Lubrication for calipers and guides: how, what and why?


The brake caliper is an actuator of a system that provides a smooth or emergency stop of the vehicle. A little earlier we have already considered device, various modifications of this element, as well as the replacement process.

Now let's focus on one subtlety that is sometimes overlooked when replacing the brake pad on each wheel. This is the grease for the guide pins and the floating bracket. Let's consider what material is needed for this, and why to do it.

Why lubricate the caliper

Most budget cars are equipped with a combined type of braking system. In such vehicles, drums are installed at the rear, and a disc version with calipers at the front. Basically, they are of the same type, with the exception of minor differences (mainly in the form of the structure or its individual parts).

Lubrication for calipers and guides: how, what and why?

Most parts of the mechanism move when the brake system is activated, so they need to be lubricated. In addition to extraneous sounds, non-lubricated elements will simply be blocked at the most inopportune moment. If this mechanism is defective, movement on such a car becomes impossible. If only because this is a requirement specified in the traffic rules.

What's going on in the calipers during operation

Among the elements that carry the highest loads are the brake calipers. When the driver applies the brake, the temperature of the pad and disc can rise up to 600 degrees. Of course this depends on the speed of the vehicle.

Lubrication for calipers and guides: how, what and why?

The device of this mechanism is especially in that it also quickly cools down with strong heating. However, during the activation of the system, the finger is always exposed to strong heat.


In addition to this element, in some cases the floating bracket can also get hot. True, this happens more often when descending serpentine mountain roads. But if the driver frequently accelerates and brakes sharply, he can expose the caliper to such overheating.

Lubrication for calipers and guides: how, what and why?

No matter how high-quality the cooling of the mechanism is, no manufacturer has been able to develop such a system that would protect the part from moisture and small abrasive particles in the dirt. To maintain the efficiency of the device in such situations, an important condition is the lubrication of the moving elements.

How to lubricate brake calipers

It should be noted that not every lubricant is suitable for this procedure. For example, if after changing the engine oil part of the fluid remains, it cannot be used in this case.

For this, manufacturers have developed a special paste. In auto parts and supplies stores, you can find both budget and more expensive caliper lubricants. Here is a small list of the most common ones:

  • One of the most budgetary options is the MC1600. The paste is sold in tubes of 5-100 grams. Convenient if there is no need to purchase material with a stock;
  • For vehicles operating in difficult conditions, there is a more effective lubricant from Liqui Moli. The material copes well with high temperatures and high humidity;Lubrication for calipers and guides: how, what and why?
  • If the car often moves on serpentine roads, TRW is a good option for such transport;
  • There is Permatex material for the brake system installed on offroad vehicles;
  • The most expensive, but at the same time distinguished by its reliability, lubricant is from the car manufacturer VAG;
  • If the brakes make a specific noise during operation, no matter what they are lubricated, an excellent option for such cases is paste from Bosch.

What should you rely on when choosing a lubricant? You should not start from the cost of the material, because each of the pastes is designed for its own type of transport, and will show efficiency precisely in the conditions for which it was created. But definitely not worth buying the cheapest one.

How to lubricate the calipers

There is nothing complicated in the lubrication procedure. If a motorist is able to disassemble the caliper, and then assemble it correctly, then he will cope with the lubrication. Here's a quick guide to how the procedure is performed:

  1. We disassemble the caliper (for how to remove it and then put it back in place, read hereсь);
  2. We remove dirt and rust;
  3. If rust is present (and it will be in the vast majority of cars), then plaque removal must be performed using mechanical treatment, and not by any means;
  4. Degrease the treated surface;
  5. Lubricate the caliper pins, back pads and bracket plates;Lubrication for calipers and guides: how, what and why?
  6. Usually, if a lot of grease is applied, its excess will be squeezed out during the installation of the part;
  7. It turns out to be even easier to lubricate the piston - not paste, but liquid is used for this. It is applied using a conventional syringe;Lubrication for calipers and guides: how, what and why?
  8. We assemble the mechanism back and install it on the steering knuckle.

Requirements for lubricating calipers

So, not every lubricant will work with calipers. These are the requirements for the material:

  • Must withstand heating up to two hundred degrees;
  • If the temperature on the mechanism reaches about five hundred Celsius, then the material should not melt and flow out of the caliper. Otherwise, the parts will be "treated" with dirt instead of the paste;
  • Should not be washed out with water and be resistant to the effects of auto chemicals, which can be used when washing or processing wheels, as well as in the brake system itself (TZ);
  • It is impossible for the material to react with rubber and plastic elements, destroying their structure.

Considering all these factors, it becomes clear why a special paste or liquid has been developed to lubricate these elements. For these reasons, you cannot use lithol or graphite grease - they will leak out immediately after the first press on the brake pedal when the machine is stopped.

Types of brake caliper lubricants

There are two types of caliper lubricants. The first category is universal. They are used to process various parts. The second type has a narrow focus. They belong to the category of professional lubricants, and are applied to each part separately.

Lubrication for calipers and guides: how, what and why?

In the arsenal of some companies you can find the following types of lubricants:

  • For the brake cylinder (placed under its boot);
  • Anti-squeak paste, the purpose of which is to eliminate noise for parts whose function is to guide the bracket during its movement;
  • The material that is applied to the anti-squeak plate, as well as to the non-working part of the brake pad.

Such lubricants are used by the world's leading car manufacturers. In addition to these pastes, the companies also sell rust cleaning solutions and brake fluids.

A good option for a budget analogue is American-made paste, Slipkote 220-RDBC, as well as domestic products MC1600. Both materials have good properties in contact with water and many chemicals, and the price is affordable for most motorists.

What is the best caliper lubricant?

First of all, you should pay attention to the lubricants that the manufacturer recommends to use. If unsuitable material is used, it can sinter during braking and block the device.

Lubrication for calipers and guides: how, what and why?

The most important condition is thermal stability. In this case, the lubricant will not lose its properties even in active mode. If you use materials that cannot withstand high temperatures, they quickly lose their properties due to drying.

Often, the pad material is not designed to lubricate anti-squeak parts or fingers. This will definitely be indicated on the paste packaging.

When the lubricant is ineffective and requires replacement

It often happens that motorists are trying to fix the breakdown of some elements of the caliper by lubricating them. It is worth considering that lubrication only provides a smooth movement of the elements, but does not eliminate the production on them.

For this reason, if the parts began to knock as a result of severe wear, it would be correct not to apply a thick layer of paste, but to replace the mechanism. Some parts are repaired using a repair kit.

And in conclusion, we propose to see how the procedure looks like on the example of a specific car:

Lubricate the caliper. Caliper diagnostics. Volk brake performance workshops. VMPavto greases.


Home » Articles » Lubrication for calipers and guides: how, what and why?

Add a comment