How to Clean a Caliper Guide Pin Hole

Brakes are arguably one of the most important parts of a car. For it to function properly, regular maintenance is crucial. Maintenance of brakes includes cleaning the parts attached to them, such as the caliper guide pin hole.

Even though it may sound a bit intimidating, it is a fairly easy task. Now you may ask, how exactly do I clean a caliper guide pin hole?

Well, to clean a caliper guide pin hole, you’ll need an emery cloth, a brake clean spray, and something like a drill machine to stick with it and reach inside to clean it.

And that’s the snapshot of a detailed cleaning process, so stick around with this article to get a detailed guideline on this topic.

How to Clean a Caliper Guide Pin Hole?

Let’s jump straight into a very simple and fast way to clean a caliper guide pinhole.

Getting Necessary Components

This method of cleaning the caliper guide pin hole mainly requires 3 things. Emery cloth, a drill machine, and a brake cleaner spray.

Preparing the Drill

Preparing the Drill to Clean caliper guide pin hole

Wrap a piece of emery cloth around the drill pin. It will reach the inside of the caliper guide pin hole and clean it.

Spraying Brake Cleaner

Spraying Brake Cleaner to Clean Caliper Guide Pin Hole

Before inserting the drill into the hole, spray some brake cleaner inside of it to degrease and clean the metal parts inside.

Working the Drill

Use Drill to Clean Caliper Guide Pin Hole

After spraying brake cleaner, insert the drill with emery paper wrapped around it into the hole and work around it in a vertical motion.

Continue doing this for a few rounds, and all the dirt and grease buildup inside will be pulled out of the hole with the drill pin. Pretty simple, isn’t it?

How Do You Remove Debris from Calipers?

Brake calipers have to go under a huge workload which causes a lot of debris buildup on it. Here is a 4 step process to remove debris from the calipers.

Step 1: Detaching the Caliper

Detaching the brake Caliper

To detach the caliper, put it on a jack stand to lift it up and remove the wheel afterward. Keep in mind it is necessary to loosen the brake line slightly where it’s connected with the caliper.

Now loosen and remove the bolts of the caliper and carefully take the caliper off of the rotor. After freeing the caliper, don’t forget to remove the brake pads from it.

Step 2: Spraying Brake Cleaner

Spraying Brake Cleaner on Brake Calipers

Now that the caliper is detached and the brake pads are also removed, use a good quality brake cleaner to spray on it thoroughly. Make sure that every part of the caliper is getting sprayed. After spraying, let it sit for a while so that it can do its job.

Step 3: Soaking the Caliper with Liquid Detergent

Soaking the Caliper with Liquid Detergent

Yes, a detergent. Liquid detergents work as a great degreaser. Get a bucket big enough to fit your caliper in it and put some liquid detergent and warm water in it. Let the caliper soak in it for roughly 20 minutes.

Step 4: Scrubbing the Caliper

Scrubbing the Caliper

Next, take the caliper out of the bucket. Using a scrubber, scrub all the dirt and debris buildup on the caliper. You should be able to easily scrub off the dirt and grease because the detergent and warm water made it come off of the metal.

After doing these steps, your brake calipers should be as clean as a new one!

Should Caliper Pins Be Lubricated?

caliper pins lubricating

Yes, caliper pins should be lubricated to ensure their consistent performance. Keeping the pins lubricated is important to make sure that they are working perfectly. One thing to keep in mind is to avoid petroleum-based lubricants.

After cleaning the calipers, it is essential to apply some lubricant before putting it back into the holes. Another good practice is to apply some lubricant on the slide pin boots as well because sometimes it can be a reason for bad breaking and uneven wear on your pads.

How Do You Fix A Seized Guide Pin?

The car’s inactivity results in a seized guiding pin. One of the most common causes of calipers or guide pins being stuck is not driving the automobile for a long period and letting it sit in your garage.

Another reason is corrosion. Now you might be wondering how you can fix a seized guide pin. Let’s get into that.

Apparently, there are multiple ways to fix a seized guide pin. Two simple yet effective ways are mentioned below.

Method 1: Using a Wrench and Penetrating Oil

How Do You Fix A Seized Guide Pin Using a Wrench and Penetrating Oil

With the help of a wrench, you can unjam your guide pins. Spray some penetrating oil on the seized guide pin and place the wrench on it and pull it out. It might require more force depending on how bad the rust or corrosion is inside the compartment.

Method 2: Heating the Guide Pin Hole from Outside

How Do You Fix A Seized Guide Pin Heating the Guide Pin Hole from Outside

If the first method doesn’t seem to be working, take a blow torch and heat the outer part of the guide pin hole.

The pressure produced from the heat provided will force the pin to unjam and fly out of the chamber.

This process might burn off the boots on the calipers, but at least it will be unjammed.

How Do You Remove Caliper Guide Pins?

Remove Caliper Guide Pins

We have learned to clean and unjam a seized guide pin. But the question of how to remove the pins remains unanswered. Don’t worry, we got you covered on that too.

Step 1: Removing the Wheel

The very first step would be to place a jack stand to lift your car up. Then lift up your car to start removing the wheel. Cautiously remove the wheel, and you’ll be able to see the caliper.

Step 2: Removing the Caliper Flange Bolts

Using a 6-point socket on a ratchet, remove the caliper flange bolts on the caliper. Make sure to use a 6-point one and not a 12-point ratchet for the easement for your work.

Step 3: Removing the Caliper

Now that the caliper flange bolts are taken off, the caliper is now loose. Just use both of your hands to take it off. Be very cautious, though, because the brake line is connected with it, and if you let the caliper hang, it might damage the brake line because of its weight.

Step 4: Removing the Caliper Guide Pins

After removing the caliper, you will be able to see the caliper guide pins. Gently pull out the caliper pins but make sure to carefully pull them out because the rubber boots are somewhat fragile, and you might damage them, and your work is done.


Maintenance of brake parts like the caliper guide pin hole and the parts attached to it is often overlooked by car owners. While fixing the parts in the car workshop is a good idea, it’s also quite expensive at times.

This write-up should help you with cleaning your caliper guide pins and pin holes if you have read the entire thing.

But if you think this is time-consuming and got some extra cash, you can always get these fixed from a professional in a workshop. Hope you have an enjoyable braking experience!

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