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My Brakes Are Squealing and Smell Hot! What Does This Mean?

If your brakes squeal and smell hot every time you use them, they are overheating. Aero Auto Repair is going to discuss this further below because this is a huge problem. It’s important that you don’t drive your car, truck, or utility vehicle when the brakes are too hot. Let’s talk about this problem further and what we can do to resolve the matter.

Why Can’t I Drive My Car With Hot Brakes?

The reason why you shouldn’t drive your automobile when the brakes are too hot is that they will eventually fail. Not only are the brake pads and rotors glazing, which means they have smoothed out and can no longer generate the friction you need to stop, but the brake fluid will start to boil as the temperature rises. Both of these things render your brake system useless, and you may find yourself in a sticky situation. It’s better to avoid a potential accident than to drive your automobile.

What Is Making the Squealing Sound?

The squealing sound that you hear is the glazed brake pads and rotors. Again, these brake parts have smoothed out and, as such, they will squeal when you press down on the brake pedal. It’s important that the brake pads and rotors never glaze. As we said above, once the surfaces are smooth, these two parts do not generate friction. This is their primary job, as the brake system needs friction to generate the kinetic energy that slows down and stops your automobile.

What Are the Smells I’m Detecting?

Two things will cause the hot smells that you are detecting: glazed brake pads and boiling brake fluid. When the brake pads glaze, they often emit an odor that smells like burning carpet. When the brake fluid starts to boil, you may notice a strong chemical odor. Either way, again, your brake system is reaching a critical point where it will not be able to stop your automobile.

What Can Be Done About This?

The primary cause of overheating brakes is an incorrect amount of generated friction. Yes, your brake system needs to generate friction, but if it generates too much, it will overheat. How you drive can cause this excess friction. If you love to put the pedal to the metal and slam on the brakes, you run the risk of overheating them. If you have poor-quality brake discs, this, too, will overheat the system. Jammed brake caliper guide pins can also overheat the system.

With the exception of how you drive, Aero Auto Repair in Vista, CA, can fix the cause of your overheating brakes. We can replace the discs with higher-quality parts or release the caliper guide pins. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

photo by BartekSzewcyk from Getty Images Pro via Canva Pro
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