I have rang a few garages but none offer to remove rust from brake calipers, a lot of people say it is going to rust around there a bit anyway but I wanted to make them look shiny new for when I give my car as a gift to a relative. The rotor is nice and clean but I just need to get the brake caliper outside unit clean, I don't want to take the wheel off.

Who can do this kind of job? Is there a brush or product I can buy to clean them?

  • After removing the pads, whilst you are cleaning the caliper, your pistons may decide to pop out! This, you do not want to happen! cable tie or wedge them so they stay in-situ. Aug 11, 2019 at 9:23

1 Answer 1


If you want it to look nice/new/fresh/exciting, you will not be able to get it this way without removing the wheel. There is just no way of completely cleaning/coating the caliper without removing the wheel. Your best bet to get them cleaned up is to:

  1. Remove the wheel
  2. Pull the caliper from it's mount
  3. Remove the pads (keeping them in positional order for proper replacement)
  4. Take a wire brush to it to knock as much of the rust off as possible
  5. Blow the caliper clean of debris with some high pressure air
  6. Mask any areas of the caliper/car/rotor/whatever, so as to avoid overspray on these areas
  7. Spray the caliper with hi-temp primer
  8. Allow to dry to tacky (probably about 10 minutes)
  9. Spray the caliper with your color choice of hi-temp paint
  10. Wait until completely dry, then re-assemble

What it comes down to is you can either have a good looking caliper, or a half-arsed job - it's up to you. Without taking the wheel off of the vehicle, you WILL have the latter.

If you are actually talking about the rotors and not the calipers (or both), your best bet is to replace the old rotors with ones which are zinc coated. This will maintain a nice appearance in the non-wear areas for a long time to come. This still entails removing the wheel, though.

  • 1
    Agreed about not removing the wheel, it would be like decorating a room where your only access is though an open window from outside. That said, removing the wheel (an supporting the car safely) probably only accounts for around 5% of the job. Jan 23, 2019 at 16:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .