Q: Burning smell from rear of vehicle

asked by on March 06, 2017

The last time I drove the car, I could smell a burning odor coming from the rear axle area when I stopped. When I tried to drive the vehicle again, I had to pump the break pedal to get the brakes to engage.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The rear brakes are probably sticking or seized. If the car has rear disc brakes that could be due to faults with the piston in the caliper bore and/or it could be due to the caliper(s) sticking on the torque plate pins. The odor came from overheated brake friction material and the subsequent difficulty in applying the brakes simply reflects that the brake pads are stuck and not moving freely in the torque plate toward the rotor when you press your foot on the brake pedal. If that is what happened, the solution is to buy loaded calipers and you will probably need new rotors, too. These parts should be procured from a reputable vendor because the loaded calipers will no doubt be rebuilt. (AC Delco is reputable if they stock this part for your car and/or you can ask a knowledgeable mechanic for vendor advice). To resolve this through YourMechanic, right at your location, the recommended service to request is a brake/suspension inspection. If you request that service, the mechanic will first look at the foregoing possibility that I just discussed but if that does not pan out (i.e., if no problem is found with the brakes), he or she will find the underlying problem and let you know what should be done. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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