Q: What is causing my front driver side tire to smoke?

asked by on December 26, 2016

I have a 91 Honda civic one night I was driving my niece to town when I smelled something burning like some kind of rubber was burning I also noticed my car was losing speed to I decided to try my brake pedal it was very hard to push down so I decided to pull over to a gas station that's when thick white smoke was starting to come from my front left tire (driver side) so I waited until the smoke cleared away before driving it home cut my car on and mashed the brakes the brake pedal went back to normal and I was able to drive back home

My car has 250673 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Brake safety Inspection $79.99 - $89.99 Get a Quote
Brakes, Steering and Suspension Inspection $79.99 - $89.99 Get a Quote

It sounds like the left front brake was stuck in the applied position. The constant friction overheated the brake pads and they started smoking. Heating up may have caused the brake fluid temperature to reach it’s boiling point. Even though it seemed normal after sitting, there is a hydraulic issue. First, the brake caliper itself may not be releasing fully. That can be caused by the caliper piston not retracting or even the caliper hardware sticking, not allowing the caliper to slide back to the released position. Another possibility can be the rubber brake hose. With age, the internals of the hose ca separate, causing a small flap of material to block brake fluid flow. It can act as sort of a 1-way valve. The brake fluid traveled to the caliper from the master cylinder, but that "flap" may not have allowed the fluid to go back, keeping the brake applied.

Another possibility can be the master cylinder itself. There can be an issue with the port to the left front wheel not allowing proper fluid travel. Have a certified technician inspect the brake system to find the correct cause.

What you’re describing here appears to be an indication of a locked up wheel that caused your tire to "skid" which created the smoke and loss of acceleration. In some cases this is caused by a malfunctioning brake master cylinder, caliper or brake rotor that is warped. If you "mashed" on the brake pedal and the issue went away, you should have a professional mobile mechanic complete a brake system inspection as soon as possible to determine what is causing this potentially dangerous situation to occur.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

My car jerks when putting it into drive and sometimes has to be revved up high before going into gear

The issue you're describing is typically an indicator of an internal transmission component failure or loss of hydraulic pressure inside the transmission. The change of the motor and transmission mounts probably did not hurt the Honda's ability to accelerate correctly....

Can't pressurize the hydraulics

Most likely, the master cylinder has gone bad as well. 70,000 miles is a long time ago. The only other thing that you could try is either pressure, or vacuum bleeding the clutch system, with one of the many different...

Hello. I have a aveo lt 2009. Seems to be doing vaccum trhu the oil deep stick. a machanic told me to change pcv valve

This vehicle's engine does not use a conventional style (accessible) PCV valve. Instead, there is an orifice which meters the flow rate of blow by gases at a rate dependent on inlet vacuum. This PCV orifice is an integral part...

Odometer not working.

If the speedometer is working correctly and only the odometer is on the fritz, the problem is likely a mechanical failure of the odometer. To fix this the entire instrument cluster would likely require replacement. A trained technician, such as...

Will it damage my Honda Civic Hybrid 2005 engine to drive it with a bad lifter? 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid

Hi there - no, a tapping valve lifter won't cause direct damage per se, but will run less efficiently (on that cylinder) while clearance is excessive and tapping occurs. Since the lifters are adjustable, you would certainly want to have...

My cars makes a rhythmic tapping noise while idling and the noises accelerates and loud end when my rpms go up,

Without listening to the noise myself and going on what you describe then I would have to say it is an engine piston rod knocking inside the motor. You should have a mechanic like one from YourMechanic listen to the...

Door open/ajar sensor will not turn off .

You may have a worn door latch. With someone in the driver's seat watching the light, close the driver's side door, and push in on the door evenly with the latch to see if the light goes out. If it...

At 30 MPH my car rattles and jerks

Unfortunately, there could be a variety of reasons why your Honda Civic is jerking and rattling at this speed. If you are experiencing these symptoms at the same time, then it is likely that they are related to each other....

Frame/Subframe

The sub-frame or frame can get bent by hitting a curb, rear end collision, or hitting something large in the road. There are not too many things that can bend it. I have seen a few get damaged by a...

Related articles

Understanding the Honda Maintenance Minder System and Lights
Car symbols, or dashboard lights, are a car service reminder. The Honda Maintenance Minder codes indicate when and what service your car needs.
The Best Used Cars to Buy For Fuel Economy
Saving money on gas is an important factor to consider when buying a car. The Honda Civic, Toyota Prius, and Ford Fusion all have great fuel economy.
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You're a Personal Assistant
As As a personal assistant, you have a lot of demands placed on your time. Often it’s important that you be able to get around town quickly, running a ton of errands, picking things up here, dropping them off there,...