Why are my brakes smoking?
The smell of burning can be scary when you're driving, and you start to notice it. Only to then find out that smoke is coming into your car.
Many times, your brakes are to blame. If your brakes start to smoke, it is best to stop driving until the problem is fixed. Some of the most common causes and some things to look for if your brakes start to smoke are explained below.
Stuck Brake Pads
As time goes on, your brakes will get dirty with brake dust and corrosion. This is because they are exposed to the weather. Buildup of dust can make your brake pads stick to your disc. People who have this happen cannot move the brakes or the wheel can't move freely. The friction causes a lot of heat that does not need to be there, which often causes a bad smell and sometimes smoke. If this happens it can wear down parts of your brakes before they should.
It is also common to have a caliper that will not move. If your caliper is stuck, it means that the piston is stuck, and the brake pad is pushing against the rotor by the piston. Your brakes are always on when you drive, even if you are not using them. As with a stuck brake pad, the friction causes elevated temperatures that are likely to cause a burning smell and smoke. When the brakes are working properly, the discs can get up to 200°C. When the brakes are stuck or seized, the discs can get up to 500°C!
Seized Wheel Cylinder
The wheel cylinders are an important part of your drum brakes, and they help them work. As you drive your car, your shoes will keep rubbing against the inside of your drum. If your wheel cylinder has seized, this means it is stuck in place and will keep doing this. There will be the same effect if the wheel cylinder is stuck in place as if the piston is stuck. This means that you are driving with your brakes on even though you are not using them. Unlike disc brakes, with drum brakes, you cannot see if the wheel cylinder has locked the shoes against the drum lining. If you smell or see smoke coming from your rear drum brakes, get your car checked out by Paul Campanella's Auto & Tire Center soon. People who leave their brakes for a long time are more likely to cause them to break down more.
Besides smelling smoke or seeing smoke, wheel discoloration is another sign that your brakes need to be fixed. Look for a rusty stain on your alloy wheel or the wheel trim that goes with it. In this case, the rusty color is because brake dust from the disc has been baked on to the wheel by the heat.
Check your brakes.
Your car's braking system is very important. After all, it's what stops your car and protects you and your family from getting hurt or killed. If you have doubts about the safety of your brakes, do not drive the car until it has been checked by experts like the team at Paul Campanella’s Auto & Tire Center.