Brake calipers come in many different colors. They’re often in red or white, but they can be any hue that matches the style and look of the vehicle.
If you drive a standard passenger vehicle, your brake calipers are likely black or gray.
Most people choose red brake calipers as a style option, especially if they have alloy wheels. The color stands out behind the black, silver, or white rim to capture attention.
Are red calipers still in style? It all depends on what you hope to accomplish with your look. If you love this option, you can install it without worrying about what might happen.
Are Red Brake Calipers Still in Style?
Red brake calipers are often associated with exotic cars, high-end wheels and rims, or expensive brakes. Companies like Brembo provide this option because it speaks of higher value and more care and consideration. The brake pads and mechanisms contained within operate the same as any other color.
Brembo is the global leader in producing red calipers and world-class products in the braking industry. The company started in 1961, working over the next decades to become the first producer of a complete braking system. It was installed on Laverda and Guzzi motorcycles in 1972.
The company also supplied Formula 1 brakes for Ferrari in 1975, developed the first aluminum caliper, and introduced the first carbon discs in the ‘80s.
Brembo was initially a small mechanic’s shop. After the community around Bergamo saw how effective Emilio Bombassei was at creating outcomes for local drivers, his talents were soon put to work for brands like Alfa Romeo.
In 1964, Brembo began their first production run of Italian brake discs to enter the spare parts market. After that, production activities to include all components. It would be a journey that would lead the business to become the leading brand in Europe for spare disc brakes.
Brembo is now a global brand that produces brake parts in each sales region. After acquiring the braking division of Hayes Lemmerz International, components for North America are built near Detroit.
Automakers Have Moved On from Red Calipers
In 2010, you couldn’t find a performance car without red brake calipers. It was a fashion statement that said you’d made it financially because you could afford an expensive exotic vehicle with these excellent parts.
If you purchase a vehicle from the 2020s, you’ll find Brembo and other caliper manufacturers supplying several different colors. For many automakers, gold calipers are now the new standard.
When your preference is for a new vehicle with red calipers already installed, your best option is to get a Mercedes AMG.
Here is a list of brands and what color calipers they’re currently using.
- Ferrari built an entire brand by using red paint, but they’re now pushing yellow calipers on most of their vehicles.
- Porsche doesn’t mind selling you several different colors when you want to purchase a high-performance vehicle, but the lime green option stands out the most. You can also find yellow here.
- BMW has moved on from red calipers to start using blue or gold. If you want to mimic other brands, they also have yellow as an option.
- Ford has gone to a nitrous blue color with its performance vehicles.
- Volvo uses silver for its calipers, taking a more subtle approach to the power that a Polestar provides.
- Lexus went to a distinctive shade of orange for its calipers. It stands out even more than the original red, showing that you can go in a different direction and still stand out.
Can I Paint My Brake Calipers?
Brake calipers can be painted whatever color is preferred by the owner. When taking this step to change the look, it is crucial that nothing gets on the brake discs. This issue is avoided by applying tape to cover the parts or removing the parts to paint them separately from the vehicle.
When you’re ready to change the color of your calipers, here are the steps to follow to complete the job.
Step 1: Raise the Car
The car needs to be off the ground to do the work. You’ll want to loosen the lug nuts before starting this job, then remove the wheel and tire so that you can expose the calipers.
Step 2: Clean the Brakes
Once the calipers are accessible, the metals need to be clean. Painting over rust or dirt won’t let the color stick or create a smooth finish. Try using a wire brush to remove the unwanted material.
It might be necessary to use a brake cleaning product to remove stubborn dirt or grime.
Step 3: Prepare the Calipers
Take the front retainer clip. Then cover the bleeder valve with tape to protect it. You’ll need to ensure the entire part is covered. It helps to overlap different layers to prevent the paint from leaking when you change the color. Don’t forget to cover the hose fittings.
Take a plastic sheet that covers the entire brake rotor. If you use a bin bag, make sure that you rip it by the seams to create a square, then place it precisely to eliminate potential gaps.
Step 4: Paint the Calipers
Apply the paint evenly, going one coat at a time. Thinner is better here. It takes about ten minutes for each layer to dry when you’ve done it right.
After applying enough paint for an appropriate coating, allowing the calipers to dry for up to 24 hours.
Step 5: Replace the Calipers
Once the paint is dry, you can replace the calipers. Put the wheels back on, drop the vehicle, and enjoy the new look.
What Is the Purpose of the Brake Caliper?
Brake calipers are an essential part of the process that brings a vehicle to a halt when the driver depresses the brake pedal. It’s arguably one of the most critical parts in the system, housing the pads and pistons on the disc-based system that many cars have in the front.
The caliper fits like a clamp on the rotor. It’s designed to stop the wheel from turning when the driver engages the brakes. Metal plates, which are the brake pads, get forced against the rotor to slow the vehicle as brake fluid creates pressure on the caliper’s pistons.
You can find the caliper assembly inside the wheel, connected to the vehicle’s master cylinder with valves, hoses, and tubes that send brake fluid through the system.
As time passes, the heat generated from the braking system ultimately weakens the seals inside the calipers until they eventually fail. If you don’t drive your vehicle regularly, it can become contaminated, dirty, or rusty. It’s even possible for them to start leaking.
You’ll know it is time to replace the brake calipers if you start seeing any of the following issues while driving.
- The brakes constantly grind, squeal, or squeak, even if you’re not depressing the brake pedal.
- You receive a warning light on your HUD that says your ABS (antilock braking system) is malfunctioning.
- Your vehicle starts pulling or jerking to one side when you hit the brakes.
- When you step on the pedal, it feels hard, spongy, or soft in unusual ways.
- You see brake fluid leaks within the engine compartment or around the wheels.
Most brake calipers are rated to last as long as your vehicle, but that statement assumes proper care and maintenance throughout the product’s lifetime. Most drivers get about 70,000 miles out of this part before a replacement is necessary.
If you get your brakes changed by a professional, you should get a trusted second opinion if you have less than 70k miles on your vehicle and a caliper change is recommended.
Best Brembo Brake Pads to Use
When you purchase Brembo brake pads, you’ll need to ensure that the part number works with your make and model. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use the Amazon Confirmed Fit tool for the vehicles stored in your “garage.”
Brembo also lists the entire compatibility for each part. For the Brembo P37018N disc brake pad set, you’ll see that it is compatible with the following vehicles.
- Cadillac ATS model years 2016-2019.
- CTS model years 2009-2015.
- Chevrolet Camaro 2012-2015 and 2017-2019.
- Corvette 2015 to 2019.
- Dodge Challenger model years 2015-2019.
- Charger 2015-2019 model years.
- Durango 2018-2020.
- Jeep Grand Cherokee 2012-2020.
- Nissan GT-R 2009-2018.
Each set of Brembo brake pads has a different compatibility set. That means you’ll need to check each one of the following to ensure that it will work as expected.
- Brembo P83066N Front Disc Brake Pads
- Brembo P85065N Front Disc Brake Pads
- Brembo P29059N Front Disc Brake Pads
- Brembo P10064N Disc Brake Pad Set
- Brembo P09022N Rear Brake Pad Set
- Brembo P10045N Rear Disc Brake Pad
Why choose Brembo brake pads to work with your red calipers? The product comes thermally scorched before it reaches you, reducing the amount of break-in time needed to achieve an appropriate stopping experience.
Brembo uses stainless-steel hardware in most settings, working with a low-dust formulation to meet your unique driving needs.
Any Brembo braking product works well for daily drivers, those who commute at high speeds, and any other performance-based situation. Although they can be a little noisy once installed, the outcomes will meet or exceed your expectations.
Since all Brembo brake pads follow a similar manufacturing process, you can expect similar outcomes with any design.