The Average Cost of Brake Caliper Replacement is $567 to $904, Depending on if You Go to the Mechanic or DIY.
This price range is based on national averages for all vehicles and does not factor in taxes, fees, or your particular make and model. Related repairs or maintenance, such as brake pad or rotor replacement, will add to the total cost. For a more accurate estimate based on your vehicle’s make, model, and location, use the RepairPal Fair Price Estimator.
Get a more accurate estimate for your brake caliper replacement using RepairPal’s Fair Price Estimator.
Cost at the Mechanic: $567 to $904
Parts: $435 to $738
Labor: $132 to $166
On average, it will take a mechanic between an hour and a half to three hours to replace brake calipers on both sides of the car. Very rarely do calipers need to be changed on a vehicle, and in most cases, it’s for cars with more than 125,000 miles on them. Even though they don’t go bad often, it is crucial to replace brake calipers when needed. Otherwise, you may have difficulties braking safely. and will be at risk for an accident.
Cost to DIY: $435 to $738
- Difficulty Level: Intermediate
- Parts Needed:
If you are looking to save money on your brake caliper repair, you can DIY it. While the process of replacing the calipers is not difficult, it does require knowledge of your brake system and can be a little more difficult on vehicles with a lot of rust. You will also need to bleed the brakes to replace the calipers.
What Is Brake Caliper Replacement?
Brake calipers house your vehicle’s brake pads. When you apply the brakes, calipers will help slow the vehicle by pressing one or more pistons against the brake pads, which in turn press against the rotors, causing friction. Calipers function similarly to a clamp and will help stop the wheel from rotating when you apply the brakes. Calipers can become stuck or leak brake fluid, which will require them to be replaced.
What Does a Brake Caliper Replacement Include?
When having your brake calipers replaced by a mechanic, you can expect the process to take between 1½ to three hours total. First, the mechanic will need to lift up your vehicle and remove the wheel in front of each caliper being replaced.
Next, the mechanic will unbolt and pry the caliper off the brake pad, either by hand or with a screwdriver, leaving it attached to the hose. They will then remove the brake pads and remove the caliper bracket that is holding it in place, allowing the caliper to come off the car.
Your mechanic will remove the hose from the caliper and attach it to the new one. Once the new caliper is secured back on the rotor, it will be time to reinstall the brake pads. In most cases, unless the brake pads are new or have little wear, they will be replaced.
The mechanic will then bleed the brake system and ensure that everything is working properly before reattaching the tire. Afterward, they will drive the car and test the brakes to make sure they are now functioning as they should.
What Happens If You Don’t Get Your Brake Calipers Replaced?
If your brake calipers have gone bad and are freezing or leaking, waiting too long to replace them can lead to a dangerous situation. Braking will be less effective when the calipers are bad, and your vehicle will likely pull to one side when you brake, which can lead to an accident.
When traveling at higher speeds, this can cause you to completely lose control of your vehicle, leading to a significant accident.
Failing to replace your brake calipers when needed can also result in other vehicle damage. When the calipers get stuck, the brake pads will have constant pressure against the rotor. This causes premature pad wear, as well as stress on the entire braking system. If the stress goes on too long, the braking system could fail. If you notice any issues with your brakes, you should have them looked at immediately.
How Often to Get Brake Calipers Replaced
You will not need to replace your brake calipers unless they go bad. For most vehicles, this will not occur until they have been heavily used and the vehicle has at least 125,000 miles on the odometer or more. In some cases, they can last the entire life of your vehicle.
Disclaimer: Be sure to check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to see the specific maintenance schedule for your particular vehicle.
Common Symptoms You Need to Have Brake Caliper Replacement
When a caliper freezes up or gets stuck, you will notice:
- Your vehicle moves to one side when you brake.
- A strong smell may come from the wheel from overheating brake pads.
Your brake calipers can also fail when they leak. When this occurs, you will notice:
- The brake pedal pushes easier and goes to the floor.
- Braking is less effective.
- Brake fluid leaking onto the wheel and other nearby components.
Related Maintenance Services
The following services are commonly performed with brake caliper replacement:
- Brake pad replacement
- Brake rotor turning or replacement
- Bleeding and replacing brake fluid
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