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Go Back   Chevy HHR Network > General Discussion > Problems/Service/Repairs > How hot should front wheels get normal driving (brake heat)?
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Old 07-15-2008, 06:14 PM   #1
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Exclamation How hot should front wheels get normal driving (brake heat)?

After I get to work or get home from work (12 mile commute each way, 14 stoplights), if I feel my front wheels the right one is so hot that its like after a couple or few seconds better remove your hand because its starting to feel like a burn could occur. Left is similar but can tolerate a few more seconds of holding palm agaisnt the wheel.

If I jack the car and spin each front wheel, on both they do spin but you can hear the pad in slight contact with the rotor on each, but the righthand side wheel spins with little bit more resistance. This (jacking) was done when the brakes were cold, though, so not really a valid investigation of the brakes at temperature. There is no pull to either side, though, during actual braking.

Three weeks ago (approx) I had a dealer check for brake drag and do a front wheel alignment as well. They said the brakes were fine, but I still think the front wheels get too hot.

The rear wheels don't get nearly as hot, warm yes but not hot.

I'm beginning to wonder if the HHR brakes have tight calipers and this slight brake drag is not enough for a dealer to do anything on but enough, over time, to contribute to the recurring problem these cars have with the rotors warping.

I am very easy on the brakes, too. I reduce speed and glide well before stops and ease into and off of the brakes. While stopped I use minimal pedal pressure to stay stopped plus I let it creep a little bit every 10 seconds or so to keep from hot spotting the rotors.

I'm looking at getting an SS not because I dislike my 1LT but because I want an SS, but if I end up keeping this '07 for some reason its going to probably get EBC calipers, rotors, and pads.
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Old 07-15-2008, 06:22 PM   #2
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Do you have another car? Do the wheels get warm/hot after you drive and feel them ??? I think yes
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Old 07-15-2008, 06:29 PM   #3
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Is it normal for the pads to be in slight contact with the rotor, though, such that when you spin the wheel w/ car jacked up it spins but you can hear the slight swish sound of the pad/rotor contact?
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:56 PM   #4
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There are no springs to pull the pads back, so they will drag the rotor but shouldn't heat up from that alone. They will heat up from stopping, and if you're driving in city traffic they can get quite warm.
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Old 07-15-2008, 08:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon View Post
There are no springs to pull the pads back, so they will drag the rotor but shouldn't heat up from that alone. They will heat up from stopping, and if you're driving in city traffic they can get quite warm.
That makes sense. Thx!
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Old 07-15-2008, 08:03 PM   #6
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If the calibers are bad the pistons will stick and not allow the pads to release as much when you take your foot off the pedal. I had a Silverado where the back rotor on one side got extremely HOT and you could not touch it without getting burned. I replaced the caliber and then it was only warm after that (normal).
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Ranger View Post
Is it normal for the pads to be in slight contact with the rotor, though, such that when you spin the wheel w/ car jacked up it spins but you can hear the slight swish sound of the pad/rotor contact?
Yep, perfectly normal. There will be a slight rub as you describe, but is should not significantly drag or cause the wheel to decelerate like when you apply the brakes. My rear brakes are making a chattering noise under hard braking, so I'll be investigating them this weekend.

Concerning front wheel temperature, they will get very hot. The heat from the rotor transfers to the wheel and they get real hot. Brakes work by converting kinetic energy to heat energy, absorbing and dissipating the heat energy is a function of the brake system which is partly done by the wheel.

You should see how hot the brakes and wheels are on my Z06 after a 30 minute HPDE session!
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:03 PM   #8
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Find someone with an inferred thermometer and check the temp of each front rotor. They get quite hot, like if you reach through the wheel and put your finger tips on the rotor it should smell like bacon. Seriously though, if one is hotter than the other then have it checked.
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:23 PM   #9
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One thing to watch out for is the ETS system. It will apply brakes to different wheels if it senses the vehicle is outside defined operational parameters. This will cause brake temperatures and pad wear to vary. I see this all the time when open tracking my Z06.
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brwbier View Post
They get quite hot, like if you reach through the wheel and put your finger tips on the rotor it should smell like bacon. Brwbier
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:35 AM
 
 
 
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