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Brake Caliper Restoration Program

Carabener Autoparts has developed a program that will enable workshops to do a complete recondition of calipers covering over 95% of all vehicles on South Africa’s roads. Below we outline how you can participate in this remarkable opportunity.

Incredible Market Potential

According to the Electronic National Administration Traffic Information System (eNatis), there are 9.5 million cars, minibuses (taxis), 4x4s and light delivery vehicles (LDVs) registered in South Africa.

The majority of these 9.5 million vehicles have brake calipers in front (RHS & LHS) and approximately 30% have calipers in the rear (RHS & LHS).

There are therefore over 25 million calipers on the roads in South Africa.

Replacing complete calipers can be very expensive as new caliper prices range from ONE to several thousand Rands.

However, REPAIRING and RECONDITIONING CALIPERS can be done for a third of this price and restored to a condition of “as good as new.”

Business Opportunity

In Europe and the United States, there are many large companies whose main business is to recondition calipers. Climatic conditions in these countries (rain and snow) cause the calipers to deteriorate quicker than in warmer climes.

In South Africa, there are no large companies reconditioning calipers and so this work is left to individual workshops to carry out this function. One of the difficulties experience by these workshops is obtaining all the spare parts necessary to carry out a successful reconditioned process.

This is the reason Carabener Autoparts has developed this program to enable workshops to do a complete recondition of calipers covering over 95% of all vehicles on South Africa’s roads.

This program includes all the spare parts needed to carry out a successful repair. Parts include:

→  Caliper Pistons
→  Caliper Seals
→  Caliper Boots
→  Caliper Guide Pins
→  Guide Pin Boots

Carabener Autoparts is therefore in a position to assist ALL interested workshops to become CALIPER RECONDITION CENTRES.

OE Product Quality

Carabener Autoparts sources product mainly from SEINSA AUTOFREN, a Spanish company that distributes its products to over 65 countries throughout the world.

As one of the largest manufactures of brake components in the world, SEINSA quality meets the highest Original Equipment (OE) standards as well as the compulsory standards as laid out by the SOUTH AFRICAN BUREAU of STANDARDS ( SANS 205/ISO 6118, SANS 206/ISO6119, SANS 4928/ISO 4928, SANS 4930/ISO 4930).

SEINSA brake components can be fitted to all OE MANUFACTURED calipers:


Caliper Braking System

The caliper braking system comprises three elements:

1. The caliper
2. The rotor (brake disc)
3. Disc pads

During its lifetime—average age of a vehicle in S.A. is 12 years—a vehicle will have brake pads replaced on average 3 times and brake discs 1.5 times.

The condition of the caliper can determine the life expectancy of both the BRAKE DISC and the BRAKE PADS.

Most car manufactures recommend that each time brake pads and/or brake discs are replaced, the caliper seal, boot and slide pin boots should be inspected and replaced as a matter of safety, and to ensure optimum braking performance of the caliper. If necessary the guide pins themselves need to be replaced.

Types of Calipers

There are two types of calipers:

Fixed Calipers come with 2, 4, 6 or even 8 pistons. A fixed caliper is mounted rigid to a bracket with no guide/slide pins or guide/slide pin boots. It consists of an equal number of pistons on the inboard and outboard sides of the caliper.

Floating Calipers (Fist or Sliding) come with only one or two pistons on the inboard side of the brake disc. The floating caliper moves in and out relative to the brake disc and has guide/slide pins on which the caliper moves as well as guide/slide pin boots.

Caliper Maintenance


Repairing a fixed caliper involves merely replacing the caliper seal(s), the caliper boot(s) and piston(s) if necessary. As mentioned earlier, fixed calipers comprise of 2, 4, 6 and, in some rare cases, 8 pistons. Each piston will have a boot and a seal. Boots come in various profiles: some fitting into a groove in the caliper; others requiring a wire clip to hold the boot in place. Still, others come with a hard metal or rubber boot. Some calipers (ATE) have internal seals known as channel seals.


Repairing a floating caliper is more complicated, as it has more parts to be considered. 80+% of vehicles on our roads come with floating calipers.

You may recall, floating calipers comprise of ONLY one or two pistons. Each piston will have a boot and a seal. Again, boots come in various profiles: some fitting into a groove in the caliper; others require a wire clip to hold the boot in place; while others come with a hard metal or rubber boot.

Important in floating calipers are the guide/slide pins. Each time you brake, the caliper moves along the slide pins, back and forth. It is estimated that the average motorist will apply brakes over 200 times a day during travelling or 6,000 times a month.

With calipers being positioned under the car subject to dust, dirt, rain and all manor of grime, it is important that the caliper is free to move along these slide pins to perform its only function: TO SLOW DOWN THE VEHICLE or BRING IT TO A STOP.

Uneven wear on disc pads and brake discs can be attributed to slide pins that are rusted, seized, clogged by dirt, bent or misaligned. When replacing disc pads, it is important to check the slide pins and to ensure that the boots are not torn, brittle and still protect the slide pins. Lubricating the slide pins when changing disc pads is recommended. Should boots be torn or brittle, replace them. If slide pins are rusted or damaged in any way, replace them. A guide pin kit will have all the parts you need including grease.

Please see our repair demonstration training videos.

Become a Caliper Recon Centre

To become a caliper-recon centre, get in touch today via the contact form.

We’d love to hear from you.

Return home to see all we offer at Carabener Autoparts.