In most cases, auto brakes last anywhere from 15,000 to 70,000 kilometers before it needs to be replaced. The lifespan will depend on how well the brakes were maintained and how well you drive. Pay attention to how quickly your brakes respond and whether they're doing their job to determine when they need to be replaced or, at the very least, inspected by a mechanic. If you've noticed that your car tends to pull to one side when you brake, there's a good chance that the caliper is damaged. Here are three common causes for caliper damage.

Insufficient Lubrication Damaging the Slide Pins

The simplest cause for caliper damage, that is also easiest to resolve, is insufficient lubrication. You need to service your auto brakes regularly. During servicing, the mechanics will ensure that there is sufficient lubrication applied on the slide pins for them to function properly. If the slide pins exhibit only minor damage, the mechanic will recommend cleaning and applying lubricant to them instead of replacing the entire thing.

Worn Down or Torn Dust Boot Resulting in Caliper Getting Stuck

The dust boot of the brake system protects the caliper from the elements and other external factors. If the dust boot becomes damaged, water, dirt, dust and other debris can enter and penetrate into the metal of the caliper. This can cause the caliper to rust and corrode and the piston to freeze up. The fluid pressure of the piston can't push onto the bore as easily. This causes uneven pressure to be applied on the pressure pads. The only solution is to replace the caliper and the dust boot.

Bent Pistons from an Accident

If you've recently been involved in a car accident, then there's a good chance that the accident did more damage than you thought. Depending on the point of collision, the accident may have bent the pistons, which prevents them from moving freely. This causes the caliper to bind and limits the amount of pressure that the caliper can place on the pressure pads. The best course of action is to simply replace the piston.


Keep an eye out on your brake's performance to determine its condition. If you notice that your car is starting to pull to one side when you brake, it means that the caliper is damaged. You want to bring your car in for an inspection as soon as possible. The sooner that you bring your car in, the higher the chance that the damage will still be relatively minor and repairable.

For more information, contact a local brake repair specialist.