Is it safe to drive car if brakes caught fire - still has lining!
Travelling on high altitude downgrade.....2,744 ft 55- 50 mph....smelled BAD burning rubber smell.....brake pedal almost to the floor to help stop car.....felt like there were NO BRAKES....was FINALLY! able to grab and ultimately stop ...pulled to side of road.....billowy cloud of thick white gray smoke coming from tires.....jumped out of car.....saw FLAMES behind wheel....put out flames with water......waited for car to cool.....pulled both front wheels and there was still decent amount on lining left of both front pads....rotor smooth and no visible damage! Please respond as quickly as possible....have to make the drive again on Tuesday, 5/26/09! Thanks so much for your help and suggestions!!!!
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Re: is it safe to drive car if brakes caught fire - still...
I would suggest that you adjust your rear brakes. Most likely you have drum brakes in the rear. When the rear brakes are out of adjustment (caused by not using "e-brake" when you park the car. The "e-brake" when applied keeps the rear brakes adjusted with a self adjusting mechanism.) the front brakes have to do ALL of the work to stop the car. In this case going down a steep grade for a long time simply overheated the front brakes. When the front brake pads overheat they get "glazed" and don't want to work anymore. Most likely reason for brake pedal going to the floor is the brake fluid was boiling. Hope this helps. Good luck.
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Your description makes me worry. If you have a strange, unknown screeching noise coming from the right rear wheel and now there is a burning smell. Please stop using it and have it looked at as soon as possible. There are a few things that could be the cause of these symptoms. Wheel bearing failure, seized brake caliper or frozen caliper sliders, damaged brake line, seized E-brake cable, or improperly installed brake-pads. In any case, if you continue to drive this car, with these symptoms. You may cause a break-down (requiring a tow), or cause a fire. Let me know if I can answer any other questions or how the repair goes, good luck.
Sounds like you have some significant carburetor or fuel line problems. I wouldn't drive this thing at all if you smell gas inside the car. Gas fumes are more explosive than gasoline itself. One small electrical spark and at best, you'll explode and die. At worst, you may end up with burns all over your body and spend the rest of your life in terrible pain.
my best guess would be a brake pad or caliper that is sticking on the "on" position. This will cause the brake to generate a high amount of heat and it will heat up the lugnuts. the smell should smell like burning brakes because that is what is happening. the smell itself is hard to describe . if it gets extremely hot you will see smoke coming from the brake that is not working correctly. if it is one brake doing it the steering should also "pull" to the side of the problem. right wheel brake dragging will cause the vehicle to "pull" or verr to the right side.
That sounds like the "Porportioning valve" is defective.
You may want to go to your local library and check out a Chilton's, or some other repair manual for the "how to" to fix yourself or take it to a tech you can trust.
The problem is quite possibly brakes that are not releasing properly. It may be the emergency brake cable hanging up and keeping the back brakes on.
The other possibility is that the front calipers are stuck or sticking.
Brake linings are made out of the same material as clutch material.
If you are careful not to burn yourself, next time you smell burning clutch/brake, you can put your hand on each of the wheels in the center and feel them for heat. If they are warm/hot, you can tell which one(s) are causing the problem.
You should have a hydraulic brake booster. a common failure item on fords and also would cause your symptom. the burning smell, I would go back and recheck all the brakes. Maybe a problem with the e-brakes, or an issue with the front or rear calipers. Possibly a damaged steel or high pressure brake line. Good luck.