What are Brake Overheating Symptoms

Brake Overheating Symptoms

What are Brake Overheating Symptoms?

Brakes are one of the most crucial parts of any automobile as without them, you won’t be able to stop. This is why regular maintenance and immediate repair is important.

Decelerating Car

When you are driving and feel as if the car is slowing down even when your foot is off the brake pedal, it can be an indication that your brakes are overheated. I would suggest you put the gear in neutral and press on the brake pedal, if the pedal is not smooth, it is a signal that you need to cool down your brakes.

Pulsation in Brake Pedal

Another symptom of overheated brakes that I came across is when you feel a jerk up your leg when you push on the brake pedal. This happens when you are going at a high speed and hit the brakes hard. That pulsating effect is an indication of hot brakes.

The Temperature of The Smoking Wheels

If you smell something burning, maybe something like charcoal or burnt rubber, it might be your tires getting all smoked up. This is an indication that your brakes are super-hot right now. I always double-check the tires with an infra-red thermometer to check the temperature of the rotors, which confirms the extent to which the brakes have overheated.

Stuck Wheels

If you move your car or lift it using a jack and feel resistance in doing so, this also indicates overheated brakes. My experience with this symptom was a little different. I noticed dust on the wheels which means the callipers have stuck that cause the brakes to heat up.

Is it Common When One Brake Disc Becomes Hotter Than the Other?

No, when the brakes heat up, it happens in both the discs simultaneously. There are two ways to check the condition of the discs. Sometimes by just looking at the color of the discs, you can know the condition of the discs. To check the color of the discs, you need to lift the car. I use a jack for this purpose once you get access underneath check if the rotor is blue (which is normal) or pink (rotor replacement required).

Just to be more accurate I used an infra-red thermometer; this method tells exact temperature which shows up to what extent have the brakes overheated.

As for the pedals, if one feels harder than the other, it is a signal that your callipers are sticking around. Just to be extra sure, I look for any gaps in the discs to look for faults.

Why do Brakes Get Red Hot and Start Smoking?

As far as my experience and knowledge say, this happens because of the seized piston or wheel bearings heat up. When this happens, the cylinder pushes on the brake shoe which starts pushing on the rotor’s drum. As creates a lot of friction between these parts of the braking system. Last time this happened to me, there was smoke with a bad odor. When this happens, you would see black dust on the wheel covers which indicates that the brakes have heated up.

Another reason that already discuss is wheel bearing starting heat up. when this happened, the temperature of the entire brake system increased which made the brakes red hot, and smoke started to come out of the rotor. This also results in the change of the rotor’s color from blue to pink which shows that replacement is needed.

What Causes Brakes to Overheat After Brake Job?

I get this question multiple times. Don’t worry it is normal. The possible reason is the slider pin’s mobility. If the pin’s mobility is low it will cause the brake pads to heat up and wear off faster than usual even after a brake job. Another reason can the brake pads themselves. If they fit tight and do not have space to slide between retainers, it can damage the brakes.

How to Fix it?

I prefer both, getting the edges filed down and some lubrication for the greasing of the retainers. Doing this simultaneously helps in improving the performance of the braking system.

Check the retainer clips too, replace in case of any bending, corrosion, or other problem.

Why Brakes Get Hot on One Side / Why Front Disc Brakes Get Hot?

Front disc brakes getting overheated is a common problem. It may happen because of Bad Flex Line, Incorrect Proportioning of Valves, or Damaged Warped Rotor. let me explain one by one each

1. Bad Flex Line

If the flex line gets faulty the fluid does not get backed off effectively which creates extra friction in the braking system. This causes extra pressure on the rotor which overheats the front disc.

2. Incorrect Proportioning of Valves

If the valves are not positioned in the right proportion to each other or the braking system it can cause them to exert extra force on the rotors which cause the heating up of the front disc.

3. Warped Rotor

A damaged rotor never lets a braking system go a long way. I always check if my rotor is in its full-form to avoid bigger problems. In case of a bad rotor, replace clips and bad hosses which will temporarily work. I would suggest replacing the entire rotor to save future problems in the vehicle.

Why is Heat Coming Out of the Front Wheel? Possible Reasons

I often get questions like this. The most possible reason for heat or smoke coming out of the wheels can be stuck brakes which create extra friction and heat the brakes. If you are on a drive and hear a high-pitched squeaking sound, you might want to stop and check the tires.

It also happens when brake pins get stuck and decrease the mobility of the brake pads. If you have been driving a car for a long time, it is time you give it some attention because you wrapped rotor and worn off brakes can also smoke up the tires.

Why Rear Brakes Hotter Than The Front?

In my experience, this usually happens when you get fresh brake pads or a new rotor. People consider it to be a compatibility issue but the truth is new equipment installation usually has fitting problems. It can be due to the temperature change and expansion/contraction of the material. Despite being compatible with your vehicle it can be a slight miss-fit

Brake heat up when the resistance of the braking system increases whereas, an issue as minor as enabled handbrake can also cause overheating of brakes as it increases friction which might be too little for you to notice but it is there.

Why Rear Brakes Get Hot After New Pads / Why Rear Brake Discs Get Hot?


I have seen a lot of people using regular grease as a lubricant for their callipers. This is one of the biggest reasons why rear brakes get hot. The problem with regular grease is that it expands with an increase in temperature creating a seal-like texture that keeps the callipers from moving and drags the outer pads.

The Positioning of the Callipers

Sometimes the callipers aren’t positioned in the right place which causes a problem. However, if the position is right, I suggest you check the parking brakes and the pivot arm of the calliper; it is very common for them to seize up and create pressure in the brake system.


Front discs are always hotter than the rear ones as the front wheel absorbs most of the energy but if the temperature of the rear discs goes significantly high, there is a problem.

Why New Brake Rotors Get Hot / What Causes Rotors to Get Red Hot?

It gets hot only when there is a serious problem in the brake system. Look out for the following symptoms and problems to confirm

1. Malfunctioning Pistons

If the pistons are not working properly, the rotors start to heat up. When the brake pads wear off, the piston of the callipers starts moving deeper into the cylinder as the worn off the material of the brake pad creates a space. When this happens, the brake fluid level falls increasing friction and thus, the temperature of the rotor.

2. Low level of fluid

When the brake fluid leaks out (due to many reasons like worn off brake pads or bad pistons), the frictions increases in the whole braking system due to less lubrication. As the parts of the system start to rub each other, the rotor gets overheated.

3. Brake Pads Touching the Rotor

Newly installed brake pads or incompatible ones cause this problem. I suggest filing and lubricating them to avoid this problem. Otherwise, the extra material will rub on the rotor and heat it.

What is The Normal Brake Rotor Temperature?

During a regular drive, the rotors tend to get up to 200-degree Celsius or 392-degree Fahrenheit. However, when it is a track day and I have to take my ride for a race upstate, the temperature of the rotors gets up to a 1000-degree Fahrenheit because of the aggressive use of brakes which causes fast wear and tear. To avoid heating the rotors past 392-degree Fahrenheit, avoid using brakes often and use the downshift method instead of or coast to slow your vehicle down.