How To Loosen The Stripped Bolt On Brake Caliper?

It can be difficult to loosen the bolt on a stripped caliper. When the threads inside the caliper or on the bolt wear down or break, it becomes difficult to remove the stripped caliper bolt. This problem frequently occurs during routine upkeep or brake system repairs. So, how to loosen the stripped bolt on brake caliper?

We will examine efficient techniques for loosening a stripped caliper bolt in this article. To make the process easier, we offer detailed instructions and pointers.  You have control over their brake system upkeep by heeding these recommendations. This guarantees that their cars will operate safely and effectively.

What Is Stripped Bolt On Brake Caliper?

A stripped bolt on a brake caliper is when the threads on the caliper bolt are damaged or worn down. It makes using a standard wrench or socket to tighten or loosen the bolt difficult or impossible. This can occur as a result of over-tightening, corrosion, or the use of the incorrect tools. When a bolt becomes stripped, it may no longer provide the necessary clamping force, compromising the brake system’s effectiveness.

To ensure that the brake system functions properly and safely, you must address stripped bolts as soon as possible. If you’re not confident or experienced with this type of repair, it’s best to seek the help of a qualified mechanic or automotive professional.

What Tools Do You Need To Prepare For Loosening The Stripped Bolt On Brake Caliper?

The tools you need will vary depending on the severity of the stripping and the available space. Here are some tools and techniques to consider:

Penetrating Oil

Apply a penetrating oil, such as WD-40 or PB Blaster, to the stripped area before attempting to loosen the bolt. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to help loosen any corrosion.

Impact Wrench

A quick burst of force from an impact wrench may help break the bolt free. Check that you’re using the right size socket for the bolt.

Bolt Extractor

A bolt extractor is a tool that is designed to grip the stripped bolt and turn it counterclockwise. Use it in conjunction with a wrench or socket.

Vice Grips or Locking Pliers

Locking pliers or vice grips can be used to grab and turn the stripped bolt. Maintain a firm grip to avoid slipping.

Hammer and Chisel

To make a groove, tap the edge of the bolt counterclockwise with a chisel and hammer. This can help a wrench or socket grip better.


Using a propane torch to apply heat can occasionally help loosen a bolt that has become stuck due to corrosion. Take care not to overheat the surrounding parts.

Socket and Hammer

A better grip may be obtained by hammering a smaller-sized socket onto a bolt that is somewhat stripped but not entirely rounded.


You might have to drill out the bolt and then retap the hole if the aforementioned techniques don’t work. Since this is a more complex process, it is best to proceed cautiously.

When working on your car, don’t forget to wear the proper safety gear, like safety glasses. Additionally, to prevent further harming the brake caliper or surrounding components, make use of the appropriate tools and techniques.

How To Loosen The Stripped Bolt On Brake Caliper?

With the appropriate tools and methods, you can remove a stripped bolt from a brake caliper. This is a comprehensive guide:

Step 1: Apply Penetrating Oil

Using a penetrating oil on the stripped bolt, like WD-40 or PB Blaster. Let it sit for a while, preferably overnight, so the oil can seep in and dislodge any rust or corrosion that might be holding the bolt in place.

Step 2: Use the Correct Size Socket or Wrench

Make sure the socket or wrench you’re using is the right size for the bolt. A tight-fitting socket over the bolt head will improve grip and lessen the possibility of additional stripping. After obtaining the appropriate instrument, lightly tap the wrench or socket’s end with a hammer. By tapping the area around the bolt threads, any corrosion may be broken free.

Step 3: Tap with a Hammer

Use a hammer to lightly tap the wrench or socket’s end. Corrosion near the bolt threads may be broken free with the aid of this.

Step 4: Attempt to Loosen

Try to turn the bolt counterclockwise by applying consistent, even pressure. This method may be adequate if the bolt is only slightly stripped. At this point, if one is available, an impact wrench can be helpful as it offers brief bursts of torque that might aid in loosening the bolt.

Step 5: Use an Impact Wrench

Quick bursts of torque from an impact wrench, if you have one, might help pry the bolt free. Make sure the socket size is correct.

Step 6 : Use Bolt Extractor 

If the stripping is more extensive, you might want to use a bolt extractor. Using a wrench or socket, turn the extractor counterclockwise after centering it in the bolt and giving it a little tap with a hammer to seat it. Vice grips or locking pliers can be used to hold onto the stripped section of the bolt and rotate it counterclockwise if the bolt has sufficient surface area. Make sure you have a firm grip to avoid slipping.

Step 7: Heat & Drilling

Applying heat with a propane torch is an option for bolts that are stuck because of rust or corrosion. Take care not to cause the surrounding components to overheat, and try to loosen the bolt while it’s still warm. Drilling out the bolt might be necessary if everything else fails. This entails carefully drilling a hole in the middle of the bolt and extracting it with a screw extractor. Since this is a more complex technique, use caution when using it.

Keep in mind that using too much force can cause more harm, so be patient. If you’re not sure, it’s best to get advice from a qualified mechanic.

Can You Save A Seized Caliper?

By addressing the root cause of the problem, a seized caliper can frequently be freed. The caliper piston can be inspected and cleaned, and the slide pins can be lubricated. In addition, you should replace any damaged rubber boots and seals. To guarantee optimal performance, bleed the brake system and give it a test drive. 

For a comprehensive evaluation and secure repairs, you can seek professional assistance. They are able to evaluate the caliper’s state, make the required repairs, and guarantee the safety of the braking system. This method aids in avoiding possible problems with brake performance. In addition, it guarantees the durability of the braking system, enhancing the general safety and dependability of the car.

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