How often do you replace brake calipers?

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If it's a rear caliper that runs the parking brake off the rear discs, replace them every time you replace the pads and rotors :D

Otherwise, only when it's seized.
 
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Just a question. I only replace them if they leak, cannot be reset or fail a visual inspection. (I know things are different in the rust belt)

I have replaced maybe 6 over all of the sets of brakes I have done. The two rears on the Ford 500 I just did (wouldn't reset 170,000 miles), one on my 1998 Z28(110,000 miles) when one of the caliper pins seized, one on my 98 Regal (crossed thread caliper pin), and 2 on a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee (leaked 200,000 miles).

I ask because I was talking to a very good friend last night, and he said he was getting ready to do the brakes on his 17 3/4 Duramax (76,000 miles) and his wife's 17 Denali Terrain (65,000 miles). He said pads, rotors and calipers. I asked "Calipers?" He said yes you have to replace them every time you do a brake job, and he changes them every time he does a set of brakes. Except for Les Schawb I have never really seen anyone just replace calipers if they are fine. He thinks I am crazy that I still have the original calipers on everything I own (well I don't know if they are on the 1997 K1500).

On my own cas, never. I inspect them regularly and often rebuild them (once) to prevent future issues.

But I have changed quite a few over the years as a mechanic because:
- I couldn' get the piston out anymore
- replacement seals/pistons were on backorder
- under warranty.

Though most can be saved if they get properly lubed before they get stuck solid.
 
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I gotten bitten once. '79 Dodge van, did front pads and rotors and one of the front caliper pistons stuck and hosed the new rotor. Plastic pistons used in them back then.
 
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I have never replaced a brake caliper.
Me neither. After almost 40 years of driving and many vehicles over 200k miles I have never needed to replace a caliper. I had a right front caliper dragging on my very first car a Toyota Corolla back in the early 80s but I took it apart and honed it out and it worked for years after that.
 
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Why? I am just guessing because some are the screw in type?

For some reason, rear calipers of this design are especially prone to failure, especially when you don't use the parking brake regularly. Since most of the work is done by the front brakes, and the parking brake not used regularly, you can see why the calipers would seize more frequently.
 

ls1mike

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For some reason, rear calipers of this design are especially prone to failure, especially when you don't use the parking brake regularly. Since most of the work is done by the front brakes, and the parking brake not used regularly, you can see why the calipers would seize more frequently.
Yeah my Grand Prix had that type as did the Ford 500 I recently worked on. Not my favorite. The rest of my stuff has the small drum type in side of the rotor. I like that kind.
 
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For some reason, rear calipers of this design are especially prone to failure, especially when you don't use the parking brake regularly. Since most of the work is done by the front brakes, and the parking brake not used regularly, you can see why the calipers would seize more frequently.
Used the parking brake on my VW all the time, and they would be bad after 5yr/150k.

Hate the drum brake version (I might be bitter about that one though) and would rather deal with low life calipers than that mess.
 
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Yeah my Grand Prix had that type as did the Ford 500 I recently worked on. Not my favorite. The rest of my stuff has the small drum type in side of the rotor. I like that kind.

GM has a good parking shoe design: Most of their RWD parking brake shoes are a simple horseshoe design with no springs to mess with :)


Used the parking brake on my VW all the time, and they would be bad after 5yr/150k.

Hate the drum brake version (I might be bitter about that one though) and would rather deal with low life calipers than that mess.

Most drum brakes, including parking brake drums, suck because of the scary springs :D
 
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A springless drum brake, I guess I would have to remain open towards that. I don’t like ‘em because they don’t hold well, usually they roll more easily backwards. Although most of mine would roll either way too easily.
 
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I always change brake pads at ~ 20% instead of waiting till the last 5%. This helps protect the caliper and the disk. I do believe that is why I've never had to replace a caliper or a disk. Ed
 
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Depends on a variety of factors, including what conditions the vehicle operates in. I still got the factory calipers on my Mitsubishi with 316,000 miles on it.
 
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When they are binding and when the old worn out pads have inner pads that are significantly thinner material than the outer pads. Then the calipers are replaced as a pair.
 
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