Auto Parts Shopping Checklist: Caliper Guide Pins
According to Newton's Laws of Motion, a moving object will continue to move unless acted upon by an external force. In the case of cars, it is the internal force of the brakes that stops a car from its tracks. The brake system is composed of different parts that work together to bring your car to a halt. And that is why every part is important. The smallest of them, the caliper guide pins, are the ones that make sure that the brake pads meet the rotors and eventually stop or slow down your car. So if you don't want your brake pads to miss their mark, here are a few tips in choosing the right caliper guide pins:
Purchase caliper guide pins that are made from high-grade materials
You don't have to physically inspect these parts to know if they are of good quality. Seeing the words
premium-class metal on the parts' label or description is enough to let you know that they can withstand enormous amounts of pressure every time your car brakes. Some guide pins are also fitted with rubber housing, so be sure to check the quality of that as well. If you can't seem to find any specifics on the part yourself, you can always ask your dealer, supplier, or the shop's customer service associate for answers.
Know the location of the caliper guide pin that needs to be replaced
Although this should already be a given, some DIYers make the mistake of just picking out a guide pin according to how similar it looks to the old one. Remember that the guide pin relies on a good fit for the brake calipers to attain its braking power. So always make sure that you're getting the right caliper guide pin that will fit into the housing. To make sure that it is the exact same fit and form as the old guide pin, take note of the part's OE number. This way you can just simply inform your supplier and the rest is up to them.
Check for the part's warranty coverage
The standard warranty for a caliper guide pin is 1 year or up to 12,000 miles. It is important to get good coverage especially for parts that are as important as the caliper guide pin. So if the part doesn't perform as expected, you will be able to replace it in no time. So when you're shopping for this part, don't settle for warranty terms that are less than the standard. Other than the length of the coverage, also double-check other limiting conditions stipulated in the contract.
A Step-by-Step Manual to Installing Caliper Guide Pins
Does your car screech whenever it comes to a stop? Do the brakes stick together when you're on the road? Is there nothing wrong with your brake pads or disc rotors? Then your car's problem may not be the brakes but its caliper guide pins. There is no surefire way to know whether the pins are at fault or not. But if everything else in your brake system seems to work fine, it's about time you consider replacing your car's caliper guide pins.
Difficulty level: Easy to moderate
Tools you'll need:
- Jack and jack stands
- Allen wrench
- New caliper guide pins
- Screwdriver or any caliper pin removal tool
- High-temperature grease
Step 1: As the name suggests, the caliper guide pins is located in the brake calipers of your car. To access it you must first remove the wheels of your car. Loosen the wheel's lug nuts and carefully raise your vehicle with the use of a jack. Make sure that your car is well-supported to prevent accidents during the installation.
Step 2: Once the car is off the ground, completely remove its wheels to access your brake assembly.
Step 3: Disconnect the brake housing from the assembly's caliper. Using an adjustable wrench, unscrew the bolt that attaches the hose to the brake caliper.
Step 4: Pull the caliper away from the assembly's mounting bracket to get a good view of the guide pins. The pins you see on top of the caliper housing are the guide pins. Once you've located them, remove the pins using a screwdriver. The guide pins are relatively easy to rake out. But if you're having a hard time, lightly tap the pins using a hammer. You can also use any caliper pin removal tools if available.
Step 5: Before installing the new caliper guide pins, coat them properly with a high-temperature grease for lubrication. Reinsert the guide pins into the housing and tighten them with the use of a screwdriver.
Step 6: Align the caliper over the brake pads and disc rotor once you've installed the new caliper guide pins.
Step 7: Now that you've replaced the caliper guide pins and the entire brake assembly is in place, reinstall the wheels to your car.
Step 8: Repeat steps 3 to 7 on all remaining wheels to complete installation.