Smell something odd?

Published on

August 31, 2021

Your car’s smells can indicate health problems. Check with your technician or owner’s manual about what they might mean.

When you notice a burning smell while driving, hear any noise related to braking, or a difference in braking performance, get a brake check right away.

What is it?

Your car’s brake system is its most critical safety system, and you should check it immediately if you suspect any problems. A properly operating brake system helps ensure safe vehicle control and operation under a wide variety of conditions.

What does it do?

When you push the brake pedal, the force generates hydraulic pressure in the master cylinder. This pressure flows through the hydraulic lines and hoses to the wheel cylinders and calipers, forcing the shoes against the drums (drum brakes) and the pads against the rotors (disc brakes). The resulting friction slows the vehicle and is relative to the force applied at the brake pedal.

Typical Wear and Tear

Brakes are a normal wear item for any car, and eventually, they’re going to need replacement. Avoid letting your brakes get to the “metal-to-metal” point, which usually means expensive rotor or drum replacement. Factors that affect wear include driving habits and the quality of brake pads and shoes.

Symptoms
  • Squeaking or squealing noise when applying brakes
  • Pulsation from the pedal or steering wheel when applying the brakes
  • Excessive black dust visible on the wheels
  • Grinding sound when the car is rolling
  • Dashboard light may illuminate
  • Low fluid level in the brake fluid reservoir
  • Burning Smell While Driving

Source: Car Care Council

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