Why Does One Brake Pad Have a Clip-on It?

Brake pad clips are designed to extend the life of the pad, reducing noise and prevent the brake from getting overheated.

Why Does One Brake Pad Have a Clip on It?

The clips connected with the brakes does a bunch of important things for the brake pads. First of all, it pushes the brake away from the rotor, which keeps the brakes from not getting overheated. It also reduces noise and extends the lifespan of the brake pads.

These clips are designed for some specific things. The brake pads will wear out too fast without the clip. There will be more squeaking noises and the pads might get overheated easily. You can reuse the original metal inner shim and outer shim with the newly bought brake pads.

Why Does One Brake Pad Have a Clip-on It FI

Where Does the Clip Go on Brake Pads?

The clips are fitted between the brake pads and the rotor. It pushes the pads away from the rotor. Regarding that, the clips are actually on the back of the caliper. You will see two small complex-shaped twisty spring clips. These springs hold the retaining clips in, which helps to hold the brake pads.

They make a uniform surface for the pads to connect with. These clips reduce the wear on the pads and the rotor from dragging away the pads from the rotor.

Where Does the Clip Go on Brake Pads

Brake Pad Retaining Clip

The retaining clips eliminate brake noise by pushing the brake pads away from the rotor and can increase fuel economy. Even though these clips could be difficult to install, you have to always re-install them. It does great work extending the lifespan of the brake pad too.

These go on the caliper bracket and helps the ear of the brake pads to slide as the brakes are applied or released. They give a clean surface for the ears on the brake pads to slide.

Brake Pad Retaining Clip

Brake Pad Clips

Brake pad clips help the brake pads by pushing away from the rotor. It resides on the caliper section lands on most of the vehicles. Installing them might be difficult, but you must re-install them always. If you drive without the clips, you might face brake pad wear very soon.

Fitting the brake pad clips increases the lifespan of the brake pads. Normally, new brake pads come with new clips. The clips have a specific left or right side. So, you have to make sure to use the appropriate clip in the right position.

Brake Pad Clips

Anti-Rattle Clips Brake Pads

The anti-rattle clips are considered to be an additional part that secures the pad so that it doesn’t vibrate or rattle when the brake is applied. Pad vibration will result in squealing if anti rattles clips are worn. If that happens, those clips need to be changed. The anti-rattle clip is placed in between the pad and caliper bracket.

Anti-rattle clips apply pressure between the pad and caliper to take up the clearance between the two. It decreases the opportunity of audible noise occurring from the pad. These anti-rattle devices are made of spring steel.

Anti-Rattle Clips Brake Pads

Brake Pad Spring Clip

Brake pad spring clips help the pads stay cooler and ease the pads wear a bit. The spring is there to put sufficient strain on the pad to keep it off the surface of the brake rotor when you are not using the brakes. These springs are made to slightly unload the brake pad from the rotor and reduce the wheel friction from the pad. This is a great feature with no noticeable consequences.

Brake Pad Spring Clip


Q: Why are my brakes making a rattling noise?

Ans: Sometimes your brake pads might get overheated. It originates from heat expansion which might the reason why your brake pads making a rattling noise. This is not a regular issue though, so you should get a check on your brakes if that happens. There are some brake pads out there that are installed without anti-rattle shims, resulting in an annoying sound when you hit the brakes.

Are brake pad shims important?

Ans: The actual purpose of the brake pad shims is to reduce noise by creating a barrier between the brake pad and the caliper. When applying the brakes there is a good chance of making a rattling noise. The brake pad shims prevent the vibration so that the noise reduces.

Q: Do all brake pads have clips?

Ans: The new brake pads come with new clips. The clips that come with the new brake pads are specific to either the right side or left. So, in case of installation, you have to make sure to install it on the appropriate side. Always replace old clips.

Q: Where does the brake pad with the clip go?

Ans: Many brake pads come with the spring. It needs to be on the appropriate side so that the spring can pull the pad off the rotor. So, there is a way you can know if the pad is on the wrong side. The brakes will rattle if it is on the wrong side while driving and will make no noise if it is on the appropriate side while braking.


It is not mandatory to use clips on brake pads, nor dangerous. But having them on will make brakes cooler, reduce noise, and the time to reach the wear limit of the pad will be increased. As a result, the lifespan of the brake pads depends on this. So, it would be a wise choice to have them on before you start the engine and hit the road.

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