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Brake Caliper

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Most cars today use disc brakes. These disc brakes use the Brake Caliper to slow your car wheels and allow you to stop. More specifically, the Brake Caliper squeezes the brake pads against the brake rotor which then slows or stops your vehicle.

Your Brake Caliper is like a clamp over the rotor that holds the brake pads. There are two main types of calipers today. One is called floating or sliding and the other is called a fixed caliper. As the name indicates the floating Brake Caliper moves in and out and the entire caliper gets pushed when the brakes are applied; while fixed Brake Calipers do not move, the pistons do.

Fixed calipers are more popular and are said to perform better. They are typically more expensive as well. The high performance fixed calipers have anywhere from two to six pairs of pistons on each side of the rotor.

Older cars used drum brakes which have been replaced by disc brakes in modern vehicles. Drum brakes were enclosed which allowed for heat and gasses to build up inside the drum. Disc brakes are more ventilated and therefore heat does't tend to build up as fast as it did in the drum brakes.