“Can you drive with loose caliper?” If you’re one of the many drivers whose car suffers from a loose caliper, then you know what it does to your driving. Whether it causes an unexpected slip while driving on the highway, or has other serious consequences like overheating your brakes and overheating your entire system, there are some truly inconvenient consequences associated with this defect.
As annoying as it might be to deal with loose calipers, driving with loose calipers is dangerous as they’re supposed to be secured.
Brakes rely on the calipers to apply force to your brake pads. Calipers are often called the “pads” on your vehicle’s brakes because they’re responsible for pressing your brake pads against your rotors (and sometimes even other parts). If a caliper is loose, you’ll need to fix that before you ever start driving with it loose, or if it already started causing problems, then more serious problems might be looming.
Signs of a Loose Caliper
A loose caliper might cause problems like:
- Unusually high brake temperatures
- Brakes that feel very soft, almost to the point of not working
- Strange noises when braking
- Slipping when braking
You should always be aware of odd changes in the way your brakes feel or function. You should be especially concerned if you started feeling or noticing any of these symptoms after an incident that could have caused damage to the calipers. The most common causes for this kind of damage are accidents and road debris impact.
Some of these symptoms might be caused by other problems. Not all of them have to point to a problem with the calipers. However, you should always get a professional mechanic’s opinion before you decide to drive with a loose caliper.
What Causes a Caliper Loosen
The most common reason for a caliper to loosen is related to damage to the braking system. This kind of damage could be caused by:
- Road debris and accidents (most common)
- Negligence and lack of proper maintenance, like not replacing brake pads in time, or not getting regular inspections done on time or at all. If your brakes are damaged due to negligence then you should look into your car insurance policy to see what kind of coverage you have for this kind of damage.
Can You Drive With Loose Caliper?
Of course, the answer is NO! If you can drive with a loose caliper, you are at risk of damaging your brakes and possibly your whole vehicle.
If they are loose, not secured in place with the correct hardware or even if they are secured but are not working properly, they’re very likely to cause problems. If you’re already in an accident due to a loose caliper you’ll have even more problems at fault that will affect your auto insurance premium.
Don’t gamble on being able to drive with a loose caliper.
How To Fix Loose Calipers
Your vehicle owner’s manual should have instructions on how to fix loose calipers. You should not have this kind of trouble if you regularly get your brakes checked for any signs of problems.
Here is how you can tighten it up:
Tools You Will Need:
- Wheel chocks or stands
- Brake caliper bolt torque wrench (recommend #10)
- 10mm socket wrench for your wheel bolts
- Double check your other duties while your car is in the air or on jack stands, e.g. while the car is in the air, have someone watch your other duties while you do this.
How To Tighten Up Loose Calipers
Make sure your car is on jack stands or parallel to the ground. Brake dust can be very hazardous if inhaled while working with brakes. So, you should always wear a mask when working on them. You should also have a fume extractor just in case you are not wearing a mask while working with brake dust inside your nose or mouth area.
- Install caliper retaining screw, and tighten by hand until the caliper is snug and not loose. It’s important to ensure that the caliper is snug so that it will not be coming off during normal driving.
- Next, bolt on the calipers and tighten your wheel bolts securely with a torque wrench to ensure proper brake caliper torque.
If you have to drive with your loose calipers, there is a chance that you’ll have more serious problems with your brakes, especially if it’s a major defect. It’s also possible that you might have to replace the calipers entirely. This can cost a great deal of money, and it can even be dangerous if you’re driving at top speed and the brakes don’t work right.
Have your brakes checked on time so you will have the security of knowing that they are secure and not going anywhere while you’re driving.