Disc Brakes Australia (DBA) explains why it is important to include brake calipers in the regular vehicle service and how to tell when they are due for replacement.
Disc Brakes Australia has just launched a new range of braking components by adding OE replacement calipers to its comprehensive, ever-growing offering of Street Series products.
The new program brings DBA even closer to its goal of being a one-stop-shop for the wheel end. DBA’s Product Manager, Tony Doyle, explains: “With our braking expertise of over 40 years we set out to bring to market a range of calipers that perfectly complements our long-established range of Street Series brake rotors, as well as our recently launched, market-leading range of Street Series brake pads.”
DBA’s Street Series braking products CALIPERSare designed to provide a no fuss “bolt off, bolt on” experience for the mechanic. Tony says DBA’s launch strategy is demand driven, with the first applications now being available for popular 4WD models.
“Before year’s end the number of SKUs will at least triple to cover further popular cars, SUVs and LCVs. Ultimately, we want to offer a similarly comprehensive market coverage for our Street Series callipers as our customers have come to appreciate for our Street Series rotors and pads.”
Part of DBA’s commitment to the market as a premium brake supplier is to offer valuable technical advice. Particularly brake calipers are an integral part of the vehicle’s braking system, however their critical role in stopping a vehicle is often not well-known or understood. In fact, they are seen but very seldom serviced, replaced or discussed.
In the main calipers are designed to be a robust part of the brake system. However, over time, the heat generated in driving can cause a breakdown in the seals within the pistons and caliper piston bores. There are a number of tell-tale signs that you may have issues with your calipers.
Does the vehicle pull to one side when applying the brakes?
If a brake caliper or slide is seized, this may cause the vehicle to pull to one side under the application of the brake. You may also experience the vehicle pulling under normal driving conditions.
When inspecting the vehicle do you notice any fluid leaks?
The calipers are activated by hydraulic fluid and under increased pressure when the brake is applied. Over time due to the constant pressure and/ or wear, the caliper can develop brake fluid leaks from the piston seal or bleed screw.
Under braking does the pedal feel spongy or soft?
The application of force on a fluid in a sealed system should not have a ‘soft’ feel. By attempting to compress a fluid the pedal feel should get stronger. A leaking caliper can cause a spongy or soft feel as the fluid is escaping and hence not providing the correct braking force and torque.
In combination, it should be noted that a seized piston or sticking slide can create excessive clearance between the pad and rotor and may cause a variation in brake pedal or steering feedback.
The result of any or all of the outlined potential issues is – if you do have a faulty caliper, will result in reduced braking ability.
Other attributes that can be impacted by caliper malfunction are uneven brake pad wear. Uneven brake pad wear may be a result of sticking caliper slide pins thus creating bias in wear characteristics. Further signs of ineffective caliper operation may be the experience of abnormal noise. The seizing of the brake caliper will wear down the brake pads unevenly with the end result being abnormal braking and noise, requiring early brake pad/caliper replacement.
At any service interval it is imperative the entire brake ‘system’ is checked and reviewed. The effective braking of a vehicle relies on all parts of that system working in unison.
While attempting to repair a leaking or otherwise faulty caliper is not uncommon, studies show that the time required to do so, in combination with running the risk of the fault reoccurring within a short period of time, makes a replacement of the caliper the by far more economical solution. DBA’s range of Street Series calipers puts workshop owners and mechanics in a position where they can do just that – bolt off, bolt on, and save time and money.
DBA’s Street Series calipers are available as single units for direct OE replacement and require no modification to the vehicle. They are being supplied including brackets, however without brake pads to allow for universal caliper – pad combinations.