Updated at: 28-08-2022 - By: Lucas

The front and rear wheel brakes’ brake pistons are critical components in the vehicle’s braking system. The brake caliper is where you’ll typically find them. The brake piston may need to move out more when the brake pads wear down to ensure that the brakes continue to function properly.

In order to replace the brake pads, however, you will need to re-insert the brake pistons. If you want to know exactly how to re-install the brake piston, go no further than this page.

Step-by-step instructions and answers to frequently asked questions are provided in this guide to repositioning the brake pistons.

How Do Rear Brake Pistons Work?

Rear Brake Caliper Tool (1)

Taking a look at the workings of the rear brake pistons is necessary before we discuss how to re-inflate them without a tool.

The pistons in the brake calipers are an important part of the entire braking system and are located inside the calipers.

When the brakes are applied, the caliper compresses over the rotor, causing the rotor to move. By pressing the brake pedal, you force brake fluid from the master cylinder into the brake caliper, where it is used to stop your car.

The caliper is pushed out behind the brake pads by the pistons being pushed out by the braking fluid. Brake discs and pads come into contact when this happens, slowing and stopping the vehicle. The caliper and brake pads would not compress into the discs if the pistons were missing.

When it comes to brakes, pistons are an essential part of both floating and fixed caliper systems. Rubber, steel, or aluminum pistons will be used in your vehicle’s brakes. The brake calipers on some vehicles have a single large piston within, whereas the brake calipers on others contain many smaller pistons.

The brake pistons can come out of either a floating or fixed caliper over time and need to be forced back in when the brake pads need to be changed.

It is possible to move the piston in front of the caliper with a c clamp. There are several differences between the front and rear braking systems. The method of pushing back the pistons will have to be modified for the latter.

You may drive the pistons back into the calipers on the front wheels using a c clamp, but you must rotate the pistons back when replacing the brake pads if your car has rear disc brakes. The use of specialized tools isn’t necessary for this operation to be done.

How To Push Back Brake Piston With Brake Caliper Tool

The proper operation of your vehicle’s braking system relies heavily on the brake pistons. In the long run, you’ll have to replace your brake pads because they aren’t going to last forever. Make sure the pistons are fully wound back in before replacing the brake pads.

C clamps are useful for quickly resetting pistons at the front of the brakes, however rotating the pistons in the rear is often necessary to get them to slide back into place again.

With the right tool, this task isn’t difficult at all. The pistons may be retracted into the caliper with this helpful tool. Trying to push the piston back in with physical force will only get you so far because the piston is a threaded one.

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Utilizing a piston retractor tool is a quick and easy alternative to using a tool to wind back brake pistons, which we will cover in great depth later on. You can use this guide whether you already own a brake caliper tool or plan to get one in the future.

How To Push Back Brake Piston Without Tool – Step-By-Step Guide

Rear Brake Caliper Tool (2)

Don’t have a tool for removing the caliper?

You don’t need to worry; you can reinstall the rear brake pistons with common household tools. Follow this step-by-step guide to re-insert the brake piston when it’s time to replace the brake pads.

Step 1

The car needs to be jack-knifed. The first step is to raise your car’s wheel off the ground. To begin, use a jack to raise the vehicle and remove the lug nuts from the wheels.

Step 2

Remove the lug nuts entirely and remove the wheel assembly unit after your car is lifted. Unscrew the cap from the brake fluid tank’s valve. As you tighten the piston back into position, you’ll need to make sure that the braking fluid isn’t overflowing.

Step 3

The brake caliper must be easily accessible. Remove the brake caliper by loosening the brake line. The banjo bolt and sealing washers should be kept separate. Using a brake line hose plug is the best way to stop any brake fluid from seeping out of the line (or you can try wrapping the end of the line, but keep in mind brake fluid is extremely corrosive and can be harmful if it comes into contact with the skin).

Step 4

The caliper from the rotor must then be removed. Remove the caliper’s mounting nuts in order to achieve this. You may remove the caliper from the revolving disc once the bolts are gone. A screwdriver is required to remove the caliper, although you can just just lift it up.

Step 5

Once the caliper is free of the rotor, you may begin to move the piston rearward. There are several other tools you can use to accomplish this: flat-head screwdrivers; pliers; dowels; and any other item that can fit in and rotate the piston without damaging the device.

Step 6

To use the caliper, insert the tool carefully into the caliper’s piston and turn the piston clockwise after you’ve selected your tool. You should be able to see the caliper retracting back into the caliper housing by spinning the caliper clockwise.

Step 7

The piston or pistons can now be pushed back all the way. In order to accomplish this, you will need a screwdriver or pliers, as well as a little of patience and a steady hand.

Step 8

The brake pads on your car can now be easily removed and replaced. Eventually, your brake system will be restored to working order after the pistons have been fully reinserted.

Step 9

Reconnecting the wheel assembly unit and caliper is necessary after you’ve finished the job.

Step 10

Put the cap back on the brake fluid container and return to the hood. Avoid getting brake fluid on your skin while reinstalling the brake line. You can now use the jack to lower your automobile to the ground again when everything has been put back in place.

Learn how to push back the brake piston without using a tool by watching this video.


How do you push brake pistons back in?

A c clamp can be used to compress the brake pistons, allowing you to re-insert them. The rear brake pistons, on the other hand, are screwed in and out and cannot be reinstalled using a clamp because of their unique design.

Purchase a retractor tool to wind the pistons back into their caliper housings successfully. But if you lack the rotator tool, you can use a screwdriver or pliers to carefully screw the pistons back into position.

Why do brake pistons get stuck?

When corrosion and debris build up inside the caliper, brake pistons can become jammed. Rust can form on the piston if brake fluid leaks from the caliper, reducing the piston’s capacity to move freely within the caliper.

The protective rubber covering the caliper bolts can wear and tear, which is a common cause of brake fluid leaks. Whenever the rubber is torn, the braking fluid will leak, causing troubles for the pistons.


All vehicles on the road must have a properly functional braking system. Drivers, other road users, and passengers are all at risk if their brakes fail to function properly. All components of the piston system must be in good functioning order if your car is to come to a complete stop.

When the time comes to change the brake pads, we’ll show you how to move the pistons back to make the job go more smoothly. While brake pistons can be pushed back with the use of special tools, we’ve provided all the instructions you’ll need to do so manually.

Remember that if you don’t have the proper tools, you don’t want to harm the caliper by pushing the pistons back. We hope this information has been helpful and that you now know what to do when your vehicle’s pistons need to be pushed back into position.