Difference Between Fixed Caliper and Floating Caliper

All calipers are not the same. Just as all uneven brake pad wear patterns are not the same, nor are the remedies. Before you start condemning calipers, you should first understand the differences between a fixed and floating caliper.

Fixed calipers have two or more pistons that are opposed in each mirrored half of the caliper housing. The two housings are bolted together and the caliper is mounted directly to the knuckle or axle housing. The following are key inspection items specific to fixed calipers that can cause piston knock back. A warped rotor will push the pistons on one side of the caliper into its bore. This can increase the distance that the pedal will travel when the brakes are applied. A warped rotor can also cause a pulsation in the brake pedal.

Wheel bearings that are out of adjustment or a hub bearing with excessive end play and/or run out can cause a low pedal condition after the vehicle is driven for some time and the brakes are applied. When the vehicle is driven in stop-and-go traffic, the pedal may operate normally.

Floating calipers can have a single piston or dual pistons located on the inboard side of the caliper and pressed on an outboard flange of the caliper. The body of the caliper is supported by bridge bolts that allow the caliper to slide in its bracket.

Most cars use floating calipers. Larger vehicles and performance-oriented racing vehicles rely on fixed calipers for greater braking power.


Post time: Jul-08-2021