How Long Do Brake Calipers Last?

Vehicles are fitted with many great components for their efficiency, one of those essential components being the brake caliper. Imagine a car without a brake caliper or a brake for a moment! That would be a disaster, right?

Have you wondered, “How long do brake calipers last?” because they seem to be some of the strongest and most resilient components of a car? If you haven’t been able to figure this out, the exact information that you need about the longevity of your vehicle’s brake calipers, as well as other details such as the cost of replacing a bad brake caliper and how they should be replaced, have been captured here.

How Long Do Brake Calipers Last?

A vehicle’s brake calipers are designed to last for as long as seventy thousand (70,000) to (100,000) miles; this is relatively about 10 years. Meanwhile, this projection is an estimated projection under normal circumstances and considering a decent driving and maintenance culture on the part of the driver.

how long do brake rotors last

A car’s brake calipers can last as long as the car itself. These components are hard and resilient parts of every car’s braking system; hence, the ability to last over time, especially if you own a new car. This also holds for those asking, “How long do brake discs last?” It is somewhere around 80,000 to 120,000 miles.

Some of the conditions that must be considered for determining how long a vehicle’s brake calipers would last are; driving habits, environment/weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle maintenance schedule, etc.

For those asking, “How often do brake calipers need to be replaced?” Here’s an analysis; a car owner with a bad driving habit and poor maintenance culture would likely encounter a situation requiring a replacement of the vehicle’s brake caliper compared to another car owner who is careful while driving and ensures regular car maintenance. 

The difference is clear between the two models of car owners. While one may last for over 75,000 miles, the other may not last up to that extent. If you are also asking, “How long do brake rotors last?” “How long do brake pads last?” The analysis holds the same for these situations, irrespective of the specified time frame.

It is a matter of necessity to ensure that you keep your vehicle under adequate regular maintenance as you imbibe a strict careful driving lifestyle; otherwise, you may damage any of your car’s components before the projected lifespan. 

However, if you discover that your vehicle’s brake calipers are bad, it is not advisable to manage them to drive around until they can no longer be used. Endeavor to replace a defective brake caliper that needs to be changed as soon as possible so that you don’t endanger your life or any other components of your vehicle. Also, ensure that the appropriate brake fluid is used, such as Dot3, Dot4, or Dot5 brake fluids or any specific one recommended for your vehicle.

brake caliper price


Q: How much does it cost to replace calipers?

Calipers seem to be one of the most expensive and difficult parts of a car’s brake system components to replace when they go bad. The cost of replacing a single caliper is about $130; that means the number of calipers to be replaced must be multiplied by $130.

This is just an estimated price. A number of factors, such as your car make and model, influence the exact price of your brake caliper.

Meanwhile, the estimated cost of a complete replacement of brake calipers, rotors, and pads is about $300 to $800. This is only an estimated figure; some car parts sellers/service providers may charge more because the brake caliper price may differ from one location to another.

Q: Should you replace brake calipers in pairs?

If you are wondering, “Do brake calipers need to be replaced in pairs?” Yes, brake calipers are better when replaced in pairs rather than replacing a single brake caliper. Since the brake calipers of a vehicle are vital parts of the braking system, replacing them in pairs for optimum efficiency is essential.

Otherwise, if you decide to change one of the calipers and retain one of the old ones, they may not function efficiently at the same time. While the new caliper functions efficiently in slowing down the wheel on the side where it was replaced, the other may experience some lapses in functioning properly at the same level as the new one. Why ask, “How long does it take to replace one caliper” when it’s best to replace the calipers in pairs?

Q: Can I drive with a bad caliper?

You could drive with a bad caliper, but you would experience limitations in your car’s braking system because of the bad caliper. A bad caliper can hinder the complete disengaging of the brake pad from the brake rotor’s surface, leading to unexpected and uncontrolled slight braking at intervals.

If you are not careful with the situation, it could lead to an accident. Also, a bad caliper can stress out your car’s transmission system and make it fail before you know it. Hence, if you discover that your car has a bad caliper, do well to change the pair of calipers for a better driving experience.

Q: How do you diagnose a bad caliper?

A brake caliper diagnosis involves various inspections that would enable you to discover the specific area of the braking system that is responsible for the problem. The diagnosis consists of the following.

Check for brake fluid leaks.

One of the common reasons for a faulty caliper is fluid leakage; therefore, it should be the first thing you must check out to see if there are any brake fluid leaks. To do this, inspect the caliper piston area and the bleeder screw if there are fluids released around these areas.

Inspect the piston operation

If you have a stuck piston, it can affect the brake caliper; hence, you need to check if any piston is stuck, which could be responsible for the vehicle pulling to one side, one-sided brake pad wear, etc. To do this, jack up the car and rotate the wheel/tire by hand. It ought to be free; if not, there may be a stuck piston resisting the brake pads against the brake rotors that you need to unstuck.

You could also fix up the caliper piston by removing the tire and wheel; then, loosen the bolt of the brake caliper off the mounting bracket (don’t loosen the brake hose) and drag it away from the brake rotor. After that, you can use a big disc brake spreader to push back the piston to its designated position. Ensure that fluids don’t get pushed out of the fluid container while doing this.

Check the brake pads.

One of the symptoms of a bad caliper is one-sided brake pads wear.  So, you should endeavor to inspect the brake pads after jacking the vehicle up. You may likely discover that one of the brake pads is thicker than the other. If this is the issue, you would need to do a replacement.

Q: How often do calipers need to be replaced?

Brake calipers do not easily or quickly go bad. Your car’s brake calipers can last for as long as 70,000 to 100,000 miles. If this is not the case, they could last for 10 years or thereabout. Therefore, it is recommended that you change your car’s brake caliper after about 70,000 to 100,000 miles or anywhere around 10 years.

However, if the calipers become defective before then, you should change them. This may be different for those asking, “How long do Brembo calipers last?” It is usually somewhere around 35,000 miles or thereabout; hence, you may need to replace it faster.

Q: Can a stuck brake caliper fix itself?

The simple answer is “No.” A stuck brake caliper cannot unstick itself. The braking system involves much hydraulic pressure when you apply your car’s brake; hence, if the pressure does not move the piston in relation to the stuck caliper, you will need to fix the issue. You may have to see a mechanic if you discover that any of your car brake calipers get stuck.

Final Words

Direct information about the longevity or lifespan of your car’s brake calipers has been provided above in this article; hence, you may not need to wonder “how long do brake calipers last” anymore. Subscribe to the guidance provided in ensuring that your car’s brake calipers last as long as they ought to.

Your car’s brake calipers have indeed been designed to last for a long time; however, you must remember that mismanagement can cut short the lifespan of a thing or a machine. Your driving habit and your car maintenance discipline must be considered if your vehicle’s brake calipers would last for the specified time frame.

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Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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