Do You Have Dirt in Your Callipers?


Not everything in life is predictable, but when it comes to your form of transportation, you'll certainly want your vehicle to be on this list. After all, when you're driving down a busy motorway there's a lot at stake, and you want to know exactly how your car is likely to behave in a pressurised situation. Sometimes, however, your anxiety levels can peak when you discover something wrong with your brakes. It's difficult to put your finger on the issue, but you'll nevertheless want to sort it out as quickly as possible. What is there to know about this problem?

How It All Works

As you may know, the braking system is made up of many different parts. Essentially, the system is filled with hydraulic fluid, which helps to activate a piston at each one of the road wheels whenever you press the brake pedal. This piston will push a pair of friction pads out of the brake calliper and into contact with rotary discs. The discs are directly connected to the road wheel in question, and this should decelerate the car in a predictable fashion.

Today, however, you've noticed that the vehicle pulls sharply to one side doing this manoeuvre, or the vehicle may continue to slow down even when you take your foot away from the brake pedal. This indicates that you may have a problem with one of the brake callipers.

Within each calliper is a conventional valve and piston setup that is designed to be either 'on' or 'off'. When in normal motion, the brake pads will be static and situated a couple of millimetres away from the desk. When the driver presses the brake pedal, they will instantly spring into action.

Explaining the Problem

Sometimes, dirt or debris can get into the mix and become caught in between the piston and the pad, or the pad and the disc. This can happen if the protective rubber boot begins to perish and allows dirt access. Usually, this will happen on only one side of the car at a time, which may explain why the vehicle is pulling sharply to the other side. After all, the calliper is able to operate at maximum efficiency on one side, but not the other.

Unwanted dirt could also be the cause of an overenthusiastic braking system which wants to continue to decelerate the car. This indicates that dirt may be keeping the piston in its open position and not allowing it to return. Consequently, the brake pads are in contact with the disc for too long.

Next Action

In order to fix the situation, you will need access to brake calliper reset tools and will need to ensure that the system is cleaned carefully. Take the vehicle to your mechanic so you can reset your peace of mind at the same time.


27 December 2018

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