and force the brake fluid into a container. This will prevent you from putting contaminated brake fluid back into the master cylinder.

Remove the retaining bolts and guide pins to access the caliper. Then, proceed with removing the piston to access the dust boot.

Inspection and Disassembly

Check the piston boot area for traces of brake fluid. If the boot is damaged or leaking, you’ll need to get a new caliper assembly.

Caliper Cleaning

Once you’ve successfully removed the caliper piston, you can proceed with removing the square cut O-ring.

From there, clean the caliper with denatured alcohol. If the caliper bore is rusted or pitted, use a manufacturer-recommended hone.

Caliper Reassembly

Clean the caliper bore with brake fluid. Use a new piston seal and coat it with the same fluid before putting it back in the groove of the caliper bore.

Carefully inspect the piston-to-caliper bore clearance and coat a new piston boot with brake fluid. Then, install the piston into the caliper piston. Lastly, lubricate the caliper bushings, shims, and other brake hardware.

Note: Brake caliper service is a complex task that requires advanced knowledge of automotive repair and maintenance. Proceed with the task only if you’re confident in your skills and know-how.

Otherwise, it’s better to ask a professional to do the job for you.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Technical Reviewer at CarParts.com

Richard McCuistian has worked for nearly 50 years in the automotive field as a professional technician, an instructor, and a freelance automotive writer for Motor Age, ACtion magazine, Power Stroke Registry, and others. Richard is ASE certified for more than 30 years in 10 categories, including L1 Advanced Engine Performance and Light Vehicle Diesel.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

File Under : Braking System , DIY Tagged With : ,
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