Repair and maintenance

Brake Repair: Calipers, Pads, and Rotors

Even if you adamantly follow a routine maintenance schedule, you can still experience braking problems with your new Location Paramount car. Sure, consistent maintenance performed by a licensed professional mechanic will increase your car’s longevity but sometimes parts break or systems fail and you simply cannot anticipate it.  What you can do, though, is gain a better understanding about your car and how its parts work so you’ll know what to do!

What are Brake Calipers?

Take your brake calipers, for example: braking issues can be caused by broken or misaligned brake calipers.  These are the mechanisms which actually apply the braking power through clamps that put pressure on the pads of the brakes to slow the rotors.  There are two types of brake calipers: Fixed and Floating

Fixed Brake Calipers

Fixed brake calipers tend to be more consistently recommended by professionals because they offer more consistent quality braking performance.  Fixed brake calipers work by applying pressure on the brake cylinder via one piston on each side of the disc.  Higher performance braking systems can have more than one pair (up to 6 pairs total).

Floating Brake Calipers

Also known as “sliding calipers,” these apply pressure to the brake pad on the inboard side of the disc.  The calipers work by pressing the pistons on one side of the brake pad.

What Are Brake Pads?

There are different types of brake pads, which offer different benefits that we will not go into right now:

  • Organic (NAO: “Non-Asbestos Organic”)
  • Semi-Metallic
  • Ceramic

The brake pads cushion the friction between the brake calipers and the brake rotors.  Without brake pads you would hear metal on metal grinding every time you try to stop your car. In fact, if you hear that sound, it usually means you have worn away your brake pads and are starting to grind down the brake rotors.  And if you continue to do this you may have to spend a lot of money to replace your whole braking system.

What Are Brake Rotors?

Finally, the brake rotors are the “disc” parts of the “disc brakes” on your car.  They fit around the wheel axles and sit against the wheels.  When you depress the brake pedal, the calipers clamp down and put pressure on the rotors to slow the momentum of the wheels.  These are the last things you want to repair or replace (as it could mean having to install a brand new system).