Auto Tips & Tricks

Are My Brakes Overheating?

Time to get your Brakes checked?

posted July 21st, 2021

Ever wonder what that burning smell coming from outside your car is?


You are thinking that your engine is burning oil, or a belt is going bad. During the Spring and Summer, your Brake Pads can be the culprit.

Brakes overheat more often than you would think. This is especially true when you sit in traffic for extended periods in hot temperatures.

This begs the question, how do you do you know your brakes are overheating? Here are some things to keep an eye, ear, or nose out for.


1.) A Soft Brake Pedal: When your brakes begin to overheat it can cause a soft of spongy feeling brake pedal. This is caused from water collecting in your brake fluid reservoir. The water can heat to a boil causing steam, which can get into your brake lines. This will cause your brake pedal to feel soft or spongy when you press down.

While a Spongy Brake Pads can be from overheating, there can be other causes. For example, air in your brake lines, low brake fluid, or brake line damage.


2.) Brakes Smoking or Start to Smell Burnt: Brake pads can overheat from aggressive driving or excessive use. When that is the case, they will produce smoke. So, if your brakes are beginning to smoke then that is a sure sign that there an excessive amount of heat.

You can also use your nose to sniff out when something is amiss with your brakes. When brakes overheat, you’ll be able to smell a burnt oder. Some compare it to the smell of a burning carpet.


3.) Brakes Squeal: Brakes use a lot of friction to bring your car to a stop. Brake Pads will become “glazed” when excessive friction is generated. This caused by aggressive driving or other parts in the Brake System malfunctioning. If there is a malfunction within the Brake system, your brakes will start to "stick."

When Brake Pads become “glazed” from malfunctioning parts or aggressive driving you will hear a squealing sound. If you hear a squeal coming from your brakes then take your vehicle to an Automotive Repair Shop right away.

Pugh’s Automotive Service performs Free Inspections. If you suspect that your Brake Pads or Overheating call (302)734-4231 or visit us at 728 Leipsic Rd in Dover, DE. You may also schedule your Free Inspection online at