Brakes

Tiny
ANNEWWWWW
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 DODGE DURANGO
  • V8
I just had new brake pads put on my car and now the brakes are getting hot and smoking. Whats wrong?
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Sunday, March 6th, 2011 AT 10:42 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Stop on an incline, put it in neutral, release the brakes, then see if it creeps downhill on its own. If it does, there may be some brake grease burning off from the recent service, especially if this happens after lots of city stop-and-go driving.

If the heat shows up after driving on the highway, suspect sticking front calipers. Dirt and rust can build up on the pistons as the old pads wore out. Those pistons have to be pressed back into the calipers to make room for the new thicker pads. Doing so runs that dirt and rust under the seal and makes the piston stick. We used to always rebuild the calipers as part of any brake job but Chrysler has a lot less trouble with that compared to in the 1970s and '80s. Today it is very economical to just buy rebuilt calipers because they're so inexpensive.

If the brakes wore out because they were dragging, suspect a constricted rubber brake hose, especially if it is only affecting one side. Look for a metal bracket that is crimped around the center of the hose. Rust builds up inside that crimp and squeezes the hose. Open that crimp up just a little with a large channel lock pliers. The additional clue is the brake pedal will feel higher and harder than normal.
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Sunday, March 6th, 2011 AT 11:00 PM

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