What Size Socket For Brake Calipers?

If I want to change my brake calipers, what size socket for brake calipers will work? How do I replace my brake calipers? What size socket do I need to replace my brakes? Answers to all these in the article below.

The Brake system in a car is one of the most critical components responsible for your safety. Taking your car to a mechanic every time there is some issue will cost a lot. 

You must know how to do some minor repair work on your vehicle, not just for cost-saving but also so that you are not left stranded somewhere if your car breaks down in the middle of a ride. 

Knowing what goes in your car’s brake system is not just important for repairs but also helps you diagnose the problem. If you are looking to replace the brake caliper or any of its components, you need to open up the two bolts holding the calipers in place. 

It is essential to know how to remove the brake calipers yourself to check for any issues with the brake pads or do minor repairs like changing the brakes pads yourself. Read on below to find out what brake calipers are and how you can open and replace them if needed.

What Size Socket For Brake Calipers?

You would need two different sockets to remove the bolts on the brake caliper. An 18 mm and 16 mm socket would do the job for you.



What Do Brake Calipers Do?

A Brake system in a car comprises several different essential components, and one such component is brake calipers. Most cars these days have a disc braking system in the front brakes, and you are likely to see several cars with a rear disc braking system. 

A brake caliper is an essential part of a disc braking system. When you apply brakes, a brake caliper creates friction with the rotor of the heel, which slows down the speed of the vehicle and eventually brings it to a halt.

Where can I find the Brake Calipers?

You will find a brake caliper mounted on top of a wheel rotor. It consists of pistons and brake pads. The brake pads are metal plates having friction material, and there is a pair of them inside every brake caliper. 

How Brake Calipers Work

When you apply brakes, the brake fluid from the master cylinder comes out through pipes and then applies pressure on the pistons present in the brake caliper, which then pushes against the brake pads to create friction between the pad and the rotor of the wheel. 

This friction slows down the vehicle’s speed and eventually brings it to a halt. 


You might like to read: What Size Bolt To Remove Silverado Brake Rotor?


Why Would I Need To Replace Brake Calipers?

Brake calipers can wear out over time and impact your vehicle’s braking performance. Overheating the braking system can result in loosening the seals of the brake calipers, which can cause issues with your braking system.

Symptoms of a worn out brake caliper

If you are experiencing any of these issues, you should immediately check the brake system on your vehicle and change any worn-out parts to continue driving safely.

  • You hear a squeak or screeching sound when you apply brakes.
  • If the ABS warning light in your vehicle turns on.
  • If you are experiencing brake fade.
  • If your car moves or jerks while braking.
  • When you press on the brake pedal, it feels spongy and goes straight to the bottom.
  • If you notice any leaking of brake fluids.

These issues can be due to a worn-out brake pad or brake calipers. 



What Do I Need To Repair My Brake Calipers?

To repair or replace the brake calipers, you need to open them up. Brake calipers are mounted on wheel rotors using two bolts. You would need an Allen wrench or socket wrench to open up these bolts. 

The ideal size of bolts to secure the brake calipers in place is either 16 or 18 mm. Any Allen wrench or socket wrench of 16 or 18 mm size would be suitable for brake calipers. You are good to go if you own a hex socket with a 16 and 18 mm side.

How To Replace Brake Calipers

Now that you have the required tool to remove the brake caliper, now it is time to know how to use it to remove the brake calipers. Follow these steps to remove the brake calipers.

  • Lift your car using jacks to access the brake calipers more easily. Start with one caliper at a time to not end up spilling much brake fluid.
  • Two bolts hold the brake caliper mounted on the rotors. You will find these bolts in the back of the brake clipper. Use the Allen or socket wrench to remove the bolts and then loosen the brake caliper from the brake pad while moving it side by side.
  • Remove the brake lines using a line wrench. Once you have removed the line, cover it using a rubber cap. If there is any brake fluid leakage, use an old rag to clean up the mess.
  • Now that the brake calipers are removed, you can take off the brake pads.
  • There are now two more bolts that you need to remove to pry away the caliper bracket using the Allen wrench. 

Now that you have taken out the brake calipers, you can replace the brake pads or the caliper. Follow the next steps to install a new caliper.

  • If you change the brake calipers, join the brake line with the new caliper. 
  • Screw the bolts back on to secure the caliper bracket on the brake disc.
  • If the older ones are worn out, use the new brake pads or use the old ones if they are okay.
  • Not put the new brake caliper back on the caliper bracket and tighten the bolts using the Allen or socket wrench.

Following these steps correctly will leave you with brand new brake calipers without requiring assistance from a mechanic.


You might like to read: What Size Master Cylinder For 4 Wheel Disc Brakes?


Frequently Asked Questions

#1. What size socket do I need to change brakes? 

You would need a ⅜ inch socket wrench with socket sizes ranging from 8 mm to 19 mm for changing brakes.

#2. What tools do you need to replace a brake caliper? 

You would need these tools to replace a brake caliper

  • Line wrench
  • Rubber plug for brake line
  • Brake fluid
  • Breaker bar
  • A pan to catch brake fluid
  • A C-clamp
  • Safety Glasses
  • Jack
  • Wheel chocks
  • A pry bar or large screwdriver 
  • Sockets of appropriate size and ratchet
  • Torque wrench 


What Size Socket For Brake Calipers


#3. What size bolts are on a caliper? 

The most common size bolts on a brake caliper are 16 mm or 18 mm.

#4. Are all brake caliper bolts the same size?

The bolts that hold the brake caliper in place are the same size. However, do not confuse the bolts on the brake calipers and caliper brackets as they can be of different sizes.


You might like to read: What Size Wrench For Brake Bleeder Valve?


Wrap Up

We hope this helped in understanding how to open and repair your brake calipers, and why you would need to do it in the first place. Thank you for reading the article, we hope we covered everything you were looking for – if not, just drop us a word.

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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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