brake caliper and bracket corrosion

Technical info on the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix including do-it-yourself info
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brake caliper and bracket corrosion

Postby ihaveavibe » Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:01 pm

About two weeks ago I replaced the brake caliper and bracket (plus pads and rotors, but that's not important here) with a shiny new remanufactured one. I was under the car the other day and noticed they had already started corroding. Is this normal?
I realize there is brake dust down there... could it be due to leaking brake fluid (I initially had not tightened the banjo bolt enough which i realized while bleeding the system, and that might be the source of the deep orange corrosion in the photo)? My reservoir seems to be topped up. Or perhaps it's just normal? Just wondering...
caliper corrosion - small.jpg
caliper corrosion - small.jpg (171.1 KiB) Viewed 40 times

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Re: brake caliper and bracket corrosion

Postby ColonelPanic » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:57 pm

Probably "normal," for better or worse. We had a seized caliper on ours several years back and the shop replaced both with re-manufactured... They too ended up looking like that in no time. When it was time for the next brake job, here's what it looked like:

old1.jpg (110.29 KiB) Viewed 35 times

From what I understand, the OEM calipers have a coating that's supposed to prevent corrosion, but re-manufactured calipers may not have the coating. I really don't care for the looks of it, but allegedly the corrosion is "cosmetic."

The piston in the caliper pictured above would not compress when I went to replace the pads, so it was time for new calipers again. I replaced them with a pair of Centric Posi-Quiet loaded calipers which have a nice gold coating on them. 8-)

Before it gets too bad, you could probably clean up what rust has already formed and paint 'em.
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Re: brake caliper and bracket corrosion

Postby jolt » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:24 pm

Brake fluid can destroy paint, cause it to blister and peel. It looks like the caliper was painted by the marks left from the brake fluid running down the caliper. Read the brake fluid bottle and it will tell you these things. I hope you did not get ant fluid on other painted surfaces. It was going to get rusty eventually. The brake fluid just sped up the process.

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Re: brake caliper and bracket corrosion

Postby ihaveavibe » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:40 pm

Thanks. The ones I replaced were far more corroded. I realize brake fluid removes paint... but it dripped down, not up, and I wiped it... so I was surprised it was already so rusty. I guess I'll torque that bolt a little more just to be sure, even though I thought I did it to spec.

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Re: brake caliper and bracket corrosion

Postby SeattleJeremy » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:37 pm

It's possible fluid you wiped up compromised the paints integrity, and it failed, then little by little all of it flaked off, due to the corrosion underneath. If the caliper is in good working order you might want to remove it, clean it up with a wire wheel, and put a good coat of caliper paint on it.
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