How to protect brake calipers and rotors?

I am about to change my brake master cylinder and change brake fluid. While I’m in there I just want to remove the rust from my brake calipers and rotors, and I was wondering what is a good way to prevent them from rusting. I want them to look kind of basic, bare, can I apply clearcoat on them as protection?

It’s normal for calipers to rust.

They’re made of cast iron…

But if you want to prettify "em, they make paint for calipers that’s rated as very high temp.


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I was kind of hoping there is another way than painting, I hate paint.

No! The friction surface of the rotors will be stripped of paint as soon as you touch the brake. The rest of the rotor will retain the paint for a shorttime until it rustsoff again.

You can paint the calipers if you want.

What do you think clearcoat is? It is paint.

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But at least it is see-through, and I was wondering if there is another way than using primer, base coat…

Why do you want to see rusty calipers?

You can remove and disassemble the calipers and have them zinc electroplated or chrome plated but this will be expensive and time consuming.

I wanted to remove the rust from them and polish them. I think painting is a waste of money, time and it is messy. In return it gives no functionality just looks. But I am not an expert, that is why I am asking what would be the best method of just protecting them from rusting again.

In order to remove the rust from the calipers, they must be removed from the vehicle, disassembled and sandblasted.

Otherwise, nothing that’s applied will stick.

Why not just live with the rusty calipers?

And worry about more important things?



How about a set of caliper covers?

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Like keeping the brakes in good working condition.

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That is a complete waste of time. They will rust before you can get them re-installed unless they are aluminum.

Paint gives functionality… it prevents rust.

So I am just going to accept my fate and paint them.

And removing the rust gives something back other than looks?

The calipers on my 97 Accord are rusted.

And the brakes work perfectly fine.


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I can’t remember anyone having a functional problem with external caliper rust. Internal rust/corrosion (from not changing brake fluid), sure.

Car sitting due to Covid took its toll on my rotors. Drove it weekly and they were really corroded.

You will never in a million years get rid of rust on cast iron. Ever. The pads may scrub the rotor surfaces clean but the hubs and outer edges will rust no matter what.

Around here with the humidity one can buy a brand new set of rotors and place them in a lawn chair on the porch. Several days later…rusted.

Some offer stainless steel rotors but that seems like a lot of expense to accomplish nothing. Forget polishing. I’ve done that a bunch in the past with custom motorcycle parts and all I accomplished after buffing wheels/compound/hours of work/ and filth was a short term shine.

Well, I thought it might be bad to leave them rusty and wanted to stop it, but if it’s not a problem then I don’t care about them, just wanted to know. Thanks for the answers.

Try PowerStop Evolution coated rotors. I put a set on my Nissan Frontier, and they look fantastic so far.