What Is a Brake Caliper Tool? What Is a Brake Caliper Tool?

A brake caliper tool is necessary when you are changing your brake pads. While other tools are also necessary, a brake caliper tool is a great tool for any backyard mechanic to have in their tool box. This tool helps to prevent damage to the pistons while working with the brake pads.

What It Does

Basically, a brake caliper tool is used to retract the pistons back into the actual caliper. You will need to do this so the brake pads can be removed and replaced with ease. You will not be able to push the piston back into the caliper because, like a screw, it is threaded. This means that you will need to do a little extra work. The tool itself will fit over the piston at one end. At the other end there will be a handle that will allow for rotation. Each time that you rotate it the piston will wind more and more into the caliper itself.

Why It Is Needed

While you can use a pair of pliers to retract the pistons, it is not recommended. You can actually do a lot of damage to the piston this way. Not to mention to your hands as well as to the caliper. That is why it is necessary for you to use this special tool that is made specifically for this job at hand. You will find that it will be much easier for not only you, but for the tools as well. If the calipers  begin to stick, the culprit for this is typically rust or dirt. It is in this instance that you will need this special tool in order to get the job done as it can be very harmful to the caliper if it is not retracted properly. It will also cause a lot of damage to the brake pad this in turn can make the fuel use become inefficient. Over time this could create the rotor to warp as well.


It is important to remember that there are several different models of these tools that can be used for several different things. There are quite a few different types of calipers out there that you will need to become familiar with should you have them. Anything from motorcycles to diesels, you will find that there is a specific caliper for each and every one. You will need to be sure that you are able to understand what each one does and why it is different. This will help you to tell each one apart without them even being in the vehicle that you are currently working on. The more that you know about the different types of calipers, the easier the jobs will be should you ever have to work on any of them.

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