How to Compress Brake Caliper

The brake caliper is a very important part of brakes, and so we must learn how to compress the brake caliper. Compression is the most important factor in controlling brake calipers. This move helps in keeping the calipers healthy for more runs without having any major service.

 Some parts can wear out with time and the brake pads are the elements that wear away first. Once you get to the stage where the brake pads have worn off, it is time to get them changed for new ones. 

Before you fix the tyre yourself, you should ensure to compress your brake caliper to replace or change the brake pads yourself.

Compressing the brake calipers is considered to be one of the most straightforward processes when it comes to maintaining your vehicle. However, there are things that you should note so as not to damage the parts in any way possible.

This article intends to discuss issues with brake calipers and how you can easily repair them.

How to compress brake caliper – Easy Steps

In case your calipers fail to work, the mechanics will compress them for your inspection purposes. To know how to compress calipers, here are some factors to consider.

Step 1. Take out the tyre that is on your vehicle

If you want to compress the calipers, then you should first take out the wheels from under your car. The tires can be taken off easily by using a pry bar or a jack. 

Step 2. Put in wedge

After taking out the wheel, put in a wedge under the car. This will help in pushing up the suspension of your vehicle after which you can move on to the next work.

Step 3. Compress brake calipers

For this step, apply pressure to one side of the caliper by using a compressor or an air wrench that has been attached to your air hose. The pressure should be maintained at the same level until you hear a click sound. The pressure can now be removed.

Step 4. Remove calipers

Now that you have compressed the caliper, go ahead and remove it from your vehicle by pulling it out of its position. You are also advised to keep working on one side of the car to avoid any slippage from the suspension.

Step 5. Observe new pads

You should start by removing one of your old brake pads before pushing the new ones into position. This will help you to know if a brake pad is defective or not.

 Step 6: Push out the caliper

This step requires that you push the caliper back into its original position. Remember to use the compressor for this step to ensure that you are not applying too much pressure and risk damaging your car.

Step 7: Close calipers

Once the brake pads have been installed, it is time to close the calipers by putting them in their correct position. Ensure that all parts are in the right. 

Step 8: Install the wheel

The final step is to put the tire back and tighten it up using your car jack or a pry bar. You can now start by inflating your tires once more.

How to Compress Brake Caliper Using Channel Locks

Let us discuss how to compress the brake calipers using channel locks:

Step 1. Make sure you have enough room to work on your vehicle’s brake calipers.

Step 2. Get the car in a safe parking spot and then disconnect one of the hoses from the wheel well using a wrench.

Step 3. Inflate the tire on that side of your vehicle for about four inches so that you can slide the wheel off easily.

Step 4. Use a pry bar or jack to lift your vehicle to have more room for working on it.

Step 5. Remove the screws from both sides of the calipers and place them and their clips safely in one bag so that they don’t get lost.

Step 6. Now Use the channel locks to compress your calipers.

Step 7. Push the brake pads out of their clips and put them in a safe place where they won’t get lost.

Step 8. Put new brake pads on both sides of your car and make sure that everything is working properly before putting your wheel back on.

With these steps, you will be able to work on your vehicle’s calipers without any issues.

How to Replace Brake Pads Yourself?

How to Replace Brake Pads Yourself

Here are some steps that you need to follow to replace brake pads on your own.

Step 1. Remove the wheels

Take a jack and remove the wheel that covers the caliper from your vehicle by using it as a lever or wrench. 

Step 2. The use of wedge

Using a screwdriver, put a wedge under suspension so that it lifts one side of the car and keeps it from slipping away.

Step 3. Remove the old pads

Take out the old brake pads by removing bolts, springs, and screws from old calipers. 

Step 4: Install a new part on the caliper       

Use your wrench to pile up the new pad while attaching it to the pistons you took out of old calipers. 

Step 5 Step 6: Put back the wheel and tire

Use your jack to put back the wheel while using a wrench or screwdriver to tighten it up. The next step is to inflate tires so that they are no longer loose after which you can turn on the engine.

You are now set to drive your vehicle without any worry. You should now sit back and enjoy driving safely.

What do you know about the Brake Calipers?

Brake calipers are the mechanical actuating part that regulates and put a stop to the vehicles that we drive. 

The reason why they are referred to as calipers is because of their likeness to the measuring calipers. 

To make braking maneuvers, two pistons within these devices come into contact with brake pads inside to compress them to generate friction that will bring about the stopping of a moving vehicle.

How Do You A Compress A Caliper Piston Without A Tool?

If you don’t have the compressor tool, you can use a pair of vise grips to compress a caliper. Put the vise grips over the protruding piston, then put your weight on it. 

It’s not a great solution, but a lot better than nothing in an emergency like a flat tire or something. 

 You can also use vice-grip style pliers to close brake calipers if you have no other option. You need to be careful when using this method. The vise-grips or pliers could slip off and damage the brake caliper, wheel hub, rotor, or drum.

How does the Brake Caliper Piston Work?

The brake caliper piston is a plunger that moves outward to press the brake pads against the inside of your car’s wheel. 

The way it works is that hydraulic pressure is put on one side of the piston through a cylinder for the other side to come out and strike against the whole assembly holding up the pad. The speed at which the pads come together is determined by a combination of pedal pressure and hydraulic pressure.


Q.1: What can you use to compress brake calipers?

A: You should use channel locks or C-clamp to compress your caliper, and make sure that you are using a clean rag to keep it protected. 

 Q.2: What are the steps that you need to follow to compress brake calipers?

A: The first thing that you should do is to jack up your car and loosen the lug nuts. After which, a wedge must be put underneath suspensions to keep it from slipping away while another person compresses calipers by using channel locks. This helps in taking out the old pads so that new ones can be installed.

Q.3: What tools are required to replace brake pads?

A: You need a c-clamp or channel locks to compress your calipers while another person unscrews screws and bolts from existing calipers. In addition, you should also have a screwdriver to take out old pads while attaching the new ones by using a wrench. 

Q.4: How much time does it take to replace brake calipers?

A: It takes on average 20 minutes to replace your brake calipers.

Q.5: What are the steps that you need to follow when replacing brake calipers?

A: This is what you need to do to replace your brake calipers. You should (1) jack up the car, (2) remove the wheel and tire, (3) use a screwdriver to take out old pads while attaching new ones by using a wrench, and (4) re-inflate tires.

Final Thoughts

The brakes are probably the most important safety elements your vehicle has. Therefore, you must know how to take good care of them. Compressing your car’s brake calipers can help you achieve this and ensure that they are working effectively at all times. You should always be on the lookout for signs of defects and have them corrected on time.

A compressed brake caliper is a good sign that your brakes are in good shape! Good luck to all the readers. Be sure to share this article with your friends and family so they can learn the ways to compress brake calipers as well. All these steps mentioned above will help you save money by doing brakes repair at home.

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