Car help - Rim getting really hot

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Andy_S, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. Andy_S

    Andy_S Second Unit

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    My wifes Dodge Caravan's driver side rim gets REALLY hot after long drives (1 hour or so). It smells of burning rubber (the tire perhaps?) and when I put a drop of water on it, it sizzles and evaporates in about 3 seconds. I just replaced both drums and pads on the front tires and I thought for sure this would fix the problem. The two front tires are also new. Any idea what the problem might be? I don't hear any squeeling or grinding sounds when driving. What can I look at?
     
  2. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    Just going out on a limb, have you checked the bearings?
     
  3. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    you should immediatly check if the brake caliper on that wheel is sticking, they bearing would have annouced their impending demise long before they generated even moderate heat
     
  4. Andy_S

    Andy_S Second Unit

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    I suspected the caliper but the car isn't pulling in that direction at all so I ruled it out. I guess it can be rubbing enough to cause heat but not enough to pull. Couple of questions:

    Can a sticking caliper be repaired or do I need to replace it?

    If I take the tire off, what am I looking for to determine if it is the caliper that is sticking?
     
  5. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Pull both front tires off and look at the brake pads on both sides. Uneven wear is the first indication of a sticking caliper, as is a heat-blued rotor. Sticking calipers do not always cause pulling so this is not a reliable determining factor.

    If you do have a sticking caliper, the best course of action is to replace both front calipers with rebuilt ones in order to insure even braking. This is the way to go rather than attempting home repair of the oem caliper. It will also be a good idea to have the rotors resurfaced (or replaced if they are below minimum thickness). Most good auto parts stores offer rotor machinning service.
     
  6. Andy_S

    Andy_S Second Unit

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    Thanks for the help guys.

    The pads and rotors are brand new (done last weekend) so I won't see any uneven wear. Good info to have for later on though.

    Looks like I'll be taking it to the dealership since I still have a warranty.
     
  7. Lee L

    Lee L Supporting Actor

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    Take that sucker on down to the dealer, either pulling calipers or bad bearings can cause very serious issues. The caliper can overheat, causing the brake fluid to boil off. That is not a good thing. [​IMG] Bad wheel bearings will eventually fail to keep your wheel attached to the spindle, also, I've heard, not something you want to have happen at say 75 mph on the interstate.
     
  8. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    I'm sure you've already checked this but what is your tire pressure at?

    Patrick
     
  9. DaveHo

    DaveHo Supporting Actor

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    If the pad & rotors are brand new, it's not unusual for it to take several hundred miles for them to seat properly. It all depends on the brake pad compound used. In the mean time, they will generate extra heat it will smell pretty bad. What you are smelling is the gas given off by the brake pads when they get hot. After everything seats this will go away because less heat is being generated. I really don't think you have a problem. BTW, if you did the brake work yourself, the warranty is now no longer in effect on the pads & rotors.

    -Dave
     
  10. DaveHo

    DaveHo Supporting Actor

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    Nevermind. Just re-read your original post, and it seems like you were having this problem before you replaced the pads & rotors. In that case I would suspect the caliper is sticking. You can check for this by jacking the front off the ground, and with the engine running, try turning the wheels by hand. You should feel some drag, but it shouldn't be too hard to turn them. If it is the caliper is probably sticking. Could be as simple as just needing to grease the guide pins or they might be bent. As one previous poster suggested before, to ensure equal brake performance, I would replace both calipers if it comes down to that.

    -Dave
     
  11. Jason Merrick

    Jason Merrick Supporting Actor

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  12. DaveHo

    DaveHo Supporting Actor

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    OK, let me clarify that. I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that he used aftermarket and not OEM parts. Most people, when faced with the prospect of paying double to triple the cost for OEM from the dealer, usually choose aftermarket. Add that to the fact that brakes are considered normal wear items and usually do not fall under the 3/36 manufacturer warranty led to the above statement.

    -Dave
     
  13. Jason Merrick

    Jason Merrick Supporting Actor

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    True, it takes a minor miracle to get a dealer to replace brake pads under warranty... witness my former Plymouth minivan that went through 9 (yes nine!) sets of front brakes in under 100,000 miles. Before you say it was my driving, I have now owned 10 cars, and have never changed the brakes on any of the other cars I have owned in the last 14 years.

    Also, as far as aftermarket parts, the dealer can't void warranties because of those either, unless they can prove that the aftermarket part was the cause of the failure.
     
  14. Jon_Welker

    Jon_Welker Second Unit

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    Yeah, I was recently pleasantly surprised by my dealer on my Pathfinder. You could feel the wheel gyrating back and forth when braking at highway speeds, and it only has 22,000 miles on it. Took it into the dealer and asked if this would be covered under warranty. He said no, that brakes are a wear item. I was waiting for the call from them for the estimate to fix the problem, when they called and said it was done and that they just had to machine the rotors. First time I walked out of there without opening my wallet. The funny thing is, I just had it in for some $300 checkup that was supposed to check the brake wear. Makes me wonder if my Pathfinder ever got off the ground...
     
  15. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    nissan brakes are terrible in my experience. My dad's maxima warped, my altima warped, all my friend's pathfinders have warped...
     
  16. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Brake wear and rotor warping are two different things.
     
  17. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  18. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

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    What I'm reading here leads me away from the brakes and a few other things if your info. is accurate.
    If a brake pad is dragging on the disc it wouldn't generate anywhere near the heat it does when braking. It would likely exhibit some other quite apparent symptoms beyond what you state if that were the case. I also fail to see how any heat generated would be transferred to the rim.
    Bearings? You would be getting some audible clues of these going bad. A pretty fair additional indicator of bad bearings is the noise lessening, or going away completely under braking when the calipers and pads grab the disc.
    I take for granted the tire shows no sign of unusual wear on the inside face from contact with suspension components once you get underway with occupants onboard?
    I'm not sure of the configuration of these vans up front, but any chance of some sort of exhaust system leakage into the wheel well? I would expect you'd hear signs of this though.
    Any chance the tire itself is defective? How about swapping out the tire and wheel on this corner with one of the others? A manufacturing defect can be the cause of abnormal heat buildup and affect it's ability to dissipate it. I've seen a couple of times where perfectly normal looking tires were the cause of some symptoms like that of bad bearings and brakes. Putting this tire on a different corner ought to single it out as the culprit, or rule it out altogether.
     
  19. Jon_Welker

    Jon_Welker Second Unit

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    Not to totally hijack this thread, but, Philip, yes you are correct it was the rotors that were warped. Sounds like Nissan is using rotors pretty much all from the same parts bin. And to think, we were contemplating getting a Murano to replace the Pathfinder in a couple of years, so much for Nissan's, huh...
     
  20. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    not to wander further off... nissans may be cheap, but I drove a 98 altima I bought new for over 5 years with 0 trips to the dealer. I re-did the brakes meself and they were fine after that. I'm in fact in the market for another nissan after straying to another brand.
     

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