Brake Hardware Kit Buyer’s Guide
- The brake hardware and your other braking components are subjected to the same amount of heat, moisture, and corrosion.
- A brake hardware kit contains all the necessary pieces for a brake hardware replacement, such as springs, clips, and screws.
- Common causes of brake hardware failure include rust and corrosion, ozone and debris, heating and cooling cycles, and flexing and movement.
- There are two types of brake hardware kits: the drum brake hardware kit and disc brake hardware kit.
- The cost of brake hardware kits ranges from $2 to $86.
All the braking components in your vehicle are subjected to the same amount of heat, moisture, and corrosion. So if you're only replacing your brake rotors and pads when they show signs of wear and tear, you're neglecting other important braking components like your brake hardware.
Your brake hardware plays a vital role in keeping your braking system’s performance at its optimum level. It allows your brake pads to dish out superior stopping power when you hit your brake pedal, ensuring your safety when you’re on the road. That’s why when repairing your brake, we recommend that you buy a new brake hardware kit in addition to the rotors and pads, so that you can also replace other important braking components.
What is a brake hardware kit?
Located in the caliper, the brake hardware is composed of all of the pieces that hold your brake pads into place. It has a very critical function in ensuring a stable brake system. Although these parts don't help in stopping your vehicle, they play an essential role in allowing brake components like your brake pads and rotors to last longer and perform at an optimum level.
We recommend that you use a brake hardware kit when replacing the brake hardware, since it already contains all the necessary pieces like springs, clips, and screws.
What causes the brake hardware to wear out?
Heating and cooling cycles
Your brake hardware, especially parts like springs and anti-rattle clips, can be weakened by heating and cooling cycles. Constant heat exposure can cause unseen damage to brake hardware, which could cause your new brake pads to prematurely wear out. To prevent this, we recommend replacing both the brake hardware and brake pads at the same time, even if your brake hardware passes the eye test.
Flexing and movement
Constant flexing and movement can cause metal fatigue and put a lot stress on your brake hardware. Weakened brake hardware components can lead to the excessive movement or binding of your brake caliper and brake pads. This can cause premature brake pad wear, rotor warping, and pulling.
Rust and corrosion
Since your vehicle's brake components are always exposed to varying weather conditions, rust and corrosion may also occur in your brake hardware. If there’s rust and corrosion buildup on a floating caliper’s slides or bushings, the caliper won’t be able to center itself on the rotor when braking. This means that your braking power is weakened and your vehicle’s stopping distance will increase. Additionally, if only one caliper in the brake hardware has rust and corrosion buildup, this may also lead to uneven braking, where your brake will pull toward the stronger side.
Ozone and debris
Aside from springs, clips, and slides, your brake hardware is also composed of rubber parts, such as grommets, bushings, and dust shields. Ozone, debris, and heat can wear out these parts, which are important in protecting brake hardware like caliper bolts or slides. But unlike metal components, if the rubber parts seem like they're in good shape, there’s really no need to replace them. You can simply clean them and replace the lubricant.
Types of brake hardware kit
If you're going to replace your brake hardware, the first thing that you need to know is what kind of brakes your vehicle has. This will determine the amount and type of brake hardware kit that you'll need.
Drum brake hardware kit
Compared to disc brakes, drum brakes require more brake hardware. They have a series of return springs, clips, and retainers that lock the brake shoes on the backing plate and separate them from the drum surface when the brakes aren't in use. All of these pieces are usually included in a drum brake hardware kit.
Disc brake hardware kit
Not all disc brakes have the same hardware requirements. Most calipers have a set of slide pins, which allows the caliper to move back and forth when the brakes are engaged. Over time, these pins can get rusty, worn out, or even frozen in place, making replacement necessary. A set of pad slides or fit kit is also present in most disc brakes.
As the name implies, pad slides are basically where a brake pad slides on. They are thin pieces of metal attached to the caliper bracket that also prevent the brake pad's excess movement. Disc brakes may also have a return spring or pad spreader. Its main purpose is to keep the brake pads away from the rotor when the brake isn't applied.
In some vehicles, the rear disc brakes employ an auxiliary drum brake for the emergency brakes. It’s essentially a mini drum brake attached to the back of the rotor. You'll need a drum brake hardware kit to replace the brake hardware for this auxiliary brake.
When is the right time to replace your brake hardware?
Worn out brake hardware can lead to sticky or squealing brakes. You may also feel that the brake pedal is too soft or low. If you notice these symptoms, you should do a visual inspection of your brake system. Look for signs of rust and corrosion and damage to your brake hardware including bent slides, broken return springs, and missing clips.
How much does a replacement brake disc hardware kit cost?
Brake hardware kits on CarParts.com cost from $2 to $86. Prices will depend on your vehicle’s year, make, and model, Each product is sold per piece, in sets of two, or as a kit. It may also come with a warranty provided by the brand.
To make your search easier, don’t forget to use our website’s vehicle selector. Just enter the year, make, and model of your ride to get the full list of compatible parts and accessories. You can also filter search results by brand, price range, location, and quantity.