FAQs

  1. Do I need to rebuild a caliper if it appears to work OK?
  2. Why use rebuilt calipers and not new ones – don’t parts wear out and need to be replaced?
  3. Can I supply my own new disc pads?
  4. What type of brake fluid should my car use?
  5. What happens if I just replace the pads?
  6. How often should the brake fluid be flushed or replaced?

Do I need to rebuild a caliper if it appears to work OK?

The internal piston surface and or external enclosed sliders build up rust and corrosion from the continuous heating and cooling of the brake system.  The moisture drawn in when the brake system cools down creates hidden problems that can only be fixed with a complete rebuild of the caliper.  The hydraulic seal to the piston loses it elasticity after cycling the piston thousands of times.  All the other rubber parts deteriorate with the tremendous heat generated during normal braking.


Why use rebuilt calipers and not new ones – don’t parts wear out and need to be replaced?

The culprit that ruins disc brake calipers is contamination internally and rust externally.  Pistons can and do lose their plating due to rust but these are replaced new when needed. If your caliper uses a phenolic [a molded plastic] type of piston, it will be replaced with a new one.  The rest of the caliper hard parts don’t wear out but get rusted and dirty from normal wear and tear, and these get thoroughly cleaned. The rubber parts, from the dust boots to the o-ring seals to the slider boots are replaced also.


Can I supply my own new disc pads?

You sure can, but we suggest that you send them in with your calipers so the pads can be fitted correctly.  The openings in the calipers where the pads fit can vary and often times the pads are not made correctly requiring fitting to make the two works together.

Breaking in your pads...

Making your caliper and pad combination work (without any annoying squeaks) mainly depends on the first hundred miles of use. Drive the car around the block avoiding any hard stops, then let the brakes cool down for ten to fifteen minutes. Repeat this procedure as many as ten times to maximize the longevity of your braking system.  This will properly burnish the new pads for prolonged operation. Then, for this first one hundred miles avoid hard or prolonged stops.


What type of brake fluid should I use?

We recommend using DOT3 or DOT4 brake fluid. The ability of these two grades to absorb moisture is a great benefit to the longevity of your brake system. DOT4 has a higher boiling point than DOT3 and will absorb more moisture too.

Silicone was thought to be the answer to all brake fluid needs when it was first introduced, but its inability to sponge moisture leaves water pockets in your brake system and can boil easily under braking. Silicone also tends to aerate and its thinner viscosity tends to leak through fittings and seals.  


What Happens if I just replace the pads?

Studies have shown a 30% loss of pad wear if the calipers are not rebuilt when the pads are worn out. The rubber parts lose their elasticity, the internal parts build up a layer of corrosion and the external pieces rust and collect road dirt.  All of these factors combine to make the caliper work at a diminished rate.


How often should the brake fluid be flushed or replaced?

Brake fluid is hygroscopic. This property makes the brake fluid act like a sponge and attract water that gets drawn in as the system cools.  This water absorption breaks down the ability of the brake fluid to shrug off the heat generated during normal braking.  Special (and expensive) tools are available to measure the water content in the brake fluid but it is much more cost effective to just replace the fluid on a yearly basis.