Taking Care of Your Car’s Brake Calipers
If you own a performance car, the brake calipers, auto experts agree, need to be a top priority. The brakes need to be firm and responsive to give you the confidence you need to maximize performance. In order to do that you need to make sure that your brake pads are in good condition, the pistons are in working order, and the brake fluid is clean and pure. Lastly, if you want to improve the braking power of the car. You can also search the specialized forums for deals on bigger calipers since.
Change the Brake Pads
One of the first and simplest things you can do to improve the braking performance of your car is to change the brake pads. They need to be changed every 20,000 to 60,000 miles depending on your driving style and conditions. Some high performance cars actually have sensors that light up on the dashboard when the brake pads get worn out. Alternatively, there are some brake pads that have a crude alert system where the pads start squeaking if they get too worn. So when changing yours make sure you buy a pair of pads that remind you when it is time to change them again.
Clean and Greese the Pistons
While you are changing the brake pads you have easy access to the brake pistons. They tend to pick up a lot of dirt so it is a good idea to take them apart, clean them, and grease them up. They sometimes freeze up because of all the dirt and the excessive heat generated by the brakes. If you cannot get them to move freely you need to replace the entire brake caliper.
Change the Braking Fluid
When you push on the brake pedal, you are sending a signal to the braking piston and it pushes fluid through the brake lines to the pistons in the calipers. That piston is usually bullet proof so it rarely gives out. However the brake lines and the fluid itself do get worn out over time. So it is a good idea to change the brake fluid and the lines every five to ten years. That way no air or water will get in and the system will perform flawlessly. The other advantage is that by using high performance brake fluid you are also making sure that as much power as the piston car generate is delivered to the calipers.
Get Bigger Calipers
If you really want to improve your car’s braking performance the simplest thing is to get bigger brake calipers. Not all car models can be fitted with bigger calipers but if your car has over 150 horse power then it is very likely that bigger calipers are available. Search for the make and model of your car and then check the specialized forums to see where you can buy bigger calipers at a reasonable price.
Get Calipers with More Pistons
Most stock brake calipers have one or two brake pistons. So if your car already has the biggest calipers that can be fitted to it then your only alternative is to find calipers that have more pistons. There are some high performance calipers that have six or even twelve pistons. That is not to say that you will be able to fit one of those calipers to your car but you could probably find a set of calipers that use four pistons, with two on each side of the rotor.
If you decide to work on your car’s brake caliper, auto forums and manuals are an excellent place to start the learning process. However, it is a very important part of the car so, if you are not entirely confident in your mechanical abilities, you should find a specialized shop. They can install new brake pads and help you find those bigger calipers that your car might need if you are constantly pushing it to its limits. They will also be able to flush, clean, and change the brake fluid.