How to Lubricate Brake Caliper Piston

car in snow

A caliper piston is a vital part of the items that make up your braking system. These items force the brake pads to hit the rotor, which allows the car to stop. Without them, you would not be able to slow down your vehicle. It is critical to keep these pieces agile, which means lubrication is necessary. You might wonder how to go about lubricating a brake caliper piston.

Keep reading to learn how to lubricate a brake caliper piston. Knowing how and when to perform this task will ensure that your braking system is in tip-top shape at all times, ready to stop your vehicle whenever you ask it to on the road. By taking care of your caliper pistons, you will be taking care of your safety.

Know When to Lubricate

When lubricating anything in a car, it is vital to know when greasing is necessary. With the brake caliper pistons, it is not often that you need to try to grease them. Most do not go about this process unless they are replacing the brake pads. In the middle of installation, they add grease to the pistons.

Lubricating when you replace the brake pads is your best bet. With too much grease, your braking system might become damaged. Limiting your lubrication efforts to when replacements occur will ensure that you do not do it too often and damage your car.

Invest in Top-Notch Lubrication

When the time comes to replace the pads, you will have a chance to lubricate your brake caliper piston. Before you can do this, you will need to get grease that will not damage your car. This item can be tricky to locate if you have no idea what you are doing. It can be easy to purchase a lube that is incorrect for the vehicle that you own.

Some of the best lubrication options for your brake caliper pistons that exist on Amazon include:

All of these are excellent and inexpensive options for lubrication, available for purchase on Amazon and most local car stores. They should not be hard for you to find as they are commonly used by many drivers each year.

Once you have your grease, you are ready to dive a little further into this process. You should have this item next to you as you work so that you can finish the process as quickly as possible.

Remove Worn Pads

Before you apply lubricant to the brake caliper piston, you will need to remove the brake pads. This act will keep them away from the lube as it is being added. It will also permit room for the new parts to be added.

You can remove the worn pads by:

  • Taking off the wheel
  • Removing the slider bolt
  • Lifting the caliper upwards
  • Taking out the pads and putting them to the side
  • Putting in new retaining tips

By following these steps, your car will be prepared to accept new pads. It will also make room for the application of grease onto the pistons. Have the new parts off to the side so that you can easily access them after you use your lubrication to clean the piston.

Removing the worn pads is easy. The steps above will ensure that you get them out in no time at all, allowing you to grease up the pistons. Ensure that you do not oil other areas of the brakes as not everything needs lubrication to work properly. Some parts can be damaged, which is why keeping the grease to the pistons is critical.

Apply Lubrication

If it seems as though lubrication is an ideal option for your caliper pistons, you can go ahead and clean the piston before applying any lubrication to the surface.  Completing this process is simple and can be done in a few steps. Following these two guidelines will give you the best possible results for your vehicle.

To apply lubrication to the piston, you need to:

  • Wipe the area: You should first wipe the area clean with a cloth. This piece should be a microfiber cloth that is meant for car use. These are cheap and can be found at any local hardware or auto parts store.
  • Apply drops: Once this is done, you can add a few drops of your grease. This liquid dose should only be a small amount so that you can keep your car in working order. Too much oil can harm it rather than help it.

Once you’ve done this, you have successfully lubed up your piston. It should barely be noticeable if you have added the right amount to your system.

Ensure that you only add a few drops. Adding more could harm your pads, which will then hurt your braking system. Any greasing done for regular maintenance should be used sparingly and only when you are changing old items. You do not want to risk damaging the system, as doing so could prove to be dangerous on the road.

Replace Pads

Once you have greased the pistons and other necessary items, you can install your brand-new pads. Do this carefully and ensure that you avoid getting grease on these items. Grease on the pads can be bad. 

If you happen to get grease on your brake pads, you should:

  • Invest in degreaser: You can purchase a gentle degreaser from the store to assist with extra oil. It should not be strong to avoid further damage.
  • Wipe gently: Taking a washcloth or a car towel, you can use the degreaser to remove some of the lubricants. Always make sure that you are wearing gloves when you do this to keep your hands safe.

These steps can help to remove grease from the pads.

Most of the time, grease will burn up and go away if you drive the car. However, if it becomes an apparent issue, you must take extra measures to ensure that the pads are free from grease. Oiling is critical for the pistons every once in a while, but that does not mean that it is ideal for other areas of the car to experience.


I'm Arwood, but the grandkids call me Big Papa. After retiring from teaching automotive classes for 30+ years I decided to create a blog about all the questions I used to get about brakes!

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