What Are Clips That Come With Brake Pads?

If you have ever opened up a braking system, you might have noticed clips on the sides of the pads. What are clips that come with brake pads? Where are they used and what purpose do they serve? Let’s find out in the article below.

Brake pads are an essential component of a disc braking system. There are two brake pads in the disc braking system, which help convert your car’s kinetic energy to thermal energy through friction.

The brake pads consist of steel plates and have friction lining bound to the surfaces. There are clips in between the brake pads and rotor. So, what are clips that come with brake pads? What is their purpose in the braking system? 

Most drivers know brake pads and calipers, but they don’t know the purpose of clips attached to the brake pads. The clips help push the brake pad away from the rotor of the disc braking system. 

They are responsible for keeping the disc brakes cool, lessening noise, limiting vibration, and extending the life of the brakes pad. So, in short, it keeps the braking components of your vehicle safe and secure and thus helps save your money.

Driving without a brake clip is not dangerous. But you may hear a lot of noise from your vehicle. Moreover, your brake pads will get damaged quickly, and you have to replace them with new ones.

In this article, I will discuss the clips that come with brakes and brake pads themselves in quite some detail So, keep on reading the article for more information.

What Are Clips That Come With Brake Pads

Basics Of Brake Pad Clip

You can compare brake clips with the shoelaces used in your new sneakers. Whenever you purchase new sneakers, you will find new laces that help keep your shoe in the proper position. But with time, you don’t pay close attention to these shoelaces until they require replacement or tying.

Time takes a toll on your brakes, just like it takes a toll on your sneakers, including laces.

Can you imagine reusing your old shoelaces with new sneakers? No, because the used shoelace has a high chance of breaking quickly and may not keep the sneakers on your feet.

Similarly, if you find brake pads have been damaged or broken, you need to replace them with new ones. But simultaneously, if you don’t replace the old clips with a new one, your braking system will work effectively only for a short duration.

So, in brief, these brake clips help keep the brake pads safely and securely in their position. Fully functional clips help in reducing noise and vibrations.

Nowadays, you will find the newer models of brake pad clips on the market. For instance, in some brake pad clips, you will find a lining consisting of vulcanized rubber which reduces noise while driving your vehicle.


You might like to read: What Does It Mean If Car Brakes Squeak When Backing Up?


What Are The Types Of Brake Pad Clips?

#1. Abutment Clips

In most vehicles, you will find abutment clips housed on the bracket of the brake caliper. These clips provide a uniform space so that whenever you apply brakes, the brake pads can safely come in contact with the disc or rotor and stop your vehicle effectively. Moreover, it helps suppress the noise and deliver a smooth and comfortable ride.

In some abutment clips, you will find fingers that help the brake pads stay in their position and consequently help increase the pad’s life.

However, these clips have some disadvantages, like their anti-rattle features will weaken after use for some days, or they may get rust or broken, and you need to replace them with a new one.

Modern technology has developed new abutment clips that help push the brake pad away from the rotor. It reduces drag and increases the life of both rotors and brake pads.

#2. Anti-rattle Clips

The anti-rattle clips reside in between the caliper bracket and brake pad. They help keep the pressure against the brake pads to reduce noise and vibrations. 

Moreover, it tightens the brake pads with the caliper, which help in reducing wear and tear of the brake pad by minimizing contact with the rotor or disc of the braking system. The installation is also quite simple, and you can easily do it at home.

However, anti-rattle clips have some disadvantages. They are exposed to a heating and cooling cycle each time. So, they have a high chance of getting wear and tear with time.

Again they may also stop producing sufficient tension against the brake pad, producing noise and vibrations.

What Are Clips That Come With Brake Pads

How Can I Replace Brake Pads Clips?

You can replace the brake pad clips easily at your home. You have to follow a few steps and gather all the tools before replacing brake pads on your vehicle.

Tools required

  • Mechanic gloves
  • Jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • C-clamp
  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Bungee cord
  • Turkey baster for removing brake fluid.
  • New brake pads
  • Clips


#1. Remove The Your Vehicle’s Wheel

Wear mechanical gloves before starting the procedure. It will prevent your hands from being dirty. First, you need to lose the lug nuts on the wheel of your car. Then you can use a jack to lift your vehicle. Now remove the lug nuts and then remove the wheel.

#2. Remove The Slider Bolt Or Pins Of Brake Caliper

You will find two slider bolts or pins that help hold the brake caliper in place. Use a wrench to lose the lower bolt and then side it out. Allow the upper bolt to stay in place.

What Are Clips That Come With Brake Pads

#3. Inspect The Brake Clips

The brake caliper pivots up when you remove the bolts. Then inspect the brake clips usually placed between the caliper and brake pad. If the brake pad has gotten thinner, it’s the right time to change your brake pads and the clips.

#4. Slide Out The Old Brake Pads

Now slide out the old brake pads and the clips of your vehicle. You can use a screwdriver to remove the clips. If you have a plastic screwdriver, you can use it to remove the clips. Plastic is soft and will not damage any metal parts like a metal screwdriver.

#5. Replace New Clip And Brake pads

Install the new brake pads and the retaining clip, which helps keep the brake pads in position. Make sure you hear a clicking sound while installing the new clips back in their place.

A small packet containing graphite base grease also comes with the new brake pads. You need to apply the grease on the clips to prevent the brakes from squeaking.


You might like to read: What Size Allen Wrench For Brake Calipers?


#6.Retract Pistons

You can use a C clamp or a piece of plywood to retract the pistons. By doing this, the brake fluid in the piston will return to the master cylinder.

#7.Monitor the Brake Fluid Level In The Reservoir

Now open the brake fluid reservoir of the master cylinder. The brake fluid rises in the reservoir whenever you retract the pistons. If you feel it’s more than above, then better take out some of the brake fluid from the reservoir.

#8. Reposition The Caliper And Slider Bolt

Now reposition the caliper and reinstall the slider bolts in its place. Then remount the car and tighten the lug nuts.

What Are Clips That Come With Brake Pads

#9. Repeat On Other Side

Repeat all the above steps on the opposite side of the front brakes. Check the fluid reservoir. The brake fluid will be higher because you have retracted the piston on the opposite side. 

If you feel that the fluid will overflow while replacing brake pads, take out some of the brake fluid by turkey baster. Once you have completed installing brake pads and clips, then lower your car slowly.

#10. Test Drive Your Car

When you have replaced all the brake pads and clips on your vehicle’s wheels, test drive your car under safe conditions to ensure every component is working effectively.

Tips While Installing Brake Pad Clips

  • Wear loose clothing while installing brake pad clips.
  • If you find removing the brake pad clip difficult, then spray WD-40 and leave for some time. Then try again to remove the clips.
  • Try to avoid wearing slippers during the entire procedure.
  • If you find the brake pads have been damaged or thin, replace them while installing new clips.

Working Principle Of Brake Pad

Whenever you apply brakes, the pressurized brake fluid from the master cylinder enters the caliper and exerts a force on the piston in all directions. The brake pads are attached to pistons which squeeze the brake pads. 

The lining of the brake pad comes in contact with the rotor or disc, and finally, your vehicle stops comfortably.

Whenever you don’t apply brakes, the clips on the brake pad help keep the pad in the proper position. The clip helps prevent the brake pad from rubbing against the disc unnecessarily, increasing the brake pad’s lifespan.


You might like to read: Brakes Make Grinding Noise When Backing Up – What to Do?

Why Should I Replace Brake pads Of My Vehicle?

Almost every car has a disc braking system. The brake pads are an essential component of the disc brake system, but it gets worn out with time. The front brake pads generally wear out faster compared to rear brake pads. 

So, you need to replace it with a new one before it gets too thin, especially when you hear a grinding noise after pressing the brake pedal. If you don’t replace brake pads, they will be damaged entirely, and you may experience a spongy brake pedal while driving your vehicle, which is quite dangerous.

Well, noise is the best indicator of changing brake pads. But I will suggest you inspect the brake pads from time to time.

What Are Clips That Come With Brake Pads

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Are brake pads supposed to come with clips?

Yes, new brake pads come along with new clips. The clips help keep the brake pads in position when you don’t apply the brakes. It helps increase the brake pad’s life and reduces vibrations and noise. 

However, the clips are specific, either to the left or right side of the vehicle. Make sure you are using the right clip during installation.

Whenever you are changing brake pads, change the clips along with it to prevent noise and excessive wear and tear of the brake pad.

#2. What are metal tabs on brake pads?

Metal tabs are usually fastened on the brake pads to indicate when they have got thinner and you need to change them. Generally, when your vehicle’s brake pads get thinner, the metal tabs touch the rotor and produce noise when you apply brakes.

#3. Where do abutment clips go?

Abutment clips reside on the caliper bracket. It creates a uniform space so that the brake pads can easily contact the disc on applying brakes.

#4. What are abutment clips?

Abutment brake pads clips help to keep the brake pads in the proper position.


You might like to read: Which Brake Pad Goes On The Outside


A Few Final Words

Brake pads clips are pretty necessary for your vehicle. It helps keep the brake pads in their original position when you don’t apply brakes. If the clips had not been there, then the brake pads would have rubbed continuously in the disc or rotor, decreasing the brake pad’s life quickly.

So, if you find the brake pads clips damaged or worn out, then replace them with a new one. You can follow the above steps during installation. However, if you are not confident in changing the clips, take your vehicle to the nearest mechanic. He will change the brake pad clips of your car.

Thank you for reading, we hope we covered all you wanted to know about brake pad clips and their purpose. If you still have some doubts, feel free to reach us in the comments section below.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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