Volkswagen brake caliper replacement, made easy

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How much does a brake caliper replacement cost for Volkswagen cars?

A typical Volkswagen brake caliper replacement - driver side (front) in the UK costs around £135 - £223. Depending on your Volkswagen model and engine, and whether you live in a big city or a small one, the price of a brake caliper replacement - driver side (front) on your vehicle can be higher or lower. We computed prices for some of the best-selling Volkswagen cars in the UK in order to give you an idea of how much a brake caliper replacement - driver side (front) costs. Volkswagen brake caliper replacement - passenger side (front) costs on average £135 - £223, Volkswagen brake caliper replacement - driver side (rear) costs on average £149 - £290 and Volkswagen brake caliper replacement - passenger side (rear) costs on average £149 - £290.
Car modelFixter price range
Brake caliper replacement - driver side (front) for Volkswagen Polo£142 - £223
Brake caliper replacement - passenger side (front) for Volkswagen Polo£142 - £223
Brake caliper replacement - driver side (rear) for Volkswagen Polo£149 - £235
Brake caliper replacement - passenger side (rear) for Volkswagen Polo£149 - £235
Brake caliper replacement - driver side (front) for Volkswagen Golf VII£135 - £212
Brake caliper replacement - passenger side (front) for Volkswagen Golf VII£135 - £212
Brake caliper replacement - driver side (rear) for Volkswagen Golf VII£164 - £257
Brake caliper replacement - passenger side (rear) for Volkswagen Golf VII£164 - £257
Brake caliper replacement - driver side (front) for Volkswagen Golf£135 - £212
Brake caliper replacement - passenger side (front) for Volkswagen Golf£135 - £212
Brake caliper replacement - driver side (rear) for Volkswagen Golf£185 - £290
Brake caliper replacement - passenger side (rear) for Volkswagen Golf£185 - £290

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Our expert insights

What does a brake caliper do?

A caliper forms part of the disc brake system, which most cars have in their front brakes. The brake caliper houses the brake pads and pistons. Its job is to slow the car's wheels by creating friction with the brake rotors.

What are the signs of a bad brake caliper?

Below are the top three symptoms that could indicate you need to replace your brake caliper:

  • If your brake pedal feels softer (less resistance when applying the brakes).

  • If your car pulls to one side when braking.

  • If the level in your brake fluid reservoir drops or if you notice a leak. Brake hydraulic fluid is a very pale golden colour, transparent and almost watery.

What happens when we do a brake caliper replacement on your car?

Our certified mechanics will:

  • Inspect the brakes and determine if there’s a problem with one or several of the brake calipers. They will also advise if other parts of the braking system need replacing too.

  • They will then replace the brake caliper and other parts of the brake, if necessary.

  • Bleed the brake system and top up the brake fluid.

  • Test drive the car and inspect the brake system again.

  • Make any final, necessary adjustments.

Daniel, from LondonDaniel, from London

Hey Fixter, how do I know if I need a brake caliper replacement?

The most common signs that your brake caliper is on its way out are if your brake pedal feels softer, your car pulls to one side when braking or if you notice a brake fluid leak.

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Want to learn more about Volkswagen brake caliper replacement?

What does a brake caliper do?

Brake calipers are an essential part of your car's braking system. The job of the caliper is to slow the car's wheels by creating friction with the rotors. The most common is floating caliper, but on some cars there are swinging and fixed calipers. It fits over the rotor like a clamp. Inside each caliper is a pair of metal plates bonded with the brake pads.

When the driver presses the brake pedal, the small brake cylinder piston compresses brake fluid in the master cylinder. Because the brake fluid doesn't compress, this force is instantly transmitted to the brake caliper, which clamps the spinning rotor, causing the wheel to slow and stop.

Though only comprising a few parts of your car, brake calipers are one of the most critical parts, enabling controlled braking in various situations. As they are a key safety component of your car, it’s important that your brake calipers are well maintained and fully functioning at all times. If you think there may be an issue with your calipers or braking system, it’s important to get things looked at by a mechanic as soon as possible.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen (often shortened to VW) is a German automobile manufacturer founded in 1937 by the German Labour Front, a Nazi labour union.

Volkswagen is the flagship marque of the Volkswagen Group, who in turn is majority owned by Porsche. They own and operate a vast number of cars under other brand names—at the time of writing, they have 342 subsidiary companies.

Possibly its most well-known model of the current generation, the VW Golf, was the 2nd best selling car of 2018, behind the Ford Fiesta, which consistently takes the top spot year after year.

The Golf’s 64k registrations in 2018 added to the vast tally of 3.4million Volkswagen cars on the road today.

High quality, highly rated, appropriately priced cars

VW cars achieve consistently strong reviews and are highly respected by critics and drivers alike. They are renowned for investing more money into research and development than almost any other marque and distributing their wealth of motoring knowledge across the many partner brands under the VW Group umbrella.

The Volkswagen Beetle: The ‘people’s car’

A classic of its time, originally named the Volkswagen Type 1, it soon became nicknamed the Beetle due to its unique shape, and subsequently the bug. The unique looking car was designed by Ferdinand Porsche for Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap and simple mass-produced car to travel around his country’s new road network.

The new model Beetle, originally launched to celebrate the original classic in 1997, and with an updated successor in 2011, was designed around the VW Jetta platform sharing much of its build with the Jetta and Golf. VW announced in 2018 that the Beetle would finally be removed from production in July 2019.

How often should a brake caliper need replacing?

Brake calipers are usually very durable. On modern vehicles, it's not uncommon for calipers to last at least 100,000 miles or 10 years. However, if you experience any of the above symptoms, you should have your brakes inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible. Driving with stuck, damaged or faulty brake calipers is very dangerous as it will impact the effectiveness of your braking, meaning your presence on the road is a danger to all other road users.

It’s also important to keep in mind that bad brake calipers can cause excessive wear to the brake discs and pads, so having them repaired or replaced as soon as possible will be better for your wallet in the long-run.

What happens during a brake caliper replacement?

Our certified mechanics will:

  • Inspect the brakes and determine if there’s a problem with one or several of the brake calipers. They will also advise if other parts of the braking system need replacing too.

  • They will then replace the brake caliper and other parts of the brake, if necessary.

  • Bleed the brake system and top up the brake fluid.

  • Test drive the car and inspect the brake system again.

  • Make any final, necessary adjustments.

What causes a brake caliper to break?

In general, brake pads and rotors wear out and need replacement far more often than calipers. Calipers tend to get damaged when a car is driven with worn-out brake pads or warped rotors. If these components are damaged it can cause the calipers to overheat, wear down or crack.

Calipers can also break if the rubber boot that protects the piston splits. Once this occurs, water and grit will seep into the pistons surface and cause pitting, which can lead to the piston getting stuck or damaged.

When should a brake caliper be replaced?

Brake calipers are pretty tough and durable. On modern cars, calipers should last at least 100,000 miles or 10 years. However, if you experience any of the above symptoms, you should have your brakes inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible.

What are the symptoms of a bad brake caliper?

Usually, there a few signs you can look for:

  • If your brake pedal feels softer (less resistance when applying the brakes).

  • If your car pulls to one side when braking.

  • If the level in your brake fluid reservoir drops or if you notice a leak. Brake hydraulic fluid is a very pale golden colour, transparent and almost watery.

  • If you notice brake fluid on the rims of your wheels.

  • If you receive an advisory note regarding brake imbalance.

How often should you replace your brake caliper?

If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should have your brakes inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible. Driving with stuck, damaged or faulty brake calipers is very dangerous as it will impact the effectiveness of your braking, meaning your presence on the road is a danger to all other road users.

It’s also important to keep in mind that bad brake calipers can cause excessive wear to the brake discs and pads, so having them repaired or replaced as soon as possible will be better for your wallet in the long-run.

What happens during a brake caliper replacement?

Our certified mechanics will:

  • Inspect the brakes and determine if there’s a problem with one or several of the brake calipers. They will also advise if other parts of the braking system need replacing too.

  • They will then replace the brake caliper and other parts of the brake, if necessary.

  • Bleed the brake system and top up the brake fluid.

  • Test drive the car and inspect the brake system again.

  • Make any final, necessary adjustments.

What is the average life of a brake caliper?

Generally, brake calipers are tough and durable. On modern vehicles, it's not uncommon for calipers to last at least 100,000 miles or 10 years. However, if you experience any of the above symptoms, you should have your brakes inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible.

Can you drive with a broken brake caliper?

No, you should not drive with a bad brake caliper. Driving with stuck, damaged or faulty brake calipers is very dangerous as it will impact the effectiveness of your braking, meaning your presence on the road is a danger to all other road users.

The law, vehicle regulations and your MOT

The efficiency and balance of brakes is checked on MOT tests, therefore it's important that every component of your brake system is in good condition, including your brake calipers. Because your brakes are arguably the most crucial safety component in your car, your vehicle will fail its MOT if they are not functioning properly or are damaged.

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