Brake calipers play an important role in the function of your brake. The calipers house the pistons and brake pads, ultimately helping to slow the wheel of your vehicle and bring your car to a stop when you press on the brakes. As you use your brakes, the caliper starts to wear, and you will find yourself having to replace them. Calipers generally last about 75,000 to 100,000 miles, or 10 years, depending on which comes first. Here are some of the signs that your brake calipers may need to be replaced. 

There is Brake Fluid Leaking In or Around the Tire

As your brake calipers wear and age, the rubber seal that is placed around the calipers starts to degrade or erode away. As this happens, the brake fluid can start to leak out from the caliper area. Brake fluid can leak in multiple spots, but you can tell that the issue is related to the caliper when the fluid is leaking into your tire well or around your tires. 

You Have a Soft Brake Pedal

Another issue that can develop if your brake calipers need to be replaced is a soft brake pedal. A soft brake pedal — also referred to as a spongy brake pedal — happens when your brake pedal gets pushed all the way down to your floorboard and the brakes are still slow to respond. 

You Hear Unusual Noises When Braking

If your brakes are going bad, you may hear screeching or squealing. If your calipers are going bad, you may hear louder screeching or squealing, grinding noises, or even clunking noises. Anytime you hear unusual noises coming from your brakes, you should have your brakes inspected to determine why the sound is present. 

You Notice Your Vehicle Pulls to One Side When Braking

Lastly, if one of your calipers is going bad, you may notice that your vehicle pulls to either the left or right when you brake. If your vehicle pulls to one side prior to breaking, the problem is likely caused by an alignment issue. However, if the issue only occurs when braking, your calipers may be to blame. 

If you notice that there is brake fluid leaking in or around the tire, if you have a soft brake pedal, if you hear unusual noises when braking, or if you notice your vehicle pulls to one side when braking, you may need one or both of the brake calipers on your vehicle replaced. Bring your vehicle to your preferred auto repair shop for inspection and repair brake services.