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Brake rotor heating up

03-18-2009, 09:44 PM
97 Expedition 2 wheel drive. abs light going on and off during the real cold weather. Just recently the the front passenger rotor started getting hot along with the strong burning smell. I replaced the passenger side caliper, the brakes were still good and the rotor is not terrible. I also took the time to repack the wheel bearing.

The brakes seem fine and the abs light went out, although I cant remember if I disconnected the battery thinking it might reset the abs. Anyway seemed fine for quick trips, a little hot initially along with the smell but it went away.
Today I drove it about 10 miles and the rotor was hot again.

Abs sensor maybe? or brake line?

Tks for any help

03-19-2009, 01:26 AM
Is it only the right side? If so, it is something on that wheel. If the brake hose is restricted it could cause dragging. Also, if the abs sensor is bad it could make the caliper drag. Put a support stand under that wheel. While someone hits the brake and lets off of it check for free turning of that wheel. I'm surprised that replacing the caliper didn't take care of the problem.

03-19-2009, 10:17 AM
Thanks for the reply,

It is only on the right side. Where the caliper has been replaced. I was thinking hose as well. It did take a while to bleed and I had to apply a lot of pressure to get the pedal to the floor while bleeding.

The abs light has not come back on but Im not sure if that means anything.
If I take it to a brake service place would they still be able to pull a code on it or tell me if the sensor has gone bad? Or can I take it to auto zone and see if they can pull a code.

If it's a sensor or a line I could probably do it myself with help and save what a brake service place would want to charge me.

03-19-2009, 10:43 AM
Something new to add. I was just reading on auto zone repair info site about brake lines. It says a partially plugged hose will cause the car to pull at the beginning of a stop. When the pressure equalizes the pull goes away.

My wheel drag is on the front right and yes the vehicle does pull at the beginning of a stop. The pull is to the left though. Doesn't happen every time but enough that I am aware that it is a pull to the left at the beginning of a brake.

Does a left pull with a right wheel drag make sense?

03-19-2009, 07:34 PM
Try pulling the fuse for the ABS do a test drive if this fixes the problem. Check if you damaged a wire to the sensor for this wheel or if the ring came loose on the rotor.

03-20-2009, 08:49 AM
It it were wire damage to the sensor or the ring, wouldn't the abs light be on?
After I replaced the caliper and bled the brakes the abs light has not come back on.

But here's a question. If the rotor is heating up, shouldn't the abs light come on?

03-20-2009, 11:55 AM
The ABS warning light is for this system. If other causes are causing the rotor to heat up it wouldn't lite up. As you replaced the caliper did you clean all connecting parts. As previously suggested a bad hose can cause this problem also. I suggested pulling the fuse for a test to rule out the ABS system.

03-20-2009, 02:16 PM
Pulled the fuse and took it for a ride. It took about 7 miles driving around to start heating up. And it had that pull to the left at the beginning of braking.

So I'm thinking that it is the brake hose. At least I'm hoping so, that looks like a relatively easy and inexpensive fix.

But again let me ask this, if it is the hose shouldn't the abs light come on. Or no. Is the caliper just doing it's job even if the brake hose is partially plugged.


03-20-2009, 06:31 PM
I would think its not releasing the pressure somewhat like a check valve.

03-22-2009, 08:25 PM
Did the hose solve your problem?

03-22-2009, 09:54 PM
Changed the hoses on both sides today. It was easy. Problem solved.

Another satisfied customer...Thanks for the help. Very much appreciated.

04-17-2009, 08:00 AM
Just a quick follow up.

Everything seems to be fine after replacing the brake lines. However I did notice that the abs light will come on after about 5 miles of driving. No pulls, burning brake smells, or overheated rotors though.

Any thoughts..

Thanks again

04-17-2009, 08:14 AM This link shows some reasonable scanners that do both abs and computer system. Otherwise go to a shop for a scan for codes.

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