Brake Caliper Piston: Read a Detailed Guide Here!

Brakes are an important part of any vehicle which helps the vehicle to slow down or stop altogether. There are two types of brakes present in every vehicle, foot pedal brakes and hand brakes. Foot pedal brakes are the primarily used braking mechanism present in the car. 

The mechanism that the foot pedal brakes follow can be of 2 types, disc or hydraulic. In this article, we will discuss the disc brake type, also known as Brake Caliper Piston and know details about this type of brake and its usage. 

What are Brakes? 

A brake is a mechanical device that restrains movement by absorbing energy from the movement system. It is used to slow down or stop moving vehicles that are supported by wheels and axles. Brakes are used to prevent their movement primarily due to friction. 

The braking system is designed to absorb the kinetic energy of a moving vehicle and convert it into heat energy by friction. This energy is used to slow down or stop the vehicle completely.

The foot brakes that are responsible to reduce the kinetic energy of the vehicle come in two types hydraulic brakes and disc brakes. Both of these types of brakes work differently. 

Types of Brakes 

There are mainly two types of foot brakes that actively functions to stop the car. Here are the two types explained briefly: 

  • Hydraulic Brakes 

Hydraulic Brakes 


A hydraulic brake is a brake mechanism assembly that uses brake fluid usually containing glycol ether or diethylene glycol to convert the pressure from the control mechanism to the brake mechanism.

Hydraulic brakes transfer energy to stop a moving vehicle. It is a very simple braking system with only two cylinders and disc brakes, the cylinders can be connected to the pistons inside the cylinders through pipes. 

In a hydraulic braking system, when the brake pedal is engaged, the push rod exerts a force on the piston of the master brake cylinder, resulting in fluid flowing from the brake fluid reservoir through the equalizing opening to the pressure chamber.  

Hydraulic brakes are mostly used to support heavy vehicles or transport vehicles. Because of the excess weight of these heavy vehicles, the movement encounters high inertia when the brakes are hit. So, the effect of inertia is much reduced by using these types of brakes for heavy vehicles. 

  • Brake Caliper Piston 

Brake Caliper Piston 


The brake caliper piston is an integral part of the overall braking system and the piston is an important component of the brake caliper. The piston serves to bring the brake pads into contact with the brake discs to stop the vehicle. 

This type of brake is also called a disc brake which mainly works on brake caliper piston. The brake caliper piston tool acts as a bracket to support the brake pads on either side of the brake disc. The piston is then used to convert the pressure exerted by the master cylinder on the brake fluid into the friction of the rotor. 

In short, the main purpose of the brake caliper piston is to press the brake pads against the brake discs to stop the car. There are two main types of calipers, single-piston and double piston. Most front-wheel calipers are two-piston calipers and most cars use single-piston calipers at the rear wheel which requires less braking. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Do brake calipers come with pistons? 

Brake calipers can contain different numbers of pistons and are available in fixed or floating styles. Fixed disc calipers have pistons on both sides of the caliper. They are mounted in the centre of the brake disc, so they remain stationary. 

  • How much does it cost to replace a caliper piston? 

The estimated cost for brake caliper replacement and labour costs are between $ 132 and $ 166, while parts costs are between $ 435 and $ 738.

This is an average estimated amount and most probably does not include the taxes or fees. The cost to replace the caliper piston is mainly dependent on the type of piston used and the type of car it is being installed in. 

  • Can I drive with a bad caliper? 

Yes, you can, but it is not recommended to continue using the car if the caliper piston is damaged, in some way. Insufficient work of calipers can lead to loss of control of the vehicle, ineffective braking, and also may cause car accidents. It is better to get it replaced before continuing to use the vehicle. 

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