Advance Essentials: Brake Basics

Part 3: Additional Brake Parts

New Brake Rotors

Brake Rotor Brake Rotor

The brake rotor is the heart of your braking system, and should be closely examined while planning any brake pad replacement.

The cardinal rule: stick with high quality brake rotors. Economy brake rotors simply don’t perform as well as premium brake rotors. They contain less metal, are likely to overheat faster and warp more often. And, the lower-quality metal increases your stopping distances. You’ll replace them more often, which will completely wipe out the savings advantage you thought you were getting when you bought them. All in all, you're better off buying the best rotors you can—the first time out.

Our premium rotors have the same number of vent fins as original equipment and contain more metal than economy rotors.


New Brake HardwareBrake pads have to move in and out as they compress and release. If your vehicle is equipped with brake pad slides, replace them on each brake job. That’ll keep your pads moving smoothly and help prevent uneven pad wear, long after your brake pad replacement.

Buy a new brake hardware kit for each caliper.


New Caliper Pins

Every brake caliper slides on two pins. If the pins corrode, the caliper can’t “float” freely. This will result in braking noise in addition to premature and uneven pad wear. If you seen any corrosion on the slide pins, toss the old ones and install new pins.

Replace a Corroded Caliper Bracket Replace a Corroded Caliper Bracket

Replace a Corroded Caliper BracketIf your caliper pins are corroded inside the bracket, there's no way you're going to get them out and still have a usable bracket. Instead, just buy a rebuilt bracket. Our brackets come with new caliper pins and rubber boots. Just slap one on and you're back in business.


High-Temperature GreaseCoat the caliper pins, slides, and sliding bracket area with high temperature synthetic brake grease. Buy a bottle, or a single project pack.

Quality Brake FluidQuality Brake Fluid

Quality Brake FluidYou’ll need at least one quart of quality brake fluid to fully flush your brake system. Running out in the middle of a brake bleed isn’t an option. It’s inexpensive, so buy two.


Brake CalipersYou may, or may not need to replace the brake calipers during your next brake job. Here are a few things to look out for. If the caliper is leaking, replace it. If the piston dust boot is torn, chances are you’ve already damaged the piston seal, so you'll need to replace that, too. But if the caliper isn’t leaking and the boots are intact, the caliper is probably good to go for your next brake pad replacement.

Sometimes the square cut “O” ring inside the caliper can harden and prevent the piston from retracting. This can cause uneven brake pad wear (the outboard pad wears faster than the inboard because the caliper can’t release pressure). But, corroded pad slides and caliper pins can also cause uneven brake pad wear and they’re much cheaper and easier to replace than a caliper. So, try replacing those parts first. Then, if you still have uneven pad wear, bite the bullet and buy a new caliper. Many of our semi-loaded calipers come complete with a rebuilt bracket (if equipped), caliper pins, pad slides, and new hose gaskets.


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Brake Tools Needed

Come to Advance Auto Parts for the best brake rotors and other quality auto parts required for your vehicle maintenance jobs.