Q:

What purpose do brake caliper serve?

A:

Quick Answer

Brake calipers are important brake components that enable a vehicle to move slowly or stop when the driver steps on the brake. They are responsible for producing friction with the rotors by squeezing the brake pads on the outer part of the brake rotor, thus slowing or stopping the car.

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Full Answer

A brake caliper surrounds the rotor and consists of metal plates connected with friction materials known as brake pads. The position of the outboard brake pads is on the outer part of the rotors, while the inner part of the rotors contain the inboard brake pads. Brake pads feature high-friction surfaces. The wheels are connected to the rotor; thus, they stop when the rotor halts.

Floating calipers consist of one or two pistons that are positioned on the rotor's inboard area. Stepping on the brake causes the piston to push the caliper, producing friction from the brake pads on the sides of the rotor. In comparison, fixed calipers do not move and contain pistons on the rotor's opposing sides. Some fixed calipers feature more than two pairs of pistons on either side of the rotor for better performance.

Brake pads are vulnerable to wear and tear, as they become thinner whenever a disc brake system's pads rub against the spinning rotor. Replacement is necessary when the brake pads become worn down and pushed far inward near the rotor.

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