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bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

This is a discussion on bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; Hey, So, I just replaced both rear rotors, pads, and passenger side caliper today. The truck seems to be driving ...

  1. #1
    Registered User 78GMCgrunt's Avatar
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    Question bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please


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    Hey,

    So, I just replaced both rear rotors, pads, and passenger side caliper today. The truck seems to be driving and braking fine, but there is a really strong burning smell after approx 10 - 15 mins after driving on the passenger side.

    It gets to the point that it's almost too hot to touch. I can't think of anything else that could be wrong with. So, besides the drivers side caliper my rear brakes are pretty much new.

    Any ideas what could be the cause of this? Should I just drive it around and possible break in the new pads? I'm a little frustrated after spending the money on new parts and still have the problem.

    As always, and information is appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Cody
    99 GMC Sierra SLE RCSB, 2wd, 5.3, flowmaster exhaust

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    Astute as fek. DarkCharisma's Avatar
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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    It sounds like the brakes are dragging a little. Can you remove the wheel and spin the hub by hand? There shouldn't be any burning smell at all.


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    Registered User 78GMCgrunt's Avatar
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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkCharisma
    It sounds like the brakes are dragging a little. Can you remove the wheel and spin the hub by hand? There shouldn't be any burning smell at all.

    Yeah, the HUB spins fine by hand. I'm a little lost here. I don't want to drive it around to see if it goes away. If it's broke, I don't want to break it any more.
    99 GMC Sierra SLE RCSB, 2wd, 5.3, flowmaster exhaust

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    GMC RULZZ NEUMANNZZ's Avatar
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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    possible cause:

    The Hose Effect

    An often-misdiagnosed cause of pull is a collapsed brake hose. The hose will look OK on the outside, but the inner liner will cause a restriction on the inside. A brake hose problem like this can take two forms. First, it can act like a restrictor in the line. Second, it can act like a check valve.

    In the first case, with a restriction the car will pull to the side with the good brake hose upon initial application of the brakes, but after a second or two, the pull goes away. Because the caliper needs a relatively large volume of fluid to move the piston, the side with the collapsed hose will apply later than the one with the good hose. This is because it takes longer to get enough fluid volume into the caliper to move the brake pad against the rotor. This is why the pull can be extreme on the initial pedal application, but the pull goes away as the fluid slowly moves the piston.

    In the "check valve" situation, fluid will freely flow into the caliper, but will not return to the master cylinder. This can mimic a stuck piston, as the caliper will fail to fully release.
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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    i had that odor, the front caliper was sticking and would not release some times. truck would pull to that side when driving, at first i thought it was out of alignment and paid to get it aligned.

    had to replace caliper.

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    Registered User 78GMCgrunt's Avatar
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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    Quote Originally Posted by maxwell1
    i had that odor, the front caliper was sticking and would not release some times. truck would pull to that side when driving, at first i thought it was out of alignment and paid to get it aligned.

    had to replace caliper.
    Yeah, I already replaced the caliper and rotor thinking that was the problem too.

    Also, I'm not noticing any pulling. I had to replace the drivers side rotor because the brake pads wore it down. I went ahead and replaced the passenger side rotor thinking that mine was warped (therefore causing the burning/rubbing of the brakepads).

    I'm still not sure. I really don't want to take it to a mechanic if not needed. Anyway it could be the e-brake sticking some how? It doesn't seem to pull to one side or another or pull in any fashion.
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    Registered User 78GMCgrunt's Avatar
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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    Quote Originally Posted by NEUMANNZZ
    possible cause:

    The Hose Effect

    An often-misdiagnosed cause of pull is a collapsed brake hose. The hose will look OK on the outside, but the inner liner will cause a restriction on the inside. A brake hose problem like this can take two forms. First, it can act like a restrictor in the line. Second, it can act like a check valve.

    In the first case, with a restriction the car will pull to the side with the good brake hose upon initial application of the brakes, but after a second or two, the pull goes away. Because the caliper needs a relatively large volume of fluid to move the piston, the side with the collapsed hose will apply later than the one with the good hose. This is because it takes longer to get enough fluid volume into the caliper to move the brake pad against the rotor. This is why the pull can be extreme on the initial pedal application, but the pull goes away as the fluid slowly moves the piston.

    In the "check valve" situation, fluid will freely flow into the caliper, but will not return to the master cylinder. This can mimic a stuck piston, as the caliper will fail to fully release.
    Thanks bro, I never thought of that. I'm going to run tomorrow and pick one up. Out of the 5 parts stores in my area I went to tonight none of them had one in stock, so I have to drive 1/2 hr tomorrow morn to pick one up.

    I'll post back if this is indeed the problem, because it could be the "check valve" situation.

    Thanks,
    Cody
    99 GMC Sierra SLE RCSB, 2wd, 5.3, flowmaster exhaust

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    Registered User 78GMCgrunt's Avatar
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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    Ok, put on the new break line today. The odor still slightly occurs after about 10 mins of driving, but the wheel isn't getting ridiculously hot now.

    I'm hoping the burning smell is just spilled brake fluid burning off. I'm going to drive it around to if it eventually goes away.
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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    Quote Originally Posted by NEUMANNZZ
    well, after half a week of driving I'm going to have to take it to a mechanic to see whats up. The smell is really bad, but the wheel itself isn't getting hot anymore. I've replaced pretty much every part on the passenger side (rotor, pads, caliper, brake line).

    we'll see what they have to say about it.
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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    If you used grease during the assembly its just that burning off.

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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    Quote Originally Posted by Atomic
    If you used grease during the assembly its just that burning off.
    Really? I did use grease on the brake pads (contact area with caliper) and on the caliper bolts. If this is so, I'll just drive it around a bit more before I take it in. Thanks for the info man!

    I'll give it a few more days and see what happens.

    -Cody
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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    Mine smelled terrible after I did mine and I noticed my calipers were smoking, turns out it was the grease burning off.

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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    Grease on the braking surfaces will mimic a sticking caliper and heat things up quickly.

    I had the same issue with both of my rears after my brake job a while back. The culprit in both sides was the caliper. Due to many salty MN winters, my caliper pistons developed some corrosion and when the new pads and rotors forced the pistons back to their original starting point, all that crap in there kept them from releasing the way they should and the constant drag was just enough to heat things up after 20 minutes of highway speed driving.
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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    Quote Originally Posted by Atomic
    Mine smelled terrible after I did mine and I noticed my calipers were smoking, turns out it was the grease burning off.
    I hope that all mine is doing as well. It makes me wonder though why it would only be one side and not both?
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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    Perhaps worth mentioning... make sure your parking brake isn't dragging. I'm sure you noticed that it's a drum style setup within the rear rotors. With new rotors, if you didn't turn the adjuster inward, the shoes could drag. The only thing is, I can't imagine there would be anything left after a decent amount of driving.

    There's also the flex line going from the frame to the rear axle, which could also be collapsing. I dunno if you replaced that one as well or not.
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    Registered User 78GMCgrunt's Avatar
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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    Quote Originally Posted by firestorm
    Perhaps worth mentioning... make sure your parking brake isn't dragging. I'm sure you noticed that it's a drum style setup within the rear rotors. With new rotors, if you didn't turn the adjuster inward, the shoes could drag. The only thing is, I can't imagine there would be anything left after a decent amount of driving.

    There's also the flex line going from the frame to the rear axle, which could also be collapsing. I dunno if you replaced that one as well or not.
    When I took the old rotor off there was no sign of ebrake pads dragging inside it. I replaced the rubber hose from the caliper to the steel brake line, I haven't replaced any flex hoses.
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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    i also have a burning smell coming from my rears after a pad change. i thought it was the rotor! so after removing the rotor from the side that eas producing the smoke and smell, i noticed that the parking brake pad and the surounding areas were covered in some kind of grease. but the adjacent side was filled with the usual dry brake dust. does anyone agree that i mite have a bad berring seal , or some other seal that mite be leaking fluid into that area ?

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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    Quote Originally Posted by bunk242004 View Post
    i also have a burning smell coming from my rears after a pad change. i thought it was the rotor! so after removing the rotor from the side that eas producing the smoke and smell, i noticed that the parking brake pad and the surounding areas were covered in some kind of grease. but the adjacent side was filled with the usual dry brake dust. does anyone agree that i mite have a bad berring seal , or some other seal that mite be leaking fluid into that area ?
    check your axle seal.
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    Re: bad burning smell coming from brakes...need some help please

    Quote Originally Posted by 78GMCgrunt View Post
    When I took the old rotor off there was no sign of ebrake pads dragging inside it. I replaced the rubber hose from the caliper to the steel brake line, I haven't replaced any flex hoses.
    E brakes are self adjusting so if your old rotor was worn out the brakes would have adjusted to that so when you put a new rotor on the pads would be too far out from compensating for the old rotor and could be dragging on the new rotor. If so, you'll have to turn the adjuster to bring the pads back in.

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