Brakes overheating - Lots of smoke from wheel - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 11-13-2006, 12:33 PM   #1
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Default Brakes overheating - Lots of smoke from wheel

This may/may not be a mechanical problem. But I'll explain why I thought it could be.

I was driving around last night (a bit of high speed was involved) and I eventually smelled this NASTY, smoky/musky burning smell. It came pretty suddenly, and it stayed around for a while, so I had a feeling it was my car. To me it smelled like burning plastic. I stopped at a red light and in fact saw smoke from the driver'* side. The headlights were on and I could see quite a bit of smoke on that left side. I was close to home so I drove home quickly to get the hose on it if I had to.

I stopped and saw a lot of smoke coming from the driver'* (front) wheel. That wheel/brakes were HOT (the pass. wheel was not nearly as hot). Not so much smoke from the engine bay when I opened it. But I did notice that there was a bit of melted plastic on the rear EM (from some wire loom I had recently [a week ago] put on a rear plug wire). Apparently the wire loom was a bit to close to the EM and had started to melt and eventually dripped onto the EM/O2 sensor. I thought that could be the smell/smoke.

I cleaned off the plastic, drove around some more. No more smoke. But the driver'* wheel smelled of the nasty smoke and was still red hot (by touch, not actually red).

Lately I have thought I was hearing things from my driver'* front wheel bearing. Occasionally I'd hear a noise that sounded as if I were driving over rumble strips. It would last for a few seconds and stop. My steering is still a bit loose. When I saw the smoke from the wheel I thought maybe the wheel bearing was failing and was overheating from friction and was smoking. And that wheel was also HOT AS HELL!!! I just want to know if this is possible of a really bad bearing?

If my bearings were new I would just contribute the smoke to the plastic (which seems most logical), but since I know for a while I've been having what seems to be wheel bearing issues I was curious since. There was not too much plastic that melted, but there was a HUGE amount of smoke. I have to drive home 300 miles Thursday and don't want issues.

Thanks!
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Old 11-13-2006, 12:36 PM   #2
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I'd check to see if your brake caliper isn't binding or the WSS wire didn't melt/short somewhere casuing that ABS sensor to tell it to brake.
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Old 11-13-2006, 12:37 PM   #3
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the wheel bearing unless it was metal on metal shouldnt cause the wheel to be that hot...

im thinking the start if a sticky caliper/collapsed line?
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Old 11-13-2006, 12:40 PM   #4
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I am going to test and see if there is any play in that wheel. I hope there is nothing wrong with the brakes. I've had enough brake-related issues with this car.
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Old 11-13-2006, 01:43 PM   #5
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In agreement with the other guys. Seems like a hanging caliper or brake hose that is collapsing.
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Old 11-13-2006, 02:47 PM   #6
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I can't take my wheel off since my dad does not have his jack at home (the car jack in the trunk broke a while back too). I drove it around for about 30 minutes and never got the smoke again, but the wheel is still extremely hot. I sprayed the wheel to cool it down and the steam from it smelled like the smoke before though. The car seems to brake fine too. I am leaning away from the wheel bearing at this point too.

If this is the caliper how would I be able to tell by inspecting it? Would it necessarily mean I have to replace the caliper?
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Old 11-13-2006, 02:54 PM   #7
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For inspection, look at the inner and outter pad sizing. They should be close to the same. If the inner pad is worn much more than the outter pad, the caliper is not releasing fully. If the pads on that side are worn much more than the pads on the other side, then the caliper is not releasing fully.

Here'* the tough part. With the age of your car, is the issue the caliper or the rubber in the brake line hose? The rubber in the hose could be coming apart and causing the fluid to be trapped in the caliper causing the problem. Or the caliper could simply be bad and causing the issue.

Brake line hoses are usually around $12 each. Caliper is closer to $30-40 each. I would change the hoses in pairs and calipers seperately as needed.
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBoost37
For inspection, look at the inner and outter pad sizing. They should be close to the same. If the inner pad is worn much more than the outter pad, the caliper is not releasing fully. If the pads on that side are worn much more than the pads on the other side, then the caliper is not releasing fully.

Here'* the tough part. With the age of your car, is the issue the caliper or the rubber in the brake line hose? The rubber in the hose could be coming apart and causing the fluid to be trapped in the caliper causing the problem. Or the caliper could simply be bad and causing the issue.

Brake line hoses are usually around $12 each. Caliper is closer to $30-40 each. I would change the hoses in pairs and calipers seperately as needed.
Thanks Bill. I just replaced the pads a couple weeks back too. I know that the inner pads were thick while outers were almost gone. That'* how my pads have always been on both Bonnes anyway. Good to know calipers are not as expensive as I thought they were (unless $40 is Bonne Bill'* price).
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:18 PM   #9
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If your outer pads are more worn then inner pads, that'* a sign that your calipers might not be receding as much as they should, how well are your slide pins functioning?
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonneMeMN
If your outer pads are more worn then inner pads, that'* a sign that your calipers might not be receding as much as they should, how well are your slide pins functioning?
By 'slide pins' you mean the the two 3/8" hex head bolts? Those were bad when I replaced the pads. They were pretty seized up. I was able to hammer them out. I greased them and put them back in. I forget the kind of grease I used...I think just the brake lube in the little packets.
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