Why Replace Both Calipers When Just One Goes Bad?

Andrew Markel,
Brake & Front End Magazine

Are you ever doing the customer a favor by just replacing one caliper? The thing that you have to keep in mind is that both calipers, on a front or a rear have both traveled the same distance and chances are that if one has failed then the other one may not be that far behind. Another thing to think about is the hydraulic nature of brakes. When the customer presses on that brake pedal and generates hydraulic force, that force is equal between the left and the right.
So if one caliper doesn’t grip the same way and use the hydraulic force the same way as the other, the vehicle will either pull in one direction or the other. It all depends on which caliper generates the most amount of force. You would not replace brake pads in only one corner of the vehicle because the hydraulic force and the friction generated is not going to be the same side to side. This is why it is also critical to replace calipers in pairs. Doing just one is not doing the customer a favor. In fact, you can be causing a comeback to your shop when that customer says that they have a brake pull on their vehicle. Keep this in mind and replace calipers in pairs.