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Robert, UK Qualified Car Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4504
Experience:  Fully qualified / self employed garage technician in the UK
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We got new brake discs and pads fitted to the rear of our car

Resolved Question:

We got new brake discs and pads fitted to the rear of our car today, but after 30 minutes driving we noticed a really bad burning smell and the rear brakes were VERY hot.
So there's probably a stuck caliper. However...
After it cooled down completely, we drove it for 20 minutes at slow speeds, and barely touched the brakes at all (literally just a couple of light taps)... After stopping, one of the rear discs was so hot the whole wheel was radiating heat... But the other three discs were also hot (too hot to touch, but not "radiating" heat through the wheel).
If one of the rear calipers is stuck, could it somehow cause the other three discs to heat up too? Like maybe the brake fluid is transferring heat to them or something?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Robert replied 1 year ago.

What was the initial reason for replacement..just normal wear and tear or any other reason?

Was this a garage or dealer that fitted them?

Does the brake pedal feel rock hard or soft,spongy etc?

Any warning on the dash in regards ***** ***** wear..

What the last 7 digits of your VIN "vehicle identification number"?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The discs were rusted/pitted/scored. We live somewhere very wet so rusty discs aren't unusual.

It was a local independent garage (quite a big one)

The brake pedal felt OK, but the handbrake was very weak (it worked a bit, but even with the handbrake fully up, the car could easily roll forward with very little throttle)

There is a warning light regarding brake pad wear... But I think on BMWs this is normal after the sensors are replaced, I think we just need to reset the light.

Last 7 digits are VE66063

Expert:  Robert replied 1 year ago.


Ok.. on the back your handbrake is independant to the your has brake shoes aswell as brake pads..normally with new discs as such..if the shoes seem to be ok and can be reused then they have to be adjusted..and normally has to be done with the disc you look through one of the holes in the drum part of the disc.till you see the small adjuster cog and turn it up/down till the shoes just catch the drum in no more..


There's one or two differing types of handbrake on these one,normal cable nut adjustment the other has a spring,yellow in colour under the handbrake that needs to be depressed down towards the floor and locked in place on the J before adjusting,there a special too to do that..then once adjusted then the spring under the handbrake can then be released from the J and that should be that or run the car.....but they should of adjusted them when new discs where installed....


As far as the heat issue..again unless they physically had issues getting one of the calipers to return back to fit the new pads/disc in..the only other thing it could be is the pads that sit in the carrier are stuck and not able to freely move in the carrier a bit like when you step on the brake the pads grip the disc - but when you release the brake the caliper maybe releasing pressure..but the pads are still stuck in position on the disc..and thus this is what causes the heat build up...As it stands now id say that would be things to have checked ask garage to recheck or check the piston on the calipers does return easily..and means the caliper is fine, if your having to force or the piston is hard to get back in then the caliper maybe faulty..your suppossed to have clear line to the bleed nipple and crack that open before returning the piston back....something to bear in mind... Also check the pads do freely move in the carrier - if not then that could be your you need to get the carrier blasted of rust.wire wheel to get that clean and then refit pads to see if the sit freely...another thing to check is slide pins on the caliper and ensure they are clean and not best to get them to check that...

As far as the sensors go,,yes its normal for the warning to come up if the wear sensor has touched and worn through ..if front and back sensors replaced..then all you need to do normally is put ignition in number 2 position and leave it for 30seconds..and it should reset the brake pad wear indicator...But as above thats about the only things id say should be checked here as a starting point anyway...

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for that, I appreciate the help!

The thing I wanted to know is: We know that the brakes are sticking on one wheel because it gets so hot and I can see discolouration on the disc.... But when we drive the car without touching the brake pedal, ALL FOUR brake discs get really hot (the one with discolouration is especially hot, but the rest are also too hot to touch)... Is that because the brake fluid is transferring the heat to the other wheels, or there a problem at all four wheels?

Expert:  Robert replied 1 year ago.

It unusual but i cant see how the back brakes would effect the front overheating heat wise by just replacing the rear disc's/ they are independant to each other but all take a feed/hydraulically from the abs pump which in turn its gets its fluid from the master cylinder you brake pedal thing besides maybe an issue on the ABS or the master cylinder isnt actually fully releasing pressure is one possible idea tto effect all 4 or fluid has been pushed back through the system too fast and maybe damaged a seal in one of these two i say when pushing back pistons in calipers you have to crack the bleed nipple open to prevent the fluid is being reversed forced to fast up back into the lines/abs pump..or simply bad brake fluid as that should be changed every 2-3 years normally...but that back brake you mention would be the key area of inspection first id say..and ensure everything is as i mentioned before fitting wise/caliper piston is free to move back into the caliper then reassmble and test drive and see if the issue is still there or not..

Robert, UK Qualified Car Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4504
Experience: Fully qualified / self employed garage technician in the UK
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