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Old 05-30-2012, 03:11 AM   #1
Earls32
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Burnt smell and very hot wheels

03 SVT focus. Took it out for a ride tonight for some fun. Long story short I had to get on the breaks hard. Well after doing that I noticed the most horrible smell in the world. Figured it was the breaks from the hard breaking. So I drove normal ;) another 5 miles to the house but everytime I push the clutch in it feels like something is holding it back almost like the breaks were pressed. Got back to the house and went to check the back breaks and both back wheels were actually so hot it burnt the first layer of skin off my fingers. Now this is both sides on the rear. The smell was coming from the break area and both back rims,calipers, and even lugs were so hot that when water was applied it sizzled. Emergency break was not applied, and front rotors and calipers were normal warm to the touch. Is it possible that both rear calipers went at the same time? Any tips on checking the breaks? So hot you could feel the heat from the inside of the car on the back fender wells. Lol. Actually took 45 mins for the rear wheels to cool off just to touch them. Little help please. Pads were just changed 1000 miles ago with no problems till tonight.


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Old 05-30-2012, 03:20 AM   #2
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I'd take the pads off and inspect them. Also were the sliders lubed up when they were replaced?
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:29 AM   #3
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I'd take the pads off and inspect them. Also were the sliders lubed up when they were replaced?
Yes sir they were.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:48 AM   #4
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It sounds like a sticking caliper (or two). While not on my Focus, I have had what seemed similar happen to the L/F caliper on my truck. Horrible burning smell, smoke and heat you could feel from 2' away.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:32 PM   #5
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Any other thoughts on this problem?
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:41 PM   #6
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Inspect the hand brake cable over its entire length and the individual little spring loaded lever arms on the rear calipers themselves. You may think the hand brake is off because the interior hand brake lever is down but - with two calipers being affected simultaneously - I would suggest the hand brake cable is bound or seized somewhere or the spring loaded caliper lever arms are somehow wedged on (or at least not retracted fully.)
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:09 PM   #7
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I agree the hand brake has locked on, even though the lever in car is down.
Try this:
Pull up on the interior handbrake lever hard. Then BACK UP hard, hit the brake pedal AND lower the hand brake lever same time. BACKING UP is the keyword here.
The parts may just be 'friction stuck' in the handbrake stuff. and doing this might release the stuck part.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:16 PM   #8
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Thanks guys I will deffently give it a shot
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upstater View Post
It sounds like a sticking caliper (or two). While not on my Focus, I have had what seemed similar happen to the L/F caliper on my truck. Horrible burning smell, smoke and heat you could feel from 2' away.

Had that happen on my Neon a couple years ago on the front. I found on neons.org that sometimes the flexible rubber part of the brake line collapses. If you find that the cylinder resists being pushed back in, that could be the problem. Replace the hose, you're good to go.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:39 PM   #10
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Had the brake calipers refuse to release completely once when a vacuum brake booster went bad.

Easy enough to tell if it's a mechanical issue like a parking brake, or residual fluid pressure (from any number of causes): just crack the bleeder screw.
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