Automobile Brakes Can Overheat And It’s Dangerous When They Do

It isn’t just big rigs that have to worry about overheating brakes. Passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs can also experience brake trouble if the system gets too hot. In fact, anything that generates power has the ability to overheat. Ultimate Auto Repair maintains vehicle brake systems to ensure they never overheat and place their drivers in danger. Here’s some information we hope you’ll find helpful.

What Makes Brakes Overheat?

If your brake system is low on fluid or otherwise compromised, it can overheat. Stop-and-go traffic can make your brakes overheat. Riding the brakes overheats them. Here’s why: Your brakes use friction to stop and friction generates heat. Did you ever rub your feet on the carpet so you could touch your sibling and shock him or her when you all were young? Remember how hot your feet got? That’s heat generated by friction and if that friction doesn’t get a break it eventually generates too much heat.

How Can I Tell if My Brakes Are Overheating?

Your brake system will alert you to trouble, whether overheating or otherwise. The three primary symptoms of overheating brakes are

  1. A soft brake pedal that sinks lower than normal to the floor
  2. Smoking brakes that smell – like when you get stuck behind a big-rig going downhill
  3. Squealing brakes because the brake pads have glazed from too much heat

Whether one or all, it’s important that you don’t ignore any of these signs. The reason why overheated brakes are so dangerous is that once they get hot enough they will fail. Brake failure is generally caused by boiling brake fluid, so it’s best to respect the warning signs your brakes are giving you.

What Should I Do if I Do Notice Those Signs?

If you believe your brake system is overheating, pull over to safety and call for help. If you have roadside assistance, call for a tow truck to take you to an automotive service shop. If you don’t have roadside assistance, call a local towing service. Do not try to drive your vehicle with overheated brakes. As mentioned previously, they could fail and, if they get hot enough, cause a vehicle fire.

If you live in Jackson, MI, have your vehicle towed to Ultimate Auto Repair. We’ll inspect your brake system and determine why it is overheating. Then, we’ll recommend the best repairs and fix your brakes to get you back on the road safely. Call us today.


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