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Front brakes smoking after replacement

10-25-2010, 07:41 AM
This is for a 02 voyager 2.4l front disc/rear drum. I replaced the front brakes, rotors and pads. Put everything back together and went for a test drive. Mostly in 30mph neighborhoods with lots of stop signs. When I returned home the brakes were smoking, a lot, from both front wheels. So, I took everything apart and started over. I sanded the slots on the caliper bracket that hold the clips where the pads sit to make sure they were smooth and to remove any buildup. Put the clips back in and lightly greased. Installed the pads and they were moving freely. Had someone push the brake pedal and the rotors stopped as expected. When pedal was let up the rotor moved freely again. Everything is back together again and I'm going to watch it for the next couple of days. Does anyone have any idea why the brakes would smoke like that when everything checks out? The only thing I can think is that the first time the pads were not moving freely in the bracket. I didn't sand them the first time and didn't pay attention to how free the pads moved in the bracket. The calipers are not leaking and seem to operate correctly. I had the caliper off and had my helper push the brake pedal, the piston came out and when pedal was let off the piston backed in a little and I was able to push it back in for reinstallation.

10-27-2010, 05:54 PM
I wouldnt worry about it, it should stop soon. New brakes will sometimes smoke when new.

10-27-2010, 10:10 PM
I wouldnt worry about it, it should stop soon. New brakes will sometimes smoke when new.

Agreed. While it isn't normal, smoking is not a big issue unless it continues.

11-06-2010, 01:02 PM
I use the following procedure on all brake pad replacements, especially if you have replaced the rotors as part of the job.

Find a low traffic highway that has a 60+ mph speed limit. Starting from a rolling start accelerate to 60 mph, hit the brakes and slow to approximately 20 mph and then remove pedal pressure. The trick is a slow even pressure on the pedal, not a hard application of pressure like in a panic stop. Accelerate to 60 mph again. Repete the slowing down to 20 mph, free rolling a bit, again accelerating to 60 mph. This should be done at least 10 times.
You will have smoking and stink from doing this.

The object is to cause material from the pads to embed on the rotor. This embedding process is what actually causes the pad/rotor to efficiently stop the vehicle. If you stop and hold the brake pad in contact with the rotor it may cause the pad to stick to the rotor, which you do not want to happen, as it trashes the rotor. That is why you free wheel a bit between the speed reduction and acceleration for the next cycle.

I am still gentle on braking for about 100 miles after the above bedding procedure. This may not be necessary but I think it seems to help continue the bedding process. You definitely have more brake after doing the 10 repetitions in my experience.

The above procedure helps to keep the rotors from warping. If you bought cheap China made rotors they probably will warp anyway at some point. You definitely get what you pay for in brake parts. From experience I like NAPA replacement rotors and their semi-ceramic pads. (I have no financial tie with NAPA, other than as a user of their parts.)

11-06-2010, 10:46 PM
did you clean new rotors like i use is brake clean to get the coating on rotors it cleans them off good. did your front brake piston's go in easy? and did you have bleeders open when you pushed pistons in? that gets all the old brake fluid that stays in your calipers. only other if not calipers the rubber brake hose's are colapsing inside. if smoke go's away i guess your in the clear. good luck....

11-07-2010, 09:17 AM
more than likely the coating on the new rotor was'nt cleaned with brakleen
like mentioned above.

11-07-2010, 07:20 PM
more than likely the coating on the new rotor was'nt cleaned with brakleen
like mentioned above.

it's not brakleen it's brake clean.

11-07-2010, 07:48 PM

11-08-2010, 08:19 AM
well i was using brake clean. brake clean anyway why you making a big deal out of this pencil head.

11-08-2010, 11:47 AM
scrapper, i wasnt.. you got on me for it's not brakleen it's brake clean
pencil head?????

11-08-2010, 05:40 PM
I did clean the rotors with a brake cleaner, generic napa brand. I was low on cleaner so I was a bit stingy with it. Anyway, the smoking never came back after that initial ride and the brakes work well. I used the cheap NAPA rotors so we'll see how they hold up. I've never done a brake job that smoked...even on this same vehicle. But, it helps to know others say it is ok as long as it doesn't come back.

11-09-2010, 04:00 PM
Cheap brake pads usually smoke, but that is preventable... There is nothing wrong with cheap pads but you HAVE to break them in... With cheap pads, I prefer to do approximately 200 slow stops starting at 10 miles an hour, up to 30 miles an hour... Then let them cool for a half hour and do 200 stops from 30 up to 60... This is a painfully slow process, but needed for cheap pads... ALL brakes back in the days needed to be broken in, and EVERYBODY's brakes squeaked if it wasn't done right... The newer, more expensive brake pads break in NICELY... I suggest WAGNER thermoquiet brake pads... Not only do some pads squeak, but they will feel a little soft until they break in... Thermoquiet pads are soft for about 20 STOPS, then you FEEL the brake get firm and YOU KNOW that they have broken in... Technology is amazing, but I still use cheap pads! LOL...


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