Where Does The Clip Go on Brake Pads? (Install It Properly)

A small brake pad clip plays a vital role in automotive braking systems. This metal or spring clip holds brake pads and the caliper together, ensures effective braking and reduces brake pad movement noise. 

Like most beginner car owners, you might wonder where the clip goes on brake pads? A brake pad clip goes between the brake pad and the caliper, preventing the brake pads from making unintended contact with the rotor. 

If you’re looking for more information about brake pad clips, including how to install brake pad clips properly and more – continue reading this article. So, without further ado, let’s get started. 

Purpose Of Brake Pad Clips: Why They Are Important? 

A brake pad clip serves a great value to the braking system. Located between the brake pads and the caliper, it helps separate the brake pad from the rotor and eliminates noise. 

There are many types of brake pad clips available for vehicles. Depending on your vehicle model and its braking system, brake pad clips may vary. For example, here are some of the most used brake pad clips throughout the automotive braking system –

  • Pad Retention Clip 
  • Anti-rattle Clip
  • Shim Clip

Note: The objectives of each brake pad clip are the same. Most people address all the brake pad clips as “Anti-rattle Clip” due to their ability to eliminate noise. Also, “Caliper Retaining Clip” is called by people as they hold the caliper and brake pads together. 

Importance of Brake Pad Clips in Vehicles Regarding Safety

Though the brake pad clips are often neglected due to their size, these small components are crucial for your safety. Brake pad clips play some vital roles – such as: 

  • Prevents Brake Pads Rubbing On Rotor Unnecessarily, and It Increases The Lifespan Of Brake Pads. 
  • Eliminates Unwanted Noises & Let You Drive In Peace. 
  • Keeps The Brake Pad and Caliper In The Right Position, Reducing The Risk Of Brake Pad Displacement
  • Due To the Right Brake Pads Alignment, Heat is Distributed Evenly. It Minimizes Overheating and increases Brake Efficiency. 

Read Also: Are Brake Pad Retainer Clips Necessary? – Here’s The Answer

Where Does The Clip Go on Brake Pads?

Image Source: Youtube

The brake pad clip goes in between the brake pad and the caliper. A brake pad clip’s primary objective is to separate the brake pads from the rotor when you are not pressing the brake. 

Another job the clip performs is to reduce unwanted friction between the pads and rotor by maintaining perfect alignment of the brake pads. This action helps to decrease overall brake noise and eliminate overheating issues, thereby extending the lifespan of the brake pads.

You have to install the clips perfectly to get all the useful benefits of brake pad clips. Check out the next section, where I’ll discuss the signs of incorrectly installed brake pad clips. 

Read Also: Can Worn Brake Pads Cause ABS Light to Come On?(Find Now)

Signs Of Incorrectly Installed Brake Pad Clips 

Here are some of the major signs of incorrectly installed brake pad clips: 

  • Squealing or Squeaking Noise: Incorrectly installed brake pad clips cause unwanted noises in the braking system. This sound is very irritating and you will notice this for sure. 
  • Uneven Brake Pad Wear: One of the main jobs of the clip is to align the brake pads correctly. Incorrectly installed clips won’t do the alignment job properly, causing the brake pad to wear unevenly. 
  • Metallic Grinding Noise: Be very alert if metallic grinding noise comes from your braking system. This indicates your brake pads are dangerously worn out (before they should typically) due to the incorrectly installed brake pad clips. 
  • Overheating Issue: The brake pad clip helps reduce unwanted friction between the brake pads and rotor. If this job is not done correctly, your brake system will be overheated. 
  • Unable to Brake Straightly: If the clips aren’t doing the job correctly and the pads aren’t aligned as they should, you’ll notice your car is pulling to a side whenever you press the brake. 

Don’t panic even if you are getting some of these signs; you can always detach the clips and reinstall them properly. You can also follow the next section to properly do this clip installation job. 

Read Also: How Long Will 3mm Brake Pads Last? (The Ideal Thickness)

How To Install Brake Pad Clips? 5 Steps Guide 

Though there are several types of brake pad clips, I will cover the Anti-rattle Clip installation as most vehicles use them. 

Caution: You must check the owner’s manual of your vehicle to know your brake pad clip type. 

Before starting the step-by-step guide, here are the things you’ll need: 

  • Safety Goggles
  • Wrench 
  • Jack and Jack Stand 
  • Car Handbook 
  • Hammer & Screwdriver
  • New Clips (Optional)

Follow the steps below to install brake pad clips properly: 

Step 1: Lift The Vehicle to Remove Wheel

Use a jack and jack stand to lift and support the vehicle. The wheels are attached with lug nuts; you’ll need to use a wrench counter-clockwise to remove them. 

After removing the lug nuts, gently pull the wheel out. Now, you can see everything from the rotor to brake pads.

Step 2: Locate The Brake Pad Clips

Go through your Car Handbook if you need help locating the brake pad clips. 

You can also try cleaning around the brake pad and caliper. Because sometimes the dust level is so high it covers the clips. 

Step 3: Remove the Old Brake Pad Clip 

Use a screwdriver to remove the old brake pad clip if you have already installed it incorrectly. You can use a hammer if the clips are hard to remove. 

Step 4: Push the Brake Pad Clips Inside The Caliper

You can either use the old clips or new clips for this step. First, take your clip and push the bottom edge of it towards the caliper. Now, put the clip’s tab just inside the brake pad bracket. 

Step 5: Use a Screwdriver and hammer To Set the Clip Properly 

Use a screwdriver and put downward pressure to pry it against the caliper. Doing this will bend the clip to set it properly. 

Finally, use the hammer to tap on the clip gently and it will gradually push it inside. You should hear a clicking noise when the clip is installed perfectly. 

Things To Consider While Installing Clips On Brake Pads

Here are some of the important things you should consider while installing clips on brake pads: 

  • You must use safety goggles to prevent unintended accidents like clip shooting to your eyes. 
  • If you find it difficult to access the caliper, consider using the steering wheel to face the wheel towards you. Doing this will make your job much easier. 
  • Pay attention to the correct orientation of the clips as different clips may have different tabs or features.

Read Also: How Long Can You Drive Without Brake Pads? – Is It Safe


I hope this article perfectly describes where the clip goes on brake pads. Besides explaining the location of the brake pad clips, I have also mentioned how you can perfectly install the clips if installed incorrectly. 

That being said, now it’s up to you whether or not you will do the installation job on your own. If you find it too technical, consider calling an expert for help. 

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