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Brake Bling

Brakes & Brake Parts, DIY, Guides  /   /  By Gary Lieber
Brake caliper paint kits provide everything needed for a new great-looking finish.

Brake caliper paint kits provide everything needed for a new great-looking finish.

Upgrading or enhancing your brakes is a great way add performance to your vehicle—but also some visual flair. With the trend towards bigger wheels, brake calipers and rotors are now clearly visible. Here are a few ways to dress them up.

Paint the Calipers

Performance brakes on sports cars are often painted to stand out. But you can easily paint your existing brake calipers to create a splash of color. Brake caliper paint, which is available in a variety of colors, is formulated to withstand the heat that comes with braking.

Brake caliper paint kits come in both spray and brush-on versions. Regardless, preparation is the key to success. Clean your calipers thoroughly to remove any dust, dirt, or rust—and mask off areas that you don’t want to paint. Budget about two hours per wheel for the best finish, and allow the paint to set overnight for it to cure.

Depending on the size and shape of your caliper, a nice finishing touch is to apply brake caliper decals with the brand or model of your vehicle to your freshly painted brakes.

Caliper Covers

Brake-caliper covers are an easy and inexpensive way to add style to your vehicle.

Brake-caliper covers are an easy and inexpensive way to add style to your vehicle.

If you’re not keen to paint your calipers, consider adding attractive brake caliper covers. They also come in a variety of colors and styles—and can be customized with the name of your ride. You can even use a custom-engraved design. Caliper covers, which don’t require any prep work, install in minutes and stay clean.

Ceramic brake pads enhance stopping power while keep your wheels clean.

Ceramic brake pads enhance stopping power while keeping your wheels clean.

Dustless Brake Pads

Your vehicle might already have good-looking wheels and calipers, but black brake-pad dust makes them look ratty. Perhaps it’s time to upgrade to ceramic brake pads. These pads combine the best qualities of organic and semi-metallic brake pads to provide reliable braking performance, excellent fade resistance, and long life. The ceramic-pad materials produce less dust, which will not stick to the wheels. In fact, given these advantages, ceramic pads are becoming standard on today’s new cars.

Drilled or Slotted Rotors

Slotted or drilled brake rotors also enhance stopping power while adding a good look.

Slotted or drilled brake rotors also enhance stopping power while adding a good look.

Drilled or slotted brake rotors, which are designed for heavy-duty applications, use the drilled holes and slots to enhance the cooling of the rotor. That minimizes brake fade and helps keep the rotor from warping due to excessive heat. Replacing a brake rotor is an easy task that can be completed with basic hand tools.

Big-Brake Upgrades

If you have power under the hood, then upgrading your stopping capability is a gift that will keep on giving. Bigger brakes use high-performance calipers, rotors, pads, and fastening components to allow your ride to handle the toughest high-performance or heavy-duty stopping events without overheating or fading.

Get all the details about a brake upgrade in our post: “Enhance Your Car’s Performance with a Brake Upgrade.

About the Author

Gary Lieber is a regular contributor to the eBay Motors Blog, Clean Fleet Reports, MyRideIsMe.com, and PluginCars.com. He likes to modify his cars by adding features that are unique to the marque. His Porsche 911 is a multiple Concours winner including Top 911 at Porsche Parade in 2005 and 2015. His Volkswagen GTI has been tricked out with engine management upgrades and style enhancements not commonly available on this side of the pond.

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