Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Brake Caliper housing broke off while driving

I replaced my brakes & roter about a month ago. I also painted the calipers. 2008 Nissan Pathfinder V6. I started hearing a noise when i brake hard–it sounded like when the pads are worn and metal is scraping against the roters. Not the case. a couple of days ago, while driving not going too fast about 10/15 MPH i heard a loud noise brake peddle when to the floor. The caliper bracket broke in two and the caliper fell out. Not sure what caused it. I am hoping that it was something i did wrong or forgot to complete and not defective materials. Any suggestion

Did you paint the brackets too?
How did you prep everything? Gritblasting (not recommended)?
Did you use torque wrenches and proper torque specs to reassemble everything?
Did you use an impact wrench to reassemble everything? (not recommended).

Well that’s a new one! The calipers are made of some kind of cast metal I think, which might be pretty brittle. When handling them, esp after they are removed from the car and placed on the workbench, make sure not to drop or bang them against other metal objects, as that could crack the housing, with this being the result. However I doubt that’s what happened to OP’s calipers. My guess is during the install one of them got put on a little crooked, not seated correctly; either that or something hard got wedged under the caliper, so when the caliper was bolted to the hub ass’y, it cracked. Sort of like how a piece of ceramic floor tile is split in half with a tile cutter. Another idea, the new brake pads were the cause, wrong size or not placed correctly, and stepping on the brake pedal eventually cracked the housing. This latter idea seems possible, but very unlikely. More likely if not the first idea, just a coincidence, the caliper was already faulty and it decided to fail at that time, nothing to do with the prior work. OP should of course double check the torque recommendations for the caliper attachment bolts.

I’m thinking that a loose slide bolt was scraping and then broke off, causing the caliper to come off which was then grabbed by the wheel which broke the mount. I know we all wish we had time to check out all noises before some expensive event happens.

So a kid at work did his brakes, the bolt that holds the caliper was lost in the winds, so they got a new bolt , the dealer did not have one, from a hardware store and reattached the caliper, stuff happens, will be interested in hearing your story

I’m happy that it worked for the kid, but I do not recommend it. It’s better to take the time to get the proper bolt. I hope the kid at least used a grade 8 bolt and properly torqued it.

Generic bolts from a hardware store do not always match the correct length and design of the OEM bolt. And not all bolts are the same strength. IMHO a bolt holding a caliper is not one that a person should take that chance with.

He and his father did get “The proper grade bolt” was all I heard.

I’m pleased to hear that.

The reason I went into a bit of detail is that I wouldn’t want young folks reading the thread to think they can just use any old bolt to secure critical items like brake calipers.

Happy motoring.